Tag Archives: Fashion

  1. 08.14.13
    Sight Unseen Presents
    The BYCO Design Contest Results!

    A few months ago, we launched a contest with BYCO, the new micro-financing site for fashion and housewares designers, founded by Jesse Finkelstein of JF & Son and his sister Meredith. The Kickstarter-like site invites designers to submit products, which then must be funded by supporters in order to cover the costs of making a prototype. Our contest allowed readers to submit designs that, if chosen by Sight Unseen’s editors, would bypass the funding stage and move straight to production. At the time, we had no idea what would happen. Would anyone enter? If they did, would those brave souls be plucked from the world of designers we were already familiar with? Happily, the pool was wider than we ever could have imagined. The five chosen designers, who were picked relatively blindly, range from an ITP design student to a contractor-turned-artist in San Diego to — just one! — former Sight Unseen subject, the lovely Jennifer Parry Dodge of Ermie (whose Kid Gunta duvet is shown above). Which just goes to show that BYCO isn’t merely for amateurs looking to get a foot in the door: Even for a pro like Dodge, BYCO offers opportunities that would never be possible with a small-scale production set-up. “This was an amazing opportunity, and it’s a fantastic service that BYCO is providing to independent designers such as myself,” Dodge says. We couldn’t agree more! Read on to get to know the winners of the Sight Unseen/BYCO contest and click here to purchase their incredibly cool designs.

  2. 07.25.13
    Eye Candy
    The Plastics Collection at Syracuse University

    Eye candy in the literal sense, these sunglasses were manufactured by the Foster Grant Corporation, mostly around 1960-1980, and are housed in the Plastic Collection at Syracuse University. The archive exhibits a nearly endless range of products, from astronaut helmets to telephones. “The Plastics Collection at the Syracuse University Library serves as a research and programming resource to advance the study and understanding of plastics in modern society … the collection includes over 5,000 plastic objects produced from the late 19th century to the present day.”

  3. 07.12.13
    Eye Candy
    Studio Toogood for Phillip Lim

    Phillip Lim’s latest collection is on display as a pop up shop at Selfridges designed by the fantastic visions of Studio Toogood. Inspired by the epic poem Paradise Lost by John Milton, Studio Toogood manufactured a heavenly space for Lim to exhibit his pieces. A magnificent scene of smoky mountains and lush foliage are backdrop to the many objects and clothing that inhabit the space. A mix of greens and coppers form an earthy palette.

  4. 07.10.13
    Eye Candy
    Saskia Pomeroy, Illustrator

    Saskia Pomery’s super shapes and dott-y patterns glide freely over and under one another. Primary colors mesh swimmingly with Miami Vice like pastel hues. She recently collaborated with fashion designer Rebecca Torres to create a skintight series of bodysuits and slinky dresses in printing geometric graphics onto modern performance fabrics. Perfect fit prints. Pomery lives and works in London.

  5. 07.03.13
    At Home With
    Annie Larson, knitwear designer

    If you follow Annie Lee Larson’s Instagram — and chances are good that you do, considering the New York knitwear designer’s followers almost tip into the five digits — you might envision that she lives in some Peter Halley-meets-Memphis–inspired fantasyland, all primary colors, geometric patterns, and kitschy throwback accessories (hello Bananagrams!) But the truth is, Larson’s 5th-floor East Village walk-up doesn’t appear all that crazy upon first glance. A pretty but small, light-filled, plant-friendly apartment, the place is largely decorated in black and white, save for a trio of painted shelves where Larson keeps her most prized possessions, and a one-two punch of colorful striped and polka-dot bedding. It’s only upon closer inspection (and I mean, really close, considering Larson’s love of miniatures) that her oft-photographed influences begin to reveal themselves — dice, Swatch watches, Japanese toys, and ’80s electronics among them.

  6. 06.28.13
    Eye Candy
    Lydia Adler Okrent, Performer/Designer

    Lydia Adler Okrent’s collection of neckwear entitled ‘Dirty Danny’ reeks a special blend of Sculpey, leather, paper and rubber tubing (some of Okrent’s accessory making materials). The range is inspired by a 2007 article in Butt magazine chronicling the uncouth life of an Amsterdam homo hobo. Okrent refers to her work as ‘neckwear’ and makes a new piece to wear herself or give to a friend nearly everyday.

