Words by Jessica Peace
WHO IS GILBERT?
Gilbert is not just your average Cheese plant. My parents brought him into their home 39 years ago - before I was born and he’s been a central part of the family ever since. He’s about 7 ft tall and has 18 voluptuous leaves.
AND GILBERT LIVES AT IDIOMA’S NEW BRIXTON HOME. WE ARE LOVIN’ YOUR CONCEPT - ETHICAL FASHION, LANGUAGE, FREEDOM. LAY IT DOWN FOR US...
So Idioma is actually a family business I started with my Mum, I am a designer and she’s a linguist. The whole aim is to start a conversation about language and culture and educate people in some small way toward the beauty of knowing more about these topics.
Our clothes are adorned with design, words, phrases that encourage you to think and ask questions. These often promote spending more time in nature, (something close to my heart) and freedom; if you have an open mind to language you have more freedom in the world.
Obviously talking about freedom and respect for other cultures means we must produce our garments inline with these ideals so we work with Fairwear factories and wherever possible use organic and recycled materials.
AND GILBERT ISN’T YOUR ONLY PLANT CHILD - WE’VE HEARD YOU’RE A REAL PLANT HEAD.
It’s hard being really into plants because each one is unique and requires a different sort of love and this changes with the seasons too. Now I have a shop too and it’s full of plants. My favourites are my Patchypodium - kind of a cactus / palm combining two of my favourites in one.
And a Red Banana called ‘Mustafa’ that right now puts out a new red and green leaf every week, he’s loving this summer in my new garden and he’ll move inside in the autumn.
I’ve had a Monkey Cup plant before - you know the one that’s got kind of jugs hanging off it and they eat flies and insects that fall into their gooey contents. I’ve even seen a video of one that caught a bird inside, mental!
DOES NATURE COME INTO YOUR DESIGN?
I mentioned that lots of our designs promote spending more time in the outside world and the freedom that can be found amongst nature. For example, we have a design in German (Waldeinsamkeit) that’s all about being alone in the woods.
For me being alone in the woods is about being at one with nature and being even just for a moment truly free. We also have designs about sunsets, the feeling of hot sand on your feet and finding freedom in the vastness of the Korean mountains.
AND HOW GOOD IS YOUR LATIN?
So as you can probably tell my Latin is not very good when I have previously referred to my ‘Red Banana plant’ and ‘Monkey Cup plant’. I do know that a Cheese Plant is also known as a Monstera deliciosa but how could I not know this with Gilbert in the family and it’s still written on the sun-bleached M&S label in the pot!
I once briefly fell in love with a women in a Belgian plant shop as she described her love for all the plants in her shop. She called each one by its latin name and I wish I could have exchanged more than smiles and nods. If anyone else wants to give it a go the shop is called BRUT 202, rue HAUTE, 1000 BRUXELLES and it’s well worth a look.
PETAL, PALM OR POTATO?
Palm definitely, green is my favourite colour!
Lélia Deluiz Wanick Salgado and Sebastião Salgado. You may have heard of Sebastião Salgado as he’s a truly amazing photographer.
He also together with his wife managed to reverse an ecological disaster in his homeland of Brazil when Sebastião inherited his father’s cattle ranch; a place he had know as a child to be surrounded by thick forest and full of exotic birds and jaguars, years later he returned there to discover over-farming of the land had reduced this jungle to a barren wasteland. Rather than accept the fate that had fallen on the land they decided to replant all the trees and turn this land and surrounding lands back to their original state.
Now there are over 2 million trees and a lush tropical wilderness once more. Watch his film ‘Salt of the Earth’ if you want to know more about him.
FAVE FLORAL SPACE?
I used to live in Dalston and by far my favourite place to get a drink was the Eastern Curve Garden. There you can forget for a moment you are in London and enjoy a beer in a community garden.
It’s got a family vibe and it’s full of trees, herbs and vegetables. I’m a big fan!
Erm not really! I really like blueberries!
FINISH THE SENTENCE: ‘PLANTS ARE…’
Plants are essential! A space without plants just seems wrong!