All images courtesy of ratatouille designs.
In the current issue (Issue 93 Rethink) we feature ratatouille designs, who create and sell one-of-a-kind garments made from vintage French linen, and new European linen items for the body and the home. Linens are selected from the markets of Provence, and are transformed into dresses, tunics, jackets and homewares. In the pieces, the wearer can feel the stories of the old cloth in the drape on their shoulders, the history of the hand who made them, as well as the touch of founder Susan Perkuhn herself. We asked Susan to tell us a little bit more about her love of reclaimed fabric.
Why did you start ratatouille?
I started ratatouille designs at age 54. It is my second career after being in the corporate (non-fashion world).
Why do you enjoy working with existing rather than new textiles?
I enjoy working with existing textiles because I get to go to France to source them (once a year, this is the carrot at the end of the stick for the long hours in my studio). Because the handmade and unknown but visible history are compelling to me, and because it is a differentiator for me. I constantly surprise myself with what I create and that is a wonderful satisfaction for me.
What has been your favourite piece to create?
My favourite pieces are where I have created a garment and added my own handwork (i.e. visible mending, embroidery) to patch beautifully worn fabric or to hide a permanent mark (particularly if that fabric has original embroidery).
You can read the full article by Rinne Allen in Issue 93 Rethink.
Susan sells at artisan markets near Vancouver and through her website, ratatouille designs. We are pleased to offer you the chance to win a ratatouille designs medium weight white linen jacket in our current competitions.