Miranda Brown merino lifestyle made in NZ
This is my story
I was born in Fairlie in the South island of New Zealand where it is truly wild, fresh and free – you can walk for hours in the mountains without talking to anyone just connecting with nature and the silence - it feels amazing.
We come from the land and this has inspired me enormously as a person and an artist.
My grandparents had a farm in Pleasant Point – rolling hills and a huge orchid and organic vege garden. Organics was normal back then.
We made things - clothes and crafts because we had to and we were naturally creative as a family. Mum and Dad supplemented their income making beeswax candles and leather tooled bags to get us to England. Making stuff to sell is in my blood.
I've always been a free spirit - I value freedom, the enquiring mind and an open heart.
How did I become a fashion designer?
I made my first three piece suit when I was twelve. Mum and Grandma taught me to sew and it continued from there. I went to University at Otago and completed a BCaps degree in Textile Science but it was a little dry for me. I had to seek out my own path as an artist.
I started dying silk in my kitchen at Uni and an amazing thing happened! I created colour and light and I knew this is what I wanted to do with my life. I followed this passion and went to Japan and met an artist Mrs Yokohara and my love of textiles grew, particularly for Shibori dying. This is an ancient resist dye technique that requires the binding of cloth to create beautiful patterns. This has become a major influence in my portfolio.
On my return to New Zealand I worked in the film industry. I spent eight years creating fabrics and costumes for Xena, Hercules and Lord of the Rings, Vertical Limits (are the most famous). They were wild creative days, lots of fun and hard work.
But I had to move on. Call it the ‘artist calling’ – we artists are driven in a way that is extremely exciting and very challenging. There is no security in following your own vision but it is empowering and as the story unfolds, it becomes the ultimate reward. I have faced an incredible amount of fear in my life in order to live my dream and now I am starting to feel some freedom.
I launched my label in 2002 at New Zealand Fashion Week with an installation of my hand dyed shibori wool and a tiny range of just five styles. Miranda Brown took off! There was something fresh about our story – handbuilt, original, quirky classic. We used 100% woven New Zealand wool from the start. My passion for working with New Zealand wool and natural fibre continues.
Our values are natural because I love nature.
As a designer I bring to my work some of my politics and all of my philosophy: ‘We are Connected to Nature’ The more that you connect with nature and study the intelligence at work every day on a macro and micro level you come to realise there is a master designer here. The head of a sunflower illustrates this concept with its spiral pattern called the divine ratio or golden mean. This is geometry at work also seen in the nautilus shell and head of a pine cone. I call it magic.
We are all intricately connected to one another. We are in fact star dust if you look at the science and so life’s balance and order depends on a deep understanding of this knowledge. By creating ritual in our lives and valuing everything around us we can live joyous creative lives.
It is a real pleasure to be an artist with an open mind. I value expansion of the soul and I believe we are here to grow and blossom in a co creative loving world.
Each season we create a range that is inspired by a driving force.
We often team up with an NGO to create awareness and donations. e.g. Winter 2010 collection is called ‘Planting the Seed’. Donations go to Enviroschools.
Please see our Sustainable practice for more info.
Thanks for your interest in my work.
Colour is the Mother Tongue of the Subconscious – Carl Jung