Archive
Happy Holidays! It’s Winter Week on Breakthru, so this Friday’s Sew & Tell is all about winter fashion. And this week’s guest designs the perfect winter accessory that will keep you cozy *and* chic. Claudia Schulz is a Berlin-born, Vancouver-based designer, who started to experiment with making her own hats, after a lifetime spent collecting them. We should all be thankful that she did, because her creations are beautiful, sculptural, and elegant – at once basic go-to’s and dramatic statement pieces. On today’s show, Claudia will talk about her transition from social work to millinery, the materials and process she uses to create her designs, and the wide variety of sources she draws on for design inspiration – from Bauhaus architecture to Cape Town, South Africa. Plus, a playlist full of delightfully wintery tracks, featuring songs from Lia Ices, Miike Snow, Bon Iver, and Fleet Foxes, and a handy list of styling tips from Refinery 29 to keep your winter wardrobe in its finest sartorial shape. So settle in with your favorite scarf, and get ready for winter, Sew & Tell style!
It’s First Time Week on BTR, and we’re celebrating it in style with Sew & Tell’s first ever knitwear designer! Carlo Volpi is an award-winning, up-and-coming young knitter whose first collection for men, titled “Lipstick Stab Wounds,” is colorful, challenging, and playfully & masterfully executed. Combining pop art references with sports and comic heros, Carlo’s designs recall both sculpture and graffiti, introducing punk to its newest platform: the sweater. On today’s show, Carlo will talk about how he started knitting, what inspires him to create his unique designs, the genius of Missoni, and some of his upcoming projects. Plus, a subtly holiday-ish themed playlist, with tracks from Sleigh Bells, Wise Blood, Mimicking Birds, Purse Snatchers, and a brand new, beautiful, heartbreaking Christmas song from Damien Jurado. So turn up the volume, pour yourself some egg nog, and join me for a conversation with Sew & Tell’s first knitwear guest!
The future is the ruling state for fashion – it often seems as though the industry is living 6 months ahead of everyone else. S/S 2013 came out in September, and even as we prepare to see F/W 2013 in February, many major labels are launching their pre-fall collections now. It might feel strangely out of synch to be thinking about fall of 2013 when we’re barely into December 2012, but as trendsetters, possibly *the* trendsetters, fashion’s earliest birds catch the consumer. But there are other respects in which fashion rushes boldly ahead, including innovations. Today’s guest, Francesca Rosella, and her partner Ryan Genz are forces of invention, leading the technological revolution into fashion with their company, CuteCircuit. Together, Ryan and Francesca create what they call “wearable technology” – futuristic designs, from t shirts to red carpet gowns, that feature a slew of unique digital technology. Creating patterns with LED lights, Francesca and Ryan offer CuteCircuit customers the opportunity to do everything from make a cell phone call with the sleeve of a dress, to display tweets and iPhone photos on the front of a t shirt. Through CuteCircuit, the future has already arrived, and on today’s show Francesca will talk about how she and Ryan met and began this one-of-a-kind enterprise, the architecture and production process behind their creations, and future plans for their line. Plus, I have tracks on today’s playlist page from the future albums of Radar Bros., Lonesome Leash, and YACHT, as well as an epically long, epically great track off the new Sufjan Stevens Christmas album. All that and more in this hour of radio, so stick around for a glimpse into fashion’s crystal ball…
On November 26, 2012, TBWA/Chiat/Day hosted a launch party for photographer Rose Hartman’s new book, Incomparable Women Of Style. Before the event, BreakThruTV’s Lauren Hawker spoke with Rose about the book and her career, during which she has photographed a number of celebrities, models, and fashionistas — Jacqueline Onassis, Kate Moss, Bianca Jagger, Naomi Campbell, and Lauren Hutton among them — and been a fixture at such famed hot spots as Studio 54.
