Tuesday, March 30, 2010

reee purposed

the parachute dress from spring 2010:

I came into some amazing vintage fabrics mainly from the 60's and 70's, this past summer. Mostly prints that are super vibrant and fun. I have been busy making a little "capsule collection" of current styles from my spring collection out of the yardages of vintage cotton. Here are a few examples of the parachute dress style, made out of some of these crazy prints!

I love all 3 of these prints- who wouldn't want to flop around town in a vintage print dress all summer?

Friday, March 26, 2010

the new olds

We had a nice little shindig this past weekend to celebrate my mom's 60th birthday. We had a real nice time, all the usual suspects came out to eat delicious cupcakes, my dear Marisa made them- (insanely yummy ginger bread citrus cake with creamy icing) and tell stories about my mom and her 60 years of life. She is the center of my inspiration- the woman can and will do anything. As a young girl she battled cancer and had to undergo an amputation of her left leg to prevent the disease from spreading. This did not stop her from roller skating with the other 12 year old girls (this was 1962). She went on to become a nurse and later she founded the non-profit Amputee Coalition of America (ACA). Between lobbying congress as an advocate for people with disabilities, speaking all over the world, and founding support groups, my mother also raised my brother and I to be compassionate and pro-active. I was never told that I could not achieve things, and I grew up with a sense of community and can-do-ditude that I can only contribute to my mother and her ever-forward-moving ambition to help others. Did I mention she is the one who taught me how to sew?? I raise my glass to her as she turns 60.

Happy Birthday Mom!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

spring at workshop!

here it comes! As the weather begins to thaw, and the sun peaks out again, the city of Chicago begins to come alive! I am so excited for the summer! I have so many plans for workshop and how to make it the sweetest little shop on the south side. I have a bunch of new pieces from local designers and other conscientious designers around the country. Abigail Glaum-Lathbury who happens to be another Alum of SAIC is a very talented designer with a really unique perspective on patterning. Her innovative cuts tend to create sculptural effects with fabric while flattering the form. She is a lovely gal, and I am pleased as punch to have a nice assortment of her spring collection available at workshop.

Another exciting addition to workshop's lineup: the airy and romantic pieces by my gal Kee Edwards of Loup Charmant. Kee describes the pieces as "lounge wear" whether contimplating the light-as-air dresses or the adorable bloomers, I definitely day dream about lounging somewhere near the sea in these gorgeous organic cotton bits...

I have also been scouring the nooks and crannies to find cool vintage jewelry to sell along with the clothing (accessorizing is half the battle)- and have lots of cool sterling silver earrings, wooden beaded necklaces, and other unexpected finds like a slew of woven leather belts!

trays of sterling silver vintage jewelry findings....

woven leather belts- already broken in!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

behind the scenes

I am taking a quickie break from tagging, double-triple checking each piece and packing up the boxes to ship out my second spring shipment. I am looking at all the bounty. It is amazing to see all the inventory all piled onto a rack in each respective stores' designated space. All the fabric rolls that came to me from as far as India (hand-loomed silk and cotton) and Japan (super soft organic cotton gauze). Sourcing the loveliest sustainable and ethically made raw materials is one of the biggest parts of creating the line....

The garments pass through so many hands, and I felt it a good idea to give a glimpse into this world, and show some images of the people who help make frei possible. I had an impromptu photo shoot with Dorothy and the girls up North (in Chicago) last week when I went to pick up some production. Dorothy sews much of the garments for each collection. I was wearing a hat (cause it's cold in Chicago in the winter!) so Dorothy grabbed a hat too!

Dorothy with her some of the ladies on her team

This season I was so happy to work with the amazing Jane Palmer of Noon Solar who happens to be a natural dying guru! She dip-dyed all the Persephone dresses in natural indigo and they turned out so beautifully:

I took this picture on a super lovely day last week with sun shining through the windows in workshop, so i hung up the Persephone dress in the sunlight to show off the dye....


How amazingly beautiful are these images from vogue Italia? I want to live in this fairy tale world.... makes me excited for spring! Is that the easter bunny?