A yellow yarn in blue fabric

A yellow yarn in blue fabric

After years working for the fast fashion industry, Iria Saez realised she wasn't happy and wanted to take a slower path. 

She founded Blue Anemone in 2018 designing beautifully-crafted clothing, made in small batches, using sustainable methods.

Here we talk to Iria to discover her inspiration, her design philosophy and why she believes we should all embrace imperfection.


I worked for the fashion industry all my career but my path as a fashion designer started with Blue Anemone so I’m just discovering my creative side. Creativity has a lot to do with looking inwards and exploring yourself. We’re all a little bit yin-yang and my collections have a mix of minimal and maximal. A quieter part of me sees the universe from a holistic perspective and is influenced by Eastern philosophies like Taoism. These ideas are reflected in the minimal part of my collection with styles like the Cardamomo dress or the Duna blouse.



I’m still naive as a designer. I don’t think about best sellers or use the catwalk as inspiration. I try to keep the creative process as pure as possible. It is a journey you have to make, so I let it flow wherever it wants to take me. I trust my instincts and enjoy the beauty of the unfolding. When I start on a new collection, I have different ideas that look chaotic and unconnected, but over time, those different pieces fall into place. This part of the creative process is quite magical. It is still a mystery how it finally blends together. 


Duna Dress


Our latest collection is the most sustainable to date. For example, the Cardamomo dress is the natural colour of the flax crop. It is undyed. The beauty and fun is that each season this colour is a different tone, sometimes more beige, others more grey. The colour depends on the soil, and the amount of water and sun it gets that season. It’s just what nature provides. Even texture can vary from crop to crop. This is one of my favourite fabrics because it is so raw, rustic and special.


I live in the north-west Atlantic side of Spain and work with local dressmakers.  As we only create small batches, most of the fabrics are cut in my own studio. Our pieces are not mass produced: in mass production one person makes the neck, another sews the sleeve and the last one sews the buttons. Each item from Blue Anemone is fully made by one person. 

Cardomomo Dress - Black


Over the years I have developed true friendship with these seamstresses: Patricia, Mar, Rhodes and Estelita. I visit them almost every week, we sit for a coffee, we chat, we try the clothes, we discuss how to improve the new prototypes, it is all very close and familiar. They’re the soul of Blue Anemone. I’m so lucky to have them.

Murmur Dress


Because of the fast fashion industry and the idea that clothes should be cheap, sewing is an underrated profession. Yet it is hard work and takes years to master. Some of our designs take hours to be made. Many of our fabrics are difficult to work with and require time, patience and expertise. Skilled dressmakers are rare and difficult to find and sadly, they’re becoming an extinct species.


My nature-inspired palette is full of earthy, muted, calm and in-between tones, which make me feel grounded. I love when you can’t tell if a colour is blue or green, depending on the light in that specific moment…it’s a reflection of nature. As a sustainable brand, I offer a range of neutrals each season. They’re timeless and easy to combine, a must-have in any slow fashion wardrobe.


I’m a total fabric freak and spent a lot of time sourcing materials. I love looking for new sustainable materials, fibres and textures. One of my favourite fabrics is handwoven and handspun khadi cotton which is made by artisans in India. The whole process is manual so the carbon footprint of producing this fabric is zero. Also, because this fabric is artisanal, it is not perfect, it has this beautiful unevenness on the weave. All my collections are very rich in textures and I love mixing all of them together unexpectedly, this is a key characteristic of Blue Anemone. Texture is the most important thing in my collections.

Duna Top


There is even a philosophy behind it as I choose fabrics from a wabi-sabi perspective. Nature is all texture, there is nothing plain about it. Perfect, plain things can only be made by machines. In a world that celebrates perfection, I celebrate unevenness. Where others see faults, I see beauty. I get truly excited when I see a small straw stuck in the fabric because it means it is raw and natural, not industrialised. The modern world is so eager to separate us from the natural world, but the truth is we are all part of nature.

Duna Top


When an artisan accidentally catches a different colour fibre from the studio floor and it gets imprinted in the weave of the fabric, some people complain it's a mistake because the blue fabric now has a yellow yarn in it; but I celebrate it because this is how the world is and how we are: beautiful and imperfect. It may seem trivial, but it is a completely different way of looking at things. The world would be a much better place if more people could stare in awe at a yellow yarn in a blue fabric. I like to think this philosophy is contained in my designs as a hidden language, understood by my customers, who share the same values.


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