The fashion industry is built from a hundred individual specialties: manufacturers of trim, buttons, and fabric; designers of niche lines for outerwear, footwear, neckties, jeans, lingerie, swimwear; and retailers built around those same niche markets. But the latter two categories wouldn’t exist without the first, so on today’s show, we’ll hear from Benita Singh, co-founder of a speciality textile website Source4Style. Source4Style exists as a virtual marketplace, connecting textile suppliers with designers, and ensuring responsible production and fair trade in the process. With this weekend’s tragic factory fire in Bangladesh, the importance of transparency in the production chain is underscored, and Source4Style is fulfilling an essential role within the industry by offering designers the opportunity to purchase with ethical confidence. On today’s show, Benita will talk about how she and her colleagues met and began Source4Style, some of their global partnerships, a few educational initiatives they offer, and some details about their selection of fabrics. Plus, I have the latest in articles and news coverage on the Bangladesh factory fire, as well as some all-too-infrequent good news from the headlines of the ethical fashion industry. And I’ve got a great playlist prepared, featuring two new acts from the UK, more Sufjan-style Christmas, and even a clip from comedian Tig Notaro. Another hour of style + substance coming your way, on BTR!
This week, I’m joined by the multi-talented, multicultural designer Nina Egli, creator of not one, but *two* great lines, Toujours Toi and Family Affairs. Nina started Toujours Toi in 2002 – 2003, as a charm bracelet side project for extra cash. It quickly took center stage, and her quirky, elegant combinations of charms, cast metal, sequins, and crystals captivate the imaginations of women everywhere. In 2008, Nina and her mother, Kaya, also a designer, began to work together on a line of women’s clothing. Not surprisingly, their Swiss/New York cross-continental label, appropriately called Family Affairs, took off just as quickly as Nina’s jewelry. Their collections are full of whimsical prints, paired with classic, vintage-inspired cuts for a look that’s full of elegance and magic. On today’s show, Nina will talk about how she began Toujours Toi, the stories and cinema that inspire her, and some brand new Family Affairs projects for the coming collections. Plus, music from Sufjan’s Christmas epic, a Jonti re-do, and Toro Y Moi’s new single – all that and more in this hour of fashion, so tune in as we keep fashion in the family on BTR!
It’s Grace Kelly! It’s Audrey Hepburn! No, it’s… you! On today’s show, I talk with Leslie Tessler, the design talent and passion behind a beautiful new line of elegant capes. Inspired by her grandmother’s collection of vintage capes, Leslie set out to modernize the dramatic elegance of yesterday for today’s woman. Her pieces are bold, classic, and so chic they make a solid case for the indispensability of a cape in every woman’s wardrobe. On the show, we’ll hear from Leslie about how her love affair with the cape began, when she decided to start her line, some of the beautiful materials she uses, styling tips, and future plans for the line. Plus, music from the BTR Discovery Artist Dan Mangan, along with The War on Drugs, Mumford & Sons, San Francisco newcomers the Evil Eyes, and more. So tune in for your weekly fashion tune-up with Sew & Tell on BreakThru Radio!
Wow, what a week! For all those who were affected by Hurricane Sandy, the thoughts & hearts of all the BreakThru Radio staff are with you, and we wish you safe and swift recovery. There are a host of opportunities to help out, whether you live in the NYC area or elsewhere, and you’ll find a list of resources at the bottom of today’s show page. The fashion industry marched on through the storm, bringing with it a host of stories from the inspriational to the ridiculous, to the er, well, more ridiculous. And let’s not forget that it was Halloween this week, too, which gave fashionistas everywhere an excuse to get even more flamboyant. Here on the station, we’ve been celebrating with Unsolved Mysteries week, taking this opportunity to examine some of the inexplicable, unfathomable, and downright strange phenomenon in culture, science and society. The fashion side of mystery can, in my opinion, most easily be found in vintage goods, and this week’s Sew & Tell guests are the perfect example of how repurposed antiques can become updated treasures, oozing with historic mystique. Margaux and Walter Kent are a husband-and-wife team that form the creative collaboration behind Philadelphia-based Peg & Awl, a line of home, garden, and fashion accessories. Margaux and Walter’s creations all borrow their lives from antique material, and to own a Peg & Awl piece is to own a rare piece of history. On today’s show, Margaux and Walter will share the story of how they started Peg & Awl, where they find their unique source materials, and some of the processes they use to craft their beautiful goods. Plus, I have a sleuth-worthy playlist, with tracks from Timber Timbre, Levek, Midnight Magic and more. So invite your power-less friends over, gather around the kitchen table, light some candles, and tune in as we solve this Friday’s fashion mystery…
TGIFashion! Sew & Tell is here to boost your weekend style sophistication factor, and this week’s guests are just the pair to take on the task! Peter Buer and Phoebe Sung started Cold Picnic, a collaborative line of accessories, in 2010. Over the course of just 2 short years, they’ve released multiple collections of bold, sculptural designs that draw inspiration from 1970’s crafts, ancient art and textiles, and Native American culture. From chunky rings to woven necklaces, animal pendants to etched leather, these two have brought a chic anthropological vibe to their Brooklyn storefront, A Thousand Picnics. On today’s show, Peter and Phoebe will talk about how a bibliophilic road trip ultimately became a business, some of the unique crafts and materials they use, and a few new projects in the works. Plus, a disquieting playlist assembled just for the Halloween season, with some of the spookiest tracks from recent weeks including artists like Dum Dum Girls, Mumford & Sons, WIN WIN, King Tuff and more. So tune in & prepare for some frighteningly fashionable radio on BTR!
