Archives for category: Fashion Forward

Not in  New York for fashion week? If you happen to be flying through Atlanta’s international airport be sure to check out Nancy Judd’s Recycle Runway fashions.  Judd brings new life to things that have outlived their original purpose and displays these intricate items in high traffic locations like shopping malls and airports.

Aluminum Drop Dress


Photos by Eric Swanson

 

Jacket made from old cassette tape

(Photo by Sandrine Hahn)

(And this is a cassette tape, kids.)

 

 

Rusty Nails

Transformed!

(Photos Courtesy of Nancy Judd)

 

 

 

Hi, my name is Kim and when I am not crunching numbers away in my cubical I am secretly looking at fashion, design, and home improvement websites.  In all this time I have built up a little library I am excited to share with the ladies of the Textile Arts Center and all you loyal textile fans out there.  My entries will center around forward-thinking design which infultrates every part of our lives.  Isn’t it wonderful?

I was watching the Superbowl (only made it through the half-time show) wen Fergie’s outfit caught my attention.  It reminded me of a Dutch designer Iris Van Herpen whose 2011 designs defy all my pre-conceptions of clothing.

Let’s face it: curvy clothing is back.  We were given these bodies, why not accentuate the best parts of us…in futuristic wear.

It’s been nasty out lately – snow, snow showers, slushy snow, freezing rain.. Well, you know!!  And even if this is my 3rd Winter in NYC, my wardrobe is still not prepared for this weather (talk about Winter denial..).

And it was with wet weather on my mind that I came across the exhibition ” Beauty Born of Use: Natural Rainwear from China and Japan”, now on view at the Textile Museum of Canada. The exhibition features examples of rainwear made in mid 20th century in China and Japan. The garments were made using plant materials that were available locally and renewable, like bamboo, tree barks, reeds, etc, without compromising in a bit the fantastic design.

Rain cape, rice straw, bast fiber, cotton, China, mid 20th century

According to the Textile Museum’s most recent educational tool, Social Fabric (please make a minute to check it, it’s so worth it!), this cape was made using rice straw that was folded and stitched together, assuming the appearance and functionality of a thatched roof. People in remote areas of China still wear these capes to this day.

Rain cape; palm bark fiber, bast fiber, cotton; China, mid 20th century

Rain hat, plant material, grass, Japan, mid 20th century

Since early times, the people in these countries have been using the materials locally available to construct waterproof garments. For instance, in China, this kind of garments go back earlier than Ming dynasty, and where woven using straw, grass and pipal tree leaves. In Japan, people also always used what was readily available to make garments, like rice and wheat straw, reed, bark, vines, and seaweed. However, all these skills and traditions for making weather resistant garments are being forgotten, and like everywhere being replaced by the ubiquitous plastic.

I think rain and snow wouldn’t be so bad if I was protected by one of this! If you’re going to Toronto before May 1, make sure you make a stop to go see and admire these garments. And please tell me more about it!


I am so pleased to be working with the Textile Arts Center as part of our initiative at StyleSalt to support independent fashion artists and designers. Fiber art is the first step in wearable creations, and I couldn’t be happier with the shift from people looking for mass-produced pieces to wanting something special and unique–real statement-pieces that can be an extension of their personality and view of the world. It’s a push to individuality, and with the luxury market back in swing, customers don’t mind paying more to get it.
I have spent a large portion of my career working with designers, both emerging and established, as a fashion editor for magazines like ShapeNatural Health and Fit Pregnancy. Passion for creating something original is an attribute highly visible in this industry.
Now in my role for StyleSalt.com’s boutique , I am able to take on an even more hands-on role for artists, not just witnessing the journey, but also in helping. Our goal is to make apparel design a more accessible career for new talent, give designers a free place to sell their creations, free promotion, free blogging and an instant audience.
If you are interesting in becoming involved in StyleSalt’s boutique for emerging and independent designers, you can contact me at misty@stylesalt.com.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Misty Huber
CCO, StyleSalt.com

(from Eden Jewelry)

(from Kahri)

Apologies — Isa and I have been very bad with sharing stories and photos from our long-lost trip to Peru in early December.