  7. 04.22.13
    Sight Unseen Presents
    The BYCO Design Contest

    When we first started writing about design nearly a decade ago, almost all young furniture talents had the same starry eyed aim: to get a piece produced by a big European company like Cappellini, then sit back and watch the 3% royalties trickle in. My how things have changed. These days emerging designers are just as likely to produce their own work and sell it online, cutting out the middle man and relying on press, exhibitions, and social media to get the word out. And for those who would rather operate somewhere in the middle, now there’s also BYCO, a new micro-financing site for fashion and housewares designers who are motivated enough to promote their own ideas but wouldn’t mind having someone else deal with the logistics of production. Founded by Jesse Finkelstein of JF & Son and his sister Meredith, the site lets you submit a design, then promote it to potential funders to cover the costs of making a prototype. If you’re successful, your design is sold on the site for a month, with BYCO handling production and fulfillment and your funders getting a nice little discount to the shop. As a designer, you receive 20% of sales and one of your pieces for free (or 30% if you cover the sampling cost). Starting today, Sight Unseen has teamed up with BYCO to sweeten the pot even further — submit your own design to the site by Monday, June 3, and we’ll pick the best three submissions to bypass the funding stage and go straight into production on the site. Just follow the directions below to get started! Just follow the directions after the jump to get started!

  8. 03.08.13
    Eye Candy
    The Design Center, Philadelphia

    Swatch out! The Design Center at Philadelphia University houses over 200,000 textiles and fashion objects. A sliver of this massive archive is now available for all to see via The Design Center tumblr. It’s striking how contemporary many of these prints look, the designs from the late 1880s are often the most eccentric/in vogue. Take a look at these selections, featuring prints of many styles and eras, along with Dorothy Liebes and Jack Lerner Larson wovens.

  9. 03.06.13
    10A Trousers Launches a Women’s Collection

    The story of how we were introduced to the 10A Trouser and Suspender Company is one of our all-time favorites…

  10. 03.01.13
    Eye Candy
    Building Block + Waka Waka at Iko Iko

    A star power trio of Sight Unseen favorites come together as one: Iko Iko presents the collaboration of handbag designers Building Block and furniture makers Waka Waka, who have united to produce a limited edition of custom-order bags and more. Together they explore “how time and use can bring a new personality to the things we wear.”

  11. 01.28.13
    New Places Necklaces by Karin Johansson

    Don’t get your hopes up — you won’t find Karin Johansson’s necklaces in the Sight Unseen shop anytime soon, or at any other shop for that matter. Johansson isn’t a fashion designer, after all, but a Sweden-based jewelry artist who’s spent nearly two decades learning and refining her metalworking techniques, and her pieces are only available through high-end galleries like Barcelona’s Klimt02. That’s where we spotted the New Places collection, a colorfully graphic amalgam of handmade elements in enamel, plastic, and precious metals, plus crushed and “reconstructed” stone; Johansson based each necklace on a different photograph she’d taken while traveling inside her own city and beyond. “The inspiration and the starting point for New Places were photos I’d collected for a few years of different views, landscapes, and cities,” Johansson explains. “Simply by drawing a line in the picture and connecting the ends, then picking up the colors, I discovered a necklace giving hints of houses, streets, trees, water, sky, lines, and directions.”

  12. 11.30.12
    Peer Review
    Milena Silvano on Intelligent Clashing

    Rhiannon Gilmore’s posts on Intelligent Clashing often begin with a tiny nugget of an idea — a pattern, a color, a shape — that after a bit of research flourishes into a loose, visually driven narrative. In her most recent post, though, the nugget wasn’t so much tiny as nearly floor-length: a beautifully draped woven silk poncho trimmed with fringe and edged with reclaimed and antique textiles. The poncho was the creation of Milena Silvano, a UK stylist-turned-slow fashion enthusiast who’s become something of an obsession for Gilmore in recent weeks: “For some time I’d been wondering: Where were the UK designers producing small, slow collections like those coming out of the States? I was thinking along the lines of ERMIE or Wiksten — collections that hold the personalities and the passions of the women who make them and are small enough to feel truly intimate and exclusive, in a warm wholesome way. I’d started to think there just wasn’t anyone working in this way here in the UK, and then I found Milena Silvano.”