On this week’s fashion feature, I’m joined by Naomi Clark and Nana Spears, two of the imaginative forces behind Brooklyn-based design and art collective Fort Makers. In addition to art pieces, installations, and furniture, Fort Makers has developed a beautiful fashion label centered around hand-painted pieces. The original designs blend fine art and fashion in strikingly unique garments, and it’s no surprise that they recently finished a collaboration line for Anthropologie. On today’s show, Nana and Naomi will talk about how they formed Fort Makers, Naomi’s process for painting silk, some new accessory designs, and the artists and designers that inspire their work. Plus, new music from former Velvet Underground-er John Cale, as well as side-by-side releases from Dandy Warhol drummer Brent Deboer, who is out with both a new solo effort as well as the debut album from his Australian-based project Immigrant Union. And some info on the upcoming BTR CMJ showcases happening this week – we’ve got a ton of hot music to keep you warm as the weather cools. So tune in and stay toasty with fall fashion & music on BreakThru Radio!
You might know where your organic cotton shirt was made, or have seen construction on your locally-produced jeans… but what about your shoes? In the increasing market of sustainable fashion, footwear seems a step or two behind. But this week’s guest, Nick Meyer, will tell us how he and his two co-founders are changing the industry for the better with their new line of fair trade hand-made shoes, Nisolo. Working with four shoemakers in Northern Peru, the members of Nisolo have developed a line of beautiful leather shoes for men and women, in a range of classic, elegantly versatile styles and colors. On today’s show, Nick will talk about how they first discovered a hot-spot of Peruvian shoemakers, some of the ways in which the Nisolo business model benefits Trujillo’s shoe industry and community, the progress they’ve made in just one year of business, and hopes for future expansion. Plus, tracks from hot-off-the-press Mumford & Sons, Sun Airway, and Murder By Death, as well as music from Beacon, Active Child and more. Join us for a Friday of feel-good fashion, here on BreakThru Radio!
Remember that scarf you got in college (right after you broke up with your first big love) and still have? Or the sweater you stole from your sister in high school, and never gave back? Writer and artist Emily Spivack is a fashion historian/documentarian/anthropologist, who has been collecting personal stories and memories that are attached to the things in peoples’ closets. In addition to writing the Smithsonian blog Threaded, focused on fashion history, Emily also offers two amazing blogs of her own, Sentimental Value and Worn Stories. The first is a collection of stories that Emily has found on Ebay, posted along with the item for sale, and the second is a series of first-hand narratives about favorite/meaningful garments and accessories, from a variety of artists, designers, and writers. On today’s show, Emily will talk about her work for The Smithsonian, how she started to collect stories from Ebay, and why fast fashion doesn’t allow for the cultivation of a meaningful closet. Plus, tons of great new music from The Raveonettes, Jason Collett, The Luyas, Conveyor, and more, and articles, favorites, and gossip from New York Fashion Week! So join us now as we get personal… in style.
A very grown up Abigail Breslin makes an appearance at the debut of designer Stacy Bendet’s latest collection.
Happy Fashion Week! I hope you’re all enjoying a week full of beautiful new designs, debuts, and drama. In honor of this special occasion, I have a very exciting guest on the show for you today – Tara St. James is the talented designer behind the acclaimed Brooklyn-based women’s wear line Study NY. A native of Montreal, Tara studied fashion at university before becoming Creative Director for the label Covet. As her concerns with sustainable and responsible production grew, Tara eventually left Covet to begin her own line in 2009. Study NY was winner of the prestigious Eco Domani grant for sustainable design in 2011, and it’s easy to see why: Tara’s pieces are complex, clever, rigorous, and elegant. On today’s show, Tara will share about the path that led her to start Study, her work with an ancient Japanese dyeing technique, some of the biggest issues facing sustainable production today, and what’s ahead for Study NY. Plus, great new music on the show from Deerhoof, Animal Collective, The Fresh & Onlys and more, so stick around and get ready to take notes… this is Fashion Week with Study NY here on Sew & Tell!
