I don’t want my clothes wearing me; I want to wear my clothes,” says Diane Jensen, who’s owned Shades of Linen Clothing in Naramata since 2001. “This inspiration for my designs is comfort!” Diane creates easy living, stylish linen garments for women and has developed a loyal regional following. She also sells to Wine Festival visitors, especially in the fall.
Diane started creating fashions from linen in the Lower Mainland, before she moved to the Okanagan in 2001. Why linen? “It’s one of the oldest fibres, older even than cotton. I like breathable fabrics.” Diane creates her own styles, washes and preshrinks her linen, which comes from Italy, and works with a talented group of seamstresses to create her clothing line.
Shades of Linen has always carried garments in black, white, cream and beige: “They go with anyone’s wardrobe, anything in the closet,” she says. This year, Diane has added items in deep purple, lime, pink and gray. Oh, yes, and then there are pieces with prints. What’s really popular right now are flowered jean jackets. “They’re a must for every wardrobe, all 100% pre-shrunk linen, all patterned with black buttons.”
Does linen wrinkle? Yes, it does, but that’s part of the organic look. And although the fabric is pre-shrunk, it still stretches. “Just spray it with water, and it will come back to the way it was,” says Diane.
What Diane really likes about her simple, classic linen designs is how versatile they are. “If you have a social occasion to go to, you don’t have to change clothes. Just put on some bling and go!”
~ Dona Sturmanis