“IS ORIGINAL THOUGHT STILL POSSIBLE?”

“If so, HOW?

If not, WHY?”

- from Nam June Paik (Tate Publishing – February 1, 2011)

I love the photograph above – and thought of these questions today.

Get lost today in Nam June Paik’s official website.

It is an incredible resource for information on the artist’s ground breaking vision.

EFFORTLESS

Our floor sweeping skirt is made of soft, wearable jersey. Pull-on design is framed by stretchable stitching, and can easily be worn slung low on your hips or high above your natural waist. The Long Embroidered Skirt is comfortable enough for everyday, but the incredible all-over design and details allow it to fit any occasion. Shown here worked in Negative Reverse Applique with our Anna’s Garden stencil. Make this perfect piece yourself with a CUSTOM DIY Kit and in the stencil design of your choice.

The hand-stitching adds a structural element and the subtle weight allows for a flattering drape.

Pieces like these are my secret weapon for a day travel, followed by an event. Add a change of shoes, a little mascara and lip-gloss for a total transformation in under five minutes.

Although it will take more than five minutes to make-it-yourself.

Also available in our Bloomers pattern.

IDLE

Inspired by Tom Hodgkinson’s talk at the Hello Etsy conference (along with a cover-to- cover read of his newest book, Brave Old World: A Practical Guide to Husbandry, or the Fine Art of Looking After Yourself, and a stubborn cold that followed me home from Texas), I decided to spend the weekend being idle – or at least as idle as I can be with my temperament and a five year old at home.

In the introduction, page xiii, Hodgkinson explains that the word ‘husbandry’ means “nurturing animals, crops, your children, yourself.” Brave Old World is written in the form of a monthly calendar or almanac, of sorts, that draws beautiful quotes and recipes from great authorities on husbandry like, Hesiod (8th century BC), known as the father of Greek didactic poetry, Virgil (70 BC), Pliny the Elder (AD23-79),  John Evelyn (1620-1706) and John Seymour (1914-2004). Continue reading

Bookmark and Share

CHALLENGE

I can’t recall exactly where, but I once read an article that instructed the reader to dress in layers when attending an event. You were to shed these layers very very slowly. The idea was to take off one piece every hour (give or take, depending on the duration and your tolerance) until you were down to an incredible, shoulder baring party frock.

If ever there were a garment made for such a display it would have to be our beaded crisscross top. Rarely does a piece manage to look so elegant and refined while retaining a bit of an edge.

Black-tie, dive bar, or for those up to a challenge: both in one night, all eyes are on you-guaranteed.

HOTEL SAN JOSE

We just finished setting up our Trunk Show @ the beautiful Hotel San Jose in Austin.

The hotel was conceived and designed by our dear friend Liz Lambert (also a friend to our friends at Imogene + Willie and don’t miss Carrie’s story on how she first met Liz).

I can’t imagine a better place to spend the night (and a few days).

In fact, I spent most of my day today working in my room, breaking in the courtyard, having a tea at Jo’s Coffee and resuming my work by the pool. Gorgeous.

Should you ever have the chance to grace one of Liz’s establishments, jump to it.

And should you find yourself in Austin today or tomorrow, come by to see us in the courtyard of the San Jose @ 1316 South Congress Avenue from 7 – 10 pm for cocktails, shopping and a community stitch-in.

Or email us for daytime shopping appointments:  kay (at) alabamachanin.com

 

 

THE HEART: STEVEN SMITH

About a year after beginning my work with what is now Alabama Chanin, I was managing the company operations in Alabama with one employee, Abbie (after whom our “Abbie’s Flower” stencil is named).

We were still working in the little three bedroom brick ranch house at Lovelace Crossroads.  I was actually living in one side of the house and running the design and production out of the other side of the house.  And when I say running, I really mean undertaking the whole production. I spent my days sorting and washing t-shirts, cutting garments for orders, stenciling them, packing them for sewing and sending them out to our sewers – all of this with a head-set permanently in place for the constantly ringing phone.  At that moment, I could barely keep up with all of the artisans that wanted to sew, communicate with customers and still manage the production deliveries.

April, one of our very first sewers (and soon to be highlighted here), kept saying to me that she knew this man named Steven who would be perfect to help me. For whatever reason, it seems that I never found time to get him into the office.  He finally arrived one gray December day wearing a suit and his University of North Alabama football ring. I was in my Alabama t-shirt, skirt and a work belt made from a pair of old jeans.  He seemed like a gift from heaven and I asked him if he wanted to “go home, change clothes and come back to work.” I remember him smiling and answering that maybe he could “start tomorrow?” He reminded me recently that he was our “1st Male Employee.”

Continue reading

Bookmark and Share