January 31, 2021
Rory Worby, award-winning New York based artist and accessories designer, spends many days inside her glass studio as wind sweeps the flowers and leaves of her garden and music sweeps the air of her studio while her painted brush sweeps the silk of her creations. Worby hand paints silks that are transformed into accessories such as scarves, caftans, kimonos, masks, and scrunchies. She has over 25 years of experience in the corporate apparel industry, but discovered that her passion lies in the tranquility of her studio and the silky whispers of her garden where she creates what she describes as “wearable art.”
Worby’s work was recently awarded with the esteemed “Rising Star Award: Scarves/Fashion Jewelry presented by Fashion Group International. Worby has also joined other designers in a much needed and welcome trend of producing her pieces in a sustainable fashion; recycling materials and refreshing wardrobes with beautiful accessories. We are expecting exciting products from her this year so we have asked her about her creative process, inspirations, and hopes for the future. We have also curated our Spring picks to update your sustainable-focused wardrobe.
Worby’s process is highly sustainable and is truly like creating an individual piece of artwork. She begins by pre-washing finest grade silk which is a fabric she deliberately chose since it is a natural fiber. Pre-washing the silk ensures that the quality of the fabric remains soft and is prepared for painting. Worby then finds inspiration from nature around her glass studio to create her pieces. She tells us that “Some pieces are well thought out and planned in the beginning stages especially if I am using resist which I draw directly onto the fabric. Other times, I just let it happen, turn on the music and let the paint flow!”
The silk is carefully stretched on a frame where it can be hand painted using natural dyes. When she cannot find the colors she needs, Worby makes sure that dyes are low impact. Worby tells us that she switched her resist to a plant based resist that is water soluble. Colors are then softly stroked on the silk with Japanese Sumi brushes.
Worby fixes the colors through a steaming process where she wraps silks in paper that is recycled and reused. The silk is then re-washed to extract remaining dye. Finally, the fabric is sent for final construction and made available on her website, Roryworby.com, or stocked at several stockist locations.
In the words of John Ruskin, a leading art critic of the Victorian era, “Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty,” and Rory Worby is taking maximum advantage of this inspiration. She has merely to breathe in the beauty of her surroundings to be moved to create. Her studio is nestled in her garden and surrounded by woods, and the only thing separating her from nature is a transparent sheet of glass. As if nature is not enough of a muse for Worby, she is also inspired by images seen in film and television, such as the extravagant florals seen in Netflix’s Bridgerton. Art feeds art and in like manner, Worby is also influenced by other artists such as Frida Kahlo, who was also known to be inspired by her surroundings.
Just as no two flowers bloom the same way, no two pieces created by Worby are the same. Each creation is a unique piece of art not to be found elsewhere. As such a prolific artist, Worby is able to design custom pieces for anyone who has an idea in mind that they would like to see translated into a gorgeous one of a kind accessory. Worby has also used her talent to help others by creating pieces to be sold for charity, such as The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. For custom orders go to roryworby.com.
Our Spring Picks
We have curated our Spring picks from Rory Worby for the perfect start to an eco-conscious wardrobe along with a style guide. Just as Spring breathes life into the air, these pieces can breathe life into your wardrobe!
PEONY PINK SHEER CHIFFON SILK SEA SALT SCARF
Style Tip: Pair this scarf with this asymmetrical dress for a monochromatic look. You can even add in one of Rory Worby’s silk masks in matching peony pink!
SAGE SEA SALT VELVET SCARF
Style Tip: Pair with another sea inspired accessory and add a sage slip dress from Rory Worby’s collection for added mermaid vibes!
CORAL/SILVER SLIP DRESS & MAGNOLIA CROPPED KIMONO
Style Tip: Bring the garden to the party in this silky soft summer ensemble. Pair with a pink kitten heel for a perfect look.
AQUA TROPICAL LEAF SCARF
Style Tip: Mix patterns with a vertical striped two toned dress! This is the perfect look for a beach vacation or even a Spring lunch out (socially distanced, of course!)