Iceland is on my travel bucket list. I bet it may be on yours too. A Google search for Iceland generates hundreds of amazing photos and I cannot wait to see the natural beauty of this country with my own eyes.
However, as I cannot travel there right away, it is still nice to learn about the country. The National History Museum in Washington D.C. has a wonderful exhibition called "Primordial Landscapes: Iceland Revealed." A quick stop at this show will teach you so much about the island!
As you wander through the one-hall exhibition, you will be surrounded by many lovely photos. They display the amazing variety of the Icelandic landscape: mountains, lakes, volcanoes, rivers. You will also learn about the country as it changes throughout the year from the warm days to cold nights. Check out the photos below - they will give you a glimpse of what you will see at the Museum. And since the show is on display only until April, I recommend you rush there soon!
I get to travel every January with a dear friend of mine. It's our tradition; it's our girls' trip. As we enjoy a destination, we are usually already talking about where to go next year. This January 2016 we traveled to Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is beautiful. It sounds like a cliche but I don't really know what else to say. People are lovely; the countryside is breathtaking. While I wandered around and searched for fashion design inspiration, my friend took notes to write her own blog (we have a lot in common!). Read hers about our trip here.
Back to inspiration for fashion design ... I have written a lot about my interests and how I incorporate them into my design work. Costa Rica was a bit of a challenge. As in, where do I look first?!? So much to see! Colors and textures are essential to fashion and textile design and therefore Costa Rica is the place to be.
Take a look below at a few examples of flowers I came across. They are all in the pink/orange/red family yet they are so outstanding in their own right. I often print photos I take on my travels and then incorporate them into my 'dress of the day' sketches. You can check these out on Instagram.
As my friend and I discussion our next trip, I am already excited about the colors and textures of the chosen destination. Creativity rarely sleeps when there is so much beauty in the world!
Circle of fire. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia.
Photo taken in October 2015. Credit: Martina Sestakova.
I love textiles and sorting through fabrics at a fabric store may be one of my favorite activities. I love the textures, the colors, and finishes. I create my own designs and always get so excited when my fabric arrives in the mail.
What's great about textile design is that one can use all kinds of methods to create striking textures and patterns. When I sit down to create a design, I work with a particular inspiration and then locate a tool that will help me best express it on a fabric.
Here are a few examples. The four fabrics below were all created through different tools and I think you can appreciate the wonderful options. I enjoy painting and often start with that method. The examples in the left column are monoprints - the one on top is a monoprint on paper and the one is on fabric. They both offer lovely textures. The grey design on the right is a watercolor painting - an abstract shape that I manipulated in PhotoShop to create a dynamic water-like finish. And finally, the bottom right design started as a photo of foliage that I adjusted in PhotoShop. I changed the color scheme and created multiple layers to achieve a lovely optical illusion.
All of these textile designs can serve a multitude of purposes. I can see them as patterns for wallpaper. I can see them as pillow covers or scarves. Stay tuned on what I will do with them!
The beauty of snow. Prague, Czech Republic.
Photo taken in February 2016. Photo credit: Alena Sestakova.
I love using art as inspiration for my fashion design. So you can only imagine how excited I was to work on a collection inspired by the fabulous American artist Lois Mailou Jones. Her wonderful paintings explore topics such as identity and heritage and showcase influences of Cubism and abstract art.
I delved into researching Jones' work and discovered a word of deep thought and extraordinary bravery. Jones stood her creative ground as an artist and a woman during changing times and today is an important figure in the art world.
Take a look below at the development of my collection. I created a moodboard (a board that provides information about my inspiration and color scheme) and selected fabrics. In this case, I worked with leathers, cottons, and silks. I was mesmerized by the Cubist influences in Jones' work and created 3D samples of cuffs, sleeve hems, and collars in which I utilized a variety of tools. I cut irregular edges, sewn leather swatches to cotton background, painted with fabric paint, embroidered sections of cuffs, and used embellishments.
I love color and texture. The more, the merrier! As you can see in my final lineup, I did not hold back. It was so much fun to create garments full of intricate design details and overflowing with colors. I have learned a lot about Jones and will continue to keep her work in mind for future projects. Stay tuned!
For additional details about this collection, check out my Portfolio.
The sky making its mark on the beach. Ocean City, Maryland.
Photo taken in February 2016. Credit: Martina Sestakova.
Nautical design details keep making their appearance in fashion, accessories, and interior design. I wrote about nautical fashion some time ago and could easily find new examples to support my belief that nautical life as inspiration for our creativity is not going anywhere. Red, white, and blue as the colors that define nautical styling.
I recently undertook two projects to add nautical touches to a friend's boat. First, I took old pillows and created two brand new covers. It is a fun time to go to the fabric store and locate fabric that would be appropriate visually (as in I needed to love it!) and functionally (as it it needed to withstand harsh weather conditions). I ended up purchasing two fabrics and designing a pillow cover that combined these. One side of the pillow is red/white stripe; the other side is white/blue boat images. I sewed the covers and inserted heavy duty zippers to make sure these pillows would last a long time.
Second, I designed and made a kitchen towel to use on the boat. Unlike the pillows, this project did not include any sewing. I purchased a black towel and designed two stencils to imprint on this tower. Without a doubt, anchors are the most popular nautical themes. I created two different designs and used my silk screen to imprint them on the pillow. A great project for a rainy afternoon!
My friend is enjoying his new pillows and kitchen towel. These simple objects add a great deal of fun and visual appeal to the boat. Check it out here. I am excited about the outcomes!
Interest in my designs? I am happy to work on a project for you. You can check out my ongoing projects on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.
Welcome! My textile/fashion design brand RADOST™ (Czech) is all about JOY (English).
In the blogs, I bring you thoughts on textile and fashion design, art, and travel.
Check back often, as creativity never sleeps (well, almost never) and surround yourself with joy!