Win a hat and make a veil with Gaia Noir.
Gaia Noir is an eco-fashion business I run from my wee Scottish workshop. I started it because although being green is clearly really damn important, I do not like Itchy Beige Hemp. Itchy Beige Hemp is indeed many peoples' first thought when they imagine eco fashion. But I like jewel-coloured velvet, black lace and circus stripes better than Itchy Beige Hemp â€" and I thought there might be other ladies who agree! Gaia Noir also specializes in custom dreadlock extensions. I've been making, wearing and testing new hair designs on myself for the past 5 years. I bloomin' love these dreads â€" pardon my feminism, but it is nice to only take as long fiddling with your hair as you want to, dreads being basically ready to rock the minute you wake up.
I don't really think in terms of 'feeling inspired' or 'being artistic', but I do get many neat practical ideas at the aesthetics/ideas behind Steampunk and Lolita. Juxtaposing the creepy spikiness of Punk and Goth with the ladylike ruffliness of Victoriana and Roccocco - this contrast is fascinating. It's also a fun challenge to rework these styles in eco-friendly modern materials and designs. For example, using fairly traded and organic velvet for Victorian skirts, trimmed with a beautiful new type of recycled satin (which is actually made from 100% recycled plastic bottles!). Or just upcycling vintage jewellery parts and second-hand fabrics into designs, to save them from landfill. I have had to rein in the wild ideas, though. My ongoing new designs list has a subcategory called 'Things You're Not Really Allowed to Make Because Only Lady Gaga Will Wear Them'.
I began crafting full-time after graduating Uni in an entirely unrelated field. Whilst I really enjoyed University, after 18 years of full-time education, you're ready to force-feed your pencil case to the next person who mentions exams. So no more Uni just now, and instead, I started a business without any formal training in dressmaking or business studies, whilst the economy crumbled around us like a wet biscuit (incidentally, my advice to other crafters looking to start a business would be 'Work hard, learn fast, and be mildly insane!'). And yet it's working!
My friends have all been excellently helpful about this current career choice, although my family thinks it's unusual - but then families often do, don't they? At a recent gathering, my uncle squinted at me, seeing the dreads, curious attire and peculiar boyfriend (a dear, tiny, blonde Steampunk foreigner with A.D.D) and asked in bewilderment, 'But you're 23...are you always going to be this way?'. I smiled and said 'I hope so!'
Get Crafty With Gaia Noir
Need something to wear on your big day? Jane has shared a tutorial for making a basic bridal veil which is perfect for "costumes, eventwear, hallowe'en, or...who knows?...an actual wedding!".
Win a Mini Tricorn Hat
We've got an eco mini tricorn hat to giveaway to one lucky reader. The hat is a one-off design made exclusively for Snippets. It's called 'Circus Rose', and is made from Eco-Fi 100% recycled felt with upcycled striped trims and red rosebuds.
How To Enter:
For your chance of winning, simple leave a comment describing your style below and we'll have Jane pick the winner!
You can find out more about Gaia Noir and buy pieces from their collection on the Gair Noir Website. (Photography by Stuart Crawford, Grahame Ritche Image and RockstarVanity Photography.)