Nevenka is the name of Rosemary Masic’s late mother who is also the source of the designer’s inspiration. The trained pattern-maker delights in detail, often drawing on her Eastern European heritage and family heirlooms to create her richly textured signature style. The Nevenka SS10-11 collection is tellingly called Bohemian Rhapsody. No grey, colourless, winter wardrobe here, just a whimsical adventure of floral prints and rich texture. Hand-finished craft detailing of crochet, sequins and lace bring a vintage feel, sitting in a happy union with sleek, modern tailoring.
Just over half of the Nevenka collection is made in Melbourne. Much of the handcrafted details are created in Turkey, Istanbul and India, with other pieces produced in China—although Masic reveals that she is phasing out Chinese production, preferring to focus on European-quality production and hand craftsmanship. “I work very close to the supply chain, travelling intensively and visiting factories and out workers,” Masic tells HowBigIsYourEco. “I want to know exactly where and by whom my garments are being made.”
Apart from an acetate textile out of Japan, Nevenka chooses all natural fabrics such as silk, wool, linen and cotton (organic where possible). “No blends of nylon, or polyester,” Masic says. There is some use of fur in the AW11 collection and Nevenka tells HowBigIsYourEco that it is “a by product. We only work with suppliers that are certified free of animal cruelty. We believe that China in particular are cruel…and we want no part with that. We inspect and ask specific questions in relation to the use of animal skin.” Nevenka recently introduced sustainable labelling in linen, with recycled cardboard hung on organic cotton thread and a doily hand crocheted in Italy. The business recycles heavily, even requesting stores return swing tags for reuse.
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