Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Inhabit: A clothing line more than just owls

Posted By on Tue, Aug 11, 2009 at 4:54 PM

“Odetta is wise and feminine, a flower-child of the 60s. She will get you through transitional times – both spring and fall. Because she is well-balanced, her fabrics ready you for the cold, while the brightness of her colors keeps you feeling warm and cheerful. Odetta's hobbies include nostalgic handicrafts: crocheting, knitting, macramé, and crystal-collecting.”

Odetta sounds like a pretty cool chick, doesn’t she? Well, actually, Odetta is an animal image, an owl to be precise, created by local clothing designer Amanda Aileen for her clothing line Inhabit. This redesigned vintage collection is comprised of one-of-a-kind, original pieces made using recycled materials such as vintage clothing and scrap fabrics and accented with embroidery and different types of stitching. The animal image, created using watercolor, acrylic and newspaper, is the anchor of the line.

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“I feel like the animal is sort of symbolic to the line,” Amanda (pictured below) says. “The name [of the clothing line] is Inhabit, and it’s about inhabiting your space. In a way, you’re supposed to take on the spirit of the animal in a way.”

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If the concept sounds a little out there, well … it is. But that’s a good thing. Who wants to be caught dead wearing the same outfit as the next woman? That’s a risk too many of us take nowadays when we shop in department stores and malls — we become carbon copies of one another.

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The woman sporting a piece from the Inhabit clothing line is going to be a different kind of lady — someone who will have no fear that she’s got a twin dressed like her out there. “Definitely someone who is unique, artistic, maybe crafty themselves,” Amanda says. “Somebody who just likes to look different, who doesn’t want to blend in with everyone else and is maybe frustrated with the choices that are out there. And who wants something quality and really unique, one of a kind. I feel like it’s going to be someone who is unique and wants clothing that is as unique as they are.”

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As different as the animal imagery is, what makes Inhabit really unique is its core philosophy: “Inhabit your life, your body, your space, and the world around you.” Amanda is most passionate about the body image awareness component that plays into the clothing. All of the labels say “Size doesn’t matter,” instead of having a “small,” “medium” or “large” tag.

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“I’m trying to encourage people to try clothes on and buy clothes because of the way it fits and the way it feels instead of just by number,” she says. “Some people don’t try things on and if they do, they still might migrate to one size or the other because of the way it makes them feel.”

Although Amanda has only been selling her work for a couple of months now, she’s already grabbed the attention of an up-and-coming female vocalist, Hannah Miller (pictured below), who rocked an Inhabit dress at a recent performance at The Evening Muse.

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Prices range from $30 (for some T-shirts and purses) to $120 (for dresses). Inhabit can currently be found at Boris & Natasha (1214 Thomas Ave.) and on Etsy (www.inhabityourlife.etsy.com).

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