  13. 10.25.12
    What They Bought
    We’re Revolting at Creatures of Comfort LA

    Is it every blogger’s secret wish to go into retail? This year alone, we’ve seen Sight Unseen’s own Shape Shop, Rhiannon Gilmore’s Dream Shop at the Walker, and as of this Saturday, Su Wu of I’m Revolting’s pop-up at Creatures of Comfort LA, entitled We’re Revolting. Perhaps it’s inevitable that we would all want to touch and feel and hold the objects we covet from afar, and to make tangible the narrative we create every day. But maybe it’s just as simple as this: “It’s kind of lonely being a blogger,” Wu says. “And this was a reason to get to know people. It’s kind of a scary thing: You think, ok, I admire their work, but will I actually get along with them? But in fact, I’m still kind of basking in it.”

  14. 10.15.12
    Reineke Otten’s World Skin Color scarves

    The New York International Gift Fair happens twice a year. And while Sight Unseen is hardly your typical product blog — and the fair notoriously focused on sales, not press — we often find ourselves roaming the aisles anyway, if only because it’s easy to catch up with so many people we know in one place. This year, we bumped into an old friend — but even if we hadn’t known her, we would have stalked her until she agreed to meet us for coffee on the basis of the incredibly gorgeous product she was hawking. The designer was Reineke Otten (who we first met in Rotterdam three years ago and who’s responsible for turning us on to amazing talents like Raw Color and Danielle Van Ark) and the product was Otten’s World Skin Color scarves, which translate an Excel spreadsheet worth of data about global complexion tones into beautiful square silk scarves, one for each country around the world. (That’s Bosnia, above.)

  15. 09.24.12
    Studio Visit
    Building Block, designers

    This time last year, Kimberly Wu was designing cars in Tokyo for Honda’s Advanced Studio and her sister, Nancy, was in Portland, designing shoes for Nike. In spare moments, Kimberly would visit hardware stores and collect the sort of everyday objects that seem to come into focus in other countries, and that somehow encapsulate the dilemma of being a transplant: how a change of scenery can sharpen your appreciation for the small details around you, and yet also remind you in their strangeness that it’s not quite like home. “The world can be as big or small as you want it to be,” Kimberly says, “And Tokyo is this place where you feel like the world is gigantic, but you also feel tiny in it. There are so many people around you always, but it’s so alone and solitary.” Meanwhile, across the choppy Pacific, Nancy was coming to a similar emotional conclusion, but drawn from a different set of observations. “Portland is like the opposite of Tokyo,” Nancy says. “It’s so small and quiet, and that can also be really lonely. I think we were both lonely.” So when Kimberly’s experiments combining those hardware-store finds with simple, pared-down bag shapes began to gain deserved notice, the sisters decided to leave their corporate lives and start Building Block together, trading too-infrequent visits for a joint move back to Southern California, where they grew up. “We’ve never worked together before, but in our heads we’ve always been working together,” Kimberly says.

  16. 07.24.12
    The 2012 Parsons Thesis Site

    As curatorial hunter-gatherers, we’re always on the lookout for new and unseen talents, and there’s no better place to spot them than at school thesis shows. But as workaholics who seldom have time to leave our home offices, much less attend these shows, they all too often remain off-limits to us. It’s a rare yet celebrated occasion any time we’re either sent a clear, comprehensive accounting of projects by graduating students, or become aware of a website that successfully catalogs them. Last week, we received an email from Parsons with just such a treat — the new multi-disciplinary Parsons thesis site, part of the two-year old Parsons Festival which flings open the doors of the school to the public each May for three weeks of exhibitions, workshops, and fashion shows. Grateful to have access to the event’s couch-potato version, we sifted through all the projects on the site and found the six we liked best: humorously cloying photographs of weird dollar-store finds by Antonia Basler, a series of poured-concrete side tables made in fabric molds by Isaac Friedman-Heiman, dresses that pay homage to Muybridge and Noguchi by Kaoru Oshima, photos by Charlie Rubin that blur the line between the real and the artificial, and minimalist versus maximalist origami garments by Yingshi June Lin and Si Lu. Have a look at the slideshow here, which is annotated with selections from the students’ thesis statements, then clear your calendar for next May so you’ll have no excuse not to join us at next year’s festival.

