inner-city rooftop gardens inspire Skinny laMinx's new collection
Hidden behind Skinny laMinx's Cape Town store, a steel fire escape leads to their production studio via a hot, bleak city rooftop. Over time Heather Moore has been transforming this scorched space with a growing collection of heat-loving aloes, cacti, euphorbia and more. The shapes, colours and shadows of this spiky rooftop garden formed the inspiration for Skinny laMinx's brand-new collection. 'The three colourways – Rio, Cairo and Miami – are named for other rooftop gardens like mine, which are, in my imagination, scattered in cities across the globe,' says Heather, who tells us more about her latest project below.
Your new Roof Garden collection is a brilliant example of finding inspiration in the everyday – something you’ve always been excellent at. How did you train yourself to really notice your surroundings and feed this back into your creative process?
As prosaic as it sounds, I think that cellphone cameras and Instagram have both been a huge boost to my ability to notice things. The photo gallery on my phone is strictly organised into folders, so I'm able to glance back at different categories and take note what I've been observing over a period, allowing me to pick up on what's 'trending' with me when I come up with designs.
Indoor and rooftop gardens are very popular at the moment, as city-dwellers seek to create green havens amidst their otherwise concrete, urban surrounds. Why do you think we love to be surrounded by plants?
I think there are lots of reasons for this, most of them quite sad, hinging around the deep loss that urban humans are experiencing as we become increasingly disconnected with the earth and with natural cycles. It's a longing for connection with Mother Nature, and we're expressing this need for her nurturing by attempting to create our own small, manageable ecosystems. Also, plants are just spectacularly beautiful, unfathomably diverse, and when sunlight shines through leaves, it simply makes the heart sing!
Tell us a little more about the three colourways in your new range.
Skinny laMinx designs have always been single-colour prints, with the occasional two-colour here and there. This time around, we pushed the boat, using three hues as well as the base-cloth colour, and it became incredibly exciting to put together combinations using our existing colour range. To a large degree, it's opened up the rest of our colour range to new interpretations, many of which have never occurred to us before. So although we're only launching a single design, it's injected fresh energy into our entire range.
How do you envision the rooftop gardens these designs are inspired by?
Roof Garden is available in three colourways, named for rooftop gardens that I like to imagine scattered across cities across the globe. The first is named for Cairo, a city I imagine to have sun-baked roof gardens in hot desert tones of burnt orange, pink and cocoa:
The Rio colourway is named for the kind of jungly mix of Brazil and forest greens tumbling off the kind of rooftop garden I imagine in a tropical city:
I named our peculiar mix of lemon, shell pink and cocoa Miami, for a pastel-hued beach-side roof garden I imagine atop an Art Deco building in that city:
And lastly, care to give us a sneak peek of what else is coming up for Skinny laMinx?
Indeed! We're very excited to be working with Fechters – a legend in South African furniture making – on a selection of made-to-order, solid wood-frame furniture in all the Skinny laMinx prints. These will be available shortly in our shop and online.
Skinny laMinx's Roof Garden collection launches in store and online today. Visit skinnylaminx.com for more.