Tag Archives: textiles

  1. 06.20.14
    What We Saw
    Our Top 5 From Show RCA 2014

    As the summer solstice approaches, so too does a wave of graduate shows offering up the latest creative projects and design solutions from the leading sphere of design schools. In London, no show is more hotly anticipated than the Royal College of Art’s annual exhibition Show RCA, noted for its impressive arsenal of postgraduate talent. We couldn’t miss the opportunity to spot this year’s pool of emerging stars across the contemporary art and design practices. The show took place simultaneously across two campuses: Design Products in Kensington, which offered its usual heady mix of modern-day design solutions, and over at the Battersea campus, Textiles, Fine Art and Sculpture students refreshed the visual senses with investigations into color and material. Here are our top five “ones to watch” from the exhibition.

  2. 06.17.14
    Eye Candy
    Milleneufcentquatrevingtquatre

    Is there any better canvas than the square silk scarf? Not for Amelie Charroin and Marie Colin-Madan of the French accessories brand Milleneufcentquatrevingtquatre. (That’s 1984 for the less Francophilic among you). The two women use the fashion staple to explore hand-drawn, screen-printed themes that take inspiration from video clips, art history, and instances of timeless pop culture.

  3. 06.11.14
    Eye Candy
    Osei-Duro, fashion designers

    Molly Keogh and Maryanne Mathias are Osei-Duro, two high-school friends who rekindled their relationship at a 10-year reunion and soon after began the so-named clothing line, which is headquartered in L.A. and designed and produced in Accra, Ghana. Partnering with garment workers in Ghana and using such native West African techniques as hand-dying, wax prints, hand-weaving, screen printing and mud paint, Osei-Duro’s clothes reference such disparate themes as ’90s fly girls and the hieroglyphics of early man. The label has also made it a priority to be a socially conscious and sustainable venture: The employees of Osei-Duro are paid a fair wage (much higher than Ghana’s minimum wage), and are taught transferable skills so they can remain competitive in their emerging market economy. First Lady Michelle Obama herself has worn an Osei-Duro skirt during a panel on education and technology in Johannesburg. See the well-loved looks here, then go to Osei-Duro’s site to find out more.

  4. 06.06.14
    Eye Candy
    Kieley Kimmel

    Color is Heat, Kieley Kimmel’s third official collection, found its initial inspiration in an overexposed landscape photo taken by the designer’s mother in the 1980s. Kimmel, a textile and clothing designer based in Los Angeles, works a very organic design process for each of her seasons, allowing evolution from start to finish. This approach, combined with a background in painting and philosophy, results in the most softly poetic of collections.

  5. 06.05.14
    Q+A
    20th Century Carpets at Wright

    At the modern design auction house Wright, rugs have long suffered that classic rom-com affliction: Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Despite being the key focal point of most interiors and often being as artful as art itself, they’ve only played supporting roles in larger furniture auctions — a tendency not exclusive to Wright, either. Next week, though, the Chicago- and New York–based dealer is hosting its first sale devoted entirely to the genre: “20th Century Carpets,” comprising nearly 150 lots curated by Nader Bolour of Doris Leslie Blau, beginning with a late 19th-century animal-themed Indian tapestry and ending with contemporary kilims. In the middle, there’s an incidental emphasis on Swedish rugs, particularly mid-century examples made by the manufacturer Märta Måås-Fjetterström. To jazz up the sale’s catalog, Wright shot the images you see here, pairing some of its most beautiful lots with furniture and art by the likes of Jonathan Muecke and Ben Jones. Read more about it after the jump, in our interview with Wright’s Senior VP, Michael Jefferson.

  6. 05.29.14
    What We Saw
    At New York Design Week 2014: ICFF & The Best of The Rest

    There was only one drawback to having a smashingly successful show of our own this year: It left us woefully little time to pound the pavement, seeing what other goodies this edition of NYCxDesign had to offer. A partial list of things we were sad to have missed: The Gourmand’s fruit stand at Vitsoe, the gorgeous Alexander Girard for Herman Miller space, a dance performance at The Future Perfect the night of our own cocktail party, Anna Karlin’s textile collaboration with Japanese weavers Hosoo at Atelier Courbet, the Yabu Pushelberg exhibition Rational x Intuitive Thought, and the debut of what may end up being the first and last furniture collection by Fab. But there were moments when we did manage to sneak away.

