FK talks to Belinda Crossley about her Melbourne based textiles label Brkich.
Tell us a little about your label, Brkich.
brkich is a small scale clothing and accessory label with the main focus being on hand screen printed fabrics. All products are limited in numbers and are printed and made by hand. brkich prints and garments are designed to be playful and distinctive; the quirky use of unusual motifs creates an identifiable style. brkich is only in its first year… and at the moment is most defiantly a one woman show! So at this point all aspects of the design and production process are undertaken by myself, from the initial fabric design and pattern making right through to the hand screen printing and sewing.
Whats your background and how did you end up in textiles?
I grew up living in an old butter factory turned art gallery in rural Gippsland, so I was constantly surrounded by creative people and plenty of open spaces. From a very young age I was constantly making things; a favourite medium was cardboard. As time went on cardboard creations eventually gave way to cutting up and remaking my own clothes and this just seemed to stick. I have never (and still don’t) think of myself as a fashion designer. I make beautiful objects and I enjoy the process of doing so, I think of myself simply as a ‘maker’ rather than a fashion designer. One day a textiles student came and did a live-in residency at the gallery where I lived and it just all made sense! By studying textiles I am now able to control all aspects of the creative process, begin completely from scratch.
Who or what do you find inspires your work?
Since the really early days I was always fascinated and inspired by the work of sculptor Claes Oldenburg and also the fabrics and wallpapers of the Scottish design company Timorous Beasties. I am inspired by every day objects and odd couplings, I love taking things out of context and seeing the results.
Tell us about your creative process.
Process is very important to me, a lot of my designs really come into their own once I actually begin the physical process. My fabric and garment designs go hand in hand. I would rarely design a fabric without a finished garment in mind and visa versa. I don’t work from formal patterns, all my garments are initially designed via draping on the body. I start sampling very early in the design process and a fabric design or garment can undergo many changes before I reach my final finished product. I really enjoy the physicality of screen printing. There is nothing more satisfying than printing a whole roll of fabric and seeing all your creation drying on the table. Hand printing my own fabric is something that I would never give up.
What do you love about your surroundings?
Melbourne is a fantastic city to live and work in, it is incredibly supportive of new creatives and it is inspiring to see so many people doing so many wonderful things! Growing up in the country I certainly crave open spaces… but I have just moved to Thornbury, which kind of feels like the country!
Do you have any new products for the FK Melbourne markets happening soon?
At the coming Finders Keepers market I will be showing of a small range of garments and leather accessories. My newest fabric ‘Ark’ will be in the form of cropped summer tees, due to the nature of the print each of the garments are unique, showing a different part of the fabric. I am sharing my stall with jenhalldesigns; Jen makes beautiful photographic earrings and brooches… it’s all very exciting!