Over the years I’ve gotten many many suggestions about specific prints, (especially floral ones) I should create. I’m pretty sure Plumeria tops the list, and I can totally understand why. Growing up in Hawai’i, Plumerias have been a staple in my life. Looking back on my high school days, it seemed like it was almost a rite of passage to wear the flower; like wearing overalls, Roxy swimsuits or Rocket Dog platform slippers. I constantly had one perched in either my left or right ear (depending on my relationship status- haha) Not only was it informative, but it also made the perfect little accessory for any outfit. That being said, for a long time I had been hesitant to actually draw it and turn it into a design, because though the flower is beautiful, it’s also pretty plain or basic, which isn’t a bad thing, but it’s plain, and it’s been done by so many different people. I wasn’t sure I could capture that simple goodness, make it my own and make it stand out. So I shelved the idea of Plumeria for quite awhile and let it gather a little dust. Then one day, I’m not sure when, I realized that now as an adult it’s no longer the flower that interests me so much, it’s the leaf. If I focused on the leaf, perhaps I could make the design more unique. I love the Plumeria leaf. It’s so distinct and precise, and has lots of lines (veins) which I love. Again it’s relatively simple when it comes to its shape, but in my mind, it’s hard to mistake it for any other.
Once I came to that leaf realization, I began to sketch. Right off the bat I drew them as big as I could. I don’t always draw my designs to the scale I want them to be at for the design, but this time I knew I wanted to try to keep the leaves of the printed version as close as possible to the size of the original sketch. Then I went on to draw a few flowers. I drew them with lots of lines too. I thought it might be overkill but I think they ended up complimenting their green counterparts nicely.
When it came to colors for the preliminary release collection of Plumeria, we decided to try something different- printing an ombré on the same textured “Peach Melba” fabric we debuted with “Retro Blooms.” We combined the blue of the ocean, the green of the landscape and the pinkish purple of many of Hawai'i's flowers.
Did we succeed in making our Plumeria print stand out? I hope so, and I hope you love it.
Jana Lam is a Honolulu, Hawaii based design company that focuses on products and accessories for an endless summer. Lam's beach front home once served as the production house of her handmade in Hawaii line of one-of-a-kind, hand-printed and sewn apparel and home accessories. In Fall 2017, printing and production moved out of the home studio, and the Jana Lam Studio + Shop was opened in Kaka'ako.