Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday Morning at Pistol Threads

It’s about three weeks until Christel Highland unveils her Spring line of fashion creations. November 18, StagePort in the Crossroads. Pencil her in, please. Today, I spent the morning with Christel and her collaborator, artist and designer, Laura Brody. 4th Floor, the Leedy Voulkos Gallery building in the Crossroads.

The sun brightly shined into the southern-exposed studio. The design phase, although it never ends, has to end at some point because the work of making something must commence to have a line at all. There’s a quiet serenity to this assembly process; bolts of white fabrics of cotton and silk, the calming hum of the sewing machines, the whoosh of the iron. Conversation about detail. Small cuts with scissors. Pinning, sewing and more ironing.

It’s good work for the artists hands and soul. The few samples I saw look stunning. No colors yet, or rather the common color of white, like fresh crisp canvas. A dress that seems to come alive with a mind of its own. It will be cool when someone wears it and walks. A silk blouse, like a pearl by the window. Next week, dyeing…with help from fabric artist Holly Swangtstu…

Some talk about what this line means; its spirit, what it communicates. There’s the spirit of the outlaw that makes Christel want to convey a sense of individuality and authenticity. I sense these creations will speak a great deal about that on their own. There’s authenticity here, for sure; in design, craft, materials, and construction. This is no out-sourced venture. These two artists are taking this from dream, to pattern, to Christel’s 1950s vintage Singer and Laura’s souped up humming-smooth Japanese Juki, to the dyeing sinks, to the bodies of real people…soon. Just three weeks away.

The cat seems to be enjoying their company.

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