cloth creatures for Orange Babies…
Posted in amsterdam, photographers, recent work July 30th, 2009 by piablog

A few months ago House of Orange asked if I would help out with one of their ideas for the Tribute to Orange Babies fashion event which was held last Sunday. The concept involved a ‘reverse goodie bag’ of sorts – so instead of people coming to the fashion show and leaving with a goodie bag, they would donate a piece of clothing which would go into ‘goodie bags’ that would be sent to the children in Africa. How cool is that?

So, the idea was to make some photographs displaying the kids clothes that were to be donated. The photographer Hans, fashion stylist Sabine, and I sat down to brainstorm some ideas about what we could make. We came up with an idea of creating a mini set with children giving away their clothes in bundles, like little gifts. We decided to use African fabric as a backdrop, and to make some fun creatures and objects out of the clothes. Then we thought it might be nice to have the kids draw something for the African children, and we would somehow incorporate the drawing into their photo and make little postcard-like images. Hans later added a polaroid look to the images…


Off to work I went, trying to think up how I could make creatures out of clothes without damaging the clothes at all. Tricky huh! I decided to start with some simple ball shapes – I made piles of clothes and then began to wrap them up tightly into balls with thick, colorful cotton thread. I wrapped and wrapped and wrapped until I was happy with the shape and size of each ball.

Then I got a bit more creative. I made a big bunny of sorts by stuffing left over wadding I had in my cupboard into little pants to make floppy ears. Then I made a head by putting the wadding into a stripey t-shirt and wrapping the thick thread around the base and top. I attached the floppy ear shapes to the head by binding the ends tightly together. I added a little white fabric flower to the head to make it ‘pretty’. I made the rest of the body the same way and soon, I had a funny looking bunny creature that I was rather fond of…


…it turned out to be a rather windy day when we were on set (which was the ijburg beach), but lots of fun. Hans and Sabine had rounded up friends with kids so we had lots who were willing to get in front of the camera and strut their stuff! I love working with kids – they are so natural and perfect in every way – no matter what they do, where they look or how they sit, they’re always gorgeous.

In the end I made all sorts of things like balls, flags, bunnies and I even grabbed a windsurf board from the local surf school and wrapped the clothes and thread around it! The boys loved that one.

After the kids had their photo taken we gave them a piece of paper and coloured markers and they sat down and made a drawing. Here is a little poster of all the images together…


I really like the images as little promo cards. I hope they come in handy for Orange Babies, and I hope the children in Africa get all those fab clothes soon. I even saw some tiny white KLM slippers that were donated! So sweet. And tiny flip flops too. Oh, playing with all those baby clothes did make me a wee bit clucky, but what’s new. :-)


all photographs by hans van brakel for orange babies.

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  1. Paris Parfait says

    What an absolutely brilliant campaign! And your styling is perfection! So fantastic to have the children’s participation too. Well done, Pia!

    July 30th, 2009 | #

  2. Dumbo feather says

    Absolutely gorgeous Pia – both in sentiment and execution. Clever clogs!!

    July 30th, 2009 | #

  3. Monika says

    this is stunning!

    July 30th, 2009 | #

  4. Lisa::the red thread says

    Everything about this is lovely – the cause, the concept of the reverse goodie bag, the styling, photography, kids… great job!

    July 30th, 2009 | #

  5. Yoli says

    Everything out of your beautiful mind is magic!

    July 30th, 2009 | #

  6. rebekka says

    Omg. Omg. Omg. Gorgeous.

    July 30th, 2009 | #

  7. pia says

    thank you guys!!

    July 30th, 2009 | #

  8. josephine says

    love the bunny and surfboards and the african fabric backdrop! and the kids could not be cuter. i’m sure the recipients will be delighted with the drawings.

    July 30th, 2009 | #

  9. Laura [what I Like] says

    Those are the most charming images! Totally captures childhood, which is difficult to do in an authentic way I think. Bravo!

    July 30th, 2009 | #

  10. eco-stylista says

    What a great campaign and awesome ideas! Very creative!

    July 30th, 2009 | #

  11. nadia says

    Pia this is outstanding, i think it just might be my favorite styling of yours( although i love them all) these are FANTASTIC and the collaboration wonderful!!! truly!

    gosh how i love these the texture and coloring and children and…..

    July 30th, 2009 | #

  12. nyla says

    so brilliant using the African fabric as a background! love the beachy feel crossed with the ethnic designs and colors. magnifique!

    July 30th, 2009 | #

  13. Amanda says

    These are so cool. What a fab campaign with sentiment and style.

    July 30th, 2009 | #

  14. Andi says

    Brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful, beautiful idea and a blessing for those in Africa. The pics were priceless. Big hugs!!!

    July 31st, 2009 | #

  15. pia says

    thank you!!! I’m super glad you like them.

    July 31st, 2009 | #

  16. katiecrackernuts says

    Ah clucky Pia. The inspiration is, well, inspired. Fabulous work. Fabbo idea. Fabbo Bravo.

    August 1st, 2009 | #

  17. Diana says

    Oh Lovely – that must me Vlisco fabric as a background? It’s fabuous.

    August 1st, 2009 | #

  18. Margrethe says

    You have a very beautiful blog!

    August 3rd, 2009 | #

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