  7. 05.27.14
    What We Saw
    At New York Design Week 2014: Sight Unseen OFFSITE, Pt. 2

    Though your Sight Unseen editors have been in major curation mode for the past two weeks, we’ve also had day to day work to do as, you know, journalists. So for five days during our Sight Unseen OFFSITE event last week, Monica and I set up camp on the Astroturf-covered bleachers of the MOLD Future Food Café, where we caught up on emails and posted stories to this very site. It was the perfect vantage point from which to view our own event: We could see friends and VIPs on their way in, and we could overhear people heading to the elevator, on their way up to the second floor. The most common refrain we heard? “Oh my God, there’s more upstairs?”

  8. 05.16.14
    Invitation
    Print All Over Me x Sight Unseen

    Back in December, we embarked on an experimental curatorial collaboration with Print All Over Me, the amazing print-your-own-pattern service, founded by fashion designer Jesse Finkelstein and his sister, Meredith, that allows designers to upload any graphic they please onto fashionable white blanks — sweatshirts, bomber jackets, shift dresses, backpacks, leggings, and more. The project — for which we hand-selected illustrators like Will Bryant, Tim Colmant, and Clay Hickson — was such a rousing success that Jesse approached us for round two a few months ago. We were already 100 percent sold on the idea, thinking we could sell the results at a pop-up at our Sight Unseen OFFSITE event — which opens today at noon! — when Jesse casually emailed this bomb: “Hey! Let’s also talk about print all over furniture!”

  9. 05.09.14
    Eye Candy
    ace&jig

    Stacked chevrons shot with metallic thread, plaids in earthy tones, small textured geometry and fat flat stripes. Ace&jig’s fabrics are the starting point for every collection, each textile custom-designed by the label’s duo, Cary Vaughan and Jenna Wilson, and then responsibly manufactured in India. This brilliantly styled preview of their Fall 2014 collection includes all of the label’s staple shapes: yoked blouses, peasant skirts, slouchy pants. But there’s also a notable inclusion of a bomber-style jacket, which sets up a very pleasing juxtaposition with a plaid mid-length skirt and our favorite: a quilted sweater that layers geometry with breathtaking modernity in its combination of woven pattern and over-stitch. Finally, we offer a nod to the complete genius of combining all this patterned wonder with spotted socks and spotted shoes. Hop on over here and check out their video short featuring Hannah Cohen being layered over and over in this clever collection.

  10. 05.07.14
    Studio Visit
    Upstate, fashion designers

    If there’s one thing we’ve learned here at Sight Unseen, it’s that a lack of training can sometimes go an awfully long way. Such was the case with Kalen Kaminski and Astrid Chastka of Upstate, who started their popular Brooklyn-based, shibori-inspired womenswear and accessories label back in 2010 with nary a day of fashion training between them. When they first met a few years earlier, Kaminski was an anthropology major turned prop stylist and Chastka was an architecture grad turned unhappy architect. Soon after bonding over an appreciation of handcrafted items, they found themselves trawling New York fabric stores, trying to replicate one of Kaminski’s vintage scarves. “We couldn’t find anything we liked, and we probably had no idea where to go,” Chastka told me when we visited the pair’s Greenpoint studio a few months back. “At the time, Kalen was living with an artist, and he had a shibori tapestry on his wall. We saw that, and we were like, ‘That’s perfect.’”

  11. 04.22.14
    Up and Coming
    Doug Johnston, Basket Artist

    Growing up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Doug Johnston was surrounded by the Native American art that his parents voraciously collected — woven rugs, Kachina dolls and coiled baskets made from materials such as pine needles, yucca, acacia and bear grass. But when the Brooklyn-based designer decided a few years ago that he’d like to learn coiling himself, to make baskets from stitched lengths of cotton rope, he didn’t travel to the Southwest to train with a master craftsperson. Instead, he went on YouTube, scouring instructional videos for a new approach. “Traditional coiling techniques are really labor-intensive,” he says. “You have to go inch by inch, one stitch at a time, and mastering that technique could take years. I was too impatient.”

