Afia is a Brooklyn based fashion label, founded by designer Megan Sebold, that makes really adorable contemporary clothes from gorgeous traditional textiles sourced in Ghana. She believes in complete transparency, manufacturing clothes with Ghanian sewing cooperatives that pay their workers a fair wage. Love!
A couple of nights ago, I watched a beautiful documentary about the 50 year relationship between Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé. They met when Yves was only 21 yrs old and head designer at Christian Dior.
It was a poignant story weaving back and forth between their personal and professional lives together and the present day, months after Yves’ death, as Mr. Bergé was preparing for the Christie’s auction of their massive art collection.
The final scene of the film was the auction, which took place in February 2009 and had a total sale of €342m. All of the proceeds of the sale were used to benefit the Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent Foundation and a new foundation for scientific research and the fight against AIDS.
(Thank you Miss Moss!)
Last year, I came across an incredibly beautiful collection of handmade blouses, upcycled from vintage kimonos, by a British company called Beautiful Soul. Each piece was one-of-a-kind and absolutely stunning. I really identified with what she was doing and appreciated each of her pieces as individual works of art.
Based in Notting Hill, one of my favorite London neighborhoods, Nicola Woods is the founder and designer of this company. Her business model is so similar to mine and pieces so lovely that I have been following her ever since.
Over the past couple of seasons, Nicola has come out with new collections that are just as stunning as her repurposed kimono pieces. Pictured above are a few pieces from Beautiful Soul’s ‘Olivia Rose’ Collection for 2012. I am so in love with the long turquoise dress with poppies on it. Check out the new collection here.
Last week, at Lincoln Center, there was an awesome and groundbreaking event for fashion week. The Green Shows took place in the tents and it was fantastic. Beautifully styled by Julie Ragolia, the work of some of the top ethical fashion designers in the US was presented. The event was only an hour long and the space was jam packed with press and buyers.
There was also a gorgeous accessory installation in the middle of the room featuring a few of my bags along with two other handbag designers and gorgeous jewelry by Erika Lauren, Victoria Simes, Natalie Frigo, Mal Jewelry, Nettie Kent, East Fourth Street.
I can’t believe it has taken me this long to write about Jenny Gordy. Jenny & I shared a studio (along with Jennifer of Odette) for a year and she makes the most beautiful handmade clothes. Looking at her pieces and how well crafted and designed they are seriously puts the majority of store-bought clothes to shame. Rather than create a line of 25 pieces and hope one sticks, Jenny makes very few, but those few are reworked to perfection – and they sell out quickly. Jenny is meticulous in everything she does. She and her husband recently left Brooklyn to move to Iowa and I wondered how it would affect her business and inspiration being away from so many of her colleagues and the energy that NYC generates, but it is clearly working for her. It seems leaving the distractions of the city has really allowed her to focus and her work is better than ever. She has even opened up her very own curated shop of some of her favorite products.
Check out her beautiful new shop.
I wrote about Jennifer of Odette NY a few months ago, but I just wanted to share her beautiful collection again (since it’s gifting season!). Her photos are stunning and she makes such beautiful and unique jewelry. I love that everything is made right here in NYC.
Psst… Join her mailing list for special holiday deals! She has something for everyone…
Next Friday, Earth Day, April 22, 2011 from 6pm to 9pm, I will be participating in a really interesting event at the Textile Art Center in Brooklyn. This event, curated by environmental fiber artist and writer, Abigail Doan, will feature a collection of NYC’s most amazing designers and artists whose work is based on a respect for the planet and is ethical to the core.
Invited artists and local sustainable fashion designers will showcase their fiber, textile, and green design initiatives, as well as offering activities related to slow fashion strategies and environmental outreach. Visitors will be able participate in on-site activities and share in a dynamic community dialogue for Earth Day 2011.
Give away gifts for the event will include five copies of natural dye expert and slow fashion advocate Sasha Duerr’s book, The Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes. There will also be organic treats and chilled refreshments from local sponsors.
Artists and Designers include:
Susan Benarcik: Known for her dramatic sculptures and environmental installation projects crafted out of recycled and nature-based materials, Susan will share her resourceful and innovative methods for creating organically inspired textile and surface designs.
Meiling Chen: One of the pioneering sustainable fashion designers on the New York Fashion scene, ‘Fearless Dreamer’ Meiling will share new meditations on fashion with her latest handmade creations that are embedded with intimate messages and poetic musings crafted out of fabric and thread.
Abigail Doan and Ceca Georgieva: Environmental fiber artist and writer, Abigail Doan, currently divides her time between the U.S. and Europe, and while living in Sofia, Bulgaria, met the textile artist, Ceca Georgieva. Both share a passion for traditional costumes and fiber as well as green strategies in art making. Abigail’s recycled fiber forms and Ceca’s vegetation based accessories invite conversations on domestic crafting and ideas about fashioning self.
Daria Dorosh of Fashion Lab in Process: An award-winning multimedia artist and researcher in field of art, fashion, and technology, Daria will share work created in the area of programmed knits with the assistance of John Kiehl and Jose Marinez. The team will demonstrate “why pattern is a rich language between fashion, science, and technology.” Knit samples from Stoll, NFC (near field communication) tagging technology, sonification of textiles, and algorithmic patterns for textile design will all be discussed.
