Archives for posts with tag: fabric

A few weeks ago, we were approached by a nice Irish man working for Japanese TV. He was working on a segment that highlighted the “craft wave” in and around NYC and Brooklyn. In particular he was interested in highlighting our weaving and shoe making classes, and he discussed with us the various ways in which we felt this “craft wave” was growing, affecting individuals, as well as the economy.

I feel like we’ve been having this conversation a lot, through several interviews happening around the same time (EcoSalon, Brooklyn Based), and it’s really actually helped in how we run things here. For the most part, we are doing what we believe in and what we think will make people happy. But when you are asked specific questions, it forces you to wrap your mind around what you’re actually doing — what is going on in a larger picture. And rather than just feeling it, you can talk about it in a more concrete way. I like that.

Alisa, one of our wonderful previous interns, shows up on the video as a weaver. She is Japanese, and her father still lives there. So when he randomly saw her on TV one night, he sent her the clip through Youtube:

Now I only wish I could understand Japanese and know what it says under my face while I’m speaking..

(photo courtesy EcoSalon)

“I want to make clothes that I love, with lots of character.  I want to make timeless pieces with reference to me, where I come from and what I represent as a designer.” –Florencia Kozuch



Originating from Argentine, Florencia Kozuch’s designs draw inspiration from her native home in Buenos Aires.  She fuses indigenous craft from South American Aborigines with innovative textile application and shape making.  Her recent collections feature a combination of traditional crafts, innovative knitwear design with a modern aesthetic.  Florencia’s work is intriguingly detailed and alluring wearable.  Her bold imaginative creations have led her to become tipped as “One to Watch” by Vauxhall Fashion Scout.  Her designs offer something for the forward thinking, strong, unafraid woman.

This week’s blog post comes from an idea from reader Amy.

Zoe Bradley creates oversize, highly crafted headpieces, dresses, and sets for advertising campaigns, editorials, catwalk shows, and window displays.  She uses traditional tailoring techniques but uses more conventional fabrics mixed in with luxury papers.

Primarily Zoe collaborates with luxury brands to create jaw-dropping installations to compliment the designer products and brand identity.  Her highly crafted fashion sculptures have been used in advertising and editorial worldwide.  Her signature material is Luxury paper, though she has been known to use fabric, wood, and recycled plastics.




**Blog Plug: Don’t forget to submit your blog ideas to!  I am anxiously waiting for all of the brilliant ideas that are sure to come my way.

Anyhow, today I was sitting on the subway and like any other New Yorker I was trying to keep my eyes to myself…meaning that I was in la-la land, keeping to myself, and I didn’t want to be bothered. But a woman with bright pink curly hair caught my attention around Canal Street.  However, the first thing I noticed was that she was cross-stitching (something you don’t see everyday in New York) and then my eyes gazed upon her hot pink locks.  But I didn’t think, “Oh what an interesting / weird / loud hair color.”  I thought, “Wow that color would look beautiful as a cashmere sweater.”  That head of hair completely turned me on to the idea of looking at hairstyles as a point of creative stimulation. (I got tired of using the word inspiration.)

From This…

To This (sorry I was unable to find the designer)…

And This…

To Christian Dior…



And This…

To Tina Kalivas…

These pictures are exceptional and tend towards the side of extremely fashionable hair dyes but it just shows you that hair is a wonderful source of creative stimuli.  What you did to your head in high school and college can help you create your wardrobe, bathroom, wedding invitations, etc.

Though there is the possibility that my time at the Textile Arts Center has rekindled my insatiable creativity, my imagination is running WILD.

Today I wanted to share an obsession that started when my cousin began to make kooky looking stuffed creatures during Thanksgivings up in Michigan. Though she is constantly expanding her brain with information of the ages, she still manages to find time to create these odd creatures.

Zen Monster

Big Heart Big Teeth Monster

Sarah Palin Voo Doo Doll

For more of Margaret’s creations you can visit her site  She has bags, shirts, drawings of law school, and definitely more creatures!

