Friday, August 1, 2008

Featured Designer: Emily Frances

Meet Emily. She's the designer and seamstress behind her label "Emily Frances". We have a great collection of her women's tops, as well as some adorable children's jumpers and booties. Her work is very well made and she uses especially beautiful fabrics in every piece. Read our interview below, and then check out her etsy shop.

Describe in your own words what you design and create.
I am currently creating a collection of women's and children's wear that is grounded in the ideas of simplicity of form and timelessness of style. All aspects of design and creation are done by me, by hand, in the most low-tech way possible. For instance, the prints found in my work all come from original stencils that I cut by hand and then paint one at a time. This results in a uniqueness and history for each piece not possible through more mass-production techniques.

What are your favorite materials?

I love to work with natural fibers, especially cotton, bamboo, and wool. These have a quality and richness that synthetic fibers can never quite match. I also love the hunt for fabric, and the feeling of discovery and inspiration when I find a fantastic piece. Some of my favorite fabrics have come from Japan and Sweden, but I have made great finds even at the local fabric store. I usually save a piece of fabric, sometimes for years, until I have the perfect idea for it.

What is the most important feature in your designs?

I would say a hallmark of my designs is a very simple form, executed in fabulous fabrics with a meticulous attention to detail. I love making practical art that will become a part of people's lives and experiences. We live in our clothes, we use them to express who we are, and they shape others' perceptions of us. I am so honored when a piece of mine goes home to someone's closet to become a part of their wardrobe and a part of their life.

Is there anything in art, design, or fashion that you really look forward to accomplishing in the coming months or years?
My goal is always to make my collection a little bit bigger and better each season. I look forward to participating in even more local fashion events, and forming partnerships with other local artists. Someday it would be lovely to design and print my own textiles. And of course the ultimate goal is to support myself by living my creative dream.

"Orla, TX" Photos by Nicole Tappa

"Orla, Tx", from Milwaukee artist, Nicole Tappa will be on the walls August 15th through mid September. The collection is an eerie story of a lonesome ghost town textured by decay and vast blue skies. Join us for an opening reception August 22nd from 6-9pm.

Nicole Tappa graduated from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in 2005 with a BFA in photography. She then traveled onto Chicago. After completing one year at Columbia College Chicago's MFA program in photography she has returned. Chicago taught her one thing, that if she goes any further away, she'll start coming back.

About Orla

It's a long way to anywhere from Orla, Texas. Orla is on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe line, U.S. Highway 285, and Farm Road 652, five miles southeast of Red Bluff in northwestern Reeves County. The name is Spanish for "border" and refers to the countryside around the settlement. Orla was established as a section house on the Pecos River Railroad in 1890. A post office was opened there in 1906. By 1933 Orla reported the post office, a business, and a population of ten. Its population remained at ten until after World War II, but the number of businesses increased to two in 1943. The town grew between the late 1940s and the 1950s, the population to forty and then to sixty, and the number of businesses to three. In the mid-1960s Orla became a rural oil supply center. By the end of the decade its population had reached 250, and it had twelve businesses. From 1970 through 2000 its population was reported at 183, and it had variously anywhere from one to sixteen businesses. In 1990 Orla still supplied equipment for production in nearby Permian Basin oilfields. In 2005, its population stood at 2.