Sunburst Country : A Story

You guys have loved the Sunburst country range and I love that you love it and there’s just a lot of love flying around. Which is appropriate because that’s what the 60s/70s were all about and this era was DEFINITELY my muse for this range! I thought I’d share a little bit about this  LOUD collection that’s been in my mind and heart for a few years…

Images from @misszetarose (via @dreamalittlecreations), @rattamatatt, @maz_made and @kablooiestore .

I loooove vintage fabrics. I have been saving them since the very first day I joined Pinterest. Some of the inspiration for this range dates back to those first pins, including these:

So when I saw vintage florals and retro scenery back on the runway I knew it was my time to shine! For example…

However, project after project came up…clients commissioned vintage florals, I drew a few here and there for people and I wondered if it was even worth doing my own collection after doing so many for others. (Insert identity crisis about my Creative barrel, artists’ block, individuality in paid commissions etc etc…said crisis has a happy ending, don’t worry, I came out the other side haha because….) I knew I had something different to offer! Firstly, I knew I wanted to make my vintage fabrics Australian. The first scene I started out with had to include some of our natural wonders: Uluru, Migaloo, sweeping plains, rolling hills, palm-trees and of course, the stereotypical animals! Because I grew up in the Riverland of South Australia (citrus and grape country!) I just had to include some grape vines, as well. And I’m thrilled with the result…

Sunburst Country in Cotton Sateen

For a complementary print I wanted to include something very ME and very Riverland, where I grew up. Many years ago, when I first started designing, I created this incredibly dismal citrus design….You know that stage of your learning when you have fabulous ideas but not the skills to execute them? Yeah. That:

Ellie Whittaker Riverland South Australia Fabric Design
Riverina Design Circa 2014

This design embarrasses me so much I thought I’d never take a swing at oranges again. But when I discovered this 2014 design by the ever-amazing (and I mean A-MAZING, one of my faves) designer, Manish Arora, I knew how to do my citrus…BIG AND BOLD!

For my final designs I knew, as always, that my complementary prints had to stand on their own two feet. I knew I loved those vintage girls I had first laid eyes on, staring into the distance looking like hippie, demure little petals, but I wanted to present a girl with a bit more nouse…someone who wasn’t scared to be her own girl and to bring about change. We’d also been reading Percy Jackson with our 8 year-old so it’s possible some Greek mythology was playing on my mind…and so, Zephyr and Nova were born!

All in all, I am absolutely thrilled with this collection…but I was nervous as HECK showing it to the world! I mean. What is this crazy, loudness?! Sure, it’s on the runway, but does it belong in OUR homes? On OUR bodies?

You guys said yes.

Identity crisis over 😉

Thank you for loving my crazy, time and time again. It truly means the world.

If you haven’t already, you can shop the collection here. 🙂

PS. I love a good runway inspo. And I’m excited to share more on the blog in the coming months. If you’re wondering what’s next, I can give another Manish Arora hint…! Get excited…!

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