1. Tell us about you…
My name is Joanna, I am 38 years old, and I live in California.
I started making linen dresses in 2014, after a very hot summer and an unsuccessful search for cool, comfortable dresses that were beautiful, functional and something I could run errands in, walk the dog, pick up the kids, run to the market etc. I was tired of dresses that weren’t built for an every day life, or an average woman.
I discovered the magical properties of linen and its many benefits, keeping you cool in the summer, warm and dry in the winter and it’s effortless aesthetic. I began making the dresses myself, and selling them at a market in Los Angeles. Now, my dresses are ethically made with the help of skilled craftspeople in California, who make a living wage and a great final product. It is exciting to support out local economy and offer fair wages for a well crafted garment.
2. Who or what inspires you?
I find a lot of inspiration in reading, mostly fiction with strong heroines, Flora Post from Cold Comfort Farm, Flavia from the Alan Bradbury series, and of course the classics - Bronte!
Everyday objects can be inspiring, a pair of beautifully worn leather boots, a well loved tea cup, old houses where generations of families have lived in them.
3. What is something you have loved for a long time?
Tea! I love the ritual of making it, I am very partial to my mug collection, and there isn't a tea that I don’t like, English, herbal, chai, fruit.
4. What is something you have recently rediscovered?
That having short hair is the way to go….so easy to take care of!
5. What is your favourite object and what makes it special?
I am not terribly attached to objects, I love my family very much. I recently bought a old vintage dresser (that holds all of my tea cups!) for my kitchen and it’s something I’d always dreamed of having, so that is pretty special to me.
6. What is something you are looking forward to?
I love getting up in the early morning and making coffee, and watching the sun come up, it’s so quiet and the promise of a new day can be so exciting.
7. What does sustainability mean to you?
When applied to a business, I believe it is growing at a responsible rate, making clothing in smaller batches and not mass producing.
8. What is your relationship with fashion?
I love fashion to express my personal style, based on how I feel. Sometimes wearing a dress can make me feel like slowing down and not allowing a crazy pace dictate my day, other days wearing jeans and a vintage t-shirt makes me feel empowered, wearing my L'Envers claude cardigan brings me comfort! Wearing clothing made by ethical makers makes me feel very in tune with my clothing, that there is a story behind each piece that I am lucky to be wearing.
9. Why did you choose this piece of L’Envers?
I live in a warm climate (California) but wear my Claude cardigan at every opportunity, cool mornings, school runs, night walks, and the color works with so many things in my wardrobe!