  12. 04.18.14
    Eye Candy
    New Work by Katharina Trudzinski

    Four years ago, we visited the studio of Berlin-based artist Katharina Trudzinski — who’s also a co-founder of the German fashion label Hui-Hui — to learn more about how she used local scrap wood and street detritus to create sculptural works that fed her textile designs (and vice versa). After visiting her site recently and being impressed by what we saw, we figured it was high time to check back in with Trudzinski to give you an update on what she’s been working on since our last dispatch. See a sampling of her most recent projects after the jump.

  13. 04.17.14
    Studio Visit
    Sally England, fiber artist

    Until recently, you couldn’t hear the word “macramé” without it conjuring up visions of thrift-store place mats, summer camp friendship bracelets, and Mama Cass’s bolero vests. But thanks in part to Sally England, the masterful, Michigan-based, macramé artist who has made distinctly modern, large-scale commissions for the likes of Nike and Ace Hotels, the once nostalgic medium is having another day in the sun.

  14. 04.07.14
    Studio Visit
    Katy Krantz, ceramicist

    Katy Krantz likes to leave things to chance, at least when it comes to making ceramics. She has a method, but it involves working with a “wild and crazy collaborator” — a giant gas kiln that can fire clay at extremely high temperatures. “When you fire that high, the clay and glaze react in ways that are unpredictable. You get a lot of weird, random spotting, things that I would never be able to paint on.” That element of surprise and transformation runs through her colorful, abstract sculptural objects and jewelry, as well as her block prints and recent forays into fabric. Though she’ll establish “loose parameters” at the outset of a project, she says she’s “never been able to work with a real detailed plan in mind. I can work like that, but I tend to make really boring work that way. When I have too much control, it’s less interesting.”

  15. 03.31.14
    At Home With
    Jill Wenger, Owner of Totokaelo

    For most of us, stores are merely the fleeting destinations wherein we acquire our possessions, while homes are the more permanent spaces where we keep and lovingly display them. But for Jill Wenger, it’s the other way around: Ever since she moved to Seattle in 2001 and founded the cult boutique Totokaelo at just 26 years old, her store has been her material and spiritual base, while her living situation has remained mercurial. “I love change and generally don’t stay in any apartment or home longer than a year,” says the Texas native. Even as we interviewed her for this piece — which contains the first-ever published photos of one of her domestic interiors — she already had one foot out the door. Despite initially falling in love last May with her current apartment for its location — in Capitol Hill, three minutes away from Totokaelo — as well as its original hardwood floors and leaded-glass doors, Wenger is in the midst of searching for something new.

  16. 03.25.14
    Sight Unseen OFFSITE
    Introducing Your Newest New York Design Week Destination

    Here at Sight Unseen HQ, we’ve been keeping some pretty major news under wraps for a few months now, but it’s time to finally let the cat out of the bag. If you’ve been reading our site, you know that we founded and ran the Noho Design District, a satellite show during ICFF, for four years. This year we made the tough decision to retire the NDD and launch in its place a new event that shares our namesake: Introducing Sight Unseen OFFSITE, a brand new design fair happening in New York from May 16-20, 2014, that will feature a curated selection of furniture and product launches by the best independent designers and forward-thinking brands, all under one gigantic roof.

  17. 03.14.14
    Eye Candy
    Francesca Capone, textile designer

    Francesca Capone creates work that experiments with textile processes and language. The RISD-trained designer employs traditional textile processes such as hand-weaving, jacquard, machine knitting, marble printing, screen-printing and various dyeing methods such as shibori. But an MFA in “cross-disciplinary writing” at Brown has also led her to explore what happens when she distorts words and meaning through photo-manipulation, scanning, and digitally layering books. Combined, these methods result in unique and striking geometric patterns on fabric and painterly compositions of abstracted textual fields.

  18. 03.08.14
    Saturday Selects
    Week of March 3, 2014

    A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: foam that looks like marble, a digital print that looks like a painting, and the hot new decor trend that borrows from the gym, of all places.

  19. 03.03.14
    Q+A
    Nicole Patel on Her Textile Wall Panels

    When we first met the multi-talented Nicole and Sweetu Patel back in 2004, they were running Brooklyn’s Citizen Citizen, a high-concept British design showroom that sold objects like crucifix-shaped brushes by FredriksonStallard. But they gave up the project shortly afterward, and have continued to evolve creatively in the last decade: Nicole went on to focus on her interior design business and form a creative partnership with curator Josee Lepage, while Sweetu went on to work for Cappellini and later founded the men’s heritage clothing shop C.H.C.M. It was there that we recently spotted Nicole’s latest brilliant endeavor, a series of wall panels that she makes from the likes of Japanese indigo textiles and Belgian linen, meticulously stretched and then embellished with things like handmade rope or tone-on-tone embroidery. Beyond hanging them in her husband’s store, she hadn’t yet put them out in the world, so we decided to do the honors.

