I spent Sunday exploring the Capsule Womenswear A/W 2015 and Axis Show in New York. It was the first trade show I’ve ever attended as a blogger and I'm happy to report back some new designers and interesting trends I discovered. I’ve been to textile shows in Los Angeles and done shows in San Francisco as a designer/maker, so it was new to be on the other side of the booth. Just as exhausting, but in a different way.
I’m not big on trend projections - I think fashion trends are kind of like self-fulfilling prophesies. The more you know about the industry, the more you realize how interconnected everything is and how much it literally comes down to who can get what fabrics and meet certain minimums and what dyes are available that year and what car color is projected to be popular in the next 3-5 years and who happened to cover what look first and how many people she convinced that it’s a thing.
Yet, there are some trends in fashion that are fundamentally changing the way the industry works, the way you shop and the traditional idea of trends altogether. While some of these trends have been going on for a while, they were super evident at this year's Capsule Show of Womenswear A/W 2015. Increasingly. these may be the only trends that matter for emerging designers. A new designer may not be able to compete with established brands for access to certain fabrics, certain trend projection research, a certain scale of production or PR that creates and sustains trends, but she can stay true to her vision and quickly bring new ideas to market. For many designers at the show, this meant producing locally, using natural and sustainable materials and mastering new and traditional techniques for unique garments and accessories. I predict more buyers will find the following trends desirable to their customers and that these concepts will continue to be valued by emerging and established brands in the many fashion seasons to come.
(or DIY you can't do yourself)
Not all designers went to fashion school, but they all at some point have to figure out how to create what's living in their imaginations. These designers have embraced traditional techniques, spent hours upon hours prototyping, and gotten their hands dirty with ink and their fingernails dirty with fibers. I'm confident they have poked themselves with a pin on many occasions and have stayed up all night tinkering around with a pattern, a hand-painting or their website (that they also run). There's nothing new about designers that are also makers, but it is notable that these designers are producing high quality work and running their own online shops and social media content.
Mary Kahle is designer and creator of her namesake line Kahle, which means unadorned or bare in German (funny we both have an affinity for our last names--Etxe is from my last name). Her line features hand-manipulated fabrics, raw edge denim, luscious wool knits, structured basics and sleek asymmetry. Kahle is based and produced in Brooklyn, NY.
Make it Good is the sister line of housewares craft line Nell & Mary. Their new collection features their signature original hand screen printed designs, textured knits and breezy silhouettes. Krista Stovel, part of the team behind both brands (also including Leah Stovel Bloom and Avery Bloom), showed the collection along with new Nell & Mary designs. Based in Portland, Oregon and produced in the USA, you can visit their online stores here: Make it Good and Nell & Mary.
Taketo Nishino and Ena Kizawa are behind this concept brand that uses upcycled Levis, found souvenirs from world travels with Japanese textiles and Italian thread. I really enjoyed the feels of each piece -- evoking Southwestern kitsch, film noir nostalgia and classic style. You can find more of their work on 5-Knot. They are based in Japan.
Virginia Blanca Arrisueño, the designer behind accessories line DeNada, brought a machine look to demonstrate hand made weaving at Capsule. It was mesmerizing to watch her loop the yarn and use a knitting needle to maintain a the same distance amongst the loops. I'm in love with DeNada's chunky knits and monochromatic color palette. DeNada is based in Washington, DC. Visit the online shop here: DeNada.
Sara Berks creates one-of-a-kind textile-based artworks. She uses simple frame looms and a variety of fibers to create colorful and whimsical landscapes that can complete a minimal modern apartment as easily as an eclectic cottage. You can purchase her work at the Minna online shop.
Created by Daniel and Brenna Lewis, Brooklyn Tailors started when the couple started giving custom fittings out of their apartment. After gaining a following of friends, they developed a menswear collection focused on fit, quality and design. They showed their new womenswear line of tailored suits, minimal prints and a delightful range of blues for fall. Brooklyn Tailors is based in Brooklyn, New York.
Theresa Lee and Jennie Chen are behind the socially conscious handcrafted bag line Future Glory. Their totes, backpacks, pouches and cases are minimal and chic, with quality construction and attention to the details. I love their Walking Rock Rolltop Backpack, which incorporates two classics: Pendleton Wool and Top Grain Leather. Shop their collection on their online store.
I first noticed Emerson Fry at last year's Thread show at Union Market. Their collection incorporates hand-painted details, unique prints, a subtle color palette and simple silhouettes you can wear all day and into the evening. Produced in the USA and around the world when using traditional location-specific techniques. You can shop online at Emerson Fry New York.
Meline Katchi and Mike Megrabyan created the Palette series of designer notebooks after filling their own notebooks full of sketches when working on footware designs. They also produce how to videos to help designers transfer their ideas to paper. You can buy their Sneaker Palette and Stiletto Palette journals online.
Aelfie Oudghiri combines her interests in global textiles and whimsy to design rugs, pillows and home decor. Aelfie rugs are handwoven in India and designed by Oudghiri in Brooklyn. She just finished some new picture frames that should be available on the Aelfie online store soon!
Carolyn Misterek started in leatherwork after studying painting and earning an MFA in Art History. Misterek uses natural hides and dyes, cuts, sews each piece herself. Matine is based in Washington, DC and you can purchase her minimal bags here: Matine.
Check back tomorrow for trend #2!