a favorite designer of mine for some years has been natalie chanin.
she's the designer of a new line of clothing, jewelry, and home stuff, entitled alabama chanin.
chanin used to produce a line called project alabama with a partner, but she has since left that particular company to do her own thing.
a momentary reverie, which might spark some memories for those who've heard of natalie chanin or project alabama...
some looks from the OLD project alabama line (their spring 2006 collection):
(as an aside: i still subconsciously think about this collection when getting dressed these days...i love the layers, the disparate yet coordinating patterns, the long, full skirts, the fitted, classic shapes that have been made special by the hand-wrought fabrications. when something is that special, when it resonates so hard with who you are and your personal aesthetic, it's hard to forget!)
but back to the matter at hand, alabama chanin!
chanin's new line, alabama chanin (which includes both wearables and home decor) stands delightfully and deliberately apart from the usual suspects, in that the items within it are sustainably made. as with the lovely clothing and such in the original project alabama line, the products she creates have a homespun, organic, one-of-a-kind feel. skilled hand-needlework finishes such as quilting, applique, and embroidery often take center stage on many of her garments. as a result, chanin's designs have an almost back-country, yet couture feeling.
according to the alabama chanin website, in her own words:
"At Alabama Chanin we create limited-edition jewelry, clothing, home furnishings, accessories, furniture and fabrics for interiors. Using a mixture of new, organic and recycled materials our products are constructed with care by artisans who live and work in our local communities. All of the Alabama Chanin products lines are made-by-hand in the USA."
and crafters and makers who are down with chanin's aesthetic might want to take note:
natalie chanin is also coming out with a book this coming spring (march 2008, allegedly) called alabama stitch book, which will feature patterns, favored stitching techniques and stencils that will inspire and facilitate those wishing to create a similar look by their own crafty hands.
that tome that is *definitely* going on my amazon.com wish list!