You know warm days are truly coming to an end when fashion packs are racing around New York City’s famed fashion week dressed in fall looks determining what we’ll be wearing the following spring. Next week, sustainable style gets its day in the sun when the Now spring ’11 showcase goes on display. Showing menswear, womenswear and accessories from a strong bunch of independent, consciously-minded labels, the NOW Showcase has grown substantially since they launched – going from nine designers to eighteen.
“Since we started two years ago, we have doubled in size. I think our success is due to the honest community we have formed. Many of the designers return each season and really like the atmosphere and vibe of the show. We are non-competitive and all support and help each other out throughout the year. We have a loyal following of buyers as well as designers, its become a place people come to because they know they will see old and new friends,” says Creem designer, Raina Blyer.
Knowing that there’s enough love and goodwill to power most of New York City at NOW, we turn to the designers to ask them one question: “What was your favorite part of designing spring 11?”
Here’s what they had to say.
“Sewing the collection up was fun but nothing compared to styling the pieces for the look book. A sexy, ethereal sort of 20’s vibe came through when we shot it. I stayed up the night before stringing necklaces from African beads that we draped on the model. It was a great look and different from anything we’d done previously.” – Designer Ursula Dean
“One of my favorite parts of the design process is the development of a new print for the collection and how the print then influences the creation of new styles, while also breathing new life into past styles.
Each season, the collection, and especially the print, are created with a particular theme in mind. This season we found our inspiration in butterflies and all of their beautiful stages.
Instead of working with literal shapes emerging from the forms, or even the movement of butterflies, we cast the woman as the ultimate polymorphic creature. The print was created to be a second skin, cloaking the wearer in series of hand-drawn circles that reflect the ultimate feminine form and symbol for transformation.” – Designer Kelly Lane
“This season has been exciting for me because I am working on expanding my Creem collection which is a relatively new project for me. It’s been fun to switch heads and switch customer. The concept of Creem collection is to remain seasonless, so the collections will all blend into each other and pieces will remain relevant. My favorite place on earth is the beach and being near the ocean. My goal as been to bring the wonderful feeling of calm and openness that the ocean gives me into the collection. It has been great fun spending the summer at my studio dreaming of the beach all day.” – Designer Raina Blyer
“Our favorite part of designing Spring 11 is when we get together at my studio in Oakland to make the drawings and collages that will become the prints. We start each collection this way. Moriah and I live on opposite coasts, so we love the stretch of studio time we get, and the chance to catch up on each others’ lives. It’s like a working retreat. We draw and talk all day, go on hikes, and eat and drink heartily to celebrate each day’s work.
This season we wanted to make a print that would more directly relate to the construction of a garment, rather than another allover print. We knew we loved the imagery from this book TARQUINIA that’s been sitting on our studio shelf for years now. In the book there are photos of ancient tomb paintings and bronzes that we felt would look great as the cutouts you see on the print. We also wanted to create a textile print that wasn’t just another allover image; we wanted to make a print with narrative elements yet change depending on construction of the garment. I also loved making the props for the spring 11 photo shoot. I took elements from our drawings and prints, and turned them into larger-than-life 3D objects. ” – Designers Alice Wu and Moriah Carlson
Turk + Taylor
“The most exciting part of designing for spring is color and fabric. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the outcome. It started out with a thought: “What if we made clothes out of an old hot air balloon?” And that’s what we did. Windbreakers and poncho-y dresses that are uber fun, totally out of the box showstoppers. Seams and color vary with each piece, so all are one-of-a-kind.
In addition to the balloon, we designed an oversized buffalo plaid in a similar color palate – pink, orange, yellow and blue. It’s truly amazing and perfect for a western shirt and cinched caftan tunic. We rounded out the fabrics with another custom-milled boardshort plaid, striped linen and a selection of vintage yardage.” – Designers Mark Lee Morris and Andrew Wayne Soernsen
“My favorite part was creating pieces from mill ends that were playful and practical. I was inspired by “dots and dashes” bringing together my past designs with present concepts.” – Designer Debra Weiss
“My favorite part of designing spring 11 was challenging myself to design necklaces, something I’d never done before. I sought to use felt and bamboo in unique ways and succeeded in making some really fun, lightweight statement designs.” – Designer Leslie Yang
(Stay tuned for a second post on the NOW Showcase designers this week)