Abbe Museum Indian Market and Fashion Show

Photo credits: Downeast Magazine and Decontie and Brown

One of my favorite jewelers also makes clothing and is having a fashion show this Saturday. I, myself will not be in the show, but am debuting my latest creation to attend. (Photo credits: Downeast Magazine and Decontie + Brown)

Notice the princess seam detailing! No more boxy shirts for me!

Another dream in it’s infancy.

Fashion revolution week and more denim art

I recently came across the fashion revolution. Largely brought about in response to the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse in Bangladesh 5 years ago. I’m glad there was an organization created to bring about awareness of how our clothes are made, asking ourselves #whomademyclothes ? To be a part of this you don’t have to make your own clothes, but just be conscious about where your clothes come from, and how they were made. It doesn’t even matter how much you pay for your clothes, they could be still be made by sweat labor, as was proved by this tragedy in Bangladesh.

It’s funny how inspiration works. I was pleasantly going along working on my new jeggings, when I noticed my top stitching resembled staples. Then I recalled this really cool leather-goods boutique in Boston where two artists collaborated to create bags, clothes, and jewelry from staple embellished leather. Of course I’m running with it! I’m also going to try to make myself one of those bracelets to go with the whole black and silver outfit! Black and silver is my THANG, inspired by my changing hair. I feel like my hair is being bejeweled! And when it goes completely white that will be a whole new, awesome look as well

The second pair, not as far along. Embellished with black beads. Kinda reminds me of a checkered racing flag.

Boston…St. Patrick’s day 2018

What a whirlwind of a weekend! But first, the beginning. Starting our journey south had us stopping into the Coastal Cafe and Bakery in Searsport, Maine and having a delicious handmade bagel and cream cheese. A couple hours later found us in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire which is this amazing shopping Mecca! I could have easily just spent all my money in that one town and gone home! My favorite find was this New York style hat and accessory shop Puttin’ on the Glitz. That’s where I bought my first Cha Cha. Cha Cha’s House of Ill Repute is a millinery in Manhattan that specializes in steampunky hats: traditional with a twist.

Lady Pickwick’s is a Victorian era ladies mercantile. That’s where I discovered Maggie Mowbray, a milliner in Edinburgh U.K. who’s head wear has been featured in movies, and worn by royalty. Another “store” of note is actually a art gallery called NAHCOTTA, they carry some TiroTiro jewelry and other enormous tiny art. After a quick bite to eat we were on the road again. Salem, Massachusetts is where my host/coworker/boss/friend has a house, this was our “home base”. Friends met us for dinner at a Ramen restaurant, Kokeshi. What an interesting mix we made! A lawyer, a social worker for veterans, a speech therapist, an entrepreneur, and two artists. For dessert we walked over to a random pop-up and grabbed a fatty, (which is what they call their cookies). Then to a late night coffee shop for a night cap and live music.

Kokeshi! Love the decor.

First time on a commuter train! You can see Boston in the back ground.

First stop: fuel. Tatte, is a beautiful bakery and cafe on Charles street.

Beacon Hill neighborhood!

If Boston had a “fashion district” it would be (in my opinion) Newbury street. Ouimille was the very first boutique we went into and it had a rack of clothes by a local indie designer, Natalie Busby. Unfortunately none of what they had in stock fit me quite right but it was exceptionally stunning. All Saints was another where I bought nothing but the cuts and styling stimulated the imagination.

Ministry of Supply was another clothing boutique of note. They specialize in office wear made of fabric that had all these wonderful qualities but what I was REALLY interested in was what they had 3D print-knitted! Still not sure how it all works but there is supposed to be zero waste. I bought two 3D print-knit sweaters that are super fine, light-weight but warm, and did I mention 3D printed?!

Discovered another American made jean company! Discovered Nordstrom’s rack! Hmmmmm…. put those two together!!

All kinds of random fun, and the original Boston Cream Pie!

Back in Salem we went to the Peabody-Essex Museum to see the Georgia O Keefe exhibit. I didn’t know she made much of her own clothes! The care, craftsmanship, and detailing on simple styles was unbelievably inspiring!

Now to home and back to creating!!

Denim works of art

It all started when I found myself succumbing to cheap, throw away fashion. I have been falling behind on fulfilling my clothing needs (desires) and wanted a couple new pair of jeans to get me by until I could make some of my own. I ended up buying 4 pair at the local mall because they were 50% off. The following morning’s shopping hangover found me hemming and contemplating the “made in Bangladesh” tag. A wave of guilt fell upon me. I decided to return 2 and put the money towards an American made pair. I came across an article on the internet by The Good Trade that really was a guiding force.

I bought 1 brand new pair of black skinnies from Genetic Los Angeles. I found another Genetic Los Angeles pair, new with tags, on Poshmark.com. Luke has a fondness for Prison Blues. Next time I’m going to try Bluer Denim. Both Genetic Los Angeles and Bluer denim companies are devoted to less waste, a commitment I can passionately relate with, and offer incentives for recycling/reusing jeans. They are the two few American companies that offer feminine styles of jeans as well.

I would much rather own 1 American made piece of clothing at a rather substantial price tag then 4 made elsewhere at a fraction of the cost.

This is my new commitment.

It has generated a whole thought process, think tank, about clothes being created as works of art. Having been an artist my entire life I have recently started thinking of my body as a canvas and fabric/yarn as my medium. From now on every article of clothing I create, or buy will be wearable art. Art doesn’t get much more personal than clothes and fashion.

Second-hand Genetic Denim jacket. Fits beautifully with all these dart details.

In the process of trying to master making the perfect pair of black skinny jeans. Some customizing ideas.

Chugging along…

Slowly getting some sewing and knitting done. Never enough though…

The “Greta” top is done.

Princess seamed tank top has its binding all basted.

I have gotten a little distracted from clothing fabrication and started sample squares of different techniques taught by Natalie Chanin, fashion designer and founder of Alabama Chanin. Top photo is an example of reverse appliqué, black on black. Next is “Alabama fur”, getting the idea of a top with a “fur” collar. When I do enough sample squares I want to sew them together to make a throw blanket.

Latest spurge to add to my collection of Alabama Chanin books.

Dippermouth feature

This week I’m featuring my friend Rose’s indie clothing business. She also dyes and prints the fabric she sews with! She is currently working on developing an online presence. I bought my pieces when she was a vender (for the first time)at a local fair: the Common Ground Country Fair in Unity , Maine.

The jacket should be the first to highlight, what I would call her signature piece. I tried on the smallest size she had there and it was slightly too big in areas, she then assured me she had a smaller one at home she would finish and bring the next day. Her mother told me that evening she went home and started a whole new one and made the necessary adjustments to fit me just right. Took her most of the night! Included in the outfit are my own pants (“jeggings” if you must), my own hand-knit socks, Bryr clogs (“Millie” high heeled lace up clog with kilt in burgundy), www.bryrstudio.com and TiroTiro earrings (mini Luo).

Mini Luo TiroTiro earrings in brass with sterling posts and backers. tirotiro.com

Feather-light wool, slightly cropped style shirt with her own insect print in gold.

Same style shirt in cotton, with tree print, and dyed with plant dye. Bryr’s “Abilene” high heeled moto boot, a discontinued style from when she was in Spain. One pair of Decontie and Brown earrings, and one pair of Jennifer Nielsen earrings.

Close up of the earrings. www.jnielsenjewelry.com and www.decontiebrown.com

One more Dippermouth shirt. Tunic style in ribbed cotton, her leaf print.