Monk House Design

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In Conversation with Aidan Renata

Aidan Renata is a Melbourne based designer who specialises in woven and knitted techniques for producing homewares and body accessories. He is especially interested in the life span of a garment, object or cloth and finds beauty in the ageing process – and the sentiment that comes from loving and caring for a garment or accessory over time. After completing a Bachelor of Fashion Design at QUT in Brisbane, Aidan moved to Melbourne in 2018 and currently makes everything by hand out of his Brunswick East studio. Bright colour blocking, attention to detail and using high quality yarns and fabrics makes his work stand out from the rest. He has created three luscious scarves exclusively for us here at Monk House design, and we couldn’t be more delighted! We sat down with him via email, to glean more about his process and attitudes towards making. 

 


Plaid Scarf

 

 

Gussie: Hi Aidan, nice to chat with you… your practice is so special and particularly so, because I feel you are fostering skills and keeping the now, often forgotten histories of textile design and the act of making cloth, on the minds of some who might not know the intimate and magical world of fabrics and fibres…. How did you get into loom weaving? - would you call it that? or something else?

Aidan: I would call it exactly that! I did lots of textile work at uni but really it was my best friend, who is also a hand weaver, that inspired me to get into it. 

 


Aidan's studio 

 

It’s quite a particular process for making, one that requires time, patience and rhythm - could you speak to that?

I’m quite obsessed with the relationship that time and clothing have, whether that be time spent making, time being worn, or how clothing communicates time. This process of weaving is sort of aimed at connecting myself to all of this. I find that the repetitive rhythm of weaving settles me into this valley of individual and collective memory, which is the nature of craft for me. 

 

What is the process for making one of your gorgeous scarves? Could you break it down at all? (simply)

Thank you! Simply put: vertical yarn, horizontal yarn, done. 

 
Aidan's studio

 


Window installation at Monk House Design

 

Do you listen to music -or podcasts while weaving? If so, what is on heavy rotation at the moment? 

I mainly listen to albums while I’m weaving and the top three at the moment would be: Court and Spark by Joni Mitchell, Chromatica by Lady Gaga, and Dummy by Portishead. 

 

I read that you were selected by Vogue Australia as a top pick from your Graduate fashion collection in 2015 - what inspired you to get into making accessories, rather than seasonal/clothing collections?

Creating clothing like that can be really exciting, but I found myself drawn to craft work because of its different relationship to consumption. The opportunity to play with the individual and collective memories of pattern, colour, and texture is something that textiles provides - this is what I have found myself to be focusing on. There’s also something to be said for creating something precious yet usable and familiar. 

 
Going through fashion school in general, what do you think was the biggest lesson you learnt?
Time management.
 
Now, as a teacher yourself, what are the most important things you try to pass onto your students?
Time management. 
 

 

 

Window installation at Monk House Design

 

What's on the horizon for the Aidan Renata label? Anything exciting in the works that you can speak about?
Expanding the range of what I have for sale - think blankets, sweaters, summer knits, all hand made by me for someone to love and keep. 

 

Also… where would we find you on a Sunday? 
Spending my day cooking! It’s my way of relaxing. 

 

Aidan Renata in studio

 

Shop Aidan Renata 



Words by Gussie Vinall Richardson
Studio Images provided by Aidan
Layout by Shelby De Fazio