Art

Stitching Spring

Winter doesn't want to leave, but Spring won't be deterred. . .the first buds are sprouting and the birds and small animals are celebrating the advent of warmer weather to come.  i always love color and it is never lacking in my studio.

 threads and roses

threads and roses

 Barbara Haskell, my wonderful client, was recently profiled on NY1  speaking about her Grant Wood painting survey currently on view at the Whitney museum  she is wearing a custom red wool pants suit and black silk camisole with lace appliqué

Barbara Haskell, my wonderful client, was recently profiled on NY1  speaking about her Grant Wood painting survey currently on view at the Whitney museum

she is wearing a custom red wool pants suit and black silk camisole with lace appliqué

 Barbara wore a dress of mine to the opening of her Grant wood show  it is silk Gazar with lace capelet sleeves

Barbara wore a dress of mine to the opening of her Grant wood show

it is silk Gazar with lace capelet sleeves

 My husband, Artist Taro Suzuki, in front of Grant Wood's most famous painting -  American Gothic

My husband, Artist Taro Suzuki, in front of Grant Wood's most famous painting - American Gothic

 one of Grant Woods's oddly narrative paintings at the Whitney

one of Grant Woods's oddly narrative paintings at the Whitney

 Barbara Haskell profiled in the   NYTimes

Barbara Haskell profiled in the NYTimes

 red and blue Dutch Wax  dress in progress

red and blue Dutch Wax  dress in progress

 blue and fushia Dutch wax  Qipau  dress 

blue and fushia Dutch wax Qipau dress 

 A client brought me some beautiful Irish Tweed that she bought in Ireland in the 60's - there was just enough to make this coat with only tiny scraps left over

A client brought me some beautiful Irish Tweed that she bought in Ireland in the 60's - there was just enough to make this coat with only tiny scraps left over

 client wearing finished coat

client wearing finished coat

For my sister's 60 birthday her husband arranged a surprise dance party and I made her a surprise dress

 red, yellow and green wax-print dress 

red, yellow and green wax-print dress 

 it fits!!

it fits!!

 Indian block-print cotton Voile

Indian block-print cotton Voile

Happy Spring Everyone!

Studio Notes

I haven't posted for the last few months, but am excited to share some of what I've been working on.  My studio and work have been a refuge.  As always, art has been a part of my life and directly inspiring to my couture.  Clients have brought me exciting fabrics to work with and some older pieces have returned for a brief visit. Color is always an important factor.  

 Harris Tweed Wool suit returning for a nip and tuck

Harris Tweed Wool suit returning for a nip and tuck

 Custom decorator wool fabric / outfit for client

Custom decorator wool fabric / outfit for client

Rothko Paintings at Pace Gallery, Chelsea

 Amber velvet silk and Rayon dress draped and made from leftover pieces

Amber velvet silk and Rayon dress draped and made from leftover pieces

Amber velvet Dress with a lace Bolero (unfinished) modeled as a tunic by Mary Jones

 Mary Heilmann table on New Year's Eve

Mary Heilmann table on New Year's Eve

 Taro Suzuki  Tantric painting

Taro Suzuki  Tantric painting

 Red Wool Draped Dress with asymmetrical hem

Red Wool Draped Dress with asymmetrical hem

 Red Flowers Silk Gazar Skirt for client

Red Flowers Silk Gazar Skirt for client

The colors in these Ron Gorchov Paintings at Cheim and Read Gallery in Chelsea are so lucious

Ron Gorchov Orange Khaki .jpg
 Ponté knit Jacket  with snap closure for client -  painting by Taro Suzuki

Ponté knit Jacket  with snap closure for client -  painting by Taro Suzuki

 Vilsco Wax print

Vilsco Wax print

work in progress 

 Appliqué cotton dress, draped wax-print, wool jacket, silk charmeuse skirt

Appliqué cotton dress, draped wax-print, wool jacket, silk charmeuse skirt

 detail /  cotton wax prints

detail /  cotton wax prints

 Liberty cotton blouse, Ponté knit jacket, camel wool crepe dress

Liberty cotton blouse, Ponté knit jacket, camel wool crepe dress

 watercolor after a Pompeii fresco

watercolor after a Pompeii fresco

More to come soon. . .

