Besides having one of the best names ever, Machines for Freedom is a very cool company. Owner and designer Jennifer Hannon has a vision. Not only does she want to offer women cycling clothes that fit and perform better than any that have come before, she seeks to build community and to get the girls out riding locally. Her goals are based on her own love of cycling and frustration with the gear offered for women in a male dominated industry.
I really liked working creatively with this company because Jennifer was so willing to do something different. Please check out the Machines for Freedom website to see the beautiful prints we came up with for these revolutionary garments.
This last summer will be remembered as the ‘super hot summer I moved mid-city’ – leaving Venice Beach after 5 years and buying a beautiful old Craftsman home in the center of Los Angeles. Before packing up my office and moving everything to my renovated garage-cum-studio I had the pleasure of working on some great projects.
Pangea Swimwear is the brain child of Nick Bradley. Intelligent and well traveled, he is intent on creating a swim wear line that ’embodies the notion there is always more to discover’. Inspiration is drawn from epochs and locales both far flung and quintessential to those interested in art history and adventure.
The prints I designed for the 2015 collection are some of my all time favorites. Check out the gear online, and see some the print work I did for Pangea in my portfolio – you will find it by the sexy dudes wearing it.
The Valentino ready to wear collection for Spring 2014 is utterly breathtaking. I want to be a Valentino woman – serene and silhouetted in mythic draping and adorned by the most skilled handicraft.
Apparently Valentino designers, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli delved deep into the costume library at the Opera house in Rome. They researched traditional peasant embellishment while keeping in mind visions of Maria Callas as Medea; dressed in stark and stately robes, and then back to the studio to translate heavy, very adorned fabrics into something light and wearable.
I would have loved to be the one designing these textiles and working with such artists! Bravissimo.
See the entire runway show at style.com, below are some of my favorites.
Recently I was contacted by MOCA in Los Angeles. They needed help recreating a portion of an art installation by the late Mike Kelley titled “The Little Girls Room”. Apparently the piece in question was a bed sheet that was getting stepped on by viewers and they wanted to have a roll of fabric to replace the sullied component at will.
As an art nerd, I was thrilled to be contacted by the museum, and super stoked to be involved in working on something affiliated with Mike Kelley – whom I have always considered to be genius.
The art piece is an interesting one in which Kelley first creates an installation based on a script for a performance. It involves a little girls arrival to adolescence, depicted in metaphor as a girls flowery bedroom transforming into monochromic minimalism.
Here is one picture, obviously portraying the latter state of the bedroom, and a slice of the flowery sheet that I re-created. Interested friends can also check out the MOCA page on the piece.
I would like to give a shout-out to The AdArt Company, who is one of the few printing companies in Los Angeles that does silkscreened fabric with a small minimum, and who will be doing the printing for this piece.
Image courtesy MOCA
I was flipping through the Runway shots of the Spring collections for 2014 on style.com, clicked on Anna Su and literally gasped. I had to turn off the music I was listening to, which at that moment was the Steve Reich remix of Love is Lost by David Bowie, to fully take in what I was seeing.
Contemporary designer Anna Sui always kills it when it comes to elegant bohemian, but this collection literally embraces a Mucha painting, pulls the woman out of the image and slightly dresses her down while boldly updating her. The feminine silhouettes range from classic to current, all with beautiful draping, swathing the wearer in rich and refined textiles.
I love Art Nouveau more than any other era in illustration and interior design, and can think of nothing more wonderful than dressing like a bohemian princess and walking around a modern city. Yes please and thank you, Anna Sui.
The men’s line is lovely as well – the prints are bolder and repeat themselves on velvet jackets, intarsia knits and silk shirts.
Below are a few of my faves, but you can see the whole collection here.
Today’s Textures is a hashtag I use on Instagram – #todaystextures – to catalogue some details of whatever textile designs I am working on, prints I see and like, or just random daily textural combinations that I find striking. I like to have a re-look at them every once in a while, and love how they look clustered together.
I am so pleased to have received photos today of some beautiful girls dresses I did print design for. The company is called Kikli Design, conceived and owned by a very talented designer who pulls inspiration from the bazaars and architecture of India and a flair for mixed prints in bold colors. Indian block printing is one of my favorite fabric making modes and I never turn down an opportunity to create designs that embody mechanical wizardry with a hint of ‘handmade’.
You can find Kikli Design at her Facebook page. Please enjoy the photos below. The tree of life print with elephants is my personal favorite.
I am very excited to announce that I will be working with Anona Studio – a textile design studio run out of Philadelphia. Anona is known for artistry and creativity and unique imagery, and I am very honored to be asked to join the crew. Soon I will be represented at Indigo, so anyone walking the show next year – prepare to see my stuff!
So recently, designing and laying out scarves has been taking up a lot of my time. Every once in a while I like to check in and see what other people are doing. Since the product I am designing will be sold in a high end women’s contemporary market, I was perusing Bergdorf Goodman’s online offerings on the look out for interesting layout. As usual, Diane Von Furstenberg was killing it with smart feminine prints, while Alexander McQueen had some edgier options. I posted a few of my favorites below.
In descending order they are: 1. Diane Von Furstenberg – Cheetah and Floral Silk 2. Diane Von Furstenberg – Floral Island Washed Chiffon 3. Oscar de la Renta – Collage Print 4. Gucci – Agamy Floral 5. Diane Von Furstenberg – Ink Bomb Valencia 6. Alexander McQueen – Razorblades 7. Lora Piana – Unique Meknes Cashmere Stole 8. Valentino – Multi Lace Swiss Dot 9. Alexander McQueen – God Save McQueen
Recently I was approached by a company who wanted to reproduce Jerry Garcia’s artwork on women’s scarves. I immediately associated this with the Grateful Dead artwork that you always see; skeletons and roses and whatnot. It turns out that Jerry was actually a pretty accomplished artist, working on a range of media and taking inspiration for a variety of sources.
My job is to take Jerry’s artwork and re-create it and then color reduce these designs to be silkscreened. It has been a challenge. Reproducing someone else’s hand in watercolor is no easy task, and as any colorist will tell you, reducing watercolor artwork is tricky because you want to be able to reproduce the subtle shifts in hue and shade while delivering something that the mill can actually make. I feel really good about how the pieces have been turning out.
Attached are some of the artworks that I am using as a jumping off point, and a tiny little sample of one of the ones I did at the bottom – see if you can figure out which one it’s from!