September 6-13 is Fashion Week in NYC. Over the coming days, designers, models, and fashionistas from across the world will invade the Big Apple to celebrate Fashion Week. This yearly September showcase will include endless runway shows and high profile parties with designers presenting what’s hot for Spring 2013 at Lincoln Center as well as other venues throughout the City. In anticipation, we asked New Yorkers about what the week-long spectacle means to them.
What do bicycles and fashion have to do with each other? Everything! Forget cars – biking is the fashion king of transportation, and beautiful cycle-friendly labels, designer bikes, and elegant bike style blogs have popped up left and right. For this week’s show, I got to chat with designer and blogger Ann DeOtte of the new brand Iva Jean, dedicated to products that help women more easily incorporate biking into their daily routines. The line launched with its first product introduction last fall, when it released the Rain Cape. Championed by several top design websites, including Daily Candy and Cup of Jo, the Iva Jean Rain Cape is sleek, subtle, and sophisticated, designed with both street wear an cycling in mind. Join us as Ann shares about her work in marketing for design firms, her own transformation into a dedicated and determined biker, and the inspiration behind Iva Jean. Plus, new music samples from Field Report, NO, Matthew Dear, Firewater and more, for fashion Friday here on BTR!
It’s almost fall! And you know what that means – the return of pumpkin lattes, rosy cheeks, and classic fall fashion. Today’s Sew & Tell guest puts a spin on classic style for her F/W 2012 collection – Lizz Wasserman of the L.A.-based popomomo creates women’s wear pieces that are heady, sophisticated, and still playful. The former creative designer for Free People launched her own line with the desire to make changes for the sustainable, and has found no shortage of fans for her collections. Each season is inspired by icons, cultural movements, and philosophies that range from Geogia O’Keefe to the Russian Constructivists. With that level of creative approach, it’s no surprise to discover that Lizz comes from a background in sociology and anthropology, and on today’s show, we’ll learn about how she made the leap from European squat culture to her own label, her method for developing one-of-a-kind prints, the inspiration behind her F/W 2012 pieces, and how her closet has changed as she’s moved into her 30’s. All that, plus a stellar playlist, including brand new Yeasayer, samples of the new collaborative projects Poor Moon and OMBRE, and a gorgeous cover of the Arcade Fire from two San Francisco-based musicians. So grab a cup of cider and get ready to take notes – fall is fashionably early on BTR!
What’s the sound of style? Well, it’s a lot more glam than one hand clapping. In fact, as we’ve discussed Sew & Tell before, there is a ton of crossover between fashion and music, designers and rockers. For today’s show, I got to talk with Susan Domelsmith, a Brooklyn jeweler who’s also part of the all-girl Brooklyn band Open Ocean. Susan’s jewelry line, Dirty Librarian Chains (best name ever?), is a beautifully tangled, bold array of pieces, each one made from repurposed vintage materials. From elegantly twisted chain necklaces, to simple, sculptural rings, these pieces are 100% rock ‘n roll, and it’s easy to see why the line has caught the attention of musicians like Debbie Harry and Vivian Girls. Susan’s own music is no less innovative – she contributes keyboards to two projects: the throw-back punk band Open Ocean, and the experimental electronic pop duo Time Reveals. On today’s show, Susan talks about the evolution of DLC, sourcing vintage materials, making music with fashion friends, and some of her favorite NYC libraries. Plus! An awesome playlist (what else would you expect?) featuring music from Open Ocean, Wild Nothing, Rubblebucket, Bill Fay, Bob Mould and more. So turn up the volume and settle in for some seriously stylish sound, with Sew & Tell on BTR!
