Runway Radar: Janine McAughren's hand-dyed Ghren threads fit for eco-conscious crowd

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      By Olivia Bickerstaff

      Raised on the West Coast, Janine McAughren created a locally inspired, hand-dyed fashion line for eco-conscious women. The collection combines contemporary designs and silhouettes with traditional printing methods and is made entirely with natural textiles and natural dye materials.

      Ghren will be unveiled at 2017 The Show presented by Tamoda Apparel Inc., on April 5 and 6 at the Imperial (319 Main Street). Twenty-seven other lines by Kwantlen Polytechnic University Fashion Design and Technology students will also be showcased.

      For event details, visit or follow @wilsondesignkpu on Instagram.

      Oliva Bickerstaff: Describe your collection.

      Janine McAughren: Ghren crafts contemporary, hand-dyed clothing for an eco-conscious woman. It combines West Coast aesthetics with traditional, natural printing methods to rejuvenate the historical roots of colour. Ghren’s spring/summer 2018 collection, Indigo Shores, is inspired by the fluidity of the ocean and the hard angles of origami folds. The garments allow the wearer to move freely and comfortably.

      Ghren creates contemporary styled garments with a natural, West Coast vibe, printed with traditional Japanese shibori techniques. The line is made of natural cellulose and protein fibres undyed before the surface design is applied. The natural, raw texture of materials like organic cotton, linen, silk, hemp and wool is used to enhance the aesthetics of the natural dye and printing method.

      OB: Walk me through your creative process.

      JM: Each collection starts with an inspiration and finding that is a process of its own. The theme or inspiration is used to develop a colour palette, mood, and key details. After the theme and concept are clear, I start to sketch. This is the part where I take the filter off and see what comes out. Most of the sketches stay rough, but some become more and more detailed until they are coloured with pencil crayon. Pattern drafting is always fun for me—I feel like I am creating a puzzle for myself to make. The 2D lines become 3D in my mind and it starts to take shape before I cut anything out.

      OB: What aspects of design are you most passionate about?

      JM: I think I am most passionate about surface design, and therefore, I’m drawn toward prints. I have always looked for the most extravagant prints and worn them with other patterns. That’s probably why I love surface design so much—I get to be a part in the creation of the print.

      OB: What are your plans after graduation?

      JM: I’m going to travel and spend a few months overseas. My partner and I haven’t decided where we are starting or ending up or, really, anything in-between. After years of working on a schedule, I’m excited to finally not have a schedule or plan. Of course, once we return, it will be back to making to-do lists.

      OB: Where do you see yourself in five years?

      JM: I hope to see Ghren grow to be a vital part of the West Coast fashion community. I will be designing and dyeing fabrics two seasons a year, with different inspirations and colour palettes. I want to have a studio space for Ghren and a strong relationship with the community. I’ll likely spend the next five years, and the five after that, exploring the art of natural dyeing.

      Oliva Bickerstaff is a final-year fashion design and technology student at KPU’s Wilson School of Design.

      Places to go nearby

      Approx. 15 minutes away