I was super honored that Libby V asked me to take her portrait for a post about her on Design Sponge. Aside from being a super talented illustrator (she does our market posters) and a wonderful human, Libby has the most adorable and cozy apartment I have ever seen. I decided to kill two birds with one stone and also take her portrait as part of our new Fish Eye Series, in which we take you into the apartment of one of our talented contributors! Talk about an eye for design. You really can get to know a person by looking at what they put on their walls.
Winden Jewelry is off the chain. Greenpoint based designer Rebecca Mapes crafts pieces with delicate but tongue-in-cheek enthusiasms. Punchy diamond lips and tiny little ear studs, babe and sis 90s throwback name plate necklaces give a carefree and off-beat vibe. (Prices range from $55-$1,199).
I personally love Winden’s undertone for nostalgia and humor. Not to mention, most of the jewelry is on the smaller scale, which is perfect for layering pieces or giving a hint of subtle flash. Continue reading
The story behind Bacon Handmade Neckwear – a featured Valentine’s Market vendor – is truly a love story – with a side of bacon. Based in a little update NY village named Altamont, surrounded by fruit orchards, farms and the Helderberg Escarpment - a 700 ft cliff face overlooking the Hudson Valley – Bacon designer Jessyka Neitzel described these natural wonders as “tall, dark and handsome.” Continue reading
One of my studio mates at our co-working space has a guinea pig named “Lunch.” I was reminded that guinea pigs are actually eaten in South America so I joked she should call it “Almuerzo,” which I later googled and found out the word is spanish for lunch. How did I know that? The spanish I took in high school is gone from my memory. I realized I had eaten at Vamos Al Tequila on Franklin St that day and the word on the menu crept into my subconscious and I just blurted it out. (Stay with me.)
My point is, without even knowing it we are affected by our surrounding, whether our moods brighten up on a sunny day or we remember vague spanish words unrelated to small South American rodents.
Some designers draw inspiration from their surroundings in much more deliberate and visually striking ways – whether it’s texture, color or function.
We’ve asked our Valentine’s Market vendors what they love and how it inspires their designs.
Look forward to unusual and charming color combinations from Lolafalk, a Brooklyn-based leather goods designer who draws quite directly from the color and geometric shapes she sees near her studio.
Take for example the Luella Laptop bag. Designer Lauren “Lola” Falkowski said she “finds much of her color-centric inspiration in the contrasting hues and architecture of buildings in the Brooklyn neighborhoods that surround her studio. The Brooklyn Heights carriage house (above) was the visual trigger for the mix of fuschia, royal blue, and teal” that you see on this adorable bag, which is also roomy enough to carry your guinea pig to your co-working space. (Just trying to go full circle with this.)
Can you pinpoint the exact moment you decided what you wanted to do with your life? Illustrator and Greenpointer Holly Graham, whose shop Hollydoodles is a featured vendor at our Holiday Market, recalls a childhood memory that has impacted her entire life’s work:
“My grandpa once drew a dog from memory for me on this tiny piece of paper. I think I’ve been on a mission my whole life to really perfect a craft in that way.” Continue reading
Rachael Becker is surrounded by leather. Her business Heavy Leather specializes in stylish guitar and camera straps. I recently had a chance to sit down and chat with Rachael during her busy work day to talk leather, fashion and her love of Greenpoint.
Greenpointers: Tell me about “Heavy Leather.” What makes your guitar straps so special?
Rachael: Well, they’ve got a little bit of attitude. There are other guitar strap makers out there that feel cheesy or are going for that hairy ’80s metal thing. Mine has a good balance of style and attitude that isn’t cheesy or your typical western look. Plus it’s good quality and handmade.
Greenpointers: How did you get started doing leather and how long have you had your business for?
Rachael: I’ve had Heavy Leather for four years now. Originally, I went to school for fashion and I worked briefly in the fashion industry, but I was not into it. I really love men’s wear and working with leather, so after I was laid off from my old job, I found a posting on Craigslist for a leather smith’s assistant so I immediately contacted him and that got me on my way.
Greenpointers: How did you come to start building guitar straps? Walk me through the evolution…
Rachael: When I started out, I was doing custom work for leather accessories. At the time, I had a friend who asked me to make him a guitar strap so I ended up building a small custom collection of guitar straps, I posted them on eBay and they sold right away. After that, it was one-plus-one-equals-two. Another friend of mine, who was a photographer, he was requesting a camera strap so with the leftover leather from the guitar straps I started making camera straps. Now B&H and Adorama carries them. The only thing I don’t do is anything too sexy (laughs). Continue reading
Williamsburg Fashion Weekend’s founder, producer and creator Arthur Arbit is all about conscientious, ethical clothing made here in the USA, not in 3rd world countries.
His message was when you’re shopping for clothes made in the corporate fashion world, someone’s paying with their blood. But not these clothes…each piece of clothing featured in the shows was made by its designer’s hands or otherwise American born.
Details and photos for each designer after the jump!
