Tina Kalivas’ quirky graphic print origami style collection catches our eye

Text by Kat George

Folded, dyed and folded again, Tina Kalivas’ unique fashion origami finds its roots in a layered drum beat for A/W 2010. From Afghanistan to Japan, Tina’s influences are culturally disparate as season after season she traverses the compelling and rich terrain of precious ethnicity. Her new collection, 'Polyrhythm', takes style to the beating heartbeat of the African savannah and its tribal underbelly, where somewhere on the distant horizon straining ears can pick up the steady sound of drums and dusty, stamping feet. Here Tina talks about the spontaneity of design, being dyed in Ghana and her imminent move to the UK…
What is polyrhythm about? Tina Kalivas: I was inspired by African Geometry for this collection… but as the collection evolved each piece developed it’s own strong identity. My friend who is a drummer told me it was like the collection was made up of different rhythms. He said “you should call it Polyrhythm” – it's a famous African drum sound where different rhythms are all played together to make one sound. And I thought yes, great perfect… How is it an extension of/departure from what you've done before? Tina Kalivas: It is a bit of an extension of the Afghani Collection actually. In the sense that I hunted down the real people who are behind the magic of the concept. The fabrics are hand tie-dyed in Ghana. It’s such a complex technique – the geometry of it all, precision folding and getting all the dyes right… The folding inspired me to go off on a folding frenzy too! What was the best thing about creating this collection? Tina Kalivas: It was spontaneous. I wanted to create a playful collection where all the styles looked like they belonged to the same family but they all had their own quirks and eccentricities. I suppose playing with unity and diversity at the same time. I love multiculturalism and designing this collection was like getting a bunch of people from different social classes and cultural backgrounds and putting them into one harmonious space. If there was a soundtrack/song/album to embody this collection, what would it be? Tina Kalivas: It would be diverse like the collection. The Etheopiques, Tom Tom Club, The Animal Collective, Mulatu and the Heliocentrics, Sprigs of Time, Paul Simon – call me AL (I know dumb right!), Junior Gong Marley, Miles Davis, Atlas Sound, Dead Man’s Bones, and Alice Coltrane. Who or what inspires you? Tina Kalivas: Culture, Nature, The Ancient World, the Future world... bringing it all together and making it relevant now. Last time we spoke to you, you spoke about your role designing costumes for Goemon (which I loved by the way!) and your love for costume design. Are you/will you be working on anything else in this field? Tina Kalivas: Definitely on the agenda… I find designing costumes a largely expansive creative experience especially if it involves fantasy, sci-fi or historical themes If you weren't a designer what would you be doing? Tina Kalivas: I love music and am surrounded by musicians so there is a good chance I would be involved with playing instruments and hanging out! What's next for Tina Kalivas? Tina Kalivas: Moving to the UK next year sometime… Goodbye sunshine, hello rain!

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