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Founder, Rio Wrenn

How/Where did it all Begin?

I started dying fabrics over 8 years ago using rust and some natural dyes while in college. I started to show in galleries but always wanted to produce fabrics as yardage. In 2007 I had a fashion show in an art gallery while I had a show hanging. It was a great success. I was encouraged to make more and in 2008 I won ‘audience choice’ in a local fashion show. That was when I really got serious. I then produced my first lingerie collection.

How would you describe your Style?

I create lingerie that is inspired or replicated by vintage undergarments ranging from the 1800's to the 1950's. Usually the corsets are replicated. My original approach was to use natural dyes found in plants, insects, and rust to treat all the textiles that I design and construct. I also use an ancient Japanese technique, shibori, to add pattern and texture.

What Fabrics do you like to use and why?

I use mainly silks with the exception of some blends with cotton. They dye really well and they feel good next to your skin.

Have you had a chance to Travel?

I have not travelled much but I hope to go to India someday and all over Europe. I better get my passport!

Where do you draw your Inspiration from?

I am inspired by nature and the beauty that is found waiting to be unleashed in small fragile places. I am also inspired by the idea that we can recycle our creations or waste that we produce as a society and transform it into something beautiful and unexpected.

Where is your Home Town?

I was born in Portland, Oregon, USA. The city of roses and the city of bridges, and lots of rust!!!!

What is the best piece of Advice you’ve ever been given?

Always keep them (audience) wanting more."

What is your Quirkiest Habit?

I save used tea bags. I started doing this in 2002 for a piece I was making called "Two Years Later", and I felt compelled to keep saving the bags. So now I have about 8 huge bags full of tea. I have made one garment partially using tea bags and I will also be making a large skirted garment with them in May 2010 for a gallery showing in Portland. I have received a donation from Tazo Tea to collect as many bags as possible.

Also, I have been belly dancing for over 15 years. I still do but in the last few years I have performed less. I practice classical Egyptian style and I fuse it with modern and Indian Orrisi when I dance solo. I love to make my own costumes and get on the stage to project my passion for dance to the audience.







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