  17. 07.13.12
    Peer Review
    Anve on Inattendu

    In her day job, Tine Fleischer is an art director at the Swiss ad agency Die Gestalter, but in her spare time — in addition to creating collateral for the German party institution Relaxed Clubbing — she runs a style blog called Inattendu, which we first stumbled upon when Fleischer waxed poetic about our own webshop. “It might sound a bit weird, but even as a child I often found myself gazing at beautiful things,” Fleischer says. “I remember in winter it always made me sad when other children trampled down the fresh fallen snow in our garden, and so I forced them only to walk on a small path that I’d specially groomed for them. Whenever I discover something beautiful, it’s a moment of bliss; this is why I wanted to start my blog.” Like any good Tumblr, Inattendu chronicles Fleischer’s obsessions in fashion, interiors, graphics, and design, and in doing so it reveals the beautifully rigorous framework through which Fleischer sees the world — all blacks, whites, neutrals, metallics, and only occasional pops of neon and pastel. When we asked which of her recent subjects she might like to feature more in-depth for this column, she immediately leapt to Kerstin Greve from the Portuguese accessories label ANVE.

  18. 06.22.12
    Peer Review
    Ace&Jig on Intelligent Clashing

    You might be a devoted fan of Rhiannon Gilmore’s work without even knowing it; you might even look at it every day. And yet on the off chance that you actually know who she is — the force behind the four-year-old inspiration blog Intelligent Clashing — did you also know that she’s both an artist and a writer? Intelligent Clashing belongs to that universe of curated image blogs that provide a steady stream of visual inspiration for creatives, but whose editors rarely express themselves in words. Rarer still are the moments when we see them exploring their fascination with a certain image by engaging with its maker. In that missing link, we here at Sight Unseen saw an opportunity: Why not give these bloggers a platform for mounting small investigations into subjects that had recently caught their fancy? Every Friday (or so) for our new column Peer Review, we’ll ask the curator of an inspiration blog to pick a recent post from their site and ask the featured artist, or else an expert on the topic at hand, three questions of their choosing. Our first participant is Gilmore herself, who relished the opportunity to interview the New York fashion duo ace&jig, who left behind their role as founders of LaROK to start a label based on hand-woven textiles and vintage influences.

  19. 06.11.12
    Studio Visit
    Symbols + Rituals, via Where They Create

    We first spotted the collaboration between Nanse Kawashima and Eri Nagasaka on Dossier magazine’s website, where the writer noted that “it’s kind of hard to describe what exactly Symbols + Rituals is.” To us, it looked like a perfectly curated collection of vintage curios, some sleek and some dark and witchy — Super Normal meets supernatural. But beyond the objects that caught our eye, Symbols + Rituals is also a freewheeling creative agency where Nagasaka’s interior design background and Kawashima’s work in fashion combine to produce everything from videos to art exhibitions. If their activities resist definition, they don’t mind a bit; read their interview with Sight Unseen to learn more about what they do, then check these exclusive photos by contributor Paul Barbera of Where They Create to get a glimpse at how and where they do it.

  20. 04.19.12
    Our New Spring Additions

    Today we welcome six new additions to the Sight Unseen online shop, just in time for all those late spring and early summer birthdays (including both of your humble editors — what was it about the early fall that made so many of our parents feel so frisky??). Two of them are exciting updates on existing products, while four of them are by designers who are brand new to us: Seattle up-and-comers Ladies & Gentlemen Studio make housewares inspired by their vintage finds, New Friends are a NYC/Philly weaving duo who also run two of our fave inspiration blogs, WWAKE is RISD sculpture-design grad turned jewelry maker Wing Yau, and Max Lamb, of course, is one of the biggest young stars in the furniture biz. We were especially pleased when he agreed to transform his 2010 Prism series from a purely decorative object into a wearable one — wearable in three different ways, no less — just for us. Check out the goods here, which start at just $50, then head over to the shop to place your order!

