Tag Archives: Fashion

ECO FASHION

ECO-01W

In the book Eco Fashion, our friend Sass Brown celebrates and examines designers and labels practicing sustainability in the fashion industry, including Alabama Chanin (you might have recognized our hand-sewn garment featured on the cover).

Sass offers several definitions for eco fashion—from slow design and traditional techniques to recycled, reused, and redesigned methods—and explores ecological design and the connection between green lifestyle choices and successful business models.

ECO-02W
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CFDA/LEXUS ECO-FASHION CHALLENGE AWARD

CFDA/LEXUS ECO-FASHION CHALLENGE AWARD

Our continued practice of responsible and sustainable design and production will grow even more now, thanks to the CFDA/Lexus Eco-Fashion Challenge. I am honored to be this year’s recipient of the grand prize of $75,000.

With the award, Alabama Chanin will support our company growth, which includes our machine-made garments under the label A. Chanin, creating jobs, promoting Made in the USA production, and, yes, a new Alabama Chanin collection.

CFDA/LEXUS ECO-FASHION CHALLENGE AWARD

Thank you again to the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Lexus for this award and opportunity to further our sustainable practices.

xoNatalie and all of us @ Alabama Chanin

THE PARTY DRESS BOOK

THE PARTY DRESS BOOK

Mary Adams studied art, not fashion, in college, but eventually chose fabric, specifically, the dress as her medium of choice. Her first storefront in New York City was in the Lower East Side, on the corner of Ludlow and Stanton in the early 1980’s, when that area of the city was cheap and dirty and home to artists, writers, musicians, actors, and designers. In her book, The Party Dress Book, Adams shares a glimpse of New York at that time and how the city and its creative inhabitants influenced her work – the brightly colored, twirling dresses she and her friends would wear to nightclubs and parties. Adams worked in an influential time and place for fashion history and her work continues to resonate. Her stories of inspiration introduce how-to instruction on specific dressmaking and embellishment techniques for designing and constructing the best looking dress at any party, anywhere.

The Party Dress Book inspired us to adapt one of our favorite, featured projects into an Alabama Chanin piece, Mary Adams-style.

THE PARTY DRESS BOOK

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FASHION A-Z

FASHION A TO Z

Any style connoisseur or budding fashionista has to admit, that even for those who try to keep track of fashion terms and trends, the jargon; vernacular; names of colors; shape; and designers, can be difficult for many to remember. That is where Alex Newman and Zakee Shariff’s Fashion A-Z: An Illustrated Dictionary comes in handy.

We have the miniature version (the book is about as tall as my hand), but the content mirrors the regular volume; this one is simply easier to travel with. The book literally breaks down terms alphabetically and is incredibly detailed. It also includes cultural significance and historical facts for listed items.

FASHION A TO Z

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MAKESHIFT + BILLY REID

MAKESHIFT + BILLY REID

Fellow designer and neighbor, William “Billy” Reid (“Nobody calls me William,” he says), and his business partners, Katy and K.P. McNeill, have been friends to Alabama Chanin for over a decade. We’ve watched each other grow our businesses and our community. We’ve worked together on countless projects and events over the years, including our favorite and most accomplished to date – growing Alabama cotton last summer.

Billy worked in the design industry for many years, launching his label, Billy Reid, in 2004. In February 2010, Billy was deemed GQ’s “Best New Menswear Designer in America.” In November of that same year, he won the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund prize, the first designer to ever receive both prizes in one year. In 2012, Billy received the CFDA’s “Menswear Designer of the Year” award. It is unprecedented for two designers in the same small Alabama town to both be prominent members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and we love that it’s Billy with whom we get to share this privilege.

Billy Reid has grown from their initial flagship store here in Florence, Alabama, and showroom in Manhattan, to ten storefronts across the southeast and Texas. His approach to classic American style with a touch of Southern charm extends beyond the clothing. Each Billy Reid space reflects this cultured style, from velvet upholstered antique chairs to the artwork and animal trophies on the walls, to the Persian rugs covering dark hardwood floors. It’s as if you are stepping into Billy’s home.

It is this Southern flair with a classic, modern aesthetic, excellent tailoring, and timeless design that sets Billy Reid apart from other designers. A bon vivant, Billy’s love of good music, good food, and conversation has made him an integral part in supporting and promoting local talent here in The Shoals, from bands to chefs to artists and photographers. Where MAKESHIFT represents shifting ideas on what it means to make and collaborate, Billy represents the core of the movement, intersecting fashion, food, design, craft, and music.

We are honored to have Billy participate in this year’s MAKESHIFT events. His tote for the Image Quilt represents the elements of design, manufacturing, fashion, and craft, each of which are present in his collections, from designing and manufacturing items that can be made responsibly, to using dead stock and non-traditional materials (like nutria fur), to sustaining traditional crafts like leatherworking, both in the United States and in Italy. He demonstrates that a successful business can grow out of an authentic voice and a desire for quality.

You can see Billy Reid’s crafted tote (above) on our MAKESHIFT Conversations Image Quilt.

 

DIY YOHJI YAMAMOTO

DIY YOHJI YAMAMOTO - Photograph by Abraham Rowe

Yohji Yamamoto has been a hero of mine since I graduated from design school. I once saw him walking down the streets of Milan, Italy, not long after I started working in the New York garment district, and felt that I had made the big time. “Walking on the same street as Yohji Yamamoto?” I thought.  It was a momentary highlight in my career that I remember like it was yesterday.

