Maker Crush: Llane Alexis

Maker Crush: Llane Alexis

I recently started following textile-based artist Llane Alexis on Instagram (@llanealexis) after a tip from @jenhewett (you know), and I’m kind of stunned that I never knew about him while I was still in San Francisco, where I would for sure have shown up at his studio wanting to see his work in person. Born and raised in Cuba, he’s been living and working in SF for almost 20 years and made a shift from painting to textiles when he became aware of the level of fashion industry waste. He now uses industry scraps in his work, which ranges from fabric wrapped objects (furniture, chandeliers) to tied-rag orbs to dolls and assemblages like this dress made entirely of waistbands. As we talk about repurposing and refashioning, and about what to do with garments that are too far gone, this week for Slow Fashion October, his work seems especially relevant and inspiring. Go check it out on his website and follow him @llanealexis.

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PREVIOUSLY in Maker Crush: Natalie of The Tiny Closet

Photos by Peter Vanderpast (@pder), used with permission

Maker Crush: Natalie of The Tiny Closet

Maker Crush: Natalie of The Tiny Closet

Shortly before Slow Fashion October kicked off this year, I ran across @thetinycloset on Instagram and a post that summarized what I’m driving at with this year’s Action Items in a single short paragraph: “Clearing out half your closet will feel great short term but chances are, you’ll have to do it again. And again. The thing is, having clutter is just a byproduct to the real issue. Which is buying clutter.” She goes on to counsel, “Spot the future clutter before you buy it by asking yourself these two questions when looking through your closet: Why did I buy it? Why am I throwing it out?” Same goes for making, obvs. Natalie is an advocate for the capsule-closet concept (after having dealt with an out-of-control closet) and now runs The Tiny Closet, a tiny fashion brand, by which I mean she makes everything herself and to-order. She’s sewn over 1000 garments since she got her start in 2016, can you imagine? I’m really heartened seeing so many sewn-to-order businesses like this cropping up (it’s how Liz Pape of Elizabeth Suzann began, among others, and I have an interview with another coming up later this month!) so you should check out her designs. But she’s also just a fount of wisdom as far as keeping your closet under control (whatever your personal definition of that might be, capsule or otherwise) so do give her a follow on Instagram and read back through her recent posts. Or at the very least, read this one on fear/lessness.

Are you taking a hard look at your closet this week? How’s it going so far?

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PREVIOUSLY in Crush: Style Crush x 3

Style Crush x 3

Style Crush x 3

I’m taking this opportunity to revive the long-neglected Blog Crush / Maker Crush series by posting a few of them throughout Slow Fashion October. Highlighting people who inspire me is one of my favorite things to do, and during Slotober there are always way more people I’d love to call attention to than I actually can, so this is yet another way to point you at some people worth knowing about! Since our theme this week is What’s your look? (zeroing in on your personal style), I thought I’d kick it off with a trio of people who are living a slow-fashion life and whose very different personal styles I admire tremendously. I believe I’ve made smaller references to all three on the blog at various points in the past, but all deserve a bigger spotlight!

TOP: Sienna Parfitt / @notaprimarycolor
Sienna has possibly the most dialed-in personal style I’ve ever seen and an astonishing internal well of creativity. She lives in the earth tones that surround her namesake color in the spectrum, and she is the walking epitome of that “funky art teacher” vibe so many makers aspire to. She is both an art teacher and a design student, makes her own wardrobe and accessories — all perfectly in step with her aesthetic — and every time I see her sketchbook or chalkboard make list, it just makes me want to make things! She is nonstop inspiration both on Instagram and her blog.

BOTTOM LEFT: Ebony / @ebonyh
Ebony is a city girl (San Francisco) whose style I would describe as urban-casual. Polished but comfy. Chic but unassuming. She has a closet after my own heart, in other words, which looks to be a pretty steady mix of RTW and handmade — but good luck telling which is which, as she’s an awesome maker. You may have spotted her on my Fall mood board, in fact.

BOTTOM RIGHT: Libby Callaway / @libbycallaway1970
Libby is a Nashville acquaintance so she is someone I admire from a’near, through her Instagram and the very occasional bump-into around town. She is a lust-for-life maximalist and a masterful one — color and pattern and pizzazz are her signature, and the more the better. I have no idea how massive her vintage collection actually is, but she is one of the stalwarts keeping the good stuff from ever becoming landfill, while also supporting small, emerging brands. She’s a publicist who used to work in fashion in NY and now makes sure the world knows about all the creative good happening in Nashville (including most recently curating the Greetings From Nashville pop-up at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn, which I’m mentioning because if you’re in Brooklyn please go see it and send me pics of the Porter Bin in the mix)! She’s the kind of wizard who makes me wish I were a better vintage shopper and had a stronger color sense, but I’m happy to admire it all on her!

