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We've been following the fashions of designer local Jill Aiko Yee for a while now. In fact, the DTLA-based maker was one of our Racked Young Gun semi-finalists in 2013. Her pieces, which often dance playfully between being feminine and utilitarian, are each made painstakingly by hand—Yee's hands, that is—and she is solely responsible for everything from fabric selection to execution of a garment.
For her latest endeavor, however, the designer has sought out some outside assistance. She's teamed up with natural-dye guru and rad handmade goods maker Graham Keegan, whose Indigo & Shibori Dye Workshops have become a hot local ticket. After the two met through friends in the LA creatives circuit, Yee proposed a collaboration where each of their areas of expertise could influence the other. For some pieces she provided Keegan with fabric he had not previously experimented with, while for others she was simply inspired by the patterns and variations of colors in his existing textiles. The stunning garments that have resulted from this mutually beneficial relationship are made with an array natural fabrics in hues created by indigo, bougainvillea, goldenrod, and sumac among other plants.
The duo let us crash a recent dye workshop to observe some of the process, and soon after we ogled some of the finished pieces at Yee's studio in the Fashion District. The soft geometric shape and bold indigo hue of the Cinched Journey Dress had us lusting (it's all we want to wear this summer!) and we couldn't resist snagging some supremely soft silk bed shorts dyed with goldenrod. And with such a focus on sustainable materials, its safe to say these two are a match made in eco-friendly fashion heaven.
Yee's clothing can be purchased on her website or via studio appointments made by emailing email@example.com. Select pieces can also be found at Myrtle. Keegan's good and workshops can be purchased through his website.