Creative Process ~ Duncan Shorts
The Duncan Hand-Painted Shorts are an elevated take on the classic 1980s 'dolphin short'. They feature a high-waist, side zip closure with an extended contemporary length. Cut in bamboo silk, with a cupro-Ecovero viscose waved trim, they have a silky hand and luxurious drape. They're finished with hand-painted accents by collaborating artist MET. We used acrylic paint and textile medium, allowing for the shorts to be gently hand-washed without damaging the paint.
An illustration of the Saguaro Linen Top & Duncan Hand-Painted Shorts.
Inspired by early tests of paint on silk, we partnered with MET to explore hand-painting on our Duncan Shorts. Executing hand-painting on the finished goods was a tricky feat - we needed to source sustainable fabrics that could be washed and heat-pressed to seal the paint to the fabric's fibres. We began testing patterns and variations on raw canvas in summer 2020, then testing applications of acrylic paint and textile medium on bamboo silk in summer 2021. During winter 2022, we worked with MET in our East London studio, applying the paint to the finished shorts.
An early acrylic on canvas prototype for the Duncan's artwork, by MET.
MET developed and painted a sort of homage to Memphis style - playful, organic shapes were layered and randomly placed near the waved trim of the shorts. After painting the pieces, they were left to dry for 24 hours. Following, they were heat-pressed by iron to bind the textile medium to the fabric and allow them to be hand-washable.
The artwork is a beautiful contrast to the orange and gold desert tones of the fabric, and pair perfectly with our cactus-teal Saguaro Linen Top.
MET painting the Duncan Shorts at our East London Studio.
The bamboo silk used is organic, meaning the raw material is 100% organically grown according to OCIA certification standards from sustainably managed bamboo forests (FSC certification). The bamboo silk also conforms to Oeko-Tex Class I standards, meaning there are no harmful chemicals used in the dyeing process, in a closed-loop system. It's also biodegradable, and has moisture absorbent properties.
The trim is a blend of cupro and Ecovero viscose fibres. Cupro consists of recycled cellulose that are sourced from discarded linters, a by-product of cotton processing. It's biodegradable, though it is chemically treated. Cupro is a great material for warm-weather clothing as it is more cooling than silk or other man-made fibres.
Viscose is a semi-synthetic material sourced from wood pulp. Ecovero is a type of Viscose which is traceable and sourced from controlled FSC-regulated European forests. It's manufactured in Austria by Lenzing, a leader in sustainable textiles. Viscose is biodegradable, though it is chemically treated.
The Duncan Shorts are manufactured at a North London based small-batch production studio. The studio specialize in high-end production, working with many emerging and established designers and brands in the city. Each short is made in-studio by their talented seamstresses and cutters.
The Duncan Shorts are wearable art - limited run and very small-batch, with only a handful produced.
You can purchase the Duncan Hand-Painted Shorts here.