Aside from the obvious favorite spot (Machu Picchu), by far the most rewarding part of the trip was getting to take a tour with Annie and Emma from Awamaki up to Patacancha, where they work with women for the weaving project.

A couple of years ago (pre-Textile Arts Center and in a hurry to get out of a bad job) I was planning to spend 6 months in Ollantaytambo volunteering with Awamaki. Time passed, and suddenly Textile Arts Center was starting, and Awamaki moved to the back burner. Then, one day in October, Tara St. James of Study NY emailed me to introduce Annie to us. Tara had been work as a mentor to a new project, Awamaki Lab, where a fashion designer would spend a few months in Peru to create a capsule collection using traditional Peruvian designs, with the goal of training local women for production (and eventually design, as well)

I was so happy to be put back in touch with the organization, and thrilled that someone had taken the initiative with such a project there, that we immediately made plans to spend plenty of time in Ollantaytambo when we went to Peru. Annie generously let us join a tour, taking us up into the mountains — far from paved roads, toilets, electricity — to Patacancha.

(from the road, drive to Patacancha)

(standing in the valley, at Patacancha)

We were shown what Awamaki had set up for the community of families (several small structures; the first working toilet in the area) and went through their processes of spinning, natural dyeing and backstrap weaving. The group of women, who ranged in age, then each took out their individual work, from which Awamaki places orders to sell in the Fair Trade store in Ollanta.

Starting with our wait at 6am in Ollanta’s main plaza, we got to see the inner workings of the small town. While Ollanta is quite touristy, being one of the main stops in the Sacred Valley, getting to see the more day to day operations of the people in Ollanta, as well as neighboring village, was absolutely incredible.

(5am, Heart Cafe in Ollantaytambo)

And NOW… Annie, Awamaki Lab, and Nielli Vallin get to share their hard work at their launch party/pop up shop.

Join us, and many others, to celebrate the launch of the first capsule collection by Nielli Vallin tomorrow night:

January 20, 7-10PM

208 Bowery St, 2nd Floor (between Prince + Spring)

For almost a year I’ve been living and working in Brooklyn. And even if I adore Brooklyn I often find myself missing the Manhattan-Brooklyn commute. And wandering in Manhattan after work. That’s why each time I have to go to the city to buy supplies for our classes, it really feels like a treat! And I feel that in each of my little “field trips” I end up coming across something new.

Last weeks find was the project that brought together Pratt students, Ralph Pucci and paper.. lots of paper. On the windows of Macy’s, gorgeous and delicate sculptural paper cut dresses were side by side with also gorgeous and luxurious fashion creations (by Pucci?). This might be old news for some of you, but I really feel that amazing work like this can’t have too much coverage.

Pratt + Paper & Ralph Pucci project displayed at Macy’s

 

The project consisted of an interdisciplinary, semester-long study in texture and form to dress Pucci’s Spring 2011 “GIRL 2” mannequins entirely in paper, from only a white palette. As a result of this study, 20 paper sculpture designs were created by fashion design, fine arts, industrial design, and interior design students from Pratt’s School of Art and Design. The paper for the “Pratt + Paper + Ralph Pucci” project was generously donated by Borden & Riley Company, Inc., and Mohawk Fine Papers, Inc.

The sculpture designs were exhibited at Ralph Pucci International/Gallery Nine Showroom and the top three works were selected by a panel of distinguished judges (including Linda Fargo, Vice President of Fashion, Bergdorf Goodman; Nicole Fischelis, Vice President of Fashion, Macy’s; Greg Mills, Founder of Greg Mills Showroom; Jens Risom, furniture designer; Ken Smart, Creative Director at Ralph Pucci International; Anna Sui, fashion designer; Deborah Turbeville, photographer; and Vicente Wolf, interior designer).

