With an infatuation for design and an interest in protecting endangered species, Janice has been able to combine her two passions as a designer.
Miller, originally from New Brunswick (Canada), says, “Using recycled materials was the best way for me to help the environment in a creative way.” She did not want her designs to be mass produced overseas, and she makes each piece by hand “because my inspiration is much stronger when I work with recycled materials."
Miller was introduced to the idea of recycled clothing at a young age. “I used to go thrift shopping a lot with my mom; who had also taught me how to use a sewing machine.” Being very petite, Miller found that nothing in the stores ever really fit her properly. Therefore, she says, “I started by transforming my clothes.”
Her hands-on experience in tailoring store items and her days exploring thrift shops has inspired her. “I have a photogenic memory, so when I look through fashion magazines, I carry that inspiration to the thrift shops.” The transformation from thrift-store-find to new design is “like throwing the pieces of five different jigsaw puzzles together and making them all fit into a new landscape.”
Miller’s process involves collecting “enough fabrics that I feel go well together.” Because she uses only recycled materials, “it can take months or years to get a big enough collection to work with. After a project, I pretty much keep all the tiny scraps. I’ll empty the bag onto the floor and reassemble the pieces into a patchwork dress or sweater.” In her commitment to using every last piece of material, she started a line of pet sweaters with very small left over fabric.
After years of working as a designer for three boutiques, Miller created her own online boutique called Glaciermilk. The inspiration behind the name comes from her strong connection to the environment. “I love polar bears and it breaks my heart that their habitat is slowly melting.” The name Glaciermilk “is a comforting thought that there is hope for them," she explains. "It’s like Mother Nature’s milk to help the glaciers be strong again.” She likes to think of Glaciermilk “as hope for the future of our planet.”
Miller is curious about the Boston fashion market and excited to be showing her first collection at Saturday’s show. “The Emerging Trends really help designers by providing this amazing opportunity. The organizing that goes into a fashion event is a ton of work. And for an emerging designer (like myself), it’s amazing to have all the makeup artists, hairstylists and models already chosen by a professional.”
While in Boston, the designer wants to check out Salem and its Witch Museum. “I’ve had a fascination with witches since I was kid. I had a black cat named Salem and one of my favorite rummage finds was a kid’s “Bewitched in Salem” t-shirt
Or, in person at The Emerging Trends Show happening on Saturday, September 25th at the Park Plaza Hotel at 8 PM.