Tucked away off of Manhattan on Meserole is the most adorable mid century modern vintage furniture and home store called Vintage Modern. I’ve found so many great pieces there. I want to move in and live in the storefront.
Tonight, 3/3/12 from 6-9pm, designer Erica Savard is having a trunk show of her jewelry collection called We See Stars. Refreshments, 20% off jewelry & 15% off everything else in the store.
110 Meserole Ave.
Both nights of Williamsburg Fashion Weekend were highly entertaining. The fashion show style differed from neighboring Manhattan’s fashion week in a refreshing, non-corporate, chill, handmade and environmentally friendly kind of way.
Here are a few highlights from the shows:
First up was an Andrea Diodati’s fairy kei collection, full of recycled materials & found objects. Everything from curtains, doilies, pillows, chenille bathrobes, crochet this&that and other unsuspected objects were found in this delightful collection of pink, baby-doll looks. The pink cotton candy hair w/rainbow highlights gave a serious nod to Marge Simpson in terms of height and playfulness. A few stand-out items were the spandex harem leggings, plush back-packs and jackets with “pillow” collars, giving a whole new meaning to the bed-jacket. Andrea, inspired by post-impressionist artist Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec’s “la Clownesse” (female clown), described it as David Bowie meets the Easter Bunny. The visuals were sweetheart candies for the eyes with girls dancing nymph-like to hypnotizing narration + midnight cowboy music (make that cow-girl).
GP: I’m curious about your style; what’s with the tie and sweater vest? What do you do?
Michael: I design menswear and work in accounting.
GP: Can you tell us what you’re wearing today?
Michael: Most of what I’m wearing is J. Crew and Rugby, except for the shirt which I designed for a label I co-own, Bedford & Grove.
GP: How hear about Greenpointers?
Michael: When I first moved to Williamsburg a few years ago I chose a few local blogs/sites to follow, and Greenpointers was one of them. I’ve lived in the Greenpoint area since August.
Further down the road, we ran into Stephanie, another fashion designer and 5 year resident of Greenpoint. Funny enough we always run into her on Manhattan ave, always with iced coffee in hand and a black slip dress.
GP: What’s your favorite thing to do, besides traipsing up and down Manhattan Ave on the weekends?
Stephanie: I spend most of my time working and creating, but when I do go out I go see shows at Death By Audio or 285 Kent. Or I go to my friend Patty’s house where she cooks really awesome vegan dinners.
GP: And you design clothing? Tell us a little about that…
Stephanie: I am a designer, and I actually spend most of my time working in my studio. I went to Parsons, and after realizing I like all the phases of designing and constructing clothes, instead of just working in one niche, I started making clothes for Brooklyn bands like Vivian Girls. I launched my own line in September of this year at Williamsburg Fashion Weekend. I’m currently working on my Fall 2012 collection which I will show in February.
GP: Any thoughts about the fashion here in Greenpoint?
Stephanie: Ha, yeah I’m not super inspired by the street fashion in this neighborhood. Usually if someone blows me away she is like 80 years old and has on a dress she probably purchased from Bonwit Teller in the late 60s/early 70s. I have noticed a lot of really clean Doc Martins as of recent.
GP: Tell us about your upcoming Pop-Up Shop.
Stephanie: I’m doing a small capsule collection of dresses in the $100-200 range at a Pop-Up Shop at 330 Berry St between So. 4th & So. 5th St. The pieces are based on Russian nesting dolls and some of my favorite vintage dress silhouettes from my own closet – Dollydaze if you will. Most of the dresses are cotton or wool with folkloric embellishment. There’s also a cape dress and a mini caftan. Somehow, I’m always end up in a caftan.
GP: How do you two know eachother? Best friends?
Anna: At times I think we might know each other better than ourselves. It’s good motivation to constantly evolve and grow, like a race of sorts, so we can’t possibly keep up with each other.
Sunny: For some people, being nice the first time you meet = instant pals, for other people, a good duel to the death is the only way to show you care.
GP: We stopped you on the street because your style is mad. How would you define it?
Anna: Why, thank you. I don’t define my style, really, but I do try to match my life… as a traveling urban farmer and aspiring yogi these days. So, yes, that’s probably mulch on the heel of my shoe, and there’s a good chance of finding a set of Japanese pruners or a tin of seeds while looking for the keys in my bag.
Sunny: Mad; sounds accurate.
GP: How would you define each others’ style?
Anna: Well, she’s kind of a rockstar (though her musical talents transcend genres). Her style is a daily expression of art. She’s kind of a walking installation, ever-inspired by her many life’s interests.
Sunny: It’s like if tiger lily, poly styrene and a grandma got together and made a little person.
GP: Do you live in greenpoint, and if yes, what charms you about it?
Anna: Only sometimes these days. My faves are the Eagle Street Rooftop Farm and all of the amazing exotic plants people’ve managed to grow in their tiny little “yards” along the sidewalks.
Sunny: I come here for c town.