  21. 02.27.12
    Excerpt: Book
    The Sight Unseen Book

    The launch of the first-ever Sight Unseen book — debuting in April as part of the Karlsson’s Vodka Unfiltered project — is just around the corner. Now through Friday, when we’ll go back to business as usual with a story by a brand new Sight Unseen guest contributor, we’re posting sneak peek images and asking our readers to guess who the subject of each photograph might be. Here’s a quote from today’s featured designers, a duo whose colorful Berlin-based fashion line seamlessly incorporates objects like teacups, pillows, and rugs: “I almost always start our prints from photos. I collect structures — for example for the last winter season, we were walking down the street photographing different surfaces from the ground, which gave us ideas for the graphics. Those images were taken out and put together again to create a digital print.”

  22. 02.09.12
    Studio Visit
    Correll Correll, Fashion Designers

    You can learn a lot about Daphne and Vera Correll’s clothing line, Correll Correll, just by looking at who they employ: No unpaid interns, for one. When their sunny Chinatown studio is at full production capacity — as it has been in the weeks leading up to their Ecco Domani Award–sponsored Fall/Winter 2012 presentation this Friday — it’s staffed almost entirely by proper assistants. It’s not really fair, Vera reasons, to get by on free labor when the labor itself is what sells the clothes. “They look precious because you can tell we spend a lot of time on them,” she says, pointing to a recent jacket made using one of their signature techniques, where more than 40 different kinds of yarns and vintage fabric strips are woven together into a textile befitting what Vera refers to as a “shepherd from the future.” Each of the jackets takes a day’s work to create, and the sisters can make 30 or 40 such garments in a season. “Our clothes go through so many levels of work, all this sewing and knitting, and people can see that,” she says.

  23. 01.12.12
    New Necklaces by ROLU and Tanya Aguiñiga

    Yesterday we introduced you to the up-and-coming Minneapolis-based design studio ROLU, whose plywood and OSB chairs inspired by conceptual art and modernist sculpture have garnered them the design-world equivalent of a cult following as of late. Today, we’re excited to announce that the multi-talented trio have designed their very first jewelry project, exclusively for the Sight Unseen shop. Called Shapes After Guy (and Lost At Sea), the felt-backed plywood necklaces — which can be worn individually or in a group — make for some serious statement pieces, and yet they’re only $100 each. We’ve also got a brand new handmade dyed-rope necklace design by the rising California talent Tanya Aguiñiga, which is even chunkier than our other Tanya creations and yet rings in at just $125.

  24. 12.07.11
    8 Things
    Despina Curtis, Stylist

    Despina Curtis is in her early 30s, and yet when she talks about her college days, it sounds a bit like one of those stories your grandparents tell about having to walk shoeless through the snow to get to school every day. Curtis studied printed textile design at the University of Manchester, and it was only when she left that the program’s first-year students were beginning to use digital design and printing tools — she had to do everything analog, even when it came to her eventual focus on huge 6-by-6-foot canvases layered with painting and screenprints. And yet, unlike hyperbolic ancestral poverty tales, hers had an obvious upside: All that drawing and hands-on work primed her for her current career as a stylist for the likes of Wallpaper and Casa Da Abitare.

  25. 11.10.11
    Sight Unseen Goes Retail

    When we started this website two years ago today, we had no idea we’d end up here — debuting a webshop stocked with jewelry and other wearable objects, often designed exclusively for us and frequently one of a kind, all created by some of the most exciting designers and artists we’ve had the pleasure of working with. And yet we couldn’t be more proud of this development. Today we launch the Sight Unseen Shop, an online retail space that’s been months in the making as we worked tirelessly behind the scenes, hashing out the contributors, figuring what amazing wares they’d sell with us, and how it might best be presented online (thanks Studio Lin!). Inspired by the success of our pop-up during this year’s Noho Design District, we set about assembling a group of designers who were using — or interested in using — jewelry as a way to experiment with techniques and materials, and who didn’t necessarily have a platform by which to sell those experiments. While we may be biased, the results, we think, are stunning.


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