Artists Choose Designer- from the Archives

On Dec 12, 1986- January 4 1987 - Almost exactly 30 years ago- I did a show at the E. M. Donahue Gallery called "Artists Choose Designer" .  It was a cheeky title, because I actually chose 13 artists to design fabric for me rather than the other way around.  

 cotton fabric designed with potato prints by Mary Boochever.       photo: Warren Mantooth

cotton fabric designed with potato prints by Mary Boochever.       photo: Warren Mantooth

 show  invitation

show  invitation

Garments were displayed on plaster cast dress forms and tension suspended from top and bottom with technical help from Diane Lewis and lighting design by Taro Suzuki

 Installation shot

Installation shot

 Pouf-skirt dress made of cotton velvet and cotton painted by Dike Blair   photo-  Warren Mantooth

Pouf-skirt dress made of cotton velvet and cotton painted by Dike Blair   photo-  Warren Mantooth

 Cotton velvet coat with day-glo dots by Taro Suzuki and dress on form painted by Dike Blair-  photo- Janette Beckman from Prêt Magazine

Cotton velvet coat with day-glo dots by Taro Suzuki and dress on form painted by Dike Blair-  photo- Janette Beckman from Prêt Magazine

 Cotton 2-piece dress from silk screen print by Joseph Nechvatel

Cotton 2-piece dress from silk screen print by Joseph Nechvatel

 cotton fish dress painted by Eve Vaterlaus.                                                  photo- Warren Mantooth

cotton fish dress painted by Eve Vaterlaus.                                                  photo- Warren Mantooth

 Silk Shantung halter dress with cotton underskirt and button corset belt painted by Tommy Trosch            photo- Warren Mantooth

Silk Shantung halter dress with cotton underskirt and button corset belt painted by Tommy Trosch            photo- Warren Mantooth

 Baby blue leather coat painted in silver marker ink by Jo Shane from Cocteau drawings

Baby blue leather coat painted in silver marker ink by Jo Shane from Cocteau drawings

 Plaster custom dress form 

Plaster custom dress form 

In and around the studio

The last few weeks have been a mix of work in the studio, work on dance projects and lots of art.  Here are some randomly ordered fragments of the paths I have been on-

 camel cashmire jacket and Dutch Wax African print dress   

camel cashmire jacket and Dutch Wax African print dress

 

 cotton mini-check draped dress

cotton mini-check draped dress

 Pots and drawings by Devin Dougherty

Pots and drawings by Devin Dougherty

 Black chiffon dress with beaded collar

Black chiffon dress with beaded collar

I am very influenced by the seasons and generally try and keep pace with the season we are in , unlike designers who design a "line".  Couture work has it's own tempo.  I will, however, continue to work with the colorful African fabrics throughout the winter in advance of a summer trunk show.  

 "Key"  Print Dress

"Key"  Print Dress

 Painting by my dear late friend Ellen Cantor at Participant inc. nyc

Painting by my dear late friend Ellen Cantor at Participant inc. nyc

 Gold Embossed Flower Organza jacket for client

Gold Embossed Flower Organza jacket for client

 Mary Jones painting at John Molloy Gallery NYC

Mary Jones painting at John Molloy Gallery NYC

 in progress. . .

in progress. . .

 full length view of pinned dress in process

full length view of pinned dress in process

Ive been developing a dress directly from the fabric this time- using the motifs to suggest the lines of the dress- for example - the neck piece is a circle on the print-  I have been draping the dress and then transcribing the lines back onto a flat pattern so that I can remake it.

  trying the dress on

 trying the dress on

I am currently so inspired by transforming the pattern in a way that enhances the silhouette and leads to new discoveries.  I like that it forms the illusion of a vest or jacket with the orange pattern flowing from the top to the bottom. . .

The dress is filled with pins at this point that I am trying it on to see how it works on the body.  I usually have scratches on my arms and back from this process, but it is essential and I am my own fit model! 

 pot and drawing by Devin Dougherty 

pot and drawing by Devin Dougherty 

I went to Gowanus in Brooklyn to an open studio in a charming carriage house to view the work of one of my clients.   This blue and orange pot reminded her of a dress she got at my sample sale last summer.  We plan to do a photo shoot documenting her in the dress next to the pot and drawing.   

 sketch for a client for her daughter's bat- mitzvah including an embroidered connection between her daughter's birthplace in China and current home in the U.S. as well as travel patches from all the places they have visited together.   I will also be designing her daughter's dress with a map-printed fabric.

sketch for a client for her daughter's bat- mitzvah including an embroidered connection between her daughter's birthplace in China and current home in the U.S. as well as travel patches from all the places they have visited together.   I will also be designing her daughter's dress with a map-printed fabric.

 Sails in rehearsal

Sails in rehearsal

I am working on a project for the Trisha Brown Dance Company.   They have been re-staging some of their  works to be performed in unconventional non-stage environments.  I was engaged to redesign these sails for "Geometry of Quiet" which will be performed at the Getty Museum in March.  We are working out downsized proportions as the sails have been transformed from stationary to hand-held.  They are also making changes in the choreography to accommodate this.     

 Sails in rehearsal

Sails in rehearsal

 elastic shirred back of "bandeau" for client out of lovely Italian print

elastic shirred back of "bandeau" for client out of lovely Italian print

 summer flowers are still hanging on. . . .in the traffic meridian on my way to the studio. . . .

summer flowers are still hanging on. . . .in the traffic meridian on my way to the studio. . . .