Of course, it’s impossible to convey anyone’s style in a single image, so please make sure you click through and check out all three! This was one of the discussion prompts this week — who inspires you? I’d love to hear about your favorites below (or on #slowfashionoctober), whoever they may be.

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PREVIOUSLY in Blog Crush: Meeting Rosa Pomar

Meeting my Blog Crush: Rosa Pomar

Meeting my Blog Crush: Rosa Pomar

Actually, I can tell you one thing we’re doing — right off the bat — is going to Retrosaria Rosa Pomar in Lisbon, a shop I’ve longed to visit for years and am proud to count as a Fringe Supply Co. stockist. I “met” Rosa on Instagram shortly after learning to knit, and wrote about her blog awhile back — a post a few of you cited when I asked for your favorites. The hat pattern of hers that I knitted in 2014 is still one of my all-time favorite knits. I knitted it Portuguese style, as taught to me by Brooke, and as much as I LOVED that, I somehow haven’t done it since — so I’m excited to relearn from Rosa and to finally get to see her beautiful shop and yarns and get to spend some quality time with her. Definitely check out these links and especially her Instagram feed @rosapomar.

*Which has probably already happened by the time this posts! 

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Maker Crush: Sasha of Secondo Piano

Maker Crush: Sasha of Secondo Piano

Probably one of the coolest girls in the handmade wardrobe community is Sasha Werner, whose blog is Secondo Piano and Instagram is @sasha_secondopiano. You may recognize her (even if you don’t already follow her) as I’ve linked to assorted blog posts and IG images of hers in Elsewhere on several occasions. Sasha is Italian but posts in English — a “motion media designer” who is also a jaw-droppingly talented garmentsmith. She’s a sewer, a hand-knitter and a machine-knitter, and I feel like I’ve seen her say she hasn’t been doing any of them for very long. But she’s incredible. In addition to having a very strong sense of personal style (with a sense of humor no less), her technical prowess sometimes blows my mind. I’ll likely never be able to sew (or even understand what sewers are talking about!) on the level she does, but I am endlessly inspired by her.

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PREVIOUSLY in Maker Crush: Ainslee of @mysuburbanfarm

Maker Crush: Ainslee of @mysuburbanfarm

Maker Crush: Ainslee of @mysuburbanfarm

It’s not that I want to wish away time — we all know it moves much too quickly as it is — but I am really ready for the swamp heat to move on. Yesterday afternoon I was home battling a wicked headache and longing to be somewhere cool, where the air could actually be described as “fresh,” so I took a little virtual journey to Australian winter by scrolling through the feed of @mysuburbanfarm, i.e. a Melbourne maker named Ainslee. I’m not sure when or how I first ran across her feed, but I know it was to do with the fact that she takes beautiful, dark and moody pics of her handcarved crochet hooks, among other things. After reading back through a little over a year of posts (not terribly frequent, don’t worry), I can tell you she’s a lovely woman with some sort of office job whose passion was tending her beautiful garden and chickens in her rustic backyard, weaving pretty baskets, until she tried her hand at carving wooden spoons and then crochet hooks, which led to her opening Ainslee Made, an online shop for her wares. If it weren’t for the “mysuburbanfarm” moniker, you’d never believe the photos were of life in a suburban backyard — the garden, the chickens, the beautiful reclaimed-wood woodshed and rusty tin shed where she does her carving. It’s an easy world to get lost in, and I only wish I could belly up for a slice of pizza from her woodfired oven and practice my crochet with one of her hooks.

Maker Crush: Ainslee of @mysuburbanfarm

PREVIOUSLY in Maker Crush: Kacie Lynn of Fiber Farm

All photos © Ainslee/@mysuburbanfarm, used with permission

Maker Crush: Kacie Lynn of Fiber Farm

Maker Crush: Kacie Lynn of Fiber Farm

Two farm girl crushes in a row, I know, but what’s not to love about a farm girl? Seriously though, while Kate is a produce farmer who is also an amazing knitter, Kacie Lynn of Fiber Farm is a “textile farmer.” Her farm is at the top of Monteagle Mountain in Tennessee (not far from me!) and I first met her through Stitches South this past spring, where she shared a booth with my friends from Reunion Yarn. Kacie grew up in the South, majored in apparel design in college, and has now committed her life to raising fiber animals and contributing in many ways to the effort to better understand the fibershed of this region for the sake of local textile production. She’s also a spinner and dyer, gives farm tours and teaches workshops in all sorts of fiber-related disciplines, and makes the most beautiful little weavings on wood blocks, which she was selling in that aforementioned booth and which are so well done. You can see currently available pieces (she appears to be in an indigo period at the moment!) in her Etsy shop, check out her blog and follow her on Instagram @fiberfarm. If you’re in the vicinity and interested in workshops or farm tours (or an overnight stay!) see her website for details.

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PREVIOUSLY in Maker Crush: Kate of Fox’s Lane