One of the best things with surrounding oneself with creative people is to see them join forces and work together, and this fall we will see just such a project bear fruit. We are happy to announce that our talented friend the weaver Miriam Parkman is releasing a collaboration with Indigofera Jeans, one of our favorite denim brands!
We sat down with Miriam and a pot of coffee on a Friday morning to find out more about what goes behind the collaboration and the beautiful work she creates in her loom and her life as a professional weaver.
The collection will be released on Sept. 24'th, and we are very excited because this is the first time in ten years that Indigofera has teamed up with a woman to make a women's clothing collection. To us it seems like a really good match as Miriams love for fabric, color and long-standing knowledge of vintage and Indigofera's aesthetics and business know-how surely will open up a new chapter and a whole new territory in the denim scene which we believe will be appreciated by many.
The story of the collaboration started back in 2018, on a December day in our store. As is our tradition we had arranged a mulled wine evening with Indigofera to sum up the year with our friends and customers and to wish each other a Merry Christmas. This day Miriam stepped in from the cold, wearing her open road styled hat, determination to present an idea she has been working on for a while to Indigofera.
As many of you know Norwegian-made wool blankets have been part of Indigofera's collections since they were founded in 2009, and over the years they have collaborated with a number of different artists and designers to create beautiful blankets. Miriam's idea was to translate her craftsmanship and aesthetics into wool blankets along with Indigofera which would allow her to offer her designs at a price point that would be more accessible than if the blankets were handwoven in her Stockholm studio. It turned out that Mats and Pontus from Indigofera had bigger plans and asked Miriam to create an entire clothing collection! They had thought about making women's garments but felt that they did not have the knowledge needed to put that plan into action, so it turned out that Miriam's thoughts on a collaboration came at just the right time!
The work on the collection began in earnest during the spring of 2020 and by a lucky coincidence Åsa Norin, another talented good friend of ours, had an internship at Indigofera at that time. Åsa has many years of experience in garments construction and a great knowledge of vintage culture and timeless women's fashion. The combination of Miriam's ideas and Åsa's knowledge of design and fits turned out to be a perfect combination.
The collection is named "High Coast" after one of Swedens beautiful national parks. If you follow the E4 road north from Stockholm you will eventually come to this coastal strip where the landscape has been shaped by the last ice age, leaving a unique area with high cliffs mixed with a beautiful nature placed on the coast to the Gulf of Bothnia.
Miriam grew up here surrounded by nature, water and rocks. Together with the beautiful light that a summer night in June can provide they have proven to be a source of inspiration that reappears in Miriams works again and again!
Åsa Norin and Miriam Parkman enjoying the bright sun of a High Coast summer evening.
The collection consists of two wool blankets, a pair of trousers available in two materials (denim and brown cotton canvas), a checked flannel shirt, a dress inspired by vintage work coats and a wool jacket. The wool jackets are sewn from the Norwegian wool blanket and will have hand-woven details that Miriam herself has made for all the jackets. There will also be bandanas and handmade chain stitch patches that will follow the collection's theme!
Miriam finds a lot of inspiration in the post war casual life style that became popular in USA during the middle of the last century. The establishment of a five day working week and an eight hour working day in America led to the need for clothing which enabled the fullest possible enjoyment of such increased leisure time, and the new casual clothing was designed accordingly.
Here she is sitting in an old Swedish style log cabin called "Härbre" where she spent part of every summer for her whole life. There is really something beautiful about the mix of classic American inspired fashion and a Swedish building that has stood in the same place for over 300 years. Somehow we hope that these garments will be as timeless as the doorway and age with the same dignity.
The artists wrap dress and the open sea at the high coast worn by Åsa Norin.
Miriam wearing the artists wrap dress in her weaving studio.
.Another important aspect behind the design process was that Miriam wanted to create clothes that were functional enough to wear in her everyday life as a weaver. She needs garments that are forgiving because she may occasionally have to crawl on the floor under the loom, and other days she will be seated long hours in front of the weave. Pockets are necessary for various tools, and last but not least you should be able to leave the loom after the end of the day and still look and feel dressed up! The idea is that these garments will be the foundation of a basic, functional and classic wardrobe that will be part of ones everyday life for a long time to come.
After talking about the collection, we asked a few short questions about Miriam's craftsmanship to get an insight into her work.
What do you appreciate most about your craft?
I like that what I do with weaving can be created in the moment, instead of being mathematical I can feel and weave what comes to mind. Dyeing the yarn and combining the colors is also a wonderful part of the craft.
What do you appreciate less about your craft?
It is time consuming and even though there is something nice about things taking time, I would not mind a faster process if it was possible!
Do you have a color that you really do not appreciate?
Not really but purple has been a color that I have had a hard time with before, mainly because it makes me associate with how many cafés chose to decorate in the late 90's. I remember it in combination with wallpaper with large patterns and perhaps some green details and black leather furnitures... But nowadays I can appreciate some shades of purple and it will surely appear in my weaves some time in the future.
Who would you most like to weave a product for?
Dolly Parton! She loves color so it would be fun to create a really colorful long-pile rug or picture weave for her.
Where would you most like to see one of your weaves?
A dream would be that someone who has a house in Palm Springs in southern California would hire me and offer me accommodation to work with the weave there. Being able to look out over the mountainous landscape and to go for a swim when one feels like it would suited me well because I thrive best in a sunny landscape.
What music is best to weave to?
It depends on the mood, but most of the time I need something to get me started. I have a playlist with 70's and 80's rock that gives me a good feeling. Traveling Wilburys and Status Quo are some of them. Linda Ronstadt's Mexican records make me remember my time in Mexico and I tend too choose to work with colors that inspired me there when I listen to her music. Now that it is fall I like to listen to my sister Sara Parkman's music... Everything depends on my mood and the music reflects my choice of colors.
What would a year 2020 weave look like?
I dont think it's a black and depressing weave. Rather a colorful and strong weave and of all that has happened in the world, you can still see the positive that comes with protest movements and other things. In a way it would be inspired by the strong message associated with some 70's art and it may be that that time is reflected in our time now. You can ask me again in a year from now and we will se how things turned out!
What is inspiring you right now?
It's a cycle, I took a picture of a flower I have at home and realized that the same colors are used in the fabric I am weaving right now, and my mother pointed out that I had used the same shades of coloring pens when I spent the summer with them. They were all dried and finished now that she had intended to use them! I have also collected small pieces of sea glass that I found on the beach this summer that seem to have inspired my latest weave.
On Thursday the 24'th we invite you to the store and the release of the Miriam Parkman x Indigofera collection. We hope you can come and celebrate with us! If you are interested in seeing more of Miriam's beautiful work and maybe even purchasing one of her beautiful products we would like to encourage you to follow her on social media or contact her via her website!
@miriamethel on Instagram