June 29, 2010

Friends of Fashion/Garment Center Tour

Last week I had the pleasure of joining Kathleen Beckett and her group, Friends of Fashion, on an outing in the garment center in New York City. The purpose is to create awareness of companies hanging on to keep the creativity and manufacturing alive in New York, which has a long and vibrant history here. In a changing global economy a lot has been outsourced, but these companies prove with their stories and their creativity, that something is lost in that way of doing business.........in such things as quality, and a designer being able to be hands on with the process.

Our first stop was at M&S Schmalberg, that has been manufacturing custom fabric flowers for 3 generations in the garment district.

The process has changed very little over the years, using a combination of starch, molds and heat to construct the most beautiful peony or rose. Once a bustling business in the city, they are the lone survivor creating fashion flowers today.

Our next stop I have no pictures of, but it was the studio of a young woman who uses embroidery techniques + high tech machinery to create samples to inspire designers such as Oscar de la Renta with
embellishment ideas for his gowns.

Lastly we sipped champagne at the showroom of Yoehlee Teng, who has be very active in preservation of the garment district and keeping
construction local. All here award winning designs are constructed here. She spoke of her passion for this endeavor, and we got to view her current collection with her staff

And New York being what it is, on our way home we ran into one of the sixty pianos located around the city as part of a public art project, "Play Me, I'm Yours", where for 2 weeks, anyone can sit down and play! This kid was really into it!

June 15, 2010

The Art of Craftsmanship Revisited:New York

We had a wonderful outing this weekend to Governor's Island, to see a special exhibition, The Art of Craftsmanship Revisited:New York. As appreciation of hand workmanship has gotten lost in the shuffle in today's world of outsourcing,especially in this country, we have to thank LVMH and Parson's School of Design to bring it into the limelight once again. We are very much in this world as we are in our studio every day with hands on creation of our shearling coats.

The show was informative with lot's of video's to see the work being made, and at a slowed down pace as you have to leave Manhattan to see it, so it put you in the calm frame of mind needed to be attentive to such detail.

My favorite quote from the show was "The genesis of luxury is craft".
Although this show was produced by luxury goods makers, who still practice these
techniques, "Luxury Craft" is alive and well in America and being produce daily in small studio's across the country. We are exhibiting in some of the finest shows this fall, including The American Craft Exposition and The Philadelphia Museum Show.

Check our schedule for all shows here.

And if you want to enjoy a trip to Governor's Island, the show is weekends only in June.

Too many photo's and I wanted to convey the ambiance of the day, so a slideshow...........

The Art of Craftsmanship:Revisited, New York
Jun 15, 2010
by maryszka

June 1, 2010

Friends of Fashion/Loris Diran

Recently Toshiki and I attended a collaborative event at
The Pierre (showing off their newly redecorated lounge),
Loris Diran (showing off his new collection),
and Friends of Fashion , a shopping/support the fashion industry endeavor launched by my childhood friend (yes, we grew up on the same street!),
Kathleen Beckett.
Over the years I kept up with Kathleen thru catching one of the many articles on style and fashion she wrote for Vogue, or Elle, or New York Magazine, so it was fun to finally be able to catch up in person.
We both wound up in New York,
with apartments about the same proximity from one another
as were our childhood homes in Connecticut.

Loris Diran works the room,

As do the models

Who were gorgeous!

as were the clothes.
fine job, Loris!

And the champagne flowed........