What do you think of when you think of fashion ads? Uber-skinny women draped across couches, wearing fabulous clothes and looking some degree of depressed/disturbed? Possibly… but there’s a lot more to it nowadays than that. And this week’s guest is the perfect person to talk about how fashion editorial has influenced fashion advertising. Mary O’Regan is the new Senior Feature Writer for Nordstrom’s, and the funny, insightful, stylish voice behind Art of Wore. I first spoke with Mary in December, when we reviewed fashion trends of 2011, and looked ahead to 2012. At the time, Mary was just about to leave her position in Minneapolis as Senior Editor for METRO magazine, for Seattle, to begin her new adventures with everyone’s favorite department store. This week, I got a chance to catch up with Mary about her new gig, style in Seattle, and fashion advertising. Join us as we discuss the over-grunged grunge of Marc Jacobs, the polished edge of Alexander Wang, the marketing genius of Lanvin, the classless publicity stunt of violence in advertising, Mary’s fall fashion favorites, and more. Plus, new music from Scandinavian psych pop artist Sandra Kolstad, UK’s Cave Painting, San Francisco’s Two Gallants (think Lucinda Williams meets White Stripes), and more. Fridays just keep getting better & better, here on BTR!
Ever wonder what it is that makes a garment high-quality? What really IS the difference, besides brand, between a blouse from H&M or Hermès? On today’s show, we have the perfect guest to tackle these questions. Nayantara Banerjee is known in the NYC fashion circuit as The Williamsburg Seamster, and has made a name for herself as a skilled tailor. After graduating from Syracuse, Nayantara spent time working at the women’s bespoke collection Dara Lamb before going on to grow her own alterations business. She’s been featured in the Times, and her house-call tailoring services have become a treasure of the Williamsburg neighborhood. On the show today, Nayantara discusses the finer points of garment construction, reveals a few key differences between quality and carelessness, and offers listeners a few tips on alterations to consider the next time you’re about to toss a favorite dress on the give-away pile. Plus, an AMAZING music set today full of great new tracks from Antony & The Johnsons, Icky Blossoms, Blonds, ERAAS, Dan Deacon, and Animal Collective. So tune in and turn it up, as we study style here on BreakThru Radio!
I’ve got the perfect summertime style show for you today on Sew & Tell – Leah Reena Goren is a young Brooklyn-based textile print designer, and recent graduate of Parsons. Since her graduation this spring, Leah has already gone on to have her work featured in the Textile Arts Center retail shop, she did a collaboration with Anthropologie’s “Made In Kind” designer collection, and was recently spotlighted on Etsy as a “Featured Shop.” All this success comes as no surprise when you look at her whimsical, dreamy, feminine prints and contemporary-but-classic cuts. On today’s show, Leah shares about how growing up with a painter for a mom influenced her own work, her print-making process, and some great business advice for new designers looking to follow in her footsteps of success. Plus, I dish about the Prada/Schiaparelli Met exhibit, a new eco-fashion shopping site I just discovered, the fabulous weekend sale at Kaight, and MTV’s resurrection of “House of Style.” All that, and a playlist covered in great new tracks from Heavenly Beat, Cate Le Bon, Eternal Summers, and more – Friday is officially here on BTR!!
TGIF! And we all know what that means… Thank God for Indie Fashion! Today’s show features a guest who provides an incredible service to socially & environmentally conscious fashionistas: Kate McGregor, owner and operator of the New York City eco-boutique, Kaight. In her store, Kate has made the work easy for us by offering a personally assembled collection of responsible labels, and sustainability-focused designers. Not only can New York residents take advantage of this gem, but Kaight has a webshop, too, making it ridiculously easy to be responsibly stylish. On today’s show, Kate will talk about the concerns that led her to open Kaight, the criteria she uses to choose designers and labels, some of the changes she’s seen in sustainable design since opening her doors, and one of the biggest challenges she’s faced as a small business owner. All that, plus a playlist absolutely chock-full of great new music and releases, including tracks from ASPE, Dirty Projectors, Hot Panda, and BTR’s Discovery Artist of the Week, Cardigan Strike Attack. Indie rock + sustainable summer dresses. Could you have a better Friday? #Probablynot
It’s Made In America Week on BTR, and in honor of our founding fathers, I have the mother of all shows for you! U.S. production is a hot-button issue in manufacturing across the boards, but particularly in the fashion industry. Domestic garment production has seen a 90% rate of decline over the last 50 years, but a growing number of designers, advocates, and journalists are working to spread the word about the implications of this loss, and reverse the tide. On today’s show, I feature clips from interviews with just a handful of these talented, driven individuals, representatives of a new movement to bring fashion production back to the U.S. You’ll hear perspectives on production from designers Alice Wu of Feral Childe, Samantha Pleet, Karen Stewart and Howard Brown, Bron Heussenstamm of Alex Maine, Jeff Garner of Prophetik, Peter Kallen of Nau, and Anna Zeman and Aja Singer of Alex & Eli. You’ll also hear from Jasmin Malik Chua, Managing Editor of Ecouterre, and Erica Wolf and Anthony Lilore, two representatives from New York’s Save The Garment Center, a trade association working to preserve New York City’s garment district. All that, plus an American-centric playlist, with tracks from Electric Guest, Little Scream, Middle Brother, and Iron & Wine. So put another hot dog on the grill, and dig that American flag back out of the closet – we’re still celebrating the USA here on BTR!
