Image: La réunion
Textile artist Sarah Nsikak has set up a studio, La réunion, making hand quilted pieces and bespoke clothing. Nsikak is a Nigerian-American living in Brooklyn, New York. Her love of textiles led her to work in fashion for several years after completing a masters degree in Art Therapy. The amount of waste generated by the industry inspired her to return to her art practice and the works created as La réunion are made using recycled material sourced from designers based in New York. We asked Nsikak to tell us about her current projects.
What are you making at La réunion at the moment?
I'm currently making custom dresses and a commissioned art piece inspired by the work of Alma Thomas.
Image: From Conflict And Costume: The Herero Tribe Of Namibia, Jim Naughten, Merrell Publishers, an extract of which is featured in Selvedge Issue 51.
Can you tell us about one of your influences - the clothing of the Herero women of Namibia?
The women of Namibia are so inspiring to me because they reclaimed the dresses of their oppressors. German men and women invaded Namibia and tried to wipe them out. They survived that and reclaimed the dress stylings of the women and made it their own. This is something we (black people) have been doing for centuries. Making lemonade out of lemons and overcoming the odds.
Image: La réunion
Can you tell us how you source the material you use?
I source from many places - I recently began looking into vintage deadstock online. Up until now, I was using remnants from fashion designers I used to work for. They include Caron Callahan and Mara Hoffman. I also go to cutting rooms in NYC where there are piles and piles of old fabric that has been cut into and can not be used. I use a lot of that for pockets on my dresses.
What projects do you have planned for the rest of the year?
I'm working with a few shops on capsule collections special for them, which I think will be very special.