July 2, 2010

Designer Profile | Nadine Spence


"My part in this world is to show how my aboriginal heart beats to the rythm of my ancestors hope for a better tomorrow. My designs tell a story of my life mixing my dreams, passion, and desire with pride, roots, respect and honor. Bringing history to life creating a new fabric of our Nation." - Nadine Spence

Nadine Spence, the designer behind Rev/Evo Fashion, is passionate about her creations, her heritage and the earth. Her designs are strongly influenced by her upbringing in the culture of the Nlakapamux people (Thomson or Interior Salish). She is also a self-proclaimed eco-friendly artist and designer. Her garments, she explained, are inspired by the environment and the sustainability of the earth. She uses natural fabrics and dyes, as well as recycled materials, to further her message of preserving the rich beauty of British Columbia.

Spence’s work comes to life in many different forms such as custom clothing, artwork, and appliquéd accessories and garments. Her appliqué designs have represented the rattlesnake, black widow, salmon, butterfly, frog, dragonfly, and hummingbird. Some of her early patterns were inspired from her father’s artwork – made in a unique artistic style with traditional black and red ink – but updated with her own creative use of color and materials.

Some of her garments have appliquéd patterns reflecting her Aboriginal roots, and others incorporate earthy contrasting colors to reference the Thompson/Shushwap Nation’s landscapes. She explained, “My visual artwork is an expression of my history and culture.” Her accessories compliment her designer clothes, yet each also has a story to tell and is accompanied with a story card that describes the design. Spence does this because she believes true artwork should come from an artisan’s hands and mind, and she promotes local production.

She states, “It isn’t enough to paint a picture with meaning, but to make sure the process used and material used are with and in respect to our natural world we take for granted. I create an art piece that isn’t just art, but a voice of the land we should honor and become apart of. It’s time to give back not take.”

She calls her business Rev Evo – a name derived from the idea of a ‘revolution of evolution.’ Rev Evo is committed to innovative and modern fashion design relying on recycled natural fabrics and dyes with a goal of reducing negative environmental impacts. She recycles old garments, reconstructing them to make new designs. She also uses leftover materials that would otherwise be thrown in a landfill.

For one of her collections, she stated, “We chose to use hemp fabrics based on strength beauty and of course it being and environmentally friendly product. With out being bleached or dyed these fabrics are a natural of white to cream that is gorgeous. But we also love the rich natural colours of our environment which we try to emulate by using only natural dyes such as Rhine, Indus, and Indigo.”

Founded in 2006, her business currently operates out of Kelowna, British Columbia, where she makes her unique creations and completes custom orders for dresses, pants, skirts, and tops.

“We believe that the earth is a gift and we honor that gift by making the environment our home for generations to come. Make the choice, the choice to make a difference.”

Spence can be found on Facebook. All images are from her Facebook fan page.