Another creature artist I like is Donna Wilson, a London-based textile designer.  Donna Wilson set up her company in 2003 after making odd knitted creatures for her final show at the Royal College of art. The creatures sold out and since then she has built her business designing and making a collection of curious cushions, luxurious lambswool blankets, and variety of products for you and your home.  Her look is cartoonish and teetering on crazy, but they are plush, adorable, and I just want to hug them all.



Ed Red Head

Harry Hairy Head


Peeping Tom





Lightning Cloud Pillow

Rain Cloud Pillow

To see more of her designs visit

The Victorian Era.  When I think of the Victorian Era I always think about the magnificent dresses adorned in pearls, lace, gold brooches, feathers, beads, and ribbons.  Layer upon layer of silk, satin, and velvet in rich, royal colors: all the robin’s egg blue, scarlet red, eggplant purple, evergreen, ballet pink, and ivories you could ever desire.  Ugh, I was born in the wrong era. Though I am grateful my mother never tried to put me into one of those corsets.  Torture devices is what I would call those. I could never risk the ability to breathe deeply in order to look like an hour-glass.  Sigh…but the way fabrics were manipulated and transformed into fantastical waterfalls of fabric just mesmerize me.

Thank god I can still taste a little bit of this era with these beautiful textile necklaces.  They can be worn with any little black dress or with a plain white tee-shirt.  Either way, they make a statement on their own, “I feel pretty.”

Katherine Wardropped is an award-winning 3-D textile designer.  Her goal is to organically develop her “sculptural fabric technique” to a range of creative disciplines.  Particularly her brooches and necklaces all remind me of swirling wedding cakes.

However these necklaces are only available in London-based boutiques, though you could commission Katherine to create a masterpiece for you..if you are willing to pay a Victorian price.

If you don’t want to break the bank, then you should check out the necklaces created by Laura Su for her website Prismera.  Laura takes chiffon and other fabrics, sculpts them into ruffles, and applies vintage-style satin, ruffles, and sequins creating a modern take on Victorian high-style.

Can you re-imagine your computer?


What about that sweater you wore last Christmas?

Your denim jeans?

Could you re-create these common items into an elegant commentary on societies relationship with these objects?  It’s difficult.  My mind certainly does not work that way.

Though there are talented minds out there that are able to see beyond an object, break it down, and create something new. Jean Shin is one of those minds. She is a nationally recognized for her large-scale works which uses everyday items as an expression of the individual and the masses.  One of my favorite expressions is her TEXTile piece.  Using thousands of computer keys she creates a beautiful tapestry.  The keys spell out a line-by-line transcript of the email correspondence between the artist and fabricators regarding the creation of the artwork. As a result, the sculpture documents its own making.  It is also an interactive work, a viewer can type in a word which will be projected on the opposite end of the fabric.

She also has a few works that are based in fashion: commentaries on how it represents different groups of people who effect our everyday lives.

Alterations is a cityscape created out of colorful scraps from shortened pants or jeans.  “The standing heights of each wax-stiffened cuff represent the measurement of the body in absence. The installation comments on one’s failure to measure up to the fashion industry’s standard size (height-wise).” – Jean

“At the same time, the cast-off cuffs refer to a population—predominantly Asian immigrants—who make up a large portion of the clothing industry’s workforce, including sweat-shop seamstresses, tailors and dry-cleaners.” – Jean

Fringe is a piece of thousands of old worn ties woven into an urban chain link fence.  “This symbol of the white-collar worker contrasts sharply with the depressed, urban setting where the piece was installed. By juxtaposing luxurious ties with the industrial chain-link fence, the installation brings attention to barriers that separate and divide us, speaking to issues of power, gender, public and private.” – Jean

Then there is Pattern Folds, which is a work that relates to the individual.  The piece is made of 30 sculptures which were created out of Calvin Klein fabric from his Spring 2010 collection. The fabric was stiffened and cut away to represent the runway looks, then refolded into an upright piece.  This is my favorite installation because it allows the viewer to explore the relationship between their own body and fashion by examining the cutouts. And lord knows, sometimes we need to be reminded that being a sample size is rare.  This work puts into perspective the “perfect” body type in relation to your own.

Jean has an upcoming show in Battery Park City in September 2010.