I spent the better part of the autumn working on something special with Fortuny to help introduce its first new fabric collection in more than two years. The collection plays with the idea of what is seen and unseen and draws inspiration from Japanese folklore of “The Fox’s Wedding”. The legend is that foxes marry in secret in the forest and only during a sun shower – far from prying human eyes.
From Fortuny’s creative director Mickey Riad:
“We decided upon the theme of ‘The Fox’s Wedding’ as we were playing around with halftones and production techniques,” “The way a sun shower can fool what your eye sees, Japanese legend attributes this phenomenon to foxes that often play tricks on humans. The idea that the new collection plays tricks on the eye fit perfectly with that theme, in addition to the pattern and color choices that were inspired by Japanese art and textiles. ”
Sun showers and foxes and secret forest weddings – I loved this project. The collection is being introduced in Paris today. Three foxes traveled to Paris for the occasion, another two will leave for Venice this week and two will remain in NYC at the Fortuny Showroom.
For the past few weeks I’ve lived with fox companions and it’s a little sad to let them go – they so inhabited this place.
A little collection of new creatures – I’ve posted them on Etsy just now (7/31). I spent the morning re -shooting them, I was disappointed with yesterday’s photos ( on the up side I learned some things about aperture) so now I’ve got to roll right into Flamingo making – lots and lots of flamingos…
Pecksniff (he’s got some fancy junk in his owley trunk)
(beautiful fabrics courtesy of Sri Threads)
Occasionally, and always unexpectedly, a package magically appears in my vestibule from Sri Threads. They always inexplicably contain exactly what I need at that moment and things I couldn’t even dream of – all thoughtfully collected by the brilliant eye of Stephen Szczepanek. When a package appears I make tea and put on music and spend way more time than necessary unpacking and examining – it is such an incredible gift. The textiles are remarkable in color and texture and history – bits of eccentric mending and exquisite wear and patina that bring qualities to whatever I make that just pass through me – that is such a particular sensation – an ideal.
I think the magical and thoughtful way they come to me brings a certain spirit to the objects as well -they spring from a wonderful set of circumstances I did not and could not invent – happenstance is magic.
This weekend I finished a group of 12 little experiments made from Sri treasures – each numbered and signed ( the numbered series will close at 100).
I’ll finish photographing them today and add them to the shop tomorrow 3/4.
Update: if you would like to make your own mushroom specimen you can find the pattern here.
Way back in 2006 I made 100 cardboard horses as an experiment and creative exercise – I exhibited the group in Los Angeles in 2007. I’ve added cormac and the other 16 remaining horses (some of my favorites) from the collection to my shop.
PS -If you are getting snow I hope you’re enjoying it. I am getting snow and enjoying it.
I’m working on botanical shapes including some small toadstools – little experiments in color and texture. They are a numbered series -with signed hand sewn tags with the number and date for each. I’m using mostly Japanese garment fragments (courtesy of Sri Threads) with rich color and history.
I like the idea of these turning up unexpectedly (as mushrooms sometimes do) on a hook or knob or a drawer pull. I’m also working on others- flower and seed pod sorts of shapes. These will be in my shop very soon and next September I’m teaching a class at Squam on making botanical shapes with textiles – you can get more info here.
If you’d like to be notified when they are available you can join my mailing list here.
I’ve made lots more Fortuny things including these toadstools.
And a couple others:
A gentleman sailor owl braving a perilous sea all alone
A dastardly owl
A rose colored and gold songbird
And a red and blue songbird
(these and others are available at the Fortuny showroom in Manhattan)
Almost a year ago I got together a box of linings with plans to make things but not much happened after that. I’ve lately pulled that box out and I’ll be posting progress and previews of finished pieces here throughout August. They will be available in September. I love linings and they often end up being my favorite part of a garment.
I’m working on the usual suspects : owls, spiders and songbirds but this collection will have a couple surprises too. I’ve made the most progress on a songbird made from the printed lining of an edwardian bodice.
I spent the weekend with it – stitching, restitching, experimenting and not worrying about progress or efficiency. I’m allowed to do that on the weekends. Pretty vacationey.
This bird, the layering of this print, reminds me of tramp art a little bit and I think I’ll experiment more with that idea.