This week on Sew & Tell, I bring you an interview that I’ve wanted to feature for a while. The IOU Project is a forward-thinking model of sustainable fashion production and retail, offering consumers the opportunity to make personal connections on an incredibly unique level. Through IOU, you can purchase a beautifully made, thoroughly contemporary, timelessly artisanal garment, and follow the names of those people who created it… from start to finish. You can learn the names of the weavers who created the fabric, where they live, and who their families are. Then you can follow the story to where the fabric traveled next, in order to be made into the garment that is uniquely yours, and whose hands created the deft seams and detail work. IOU offers craftsmen the opportunity to remain masters of craft: to take pride in the work they create, and receive recognition. And it turns the colorful plaid shirt hanging in your closet, into names, faces, and gratitude. On today’s show, I am excited and honored to bring you an interview with IOU’s founder and driving force, Kavita Parmar. Kavita is a passionate, articulate woman who has worked in fashion since the age of 15, and gained the knowledge, contacts, and faith necessary to create real change. In this interview, Kavita will tell the story that led to IOU’s creation, how they tell others’ stories with their garments, and a few exciting new projects on the horizon for IOU. All that, plus some amazing new music on the playlist – first original Cat Power in over six years (!!), new Alberta Cross, Post War Years, and an introduction to the UK’s next big siren of song: Bebe Black. So tune in, turn it up, and get ready to rock in style on BreakThru Radio!
It’s Food Week on BTR, just in time for all your hot-weather faves (watermelon martini, anyone?) On this week’s Sew & Tell, we have some fashionable food for thought! I’m joined by two incredibly innovative minds, who have each created new beverage-based textiles. Yes. I said beverage-based. Anke Domaske is a German microbiologist and fashion designer, who started her label Mademoiselle Chi Chi, ten years ago. Just two years ago, Anke began to experiment with milk-protein-produced textiles, and ultimately created Qmilch, an all-natural, silk-like fabric made from casein. Similarly, Australian scientific artist Gary Cass, along with designer Donna Franklin, decided to try using bacterial growth from the wine-making process to create garments. The result was Micro’be’ Fermented Fashion, a flexible, leather-like substance which can be molded to the body, and has amazing applications that extend far beyond fashion. On today’s show, Anke and Gary will each talk about the start of their developments, the science behind these unique substances, and the future of both Qmilch and Micro’be’. Plus, music from Beachwood Sparks, Lea Ices, Future of What, Husky, and more! So grab your sketchpad (and measuring spoons) and prepare to innovate, as fashion meets food here on BreakThru Radio!
Happy Fashion Friday! On this week’s Sew & Tell, I had the honor of chatting with Penelope Sacorafou of the London-based company Fox & Squirrel. Fox & Squirrel offers a variety of cultural lifestyle walks – tours that take you around London to some of its best fashion, art, and vintage spots. On today’s show, Penelope will talk about how she and co-founder Jojo Provatidou met and started Fox & Squirrel, some of her favorite independent designers in today’s London fashion industry, what “sustainable style” truly means and how they incorporate consumer education into their walks, and potentially detrimental impact that the Olympics could have on local London culture. Plus, new music from a host of great BTR artists, including Dent May, Glen Hansard, The Tallest Man On Earth, The Temper Trap and more. So stick around, and learn how to shop like an Anglophile!
