Christa Dee talked to Camilla van Hoogstraten about her new clothing brand, Christa & Louella and about exploring ways to think about the future:
Christa & Louella is an eco-luxe brand designing and making fashion for a sustainable future. I believe in finding ways to actively contribute towards new visions for urban living that have people and nature at their core. I would also like to place womxn and people of colour at the core of the creation of these visions. Drawing on the collective strength between womxn, the name for the brand combines my name with my mother’s name.
It is amazing to see that sustainability is being framed in holistic terms, taking into account people and nature, and is sometimes expressed in spiritual terms. As a brand we are also on this journey, and it is powerful to be part of growing this awareness in South Africa, and throughout the world. I am encouraged by the curiosity and active efforts by consumers to learn about sustainability.
I fell in love with hemp when I was introduced to it in 2018. Hemp fabric is one of the most environmentally-friendly fabrics currently available. The plant is naturally resistant to pests and requires little water to grow. It is a plant that can grow in a relatively short amount of time. It is also stronger than other natural textiles. Hemp fabric ages beautifully, becoming softer the more you wear it, making hemp items investment pieces. I have sourced hemp and hemp blends from J. G. Train in Johannesburg. I have been looking at Hemporium in Cape Town because they have the most consistent supply. I am looking into my other natural fibre crushes, linen and cotton, for other fabric options.
Christa & Louella garments and accessories are designed by placing ideas within an imagined sustainable future, while still meeting the desire for comfort, functionality and quality. Thinking about the design process in this way allows for us to respond to current cultural moods expressed by conscious fashion buyers, and to present an alternative narrative for sustainable fashion.
Our inspiration for the Christa & Louella design aesthetic is comfort and creating trans-seasonal looks is important. Christa & Louella combines a clean, minimalist look with African cultural references and Solange-inspired aesthetics. Christa & Louella has a wide sleeve hemp shirt (sizes S – XL) and three tote bags available. We are working on a capsule collection and we’re expanding our size range. The Christa & Louella brand is still a baby but the aim is become a resource for future thinking.
Market on Main in Johannesburg every Sunday
Follow Christa & Louella on Instagram (@christaandlouella) or on Facebook
Styling – Christa Dee, Louella Dee
Photography – Marcia Elizabeth
Make-up – Makeup by Esme
Models – Keabetswe Mashugane, Chuma Bubu