All the winning looks  were designed by undergraduate students:  Dana Otto was awarded first place; Meredith Lyon and Beatrice Weiland, juniors in the Department of Fashion Design won second place; and graduate interior design student Tom Forsyth won third place. Su Ting Chen and Samantha Johnson (Interior Design ’11 from Maspbeth, N.Y. and Pullman, Wash., respectively) received top prize for their show-stopping sculpture design that hung from the ceiling of the Gallery Nine Showroom.

View of the showroom with Pucci’s Spring 2011 GIRL 2 mannequins and hanging paper sculptures by Su Ting Chen (Interior Design ’11) and Samantha Johnson (Interior Design ’11), first place winners for sculpture

(photo courtesy of http://dailyfix.interiordesign.net)


Detail of paper dress by third place winner Thom Forsyth

(photos courtesy of ralphpucci.net)


Paper dress by second place Meredith Lyon and Beatrice Weiland and hanging paper sculptures by Su Ting Chen and Samantha Johnson


Paper dress by first place winner Dana Otto (Industrial Design ’11)


Congratulations to the winners for the amazing work! However,  looking to the rest of the designs, one has to agree with what Pucci recounted overhearing form the Juri: ‘It’s not fair, they’re all so good’.(via http://gateway.pratt.edu)

I’ll leave you with some more works…

(photos courtesy of coolpicturegallery.net )

(photo courtesy of Mieke ten Have)

 

 

Everyone that asks me about Portugal will get trapped in a long, detailed, complicated and uber-adjectivated monologue about food, weather, music, politics and people.
However, I normally fail on talking about of one of the things I love more about Portugal (and being Portuguese) which are the Portuguese textiles.

Recently, while browsing through some portuguese fiber-lover blogs, I came across with the fashion brand SENNES. SENNES means search of essence and it was the result of the collaboration between fashion designer Nele de Block and Pedro Franco, who introduced her to the traditional wool weaving of the Serra da Estrela region in Portugal.

Serra da Estrela is the highest point of Portugal, and the coldest one too. SENNES collection was inspired by a traditional super dense and water-proof blanket (or manta) produced in the region. Textile industry has been an intense activity on Serra da Estrela area since the 12th century, and its recognized by the extreme quality of the wool and woven work.

Portuguese shepherd blankets or mantas

(photos courtesy of ECOLA, one of the few remaining local textile industries)

SENNES collection is totally made in Portugal and only the wool from sheep that live in the mountains is used and it’s spun, carded and woven locally. The wool is not submitted to any after-treatment, to maintain its natural quality, and felting occurs by washing it in the cold, soft and non polluted water of the natural springs of the region. Colors are based on the natural range of color of the wool and no chemical dyes are used.

(photos courtesy of SENNES; more photos, catalog and info on their website)

If you are feeling inspired and would like to try portuguese Serra da Estrela wool on your fiber endeavors, you can get it from here. And look how soft and nice it looks!

Our shoemaking class starts today and I couldn’t be more excited for being part of it. During 4 weeks we’ll be learning how to design and construct our own leather moccasins with Mark Schuyer.

While I was dreaming about the shoes I’ll make, I came across with this ones, via unconsumption:
They are made by unu-life, a London-based design company that “hopes to inspire a greater appreciation of our physical surroundings” and “raise awareness of environmental and social issues and to create things that enrich our material lives”.

These slippers are made from a single sheet of recycled leather, using neither glue or stitching. They come to you flat-packed and ready to be assembled by simply folding the leather according to the instructions:

“The design stems from deconstructing the physical concept of footwear into its component parts, taking one of those elements – pattern making – and rebuilding it in its purest form. The result is a simple, understandable product that engages consumers in the act of assembly and enhances their sense of ownership.” (in unu-life)

unu-footwear also aims to call the consumers attention and appreciation of the physical quality in the products that surround us.

Living in a society that generally promotes fast, blind and massive consumption, it’s really wonderful to see more and more design companies working towards creating products that force you to stop and think about them, their materials, and their impact the environment and in our lives.And that maybe will inspire us to go to our homes, studios or classes and create/re-create something way more meaningful and conscientious than what you’d normally get by impulse in store.

