Standard Talks: Jessamyn Hatcher
Among the most meaningful things I’ve ever found in a thrift store were a pair of dresses I unearthed at the Goodwill in Durham, North Carolina. One was a white summer dress with a fitted bodice and a full skirt dotted with embroidered flowers. The other was a pink sequined number straight out of an old Italian movie. What made the dresses so arresting wasn’t their cut or color, or even all the flowers and sequins. It was the fact that inside, attached to the labels, their former wearer had pinned stories: “Picnic. 1957. Hillsboro, North Carolina.” “Eastern Star Dance. May 8, 1958. Danced with M.K.”
On Tuesday night, as part of MAKESHIFT, we invited members of the audience to write their own worn stories. Rosanne Cash, Cathy Bailey of Heath Ceramics, and Natalie read excerpts of their stories to inspire us.
Next, members of the audience, using the special cards and antique silver pins carefully placed in each gift bag, fixed their own worn stories to the wall for all to read. Collectively, these stories formed a kind of paper “quilt,” a record of the deep meaning clothing can play in our lives and of our lovely evening together.
Here are a few examples of the stories that were collected Tuesday evening – some tantalizing, some funny, and all quite moving.
“I would love to repair the brown corduroys that I wore watching TV on Saturday mornings as a kid.”
“My grandmother’s camel wool cape makes me feel strong and beautiful, as I view her.”
“My Mom’s dress, which was her Mom’s. It’s a classic 50’s style in black cotton poplin with a ditzy cat print. I remember my mom wearing it when we were young.”
“My pair of hiking pants missing a leg (they zipped off) and in need of repair. But they took me to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro and one leg got lost on the journey home. That journey, and those pants, changed my perspective on the world.”
“I have this great lumpy jacket I bought it college. I’ve been needing a new one, but this one is so full of memories. And it matches my red beard.”
“The maroon velvet tux jacket that I paid $50 of my own money to buy at an antique store to wear to my high school prom.”
“Morrissey’s shirt from the 1st U.S. tour of The Smith’s (1985)- ripped up by the audience as they pulled it off him.”
MAKESHIFT: ACTION and REACTION
MAKESHIFT: ACTION and REACTION
Please Join Natalie Chanin for
A DIY Workshop & Closed-Door Conversation
on Cloth, Craft, and Industrial Design
Friday, May 18, 2012
2pm - 4pm
The Standard, East Village
25 Cooper Square
New York’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) kicks off this week, and the fashion set is not to be left out. Designer Natalie Chanin of Alabama Chanin, has organized a series of events called MAKESHIFT, to initiate, she says, “a larger conversation around finding the point where the professional worlds of fashion, craft, design, and DIY intersect.” As the Alabama-based (hence the name) Chanin points out, “The important business and brand building parts of the fashion industry can sometimes obscure that initial designer act of making things with our hands.”
Last night, Chanin unveiled one of the main centerpieces of MAKESHIFT—her craft/design pop-up shop with fellow Alabamian Billy Reid at Reid’s Bond Street shop. “Anytime we can work with Natalie, we’re in,” Reid says. “When she proposed the idea of the pop-up shop for design week, it was a perfect fit. We had been working with crafting quilts into jackets so it was a timely item to have included.”
Inside the 20′ by 20′ pop-up, you’ll find one-of-a-kind pieces exclusive to the store, from designers including Gaby Basora of Tucker, Maria Cornejo, Albertus Swanepoel, Susan Cianciolo (a fashion darling-turned-artist)—and of course, items from Reid and Chanin as well.