FK chat to Indie about her beautiful Melbourne based textiles label, Monolog.
Tell us about Monolog and how you got started.
At first Monolog was just a side project to break away from working in front of a computer. Over time it flourished into something more conceptual. Modularity and graphic driven pieces seem to be the common themes that I always come back to. One thing led to another and late last year I decided to work on Monolog full time.
What is your background and what lead you to where you are today?
I have been working as a graphic designer for more than 5 years. However I longed for something more tactile and hands-on. I have always been interested in textiles but never thought I’d be designing for it. Early last year I stumbled upon Harvest Textiles and I experienced hand-printing fabric for the first time. I really enjoyed it and decided to carry on. I like the fact that through Monolog I can still integrate my skills and process as a graphic designer. I approach fashion/clothing like packaging design – the product is the person. Therefore functionality and simplicity in Monolog pieces are the main focus. Besides I get to wear them myself!
Who or what inspires you, online and/or out and about in Melbourne?
I love Charley Harper illustrations and Marimekko textiles. Their works are so rich, you can always find a bit of inspiration to draw from. eg. colour palette, shapes, angle etc. However when it comes to my work I really don’t look far for inspiration – my surroundings and basic daily activities never fail to spark ideas. My design approach varies and tends to be random. I could either skim through my collection of gazillions reference images from online / photos / magazines or simply stare at a piece of napkin to then have a light bulb moment. Bottom line I prefer to let ideas develop organically.
How important is it to you to use organic materials, and what would be your tips for other labels wanting to follow a similar path?
I’ve made a personal goal to be environmentally and ethically conscious — from using organic materials and processes to recycling waste where possible. Hand-printed fabrics is the way to go for Monolog’s current collection. I also worked closely with local manufacturers to ensure the making of the garments is sustainable and not compromised. As a result, people around me and myself have a better appreciation on these pieces knowing that they have been produced with care and considered throughout. It’s also nice to encourage people to buy responsibly. My advice is to stick to your gun to do the right thing ethically and to do your research ferociously.
What were some of the challenges you faced opening your Brunswick store, and what have some of the highlights been?
Since Monolog is a one-woman-show, the challenge when I did the pop up shop under Harvest Workroom space was simply logistic. Physically I was a little drained out to attempt to manage and do every single aspect by myself. But I was very fortunate to have Harvest Textiles ladies and a few friends who offered some help along the way. The highlight is of course when people like what you create. It lifts the pressure off my shoulder a bit. Because when working alone, I tend to be way too critical.
What can we expect at the Sydney FK markets?
Bright bold colours, easy breezy pieces – get ready for a holiday!!!