Sure, Facebook stocks went public last weekend, and Zuckerberg got married (the day after, ew), but he doesn’t have the entrepreneurial field cornered. There are so many other innovative minds and projects going on in every field today, including fashion! For example… the boutique franchise Apricot Lane! Brainchild of two former firefighters, Ken Petersen and Tom Brady, Apricot Lane is a national chain of over 90 unique storefronts. Each one offers its owner the opportunity to make decisions for themselves about inventory and presentation, yet the have the undeniable benefits of stability and support that come along with an established name. Stores from MN to TX, NY to CA stock brands like TOM’S, Sanctuary, 7 For All Mankind, and Lucky Brand Jeans, alongside smaller up-and-coming local labels and designers. It’s a revolutionary retail model that is taking the U.S. by storm, and on today’s show, founder and CEO Ken Petersen will tell the story of going from firefighting to furniture to fashion, who the Apricot Lane women (and men) are, some of the lessons he’s learned as the stores have grown, and an exciting new project that the company has launched in Cambodia. Plus, new music from several under-the-radar talents, including Kelly Hogan, King Tuff, and River City Extension! So turn up that radio, and get ready to be inspired!
This week on Sew & Tell, we’re taking a look at one of the best fashion accessories out there: the wristwatch. Watches blend form and function like almost no other wardrobe item can, doing double duty by offering exquisite style and substance. Surprisingly, there are relatively few independent watch designers on the scene today, but I was fortunate to sit down and chat for a bit with not just one of the only, but one of the best. Martine Ilana launched La Mer in 2001, when, out of her own frustration with the dearth of fashion-forward women’s watches, she designed one for herself. That set her on a path to revolutionize the market, and thanks to her efforts and exquisite designs, La Mer is now carried in many of the big-name boutiques and retail chains, worldwide. Utilizing a mixture of materials from metal to leather, and lucite to diamonds, Martine creates unique designs for every time of day, every season, and every type of woman. On today’s show, she’ll talk about the frustration and passion that got her started, the travels that inspire her designs, and the amazing website she built, which allows visitors to become genuine “time travelers” as they explore her collections. Plus, there’s a whole playlist of time-centered music on the show, including tracks from a lot of my favorites – Damien Jurado, Tom Waits, Sun Airway, Timber Timbre and more. So get your weekend fashion on early with BTR and La Mer – it’s about time!
Mother’s Day is on Sunday, and BTR is taking this week to celebrate women of all ages! Sew & Tell has the perfect guest: Elizabeth Roberts, pioneering force and creative visionary behind Wraphabillement, a line of uniquely designed outerwear. From a background in advocacy, and a deep devotion to the fight against breast cancer, Elizabeth gained experience in public policy and business savvy, which ultimately led her into an unexpected, but exciting, new territory: fashion design. What began with a sketchbook at a Parisian cafe has become a collection of outerwear, specifically tailored for the life of a busy woman. Wraphabillement blends practicality, safety, durability, and style in one incredible multi-functioning garment, so it’s no wonder that Elizabeth’s designs have become the official outwear for the Royal Danish Ballet Company. On today’s show, Elizabeth will talk us through the incredible journey that led her from New York to Seattle, Microsoft to fashion design, and she’ll share inspirations, insight, and the passions that sustain her. Plus, a whole playlist of women on today’s show, including new music from Beach House, Ane Brun, and Gemma Ray, as well as favorites from earlier this year. All that ahead in this special woman-power-hour of Sew & Tell!
Ever wish your cocktail gown could glow in different colors and patterns? Ever need a hug when no one’s around? Or maybe you’re always looking for your phone, and wish you could just wear it. Whatever your technology fantasy is, chances are good that the forward-thinking team at CuteCircuit can tackle the problem! Two years ago, CuteCircuit made a splash on the red carpet fashion radar when Katy Perry wore one of their exclusive couture designs to the Met Gala. On first glance, the dress is a beautifully-constructed chiffon gown, with appliqué flowers and a flirtatiously high slit. That is, until Katy turned on a small power pack in her bustier, and… the dress was suddenly glowing! CuteCircuit have created several special project designs with their LED fabric technology, but also recently launched a ready-to-wear street fashion collection! In addition to LED textiles and garments, Francesca and Ryan have created other prototypes of what they call “interactive fashion,” fulfilling the CuteCircuit motto “future fashion now.” On today’s Sew & Tell, Francesca talks with me about how she and Ryan started CuteCircuit, the hard work and patience they’ve put into their inventions, and exactly how you can use your dress to make a phone call… Plus! New music from the Ty Segall and White Fence collaboration, Best Coast, Twin Shadow and more. So prepare to take notes on the future of fashion, because it’s here!
