When I was a kid, I loved to dress up. Crystal crowns, fairy wings, crazy patterned tights, necklaces borrowed from my mother’s drawers, headbands doubled as stylish teleportation devices, silk scarves became dresses for parties in a magical forest, I mean, my parent’s backyard. Wovenplay (190 West Street) recaptures that spirit childhood’s magical sense of imagination.
With an ethereal quality, the shop is cheeky, smart, and fun. I got the scoop on the new digs from owner, Katherine Edmonds. And if you like the kids line, there’s some women’s tees and swimwear coming soon!
GP: What inspired you to start Wovenplay? What were you doing before?
Katherine: I had been making women’s wear, but my background and love is art and art history. Children’s wear seemed endlessly open to a playful and more eccentric dialogue, and more open possibility that could make use of my art background. I don’t like the rules that we get put into. Philosophically, that’s always a huge part of what I do, trying to carve out something that is completely outside of society. There is a huge rebellion in what I’m doing. It was always about original prints and expression and messing with materials. That to me is kidswear — open ended and very human. It’s really just textile art. I love making things by hand and I was always excited about manipulated materials and handwork in general.
GP: What is your vision behind the shop?
Katherine: Offering an escape from reality and unwritten potential of personal expression. There’s a certain excitement of originality in it that again is something that belongs to childhood. When you’re reading a poem and there’s a prior allusion to time or history and a lot of stuff loaded in – with the art dialogue, there’s all these allusions that I make. It’s just kept in a pile of my mind, not very direct, it’s cumulative allusion. I’m mostly turned on by color and texture and beauty of natural materials. The silk is from worms that make it from nature. The cotton, the color, having control over what colors I can make, mixing it, paint.
GP: Describe your process for curating and buying.
Katherine: It’s all my own designs. I usually go somewhere inside my mind and think, ‘What am I hungry for? What am I longing for?’ Something that feels new color-wise or compositionally. It’s all really classic in terms of shapes but I definitely go into myself and say what is a new color palette that I’m really hungry for that I haven’t felt lately. But I don’t have a lot of order to it. It drives itself along. It starts with a feeling of what colors I want and then that drives me.
Katherine: The Lola bathing suit ($108-$124) is my favorite. It started with a stripe that we do every season with different colors and prints. The Jada suit ($90), too, which is a cute sun suit.
GP: What are your future plans for the store?
Katherine: We’ll be launching adult tees and women’s bathing suits. The shop will also carry beautifully designed and modern toys. On May 2nd, we’re launching an ongoing series of art shows and openings with New York City artists. We want and hope it will become a neighborhood hangout, inspiring creativity in a lot of ways, beyond children’s clothing and the commercial realm.
Wovenplay is open Saturdays & Sundays 11-6 pm.
190 West Street