DAUGHTERS OF THE MOON by Isa Catepillán
Posted: May 20 2016
We had an amazing opportunity to adorn the soles of Isa Catepillán's models for her first ever collection of handmade crochet wedding dresses. As we absolutely love the art of crochet at Forever Soles, we couldn't pass this perfect opportunity up!
We caught up with Isa to ask her a few things about her journey and what it takes to create her wedding dresses.
How did you learn to crochet?
I learned when I was around 8 years old, when my mom passed down skills as a kid & I spent my childhood making/playing with my mom's yarn's lefts overs.
As an adult I crocheted a bit (more off that on, to be honest).... I was too busy at uni, getting a good job, etc.... but I wasn't happy!!!! So after 3 years of office work, I quit (7 years ago) & I literally travelled the world.... Meanwhile I tried all sort of things, from studying & teaching yoga, to making silver jewelry, mosaic, drawing, etc... & I loved them all, but I was constantly on the road, so committing with a long term activity or carrying tools was complicated.
Three years ago, just before coming to Australia I re-found crochet & I absolutely loved the simplicity of it!. Enthusiastically I did simple tops, bikinis & ponchos & sell them to friends & family but I was still waitressing, babysitting & cleaning for living.
By that time I also felt in love & decided to stay in Australia, but not until a year ago, when I was finally applying for a residency, I realized that my days as traveler where over & I no longer wanted to work in something that didn't fulfill my heart.
I attempted to do my first wedding dress & I literally knew basics of crochet & nothing about design but I felt a big certainty, that's hard to explain... I designed a dress in my mind, (I didn't draw it), I saw a tutorial in youtube & a month later the dress was ready to wear & I was full of new ideas. So I made other 4 dresses in the next 6 months & I called my first collection "Hijas de la Luna" which in Spanish means "Daughters of the Moon".
At the end of that year, I went back to my home country Chile & we drove down south to reconnect with indigenous root that until not long ago I didn't know I had. It was an absolutely mind blowing experience, but the most incredible part is that in Chiloé island, where my ancestors come from, every single woman has been weaving, knitting or crocheting for many generations. I had a deep understanding of why I do what I do & a sense of humility knowing that this talent doesn't really belong to me. From then on, every time I crochet I feel connected with my grandmothers & with my own truth & I committed to always do it with love.
How long does it take you to make a dress?
Each dress takes up to 6 weeks to be designed & hand-made. It starts with an idea, but in the process it always changes a bit, so I am learning how to go with the flow & trust... my hand work is a meticulous one to ensure the best outcome.
What inspired your first collection?
I was inspired by my travels. Being on the road for so long made me connect in a deep way with the moon. "She" always oriented me and nourished me with different energies depending of the moment of each cycle. I was inspired by the feminine beauty in all forms & by the nature within us, women, so connected with the outer natural processes. I was inspired by the elegance of natural fibres and the uniqueness & love of a hand made work.
Describe the bride you have in mind for your collection
I crochet for women who have a deep understanding of the value of a unique handmade piece, made with ancient technics passed down trough generations. The ones who care about the environment and will prefer natural fibres & low impact processes. Brides who want to feel elegant, sophisticated & chic without compromising quality & values.
My dresses are true pieces of art, the designs are inspired in timeless trend & each single stitch is made with love. I believe in the art of slow living, in the connection with our roots, the importance of cooking homemade meals, in the keepers of traditions, in feminine strength and delicate power, in beauty beyond rules & in the uniqueness of each one of us as humans... I really hope my work is the reflection of this.
All Isa's dresses can be purchased via her Etsy store here.
Production: Luka Haralampou, (@lukalesson) Isa Catepillán (@isa_catepillan)
Art Assistants: Anita Kwong Barnatan, Victoria Larnach (@vikchzster)
Photographer: Michelle Grace Hunder (@michelleghunder)
Models: Yiana Solar-Lowther (@ondama_byronbay), Sofi Asha (@_sofiasha)
H&MU: Phoebe Fever (@phoebefever / @phoebefever_weddings)
Jewelry: Anita Kwong Barnatan
Foot jewelry: Forever Soles (@foreversoles)
Location: Madhuban, house of Madhubala and Timothee Roi Diers
Behind the scene photographer: Gopi Lev
Videographer: Satima Ornaro
Production assistants: Rihab Charida, Luka Haralampou