Ren London

Introducing: Raw Silk

Raneta Valuzyte
Rawsilkjumpsuit

Linen is my first and main love, of course, but the truth is that I've been having a thing on the side with raw silk for quite some time now. Although linen can be worn in the cooler months as it does a great job of regulating temperature and keeping you warm, it's a hard perception to change when it's so symbolic of being a summertime fabric. This is why I've decided to introduce raw silk. I've been a fan of this type of silk ever since I came across it a few years ago. It's bubbly and cosy, almost flannel like texture drew me in, but I really fell in love with it when I realised that it's unfussy and is easy to care for. It's a silk you can wash and it gets nicer the more you do! I personally stay clear of any clothing that requires dry cleaning, as not only is it an inconvenience, an additional expense and the chemicals used in the process are bad for you and the environment. In addition, much like linen, raw silk does not require a heavy chemical treatment in its production. Needless to say, it ticks quite a few boxes for me and if any of the above mentioned things matter to you too then this may be a start of a textile love affair for you too. 

I made clothing samples from raw silk and have been testing them for a year and I cannot get enough of this fabric. It's not widely used in fashion nor is it an easy fabric to source, so it is pretty special. I truly lucked out when I discovered a small family run business right here in the UK that stocks it and I am now able to integrate pieces into my collection that are a bit more transeasonal, thanks to this gorgeous, textured material. It drapes beautifully and is natural and breathable. The variety I use is undyed, in a natural off white colour, which looks beautiful on any skin tone. I'm working on some simple layering pieces for the cooler months, but am also releasing a couple of summer pieces too.

First item I designed with this silk in mind was the Provence Jumpsuit. It takes me back to the first roadtrip and the first holiday my partner and I embarked upon together. It began in the village of Bonnieux in the south of France. If you've had the pleasure of visiting, you may know what I'm talking about when I say that I picture a woman wearing this wide leg, floaty jumpsuit in one of the outdoor cafes on the main square that frames a large, rectangular pond. Oh hold on, you don't have to picture any of that, just watch the film A Good Year as the village is one of the locations (a soppy rom-com that does, however, make it irresistible to want to get on the next flight south). Basically, it's a chic little number that's comfy and easy to wear and ideally you want to be in France, savouring a glass of chilled rosè or at least that's the feeling I hope to evoke with this piece of clothing. That's the story of the silk and the jumpsuit, et voilà!