By Flora Beagley
Over the past few months, urban centres have shut down. The unexpected benefit? We’ve looked to nature through our windows, parks and local communities. The Tate’s lockdown campaign – showcasing famous works of art painted from a window – was a reminder to slow down, and admire the natural world that passes unnoticed in our fast-moving lives.
This month at Motley is a celebration of all things inspired by nature – here are some of our favourites, from art to drinkable tree sap. Enjoy the Motley Mother Earth moodboard.
Jacquemus – A dip into fashion designer Simon Jacquemus’ Instagram feed is enough to leave us lusting after lapping waves and seaside blues. His runways are famous for their natural settings – be it golden wheat fields or rolling lavender. Nature, but make it fashion.
Wilhelm Sasnal – Brush strokes to get lost in for days. Wilhelm Sasnal is a Polish painter whose nature-inspired paintings breathe sensuality and celebrate the rural everyday. In each brush stroke he captures movement, space, and the beautiful simplicity of nature – often with just one colour too. Forest, pictured above, is the stuff of meadow-filled dreams.
Spider silk – Gold textile made from the silk of a million spiders? Sold. This is the only large piece of cloth made from spider silk that exists in the world today, currently on display at the Natural History Museum in New York.
It took four years for golden orb spiders to be collected from telephone poles in Madagascar, where the silk was extracted using a technique that wouldn’t harm them. Bold and gold.
Seaweed – No longer confined to your bento box, seaweed is the new darling of the fashion world. The plant is organically harvested in places like Ireland and the Icelandic Fjords, then embedded into a natural cellulose fibre before being woven into a textile. Seaweed’s nutrients are retained within the fabric, absorbing moisture and transferring the natural benefits of seaweed to the wearer’s skin. A two-in-one we can get behind.
Birch sap – For hundreds of years, people in Baltic and Scandinavian regions have tapped into the beautiful birch trees that populate their forests. Known as mahla in Finland, birch sap, when collected at the right window in the year, is a clear sweet liquid that can be drunk. Some folk traditions believe that it ensures a long life; in some places, like Russia, it’s even bottled and sold like water. The ancient process has even reached Scotland, where some people have begun learning how to tap into the silvery bark. Whether for magical properties or taste, it sounds like a great alternative to sparkling water.Feeling inspired? Discover nature-inspired designs from Motley x Emily Robson.