Xing-Zhen Chung-Hilyard and Melissa Kirgan of Eko-Lab: Currently in residence at Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Pratt Design Center For Sustainable Innovation, Xing-Zhen and Melissa are shining examples of why hand-crafted, locally-made fashion is both fashion-forward and vital to community livelihood. As veterans of NYFW’s The GreenShows and collaborators with artists such as Jennifer Wen Ma, the duo will share a bit of what constitutes the ‘lab in eko’.
Titania Inglis: A Brooklyn-based fashion designer with a devoted international following, Titania is one of the most thoughtful and talented designers on the sustainable fashion scene. Her methods demonstrate state-of-the art experimental design concepts and a production strategy geared to minimize waste and needless consumption. Titania will share designs from her latest collection as well as examples of zero-waste patterning and a-to-z draping.
Anjelika Krishna of a.d.o clothing: A native of New Delhi, India, now based in New York, Anjelika founded ‘anjelika dreams organic’ or ‘a.d.o’ as a true expression of her commitment to sustainable practice as well as traditional Indian culture. Her collections incorporate carefully selected organic textiles and Ayur-vastra (Indian natural herb dye). Anjelika will share her extensive knowledge of ayurvedic dyes and natural plant materials
Rachel Miller: As a sculptor, educator, and sustainable textile expert, Rachel bridges a variety of disciplines to tell a story that is rich in texture, pattern, and ecological awareness. Her work focuses on environmental patterns and how they interconnect with our own patterns of growth, departure, and ongoing rejuvenation. As an expression of ‘fashioning self and the environment’, Rachel will share videos from of her performance work as well as organic sculpture.
Eve Mosher and Renata Mann: Environmental artist Eve Mosher and fiber installation artist Renata Mann have teamed up to debut (Intra)structures for Earth Day 2011. This amazing new collaboration features a ‘textile based plant growth system utilizing and embracing existing architecture in the city as well as the architecture of our lives.’ Seeding the City will also be shared with visitors.
Zoe Sheehan Saldana: Conceptual sculptor Zoe Sheehan Saldana uses everyday materials to create a dialogue regarding our habits of consumption, adornment practices, and definitions of functionality. She will present her milkweed-filled ‘Life Jackets’ and also show guests how to make DIY flotation belts as an example of the crossover between contemporary textiles and environmental adaptation.
Shannon South of reMade USA: Designer Shannon South has created a chic design company that upcycles used materials to make one-of-a-kind bags and home accessories. Designing desirable objects out of discarded materials and diverting waste from landfills is reMade USA’s vision. As a new resident at Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Pratt Design Center For Sustainable Innovation, reMade USA is a stellar example of why locally made is key to sustainability. Join Shannon as she shares sewing projects for leather recycling and DIY design.
Tara St. James of Study NY and Andria Crescioni with Awamaki Lab: Ecco Domani award-winner Tara St. James of Study NY has teamed up with the Peruvian non-profit textile artisan initiative Awamaki Lab to create one-of-a-kind wovens that bring the strands of sustainable storytelling together. “Awamaki is working with indigenous Quechua women weavers to improve their skills and increase their access to market, thereby revitalizing an endangered weaving tradition while affording Quechua women a reliable source of income.
Edina Tokodi of Mosstika: Brooklyn-based Hungarian artist Edina Tokodi has received international recognition for her moss graphics and greening strategies in urban spaces. Part whimsical, part subversive, and always a surprise in terms of bold placement, Mosstika’s interventions encourage us to think outside the box in terms of greening our vistas and pathways.
Tali Weinberg: Brooklyn-based artist and activist Tali Weinberg creates installations and outreach projects informed by her work in human rights and fair trade advocacy, community organizing, and grassroots development. She is a current artist in residence at the Textile Arts Center, where she is helping to establish their new natural plant dye project in a shared community garden.
For further information, please contact Abigail Doan, artist and curator for ‘Fashioning Self and the Environment’, via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please rsvp to the Textile Arts Center at email@example.com
The Textile Arts Center is located at 505 Carroll Street, Brooklyn, New York
See travel directions here: http://www.textileartscenter.com/hours_directions
We’re very excited to have been chosen to accessorize the fashion spread in the latest Williamsburg Greenpoint News+Arts issue. This seven page article promotes shopping locally, featuring designers and shops in Williamsburg and Greenpoint. This newspaper is free at select shops and cafes around the neighborhood. Thanks WG News!
Junky Styling is a brilliant company that I read about a couple of years ago, accidentally came across their shop in London about a year ago, and intentionally went back again this year and bought three pieces. They basically do what I do, but remake clothing, mainly using men’s suits and sweaters. What I love about their pieces, aside from the obvious fact that they are made from discarded clothes, is that everything is so well tailored, fits beautifully and is totally unique and flattering. Every piece is one of a kind, hand made, and very well priced. Some of their collection is available for purchase online, but I highly recommend visiting their shop just off Brick Lane in the East End.