We celebrated the Summer Solstice in a big way this year, by releasing our beautiful, ocean-inspired collaboration with the wonderfully talented Amanda BondHaving worked with top LA designers such as Richard Tyler, Jovovich-Hawk, and Kelly Wearstler, Amanda has developed an impressive understanding of fabrics and their relationship to color, print, and design. Living and designing in Malibu, her work combines her extensive design history, love of vintage finds, and endless wanderlust to create a stunning garment that exudes her carefree seaside glamour. We recently sat down with Amanda and chatted about everything from her favorite pieces in the collection, to how she got started with hand/garment-dyeing, and what she’s dreaming about for the future.

What (or who) inspires your work?

What inspired me to launch this brand were these old pieces of marbleized paper that I found at the Rose bowl in 2012. I framed them knowing one day I would figure out how to do hand-marbling myself on textiles. It’s an ancient art form used to decorate paper that was created in Japan in the 12th Century. The artisanal quality, the movement, and the colors have always moved me. These old papers still are hanging on the walls in my house today. 

How did you first get into hand/garment-dyeing? Can you explain a little about the techniques you use?

I had worked for some amazing designers before I started my own brand but I must say that Kelly Wearstler has probably been the most influential. She taught me about the visceral nature of design and to really trust my own voice; and it was while working with her that I got into a whole new world of hand-dyeing. Kelly is obsessed with marble, which she uses for her interiors all the time, but she also wanted her clothes to be marbled.  We found a local LA dye house to help us develop the right technique and we were able to do a hand-marbled jean. It was incredible. I got to learn about what I had always wanted to do, and in the process became very close with some of the artists who worked at this dye house. When it was the right time after that dye house closed and when I was ready to launch my own collection, I hired them and opened up my own dye studio, We have been hand-dyeing everything together ever since, from marbling to tie-dye, to batik to dip dyes, and ombres. We also stencil as well as hand-paint with paintbrushes. You name it, we do it. We even carve designs into foam and roll it onto the garment. This creativity is endless and so much fun. You can see some videos of the process on my website and Instagram.

What are three of your favorite pieces in the collection?

When designing my collection I always take into consideration what a girl would need while on a seaside vacation or if she is lucky enough to live by the sea, what she would live in. With that said my 3 favorite pieces are (and not in any particular order):

  1. Yvonne Shirtdress — for its ease
    I also call it the lazy Sunday dress because you can wear it lounging around the house and still feel dressed. You can also wear it by the pool or to the beach. It's easy, breezy, and very Malibu.

  2. Della Dress — for its versatility
    This is a dress that really represents the Amanda Bond girl. It's one of my best sellers because it looks great on all body types… it's got that comfort and ease but also has a drawstring to accentuate the waist. You can wear it to lunch with the girls or even to the beach with cute sandals, or throw on some sneakers for a little shopping around town.

  3. Emma Dress — for its charm
    I love a good cap sleeve and ruffle and this dress has both. This dress can be worn with simple sandals or sneakers but is also perfect with a heel for when you’re going out to a nice dinner with the husband or boyfriend. It's very flattering with the underbust tie that accentuates all the right things. 

What are your dreams or goals for this upcoming year?

What I feel positive about is that during this quarantine time, fashion has started to reevaluate. I believe there are some big changes coming, one of which is moving towards supporting emerging designers, like me, who are focused on the artisanal, handmade aspect of fashion. Rob Trauber of Johnny Was already understood this and this collaboration with Johnny Was couldn't have come at a better time. It's been the light in the sea of darkness and I hope for more of them in the future :)

To take a closer look at these hand-dyed pieces from the Johnny Was x Amanda Bond Collection head over here.