“All the Burrow & Be prints are a direct link to a memory or moment in my life."
Inspired by the colours of spring and summer and a love for botanicals, designer Catherine Melo curated Drop One of Vida Botanica SS21 with the changing season in mind. The garment styles – from the lightweight knit cardigans to the short-sleeve zipsuits – will ease us into the warmer months, while still providing enough coverage for the cooler days that linger.
“This collection has actually been a long time in the making,” says Catherine. “It was first destined for Summer 2020, but with the uncertainty of business with the presence of COVID we decided to postpone the collection.”
Looking back nearly two years after she designed it, Catherine can clearly remember the inspiration behind her designs.
“Many years ago, we did a collection that was very popular – still to this day I get asked if we have any stock of the particular print,” says Catherine. “So, in Drop Two, there is print inspired by this very popular fabric print we did over three years ago.
“We also rehashed another very popular print that I created for some of our first bedding pieces but at a different scale. These pieces then started the story that built the rest.”
“Our design process usually starts with a theme and a story to get the collection started – these are often inspired by my childhood, story books I have read and loved, plants and the natural surrounding I grew up in,” says Catherine.
Each season, Catherine creates a new collection with previous season collections in mind. She loves the idea of new pieces working in harmony alongside older pieces, which have perhaps been handed down or purchased in advance because a customer just loves them.
“I like the idea by adding a new piece I can bring an older style back to life with a new look,” says Catherine. “I also try to create pieces that can work alongside our essentials collection which often pull in similar colour palettes.”
As for the surface patterns, each collection evolves differently. Some are made from hand drawn illustrations or paintings by Catherine, while others are collaborations with other artists and designers or are purchased and changed.
“But there is one thing that stays the same,” says Catherine. “Everything has our signature Burrow and Be flair, and all of our fabrics are custom made and printed.”
The Botanichaos print is basically how it sounds, a chaotic mash of botanical illustrations. Within this chaos there is a blend of Catherine’s illustrations, purchased illustrations and illustrations drawn for Burrow and Be by an artist.
“I guess this is a real mix of how our prints come to be,” says Catherine. “The print process of this fabric is called discharge printing, which is where the fabric is dyed and then printed and washed. The area that has been printed then loses the dyed colour. This print process leaves a beautiful soft touch rather than the feel of white ink on the garment.”
The fabric composition is our popular 95% organic cotton 5% elastane which we love for its wash and wear strengths.
“The Junglette print is a rehash of an original surface pattern I created for a bedding collection,” says Catherine. “This time I reduced the size and used a base colour of a grey blue we call storm. This print was originally inspired by the childhood stories I loved such as ‘The Jungle Book’.”
“The Dragonfly print is inspired by my childhood, growing up on the west coast beach of Piha, Auckland, New Zealand,” says Catherine. “We had so many dragonflies that few around our property and bush setting. I was always fascinated with their beauty, the detail in their wings and the movements they made.
“I very rarely see dragonflies now and I certainly haven’t seen any of the size we used to see as kids.”
Catherine created this surface pattern from purchased illustrations that captured her heart. The colours were inspired by the earthy greens and the light that peeped through the trees as she watched the dragonflies zip from side to side.
Once again, we have used our 95% organic cotton 5 % elastane fabric for comfort and everyday wear.
“The Florence print is the sweetest spring print,” says Catherine. “It is inspired by the sugar snaps in my grandma’s garden, and the surface pattern was created the using purchased watercolour illustrations which I then converted to a 10-colour index print for rotary printing.”
“We know our customers love our unique prints and especially love the wearability and comfort of the cotton elastane fabric,” says Catherine. “This drop is delicate, with stunning spring colours and prints in wearable styles created for the warmer months that are approaching.”
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