All Posts in Sustainability

November 20, 2014 - Comments Off on Make The Future Now: Get a Peek Into BF+DA’s New Accelerator Space in Brooklyn

Make The Future Now: Get a Peek Into BF+DA’s New Accelerator Space in Brooklyn

NL-BFDA-TableThere's something revolutionary about the new Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator space off of the Flushing G stop in Brooklyn. Maybe it's something about the space itself—seeing as its history is as rich as the work that will surely come of it—mixed with the people and enthusiasm within its walls. The space's opening event on November 11th almost seemed more like a pep rally than anything, with the program's makers and designers proudly displaying the fruits of their labors for passersby.

NL-BFDA-PillowsFirst, let's dig into the people and goals behind the initiative. Picture yourself as a recent college grad with no room for running your own endeavor—or simply throw yourself back to those real-life growing pains you remember like yesterday. In a world that's so focused on being self-made, that is a tough place to be. And as a respected arts and design establishment, Pratt knows this. So, instead of offering job placement advice or leaving grads completely on their own to fend for work, they decided to do something for up-and-coming creators. The Brooklyn Accelerator is a space for creatives to find the resources they need to make their ideas into reality, whether that's a desk to work on or a station for 3D printing (you can check out more of the available resources here). One of the most impressive assets was the larger-than-life mechanical loom humming away in one of the side rooms.

While it's easy to walk into a room of makers and quickly recognize what they're doing. But the BF+DA designers are doing much more than simply "making." To be a part of the program, they need to be focused on incorporating sustainable best practices into their work and, straight from the mouth of the program itself, "exploring the relationship of apparel + technology and the future of production."

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January 5, 2010 - Comments Off on Jill – Reclaimed Rehearsal Dinner Dress

Jill – Reclaimed Rehearsal Dinner Dress

Jill was able to obtain both of her husband's grandmother's wedding dresses to use in new creations for herself. The dress from her husband's grandmother's first marriage at the turn of the 20th century we used in Jill's wedding dress; the dress from the second marriage circa 1940s we decided to use for Jill's rehearsal dinner dress.

I cleaned and restored the lace, and we did a serious of dyeing experiments before deciding on a pretty mauve shade that complemented Jill's complexion.

Very few alterations were necessary on the dress (which goes to show how tiny Jill is!) She had a black slip dress that worked perfectly under the lace dress, and we added a black velvet ribbon as a contrast at the empire waist. In addition to the beautiful dress, Jill had also obtained a bolero jacket, which we dyed the same colour.

January 4, 2010 - Comments Off on Jill – Reclaimed Wedding Dress

Jill – Reclaimed Wedding Dress

As founder and editor-in-chief of green design blog Inhabitat, Jill was only willing to go the sustainable route with her wedding attire. In addition to sourcing minimal impact materials, we wanted to design a dress indicative of Jill's sophisticated style, in a silhouette that was fun and fresh, and also re-wearable. We first started by exploring fabric options such as organic cotton tulles and silks, such as the below.

Jill was then offered her fiance's grandmother's Victorian wedding dress from circa 1900, which was a beautiful lace gown, completely deteriorated in most sections, but intact in others. Jill had already decided that she did not want a full-length gown, but I had to make sure that we had enough material from the vintage gown to create even a knee-length dress! Through careful cutting and efficient patternmaking, I was just able to make it work, utilizing the lace's scallop edges at the neckline and asymmetrical hemline of the dress.

The lace needed to be carefully cleaned and restored back to its original colour, as pictured below.

We both love the colour green, and decided on a hand-dyed ombre (green with a gradation from light to dark) silk charmeuse for the underlayer of the dress. From my collection of vintage lace trims, we selected one to use for the straps, which I dyed using green tea to   match the ivory of the dress lace.

The wedding and reception were held in San Francisco's beautiful Presidio Park, which tends to become cool at night, so we made a custom bolero jacket in a matching green to cover Jill's arms.

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