He is known as an avant garde Japanese designer and famous for his intricate designs and impeccable tailoring. He often experiments with different draping methods and varied fabric textures. Yamamoto is also known to integrate wabi sabi, an ever-changing state of beauty, simplicity, and asymmetry, combined with an appreciation for natural elements, into his design aesthetic.

The fashion website Showstudio launched Design Download – “a series demystifying the fashion process by offering prestigious designer garment patterns for download” –  with a Yamamoto pattern for a jacket in classic Yamamoto style. He remained mysterious about the process, revealing very little, and challenging the maker to pay close attention to detail, shape, and technique. There is no “how-to,” like you would find with a traditional pattern. Design Download calls this piece a “mystery garment,” telling the reader that the “photographs of the piece hold the visual key to stitching together your own.”

DIY YOHJI YAMAMOTO - Photograph by Abraham Rowe

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HEATHER WYLIE + BOHEMIAN BOP

HEATHER WYLIE + BOHEMIAN BOP

Heather Wylie is the daughter of Alabama Chanin friend and mentor Terry Wylie, and a welcome creative force in our shared factory space on Lane Drive. Heather is recently graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York, where she earned an MFA in Design and Technology. She learned printmaking as an undergrad at the University of Alabama, and it is her love of printing and her ingrained knowledge of the t-shirt business (thanks to Dad) that led her to create Bohemian Bop, a line of hand-printed, silkscreen and lace embellished tee shirts. We visited Heather’s studio to learn a little more about Bohemian Bop, her love of print making, and the future for Heather Wylie.

HEATHER WYLIE + BOHEMIAN BOP - photo by Valerie Crawford

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ALABAMA CHANIN IN SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

ALABAMA CHANIN IN SAN FRANCISCO

San Francisco has long been a favorite city for Alabama Chanin, a place with long-standing friendships, and where we’ve met some of our biggest fans. This weekend and for a few days next week, Alabama Chanin is hosting a series of events in the city.

Join us:

Tonight, August 15, 2013
Southern at the Table

5:00pm – 8:00pm

Heath Ceramics
2900 18th Street
San Francisco, California 94110

The Southern Foodways Alliance highlights Southern food culture with a documentary on Tennessee barbecue pitmaster Helen Turner and we host a Southern at the Table marketplace featuring food products from small businesses throughout the South, including Jack Rudy, Farmer’s Daughter, Shotwell Candy Company, Anson Mills, Alabama Biscuit Company and Virginia Willis My Southern Pantry Heirloom Grits.

Twenty percent of Thursday evening’s sales will go to support La Cocina initiatives.

For more information on Southern at the Table visit here or contact office(at)alabamachanin.com.

August 15, 2013 – September 1, 2013
Home Trunk Show

Heath Ceramics
2900 18th Street
San Francisco, California 94110

A pop-up marketplace will be open in the Heath studio Thursday, August 15 through Monday, September 1, 2013, featuring gorgeous, hand sewn textiles for the table from Alabama Chanin, the new the Camellia dinnerware collaboration, and the continuation of the Southern food marketplace featuring southern-made goods including Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. Small Batch Tonic and Grenadine, Virginia Willis’ Stone Ground Grits, Alabama Biscuit Company’s Biscuit Mix, and others.

August 14, 2013 – August 26, 2013
Alabama Chanin Studio Style DIY Trunk Show (our first ever)

A Verb for Keeping Warm
6328 San Pablo Avenue
Oakland, CA 94608

Hours: Wednesday 11-7, Thursday 11-8, Friday 11-6, Saturday 10-6, Sunday 11-6, Monday 11-6, Tuesday Closed

Come see a variety of garments in various sizes, look through our swatch books, and imagine your DIY project. DIY kits, the Alabama Chanin Studio books, fabric and sewing notions will be for sale. 10% off DIY Kits. Bring in your Studio book (or buy a book) and receive 10% off Alabama Chanin organic cotton jersey fabric.

For more information, contact  A Verb for Keeping Warm: +1.510.595.8372

COLLECTION TRUNK SHOW

August 15, 2013 – August 16, 2013
Alabama Chanin Collection Trunk Show

Red Bird
By appointment only.

Special orders will be taken.
Contact: 510.644.0294

Saturday, August 17, 2013
One-Day Workshop

10:30 am – 5:30 pm

Heath Ceramics
2900 18th Street
San Francisco, California 94110

Our One-Day Workshop offers the Alabama Chanin experience in a casual, day-long session. Work with Natalie Chanin and our Alabama Chanin team to create one of our DIY Projects. Suited to beginners and experienced sewers alike.

SOLD OUT

For more information, contact Alabama Chanin: workshops (at) alabamachanin.com
or call Olivia at +1.256.760.1090

COLLECTION TRUNK SHOW

 

PATAGONIA: AN EXAMINED LIFE

Alabama Chanin has long looked to Patagonia, and Yvon Chouinard, as the standard for sustainable design, manufacturing, and corporate culture. The recent film “Legacy Look Book” (shown above) is a beautiful reminder of why we love this company so very much.

When Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living,” he wasn’t implying that an unexamined life is boring or holds less meaning. He said the unexamined life is not worth living. As difficult as this process may be for an individual to understand and undertake, deciding that a company should live an “examined life” only adds to the challenge. It demands a carefully plotted and specific corporate mission, along with employing people who are willing to work openly, honestly, and for the right reasons.

PATAGONIA: AN EXAMINED LIFE

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