A Tail of Two is the real life story of a mother and daughter team overcoming obstacles and thriving against the odds, by pursuing a life of purpose and legacy through mutual love of the arts and the preservation of Gods living creation.
This collaborative two piece collection draws inspiration from the worlds big cats, calling attention to the snow leopard, an incredible creature of majesty and mystery, still on the verge of endangerment due to habitat loss and poaching. The collection features a snow leopard leaping through its natural habitat of the Central and South Asian snowy mountains. The snow leopard defies the odds with its unusually large tail, which helps it to balance at high altitudes, enabling it to take great leaps of faith towards its goal as it races across the sharp rocks that feather into the melting ice caps below.
Each piece is custom patterned, hand tailored and meticulously embroidered over 448 - 1000 hours. The blazer dress, jacket and high-waisted skirt have been up-cycled from a mens suit set, fabric offcuts and remnants that have been collected from past projects, family travels, personal gifts and donations. The pieces feature a modern take on women’s dress styles of the 1900’s Edwardian era, completed with hand embroidery using South Indian beads, selected in our Indian families home city of Bangalore, (Bengaluru).
Couture art collection set 1
Piece 1 of our collection features the snow leopard’s body leaping down the rocky mountain cliffs, with its tail wrapping around the turtle neck under-top, creating a scarf detail.
The jacket was made many years ago by Bee, using her signature fabric up cycling techniques, incorporating many different fabrics, remnants and tiny scrap pieces left over from past projects. The high waisted skirt has been made from a pre-loved mens suit set that belong to a family member. It has been completely upcycled into the design, incorporating fabric remnants and hand crafted bricks to represent the mountain cliff effect. The under-top has been custom patterned and made from some pre-loved pieces and fabric offcuts, including a mini skirt and leopard printed pyjama shorts. It was completed using a similar technique used to make the hand embroidered leopard paw gloves, completed with finishings and trimmings from pre-loved jackets.
The set features: Hand tailored jacket, high-waisted flared bottom skirt, turtle neck under-top, customised waist belt, hand crafted lace hat, custom snow leopard gloves with hand painted claws, customised snow leopard earrings and snow leopard paw ankle boots.
Couture art collection set 2
Piece 2 of our collection features the snow leopard leaping down the rocky mountain cliffs, as its paws stretch towards the melting icecaps below.
The blazer dress has been custom patterned and hand tailored from a pre-loved mens suit set that belong to a family member. It has been completely upcycled into the design, incorporating fabric remnants and hand crafted bricks to represent the mountain cliff effect. The leaping leopard was hand crafted and embroidered by Bee over many hours, incorporating her signature upcycling fabric techniques, completed with hand embroidered spots and crystal effect eyes using South Indian beads, selected in our Indian families home city of Bangalore, (Bengaluru). The turtle neck under-top has been custom patterned and made from the jacket sleeve, left over from our hand tailored jacket (outfit 1), which has been made and pieced together entirely from fabric offcuts and tiny scrap pieces. It was completed with finishings and trimmings from pre-loved jackets.
The set features: Hand tailored blazer dress, turtle neck under-top, customised waist belt, hand crafted lace hat, custom snow leopard gloves with hand painted claws, customised snow leopard earrings and snowy mountain cliff sock boots.
Each set is complete with hand tailored and embroidered details.
The snow leopard paw gloves with custom painted nails have been made from scratch, using the left over fabric pieces from the project as well as other items collected over time, and a mini bolero jacket we no longer wear. They have been completed with hand embroidered leopard spots using fabric scraps and remnants, also collected from past projects.
The custom buttons have been created from excess button stock that was left over from a family members past T-shirt business. We have completed them by placing a crystal jewel in the centre. Every detail is important and everything can be re-purposed and turned into something truly beautiful. The end product is an entirely new button that adds the perfect touch of glamour to accent the sleeve cuffs.
The leopard face statement earrings were hand made by Lakshmi. They have been upcycled from two brooches and two pairs of pre-loved stud earrings.
The customised waist belts were previously trouser belts that belonged to a family member who no longer wanted them. The belts had some wear and tear, which we have repaired and re-painted, finishing the second belt with a pearlescent white coat. We then cut the belts to size, creating two brand new waist belts.
The hand crafted lace hats were both custom patterned and made from scratch by hand, using left over heavy duty shipping box card. Both hats have been upcycled from pre-loved lace dresses and completed with upcycled bands using the fabric scraps left over from this project.
Couture art collection set 1 - Shoes
The custom shoes featured in set 1 were inspired by the snow leopards paws. They have been upcycled from Lakshmi's pre-loved lace up ankle boots. The design incorporates the same techniques used to make the gloves and other details, incorporating our custom fabric upcyling techniques.
Couture art collection set 2 - Shoes
The custom shoes featured in set 2 were inspired by the rocky mountain cliffs of the snow leopards natural habitat. They have been upcycled from Lakshmi's pre-loved pumps and have been transformed into ankle boots. The cover design incorporates the same techniques used to make our custom upcycled fabric for the jacket, high-waisted skirt and other details. Each boot was completed with custom buttons that were used for the sleeve cuffs.
We officially launched our A TAIL OF TWO collection at Fairfield City Museum & Gallery in Sydney, Australia, as a part of the ‘WHO ARE YOU WEARING?’ exhibition. This incredible exhibition featured a collective of diverse and sustainable designers sharing their unique creations and inspirational stories.
This collection has been one of our favourite projects to date. Every hour, week and month it took to make was very much worth the finished creation you see today. We loved bringing this creation to life and hope to share that joy with everyone who sees it too.
Our collection serves as a deep reminder of the world we live in today, drawing attention to the many rare and unique creatures that are rapidly declining and becoming extinct. It aims to remind us of our role as global caretakers and the shared responsibility we have towards ourselves, our environment, the people around us, animals and all living beings in which we share this planet. Re-thinking the way we live and doing what we can by using what we have, we can all make a massive global change today.
View The Collection
Production: Created by Lakshmi Bee - Lakshmi & Susan Gowda | Commissioned by Fairfield City Museum & Gallery | Modelled by Lakshmi & Susan Gowda | Photographed and videographed by Noah Creative.