Austin-based fashion designer Miranda Bennett is Loti's newest featured artist, with an exclusive line of Ghost Ranch wraps available now in our marketplace. We're huge fans of her line of elevated go-to apparel, which she started creating in New York City in 2006 and now releases in small-batch capsule collections. We think her modern aesthetic and versatile natural textiles make her stand out as an independent designer who can go beyond the day-to-night transition and create intuitive travelwear that suits any occasion -- or destination. We talked with Miranda about what her ideal dream workspace looks like, what she's learned through her continual exploration of botanical-based dyes, how travel keeps her perspective fresh, and what she listens to in her new East Austin studio space.
Give us a brief overview of your design background and how you came to bring your line to Austin in 2013.
I grew up in a very hands on way with my environment. There were always projects going on and a sense of exploration and understanding how things worked... Coming to fashion was always more driven by a desire for expression and filling a need. The evolution of my aesthetic has really come around to a new place of letting the woman express her self in the clothes, rather than the clothes speaking louder than the woman. In terms of formal education, I studied fashion design and art history at Parsons School of Design and Eugene Lang College, both institutions of the New School.
Take us through your daily routine.
It really depends on the day of the week. I could be doing anything from experimenting with a new dye material, draping a new style, corresponding with buyers, planning our next workshop, managing the studio spaces we oversee, sewing samples, planning a collection photo shoot (hiring talent, pulling inspiration, securing location, etc.), or preparing for our next pop-up event. It ranges from tasks that are mundane, like stamping, ironing, and tagging our goods, to more esoteric exercises, like conceptualizing our next Edition.
Tell us a little about your experience with travel and share a few ways it has influenced your work.
My parents moved us around quite a bit growing up, both domestically and abroad. One of my sisters has since inherited that gene - we joke that she has become our passport to the world because she's given us all a reason to visit some wonderful and out-there places.
I think the biggest effect travel has had on me is to not take my context for granted, or the conditions of my surroundings, as a given. That’s easy to forget when you’re in one place without breaks for too long. And remembering that helps to keep your eyes fresh for inspiration and change.
What is something you take with you wherever you go?
Rose water and Weleda lip balm
You recently did a dream workspace give away on Instagram. What does your ultimate dream workspace look like?
Open and airy with tons and tons of clear, flat work surface and hanging racks. High ceilings. Natural light. Industrial-size dye vats with built-in plumbing for our dye work. Enormous areas for drying fabrics. Easy to clean floors. Multiple industrial sewing machines and sergers pre-thread, with one machine for each colorway that we use. And a beautiful backyard with a dye garden.
How do you get out of a rut?
Unplugging and giving myself a mental break from work. Being outside.
What are you reading / listening to right now?
I love The Moth Radio Hour and TED Talks. My biggest guilty pleasure is having five books open simultaneously and chipping away at each one at a glacial pace. I am the worst—you should literally never lend a book to me. I tend to read a lot of biographies, poetry and collected essays.
If you could plan a playlist for your next/current collections runway show, what songs would be on it?
Tell us about the last adventure you went on.
Learning about natural dyeing. It's an ever-evolving learning process and discovering the ins and outs of each new dye really has no beginning or end.
What are you currently working on? Any new projects or plans you’d like to share?
We just launched our new workshop program where we invite creatives from all fields to host monthly workshops. We also relocated our studio to a new space and now that we are settled, we are embarking on Edition V, the next installment to our apparel and textiles collection. We are going to be exploring logwood in this group, which can produce colors that range from lavender to black. I think it will compliment the Southwestern and terracotta palette we introduced in Edition IV.
Thanks, Miranda! Check out her exclusive line of Ghost Ranch wraps at Loti Market or keep up with her latest work here.