  20. 02.22.14
    Saturday Selects
    Week of February 17, 2014

    A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: inside the homes of two design powerhouses, a visit to fave duo New Friends (above), and a Richard Serra parked in the middle of Manhattan.

  21. 01.22.14
    Q+A
    Henny Nistelrooy on I’m Revolting

    Like so many small-town kids before him, Henny van Nistelrooy didn’t move to just any city. He moved to the most tightly layered and epochally dense cities he could find, the sorts of places that have already had a dozen lifetimes. After graduating from London’s Royal College of Art, Van Nistelrooy launched his design studio in London in 2008 and then moved to Beijing, another capital with more than a bit of historical fiber. They’re fitting locales for Van Nistelrooy’s textile process of taking seemingly finished material and slowly unraveling the threads for an entirely new weave.

  22. 01.20.14
    Sighted
    Joanna Williams of Kneeland Mercado on Sous Style

    There are a lot of reasons we’ve been reading Sous Style since former Elle photo director Pippa Lord first launched it in 2011: the casual, contemporary feel of the food photography, the glimpses into the homes and private lives of some amazingly cool women, and of course, all those incredibly gorgeous men(!). But we also love when Lord surprises us with different types of approaches to mixing food with fashion, design, and culture, including a post she did recently on textile-sourcing maven Joanna Williams of Kneeland Co. Mercado — in it, Williams reveals both the stories behind some of the items she’s brought back from various cities to sell in her Los Angeles shop, as well as all of her favorite things to eat while visiting those places. Check out an excerpt from the story after the jump!

  23. 01.17.14
    Eye Candy
    Union of Striped Yarns by Dienke Dekker

    People always ask us which design fair is on our can’t-miss list, and though we’ve never been able to make it there ourselves, we’re inclined at this point to say Dutch Design Week. The work on show there is consistently kind of epic, with future design superstars springing almost fully formed each year from the Design Academy Eindhoven (see Formafantasma, Julien Carretero, and Nacho Carbonell, to name a few). Next on that list might be Dienke Dekker, a 2012 graduate whose material explorations we’re featuring today. For her project the Union of Striped Yarns, which debuted at last year’s DDW, Dekker used a variety of yarns — hand-dyed, industrial-printed and even non-traditional “threads” like caution tape — to explore striped patterning in textiles. Different colored and white spaces, combined with a variety of weaving methods, created the gorgeous effects on view here.

  24. 12.02.13
    Invitation
    Shop Sight Unseen on Print All Over Me

    In April, we introduced you to BYCO, a production platform and online shop for custom clothing designs submitted by up-and-coming fashion talents. But BYCO also had a small section for housewares, where designers could apply imagery to a standardized selection of pillows, duvets, and curtains — an idea that co-founders Jesse and Meredith Finkelstein have taken one step further with their new spinoff project, Print All Over Me. The site harnesses the same overseas manufacturing capabilities the pair utilize for BYCO, but instead of producing custom pieces, it offers designers a choice of eight blanks onto which they can apply any image file — think CafePress, but with shirts, sweatpants, hats, pillows, totes, and scarfs that are actually fashion-forward (Jesse’s also the designer behind the New York label JF&Son). Print All Over Me is technically still in beta, but we were so excited about its possibilities that we invited a few friends — Will Bryant, Mel Nguyen, New Friends, Clay Hickson, and Tim Colmant —to post a few items just for us. Read on to check out and shop their mini-collections, or create and sell your own designs.

  25. 11.13.13
    Eye Candy
    Diario Textiles by Moisés Hernández

    Apart from being a member of one of our favorite new design collectives — the Mexico City–based group Panorámica, whom we discovered at ICFF this past May — Moisés Hernández also runs a housewares brand called Diario that searches out and redesigns everyday Mexican objects. He started the project last year as part of his masters project at ECAL in Switzerland, and after returning to his hometown, continued it with this new line of colorful tabletop textiles manufactured by a family-run workshop in Oaxaca, all documented after the jump.

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