We at TAC, and I personally, don’t totally agree with New York Times’ Worn Out Fashion Terms List– DIY is not dead(!) and the question if either it’s worthy to make your own instead of spending a couple of dollars buying it from a chain store, it’s not even a real question if you think about the pleasure of making time for design and constructing exactly what you dreamed of.

 

 

 

We’ve been consistently (and happily) surprised by the many different creative businesses that have joined us at 505 Carroll St/540 President St. The management has done an amazing job.

We noticed a few weeks ago that strange stuff was happening the 10,000 sq ft space right below us. It is sort of a basement, and you can see through a few windows from Carroll St. Slowly chairs, and dishes, and desks, and odd things were popping up and being arranged in peculiar groupings. Not a typical office.

Last week we needed to check out the basement ceiling. And to our shock and amazement, we find the treasure of all treasures — 10,000 sq ft of antiques, thrift finds, and other salvaged goodies!

And while this thrilled me to have at my fingertips, it was speaking with founder and president, Eva Radke, that really drew me in. Film Biz Recycling says the following about itself:

Film Biz Recycling (FBR) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping the entertainment industry address the triple bottom line: profit, people and planet. We encourage every production to think about the wrap during prep and shoot, consider the impact of on and off-screen activities and donate every unwanted, useful and re-useable item to Film Biz Recycling or another re-use organization.

FBR also aims to research and introduce new ideas and methods for filmmaking by doing the research, making the contacts and disseminating the information to the community. Moreover, we aim to get everyone involved in a project to think and to act in a way that teaches the next generation and establishes new industry standards.

We are committed to prove that making future-friendly changes will not cost more, but in fact are less expensive than traditional methods.

We are committed to see every re-useable building material, prop and set dressing either make its way to charity or help fund the efforts of Film Biz Recycling.

We are committed to never have another dumpster full of perfectly good materials tossed to create green house gasses in a landfill.

Film Biz Recycling also seeks to connect the industry with other industries, communities and planet via collaboration, lateral thinking and volunteerism. Our materials can change lives. Our unique skills can move mountains so let’s be a shining light to the rest of the world!

Whether you need something new for your apartment, or just want to support a good cause, stop by Film Biz Recycling at 540 President St!

We’re starting our Spring Classes series next Tuesday and I couldn’t be more excited. Amongst the wide range of classes that we’re offering, I want to tell you today about the Shibori class.

Shibori, now a universal term, is the Japanese word for manipulating fabric before dyeing (the word is derived from the Japanese root verb shiboru, which means to “wring, squeeze, press”) (…) in Shibori for Textile Artists, by Janice Gunner

(photo courtesy of HonestlyWTF)

The Shibori technique dates back to between 6th and 8th century in Japan (the earliest known example of shibori dyed cloth dates back to the 8th century). Indigo was the main dye used, to pattern hemp, cotton and silk.

(photo courtesy of HonestlyWTF)

There are several folding, binding, twisting, stitching techniques that have been used and all have specific names. Like Kanobo shibori, for the typical  tie-dye, Arashi (Japanese for “storm”) shibori, a pole-wrapping technique, Kumo shibori, pleat and bond resist technique, and Itajime shibori, a shape-resist technique where the cloth is folded like an accordion and sandwiched between two pieces of wood.

Shibori Master Motohiko Katano (1889-1975) (top) and Shibori dyed cloth (bottom)

(photos courtesy of shiboriorg.wordpress.com)

There are still a few spots available for the Shibori class starting on January 8th, so don’t miss this opportunity to come to TAC to learn the secrets of this ancient dye technique. And as inspiration for the products and fabrics that you can create, I leave you with some gorgeous fashion creations..

Suno Shibori Tie Dye Scarf Jacket, Spring/Summer 2010

(via CoolSpotters)

Shibori dyed top, by Brooklyn based Upstate, Spring/Summer 2011

Shibori dyed scarf, by Brooklyn based Upstate, Spring/Summer 2011

(via HonestlyWTF)