Label - AWAVEAWAKE
My signature is the sumptuous plant dyed silks
Founded in 2012, New York-based plant dyed luxurious lifestyle brand Awaveawake by designer Jaclyn Hodes is an exclusively sustainable lifestyle brand working with artisans and small workshops to create conscious clothing and homeware. In an interview with Kiran Sahija, the designer talks about her journey and the inspiration behind her conscious collection.
Fibre2Fashion: How would you illustrate your journey in the world of fashion and what motivated you to start your label?
I worked a full decade prior to developing the brand as a stylist, editor and consultant and went to graduate school for fashion and textile history along the way. I always imagined I would create a collection and took design classes in grade school but was just as interested in studying so many other subjects as well, that I took a less traditional route. It was falling into styling while studying in Paris that captured my attention for quite some time, but I still couldn’t shake the desire to start a label. I felt that if I was to create anything new to this earth that it would have to be from a new paradigm. Back in 2011, there were very few brands that were conscious, sustainable, ethical and none that related to my personal aesthetic. So, it felt that I had something to contribute to this still quite new conversation and Awaveawake was born.
Fibre2Fashion: How would you elaborate the aesthetics of your brand’s collection?
The brand aesthetic is informed by my past studies in fashion history and interest in silhouettes throughout the 20th century. I prefer bias cuts that flow and swirl around the body, where the body creates the structure and not the material. I like sensual feeling fabrics that are all natural and of course dyed with plant materials. And comfort and wearability are key for me so though I like the showing of a women’s form, with all the curves and angles alike, I don’t favour anything too fussy. I would describe the pieces as being elegant and often sexy but the layers we offer are more playfulness and some even modesty options.
Fibre2Fashion: Where do you get your creative nutrition? What fashion do you follow?
I love that term ‘creative nutrition’. It is so key that creativity is nourishing. I find creative nourishment in all sorts of places. I am mostly inspired by travelling and exploring other cultures and the intersections among them. I am naturally a bit nomadic, not having a home anywhere, after cocooning in Bali during the pandemic.
Fibre2Fashion: What are the sustainable practices followed by your brand?
From the on-set, plant dyes became the main theme and inspiration for the label. Because natural materials are required to use botanical dyes, and silk is especially complimentary for displaying the botanically derived colours, the two became synonymous with the label and my commitment and contribution to the wave of conscious fashion.
Fibre2Fashion: Sustainable designer ensembles and labels come with a price. What’s your opinion on the same?
Doing things the correct and conscious way comes at a price and but it’s actually the ‘true cost’ of all that goes into what it takes to create a garment that is part of a brand that is dedicated to doing things the right way. I have always been aware that you get what you pay for and anytime I bought something that wasn’t high quality it not only didn’t last but it usually had an energy of disposability, and I didn’t treasure it because it wasn’t special nor was it made well and with high minded intentions.
Fibre2Fashion: What according to you is your favourite part of being a fashion designer?
The best part of being a designer is creating new styles and coming up with new colour combinations and silhouettes for each collection. Also, seeing someone wear your clothing and hearing how wonderful, beautiful and empowered the wearer feels in them is truly a highlight.
Fibre2Fashion: What are the changes you have made as a fashion consumer?
I have always been a conscious consumer naturally based on interests in an alternative fashion and also natural living from a very young age. Now there are so many more options on what products to explore beyond just super high well-made fashion or healthy food and beauty products. But as a consumer, there is always room to grow and do better. Over the years I have gotten better and better at avoiding plastics, but I was also raised to not treat anything as disposable. As hard as the pandemic was for everyone in the world, it was a unifying experience and gave the planet a break from the overwhelming pace of things. I feel the earth has ultimate control and so we are all being asked to play our part to soothe her distress. And we all have something to contribute to the easing of this collective trauma.
Fibre2Fashion: Can you suggest some colours every woman should have in her wardrobe?
Every woman should have a variety of colours in her wardrobe, and she should choose to wear certain colours to either amplify or balance the qualities she wants to embody. We can make some of these choices more consciously, but we also are naturally and intuitively drawn to colours in this way.
Fibre2Fashion: What is your vision for your label for forthcoming years? Are you planning to expand the same?
My vision is to continue along the lines of what I’ve already created over the past ten years and expand further. As much as my signature is the sumptuous plant dyed silks, I would love to experiment with some of the new conscious materials that are emerging out there and see how they may fit into the core aesthetic of the brand.