SS17 product back story -
Some of you have been with us for a while now, and know our products inside out…while others are new…we will therefore attempt to cover the basics to better explain our product’s back story.
FC – 9, Thai Silk Art collection
Hand-painted on pure silk in Thailand. Two sizes, full - S176 and half - S177. The artist / designer, who is relatively young, is just a gifted guy who studied both fine arts and textile design…we have worked with him for 4-5 years now.
The designs are mostly his, occasionally with direction from us, such as our Ital Camo is his interpretation of a Versace design we suggested to him. (We think his new pink version is pretty great!)
His operation is truly artisan. His workshop is behind his grandfather’s home in Northern Thailand, with a team of about 5 making our production (we are the bulk of his business). Once his hand-painted scarves dry and are washed they typically hang to dry across his grandfather’s back garden. Quite the sight.
Pages 10-11, Summer Lace Collection
These were internally developed, based on silhouettes that either we liked or that link to prior good sellers. We select the fabric (all are cotton, all are soft) we size them (see website for size charts) and we have them produced in Viet Nam by workshops near our product development office.
Pages 12-13, open weave acrylic scarves / Baltic Wrap
This group is based on what we think is a superior grade open weave acrylic that has either a Cape Cod or a Marimekko (depending upon one’s point of view) look to it. The fabric is from China, we make the Baltic Wraps in Viet Nam.
Pages 14 – 21, Mod Art Collection
While there’s lots new here…it all centers around another talented Thai artist. This particular one wears 3 hats: University Art professor in Bangkok; talented artist who, along with his team, produces these fabulous hand-painted creations in his central Thailand workshop; and last…adviser to a special commission set up by the Thai government to aide young artisans / entrepreneurs. Needless to say, he is a talented and classy guy…who we feel honored to work with. (Both he and the aforementioned Thai Silk “Artist” work with us exclusively in N.A.)
The opening collection, Mod Art Super Narrows, is a new one, at our request, hand-painted on Japanese rayon. It is at least in part triggered by watching fashion week after fashion week with models wearing what we consider super narrow scarves. We unequivocally like the look--again and again. This designer willingly took this project on...
Next is his new Indigo collection. This is his latest, he is proud of it, we agree. Note, the larger scarves (our S276) come in silk w cotton (50/50) whereas the super narrow are in rayon. His fabrics always come from Japan, because he is picky about quality. (We like exacting designers and workshops.)
Pages 18-19 debut our new Mod Art tunics and tops…which sees his hand-painted silk w cotton designs rendered as apparel. We feel the quality of his designs, not to mention the scope of his portfolio, merits expansion to aligned classifications. More to follow.
Last, the now standard Mod Art collection (pages 20-21), hand-painted in cotton silk has one new design (featured)…with a collection of best sellers from this group to the right.
Pages 21 – 25: shades of black and gray / ombre w border stripe:
From China’s silk region…really this is about both the fabric and the subtly urban design. Though they are a blend of silk w wool, they are light but the fabric has a special presence…allowing them to show in a sophisticated manner.
To us, these collections are all-season, equally at home, outdoors or at the office, club or community board meeting.
Pages 26 – 27: more double layer silk…
Each of these collections again is made from a double layer fabric blending silk w wool or silk w linen. The fabric is from China, and we design and sew the tops in Viet Nam…we see them as basic, versatile tops with a unique and nuanced fabric and texture. Though they are double layer they are very sheer—even delicate--and very cool to wear.
Pages 28 – 31: Merino wool
We happily re-count this... Our merino wool is from Australia’s renown merino sheep. They are sheered, then bales (think bales of hay from your ranch or farm days...) of their wool are shipped to Inner Mongolia…where the factories we use spin the raw wool into yarn, weave this yarn into scarves and then either print or hand paint them, depending upon the design, into our final product.
In our view, the softness and the “hand” of merino wool typifies the expression “affordable luxury.” We specify a yarn type and yarn count that results in an all-season scarf.
Pages 32- 33: Camo 1, 2, 3 …
We have two things going on here…
First, is an expansion of our merino wool camouflage collection. Obviously we did not invent the camo design idea…but we have had our own version done, our own printing screens created, and have expanded the coloration as we go along…as we show two new colors for spring.
Next, we debut our camo pouch and handbag collection. These are made to our recipe: merino camo fabric for the exterior, a soft yet durable cotton suede lining, Japanese YKK zippers and smooth soft cow leather tanned for the thickness tolerance and color for this collection. We have them produced in a workshop near Ha Noi…owned by a charming couple, operating out of an old but large 4 story house with a team of about 40. We hope you like ‘em!
Pages 34 – 35: our love for Cashmere!
First, who doesn’t love cashmere? We have two varieties of fabric here: first, our S137 Luxembourg wraps, made with super-fine, pure cashmere yarn in a relatively open weave to give it added softness. These are sheer and light and a bit sexy or decadent…and we suggest wearing them in a very open and loose layered styling. They have a slight tonal or ombre coloring to them as well.
