We've been lucky enough to nab the fashion designer and founder of Marfa Stance, Georgia Dant, for this weeks This & Tat. Georgia has kindly let us get the inside track of what inspires and delights her, and we hope, in turn, could do the same for you!
Pale Sage (colour)
I have always seen green as a much more interesting neutral than black, navy or beige, so it felt right to use this as a starting point and signature colour for my brand. Pale sage featured in my first ever design, the reversible quilt, has become the best-selling Marfa Stance colour. I selected and sourced many different shades of green within the collection, which was inspired by how the military uses different batch dye lots of their fabrics when making their standard-issue garments, which creates a beautiful tonality. Everything in our collection ties back to this idea of found colours and textures. The particular shades of sage green that I use are cold, alkaline tones that feel very calming. I also love that green symbolises balance, progress and growth.
Since my earlier career as a menswear designer at Burberry, I have always been heavily influenced by Massimo Osti's vast legacy of work. His book 'Ideas by Massimo Osti' is visually striking and captures his unique process and prolific testing and documents how he refined and reinvented his vision over the years.
I am privileged to be friends with his daughter Agata Osti and so have been lucky enough to visit her father's archive in Bologna many times to immerse myself in his world. He has thousands of fabric tests and swatches and over 5000 fascinating military garments. Osti described himself as a garment engineer rather than a fashion designer, creating intentional and functional garments and has influenced and inspired my modular and architectural approach to design.
This part of London is the home of Marfa Stance. Our studio is there, I live in the neighbourhood, and we most recently hosted a pop-up store on Blenheim Crescent. I love the vibe, and it's a real melting pot of diverse backgrounds that come together to form a community with real spirit and flare.
I particularly enjoy getting immersed and inspired by the authentic, functional military clothing there, I'm obsessed with the detailing, and I continue to build my archive.
It was a road trip to Marfa, Texas, the home of minimalist artist Donald Judd and his clean, understated designs with modular functionality, that really sparked and crystalised the idea for Marfa Stance and where one half of the name comes from. Marfa stands for and represents the brand's creative heart, spirit and inspiration. Stance symbolises the ethos, values and function behind the designs.
My go-to scent is based on the ink used in shūji, Japanese calligraphy. It's a distinctive and androgynous fragrance that ties in with my new shareable design concept; a product can be shared, whether with your partner, best friend, sibling, parent, etc.
Many of our fabrics used are also sourced in Japan, where innovation meets tradition, which is what I love about the country. Like Marfa Stance, where traditional craftsmanship meets innovative thinking that challenges the traditional fashion system.
I admire the incredible work of the quilters of the Gee's Bend – a hugely talented group of African American women and their ancestors who handcraft their renowned patchwork quilts in a remote hamlet in Alabama. They translate their surroundings into modern minimalist quilt designs that have been recognised as some of the most influential African American visual and cultural contributions to the history of art within the United States.
We have recently partnered with Nest, a non-profit that supports the responsible growth and creative engagement of their work and other artisans across the globe, and hope to partner with them in the future; watch this space!
I've long been a fan of the works of Josef and Anni Albers and his discipline and expressive use of colour to distil something into its purist form. This particular palette resonates with my original design and continues to inspire my use of colour.
Not only is military clothing an ongoing inspiration in my designs, but also military parachutes. I love the intricate detailing and the colour palettes, most recently translating their incredible lightweight, lofty volume and movement into a capsule of reversible parachute inspired parkas, bombers and vests.
I lived in New York City for over seven years and saw the Dia Beacon gallery as a real retreat and escape from the city - I could get lost in there for hours of a weekend. I fell in love with minimalist art at Dia Beacon and enjoyed discovering the process and intention behind the work of Richard Serre and Flavin for example. I am finally getting to travel back to NYC when COVID restrictions lift this month so it will be top of my list to visit!