Adina Barbu’s first design collection “Colours of the land” was influenced by elements found in nature while she was enjoying a slower rhythm of life, being stuck in her home town in Romania during the pandemic. Adina wanted to create a playful collection that used colour and pattern as main elements, while approaching a more serious topic, the richness of the land and how nature regenerated and thrived while people had to stay home because of the virus. Her collection started with a more tonal, natural colour palette, but developed into a more colourful one because of all of the bright accents found in fruits and vegetables.
Using found yarn for the whole project, Adina started taking inspiration from little knitted swatches to see what she can work with. Other techniques used for inspiration were natural dyeing, collage, Photoshop photomontages where she likes creating strange juxtapositions such as a blueberry filled lake or giant vegetables on the fields and between the hills. After she created her body of research, organically Adina was able to extract shapes, patterns and colour combination and to start designing with this elements in mind.
Due to the playful nature of the project, Adina wanted to incorporate colourful beads that represented the fruits she took inspiration from. For this she decided to experiment with air dry clay and painting to produce her own embellishments. Another important part of the process was experimenting with ways to incorporate the beds into her knitted pieces, which she did on the knitting machine or by using crochet.
This project offered Adina full control of the direction she wanted to take with her outcomes so she decided to create more than just garments but also other elements such as a knitted bag, accessories, a head piece inspired by balaclavas and also woven samples that can be used for interior design. This way she feels the collection becomes like a little universe, where every piece matches with the others and this is something that reflects her desire to create all kinds of objects and to not only focus on fashion in the future. As Adina is only in her second year of university, she wishes that in the future she will get more chances to explore multiple ways of creating using knitting as the main technique.