Next, we have woven cashmere w merino blends…with slightly thicker yarn in a more durable weave. (The yarn is custom spun for us…blending 10% cashmere with 90% merino fibers.) Our S146 Konigsalle Wrap includes a lurex thread border, to give it a dressy look whereas our S566 Via Montenapoleone uses a hand painted technique. (An Italian customer of our cashmere factory developed this hand-painting style…and we admired them and added them to our line!) And yes, we’re fans of both Via Montenapoleone, Milan’s famous shopping street, as well as Konigsalle Strasse in Stuttgart!
Pages 36 – 37: the simplicity of pure modal
The short version: developed in Leipzig in the 70’s, it is akin to rayon and known for being sheer, soft and smooth. Technically, and according to Wiki… Modal is a type of rayon, a semi-synthetic cellulose fiber made from reconstituted cellulose, often from beech trees.
Our take…it is really a ‘better basic’ fabric; soft, light, sheer fabric suitable for year round use. One of our favorite customers operates a store in Carmel, Calif and she seems to order 400+ of these a year…we do not know how she does it, but is the kind whose disarmingly warm (and genuine) smile would enable her to sell ice to Eskimos…
Pages 38 – 39: Kashmiri prints
Let us be clear: we have nothing to do with developing these. Often we connect the dots between designer and workshop, develop products ourselves, etc.
That is not the case here. These designs go back generations; we simply admire, select and have produced those we most prefer, those we think our customers will enjoy.
We wish our Kashmiri friends well (when one hears delivery is delayed due to military skirmishes, it puts things in perspective)…and hope we can bring over more and more of your design heritage as we go along.
Pages 40 – 41: silk solid color spectrum
The workshop who makes these for us thought we were crazy, so did some friends and team members. But our crinkled solid color silk scarves have become a super staple for us…and many of our buyers select them only if they feel the colors are just right, and we suspect that’s how many of our customer’s dress…they want the match—the color combination they are wearing--to be just right.
Anyway, we like each color, each is unique…and part of our spectrum for spring summer. Heretofore, we have taken our color cues for this collection from Pantone; this time out, Pinterest. We will see what our customers say.
“Village-made” in Viet Nam.
Pages 42 – 43: silk and country life
Honestly, these styles are repeats from our Spring 2014 line…they were very popular then, and we have simply re-colored them and brought them back.
The floral motif (S178) was based on a dress design in a friend’s boutique, with the rose applique across the bottom...
The block print “village print” is really an age old, public domain style. Its charm is its simplicity, and the fact that it is skinny, light and soft, and therefore warm weather friendly.
Pages 44 – 45: lace w leather handbags and pouches
We can just say that we hope that some of you like these. They are our concoction, based on the ever expanding ideas we see involving lace in apparel. The lace we chose is different than most—we think—courtesy of its scale…as well as the added nuance of the gold-ish yarn within.
The lace is from China, the wool blend lining from Korea, the cotton suede interior we think suitably soft and durable, YKK zips and 1.0 mm thick soft leather…made for us in a workshop in Viet Nam.
Pages 46 – 47: silk holiday in the sun
These are simply individually dyed, per collection, per color grouping. The silk is woven at village level in Viet Nam—meaning often by home looms…then aggregated and colored and finished for us. A village of 3,000 people might have dozens of homes with looms (off-season farmers), or centralized larger workshops with clickety-clack motorized vintage wooden shuttle looms. A local “entrepreneur” who aggregates, dyes, and typically conducts business with the outside world, etc.
Pages 48 – 49: silk water color
This is as well somewhat of a basic collection for us…re-colored season by season. They are made in China from machine made silk…batch dyed to our color specs. What’s new is the super narrow silhouette we are offering this year.
And of note, at least to us, is that this supplier is another example of a husband wife company where the woman for certain is the “team leader.” We see this often.
Pages 50 -51: summer of cotton
Our S444 cotton floral scarves have a fun design, reminiscent of 1990’s American modern art, woven in a soft broad weave cotton and printed in Viet Nam… Very popular for us, with new colors each year.
Our S281 silk w linen (50 / 50) horizon scarves are hand dyed with a carefree styling, also made in Viet Nam, but in a village, bereft of automation.
Both are casual, fresh and comfortable to wear.
Pages 52 – 53: Avalon super narrow
The design is engaging, the colors bright, but the story here is versatility of width. Fabric from China, cut and sewn in Viet Nam.
Pages 54 – 55: cashmere knit
Our cashmere knit is made from yarn comprised of 30% cashmere (from Mongolia) and 70% merino wool (from Australia).
Pages 56 – 57: more cashmere knit + specialty fabrics
Our S433 is made from a cotton w linen blend…and has the unique design element of having two halves to its weave and design.
Our S490 cotton silk scarves are soft, light and tapered…offering the right amount of color accent with limited coverage…meaning, versatile for warmer weather. (In fact, a long term key customer for this item is in Key West…)
Pages 58 – 59: silk ombre, silk w cotton
Our new S380 silk ombre has color transition from side to side, not top to bottom. We like the effect this provides when one wears it. Look for more of these come fall.
Our S335 modal animal print features the same ever soft modal as our solids.
Our S222 uses a double layer technique, combining silk w cotton. Lightweight, easy and casual.