Summer’s almost here!! No. Really. Despite whatever craziness is happening with the weather, warm sunshine really is making a comeback, and along with it – summer dresses and all good things! Which, in city life, also means the return of food trucks! But what if you could eat a Korean-fusion truck taco while SHOPPING on a truck?? Too good to be true? Or just the brainchild of a visionary? Lucky for us, it’s the latter. Emily Benson is owner & operator of The Fashion Truck, a Boston-based mobile boutique filled with unique apparel & accessories. Emily is dedicated to individual attention for customers and designers alike, so she fills her truck with both local and national labels, and personally greets each face that comes through the door. And she’s committed to making her fashion affordable, so you can walk out the door with new earrings, necklace, handbag, dress and coat, for under $200! What more could a street style savvy ask for? On today’s show, Emily talks shop about her truck shop, some of the unique challenges and rewards of running a small mobile business, some of the Boston area labels she loves, and future plans to (ohyesplease!) bring The Fashion Truck to other cities. Plus, tons of great new music on the show! We’ve got tracks from supergroup Diamond Rugs, Brooklyn’s own Boom Chick, Allo Darlin’, Here We Go Magic, and more! So grab your smartphone and warm up that Twitter finger… truck season is back in fashion!
It’s Earth Week! And here on Sew & Tell, we like to celebrate in style by supporting eco-fashion. Sustainability in fashion production and consumption have been hot topics on this show, and I’ve been lucky to speak with a ton of amazing, innovative guests in the world of green design. This week is no exception: Rachel Weisberg is a Miami-born Parsons grad, who recently launched her eponymous line of original garments, accessories, artwork, and home goods. Even as a young label, Rachel is striving to keep her production process as “green” as possible. She works solely with organic and repurposed vintage fabrics, and creates bold, playful pops of color in her collections with natural dyes. Rachel treasures the ethic of hand-made above all else, and each of her one-of-a-kind pieces are hand-stitched, hand-dyed, and thoughtfully crafted with care and intention. On today’s show, she’ll talk about the repurposed handbags that started her sewing obsession, why, despite recent efforts, H&M still might not be a top-notch eco-fashion choice, and a few details that are inspiring her gorgeous S/S 2013 collection. All that, plus a nature-inspired playlist, with tunes from Bon Iver, Iron & Wine, Stereolab, Moby, Savoir Adore and more. So turn up the show, and learn more about how you and Mother Earth can both look your best this summer!
“Despite how glamorous fashion looks on the outside, beneath it is a terribly polluting industry that devastates wildlife, pollutes water sources, and has considerable impacts on the livelihoods of people… Buying a t-shirt isn’t just buying a t-shirt.” – Jasmin Malik Chua On this week’s Sew & Tell, Jasmin Malik Chua, the Managing Editor of the online eco-fashion publication Ecouterre, talks about the industry’s biggest environmental struggles, and the ways in which some large corporations, like Nike, Levi’s, and H&M, are beginning the road to recovery. Plus, the latest music from Miike Snow, Dinosaur Feathers, Choir of Young Believers, Yann Tiersen and more! Get stylishly responsible with DJ Marie on BTR…
In this day and age, information is at our fingertips all the time. We’re up to date on events unfolding, down to the second, and in the know, even when we may not want to be. And yet this information deluge stays, for the most part, on the surface – unless we choose to dig deeper. I’m happy to bring you an interview today with a fashion writer, stylist, model, and musician, whose editorial work does just that. Tienlyn Jacobson is a San Francisco-based writer, who works with online publications like Fashionising and StyleShop.com, as well as her own beautiful blog Say Hello, Max. With a degree in art and sociology, and several years working as a model, Tienlyn is perfectly equipped to understand the deeper roots of fashion trends and style movements, and her writing reflects this broad awareness. On today’s show, Tienlyn talks about how modeling was the perfect editorial education, why she loves Australian fashion, and a few of her own tips on chasing the ever-elusive concept of a well-curated closet. Plus, some news-worthy music on the show today, including tracks from Helado Negro, Firehorse, Zeus, Young Prisms, and Free Energy! So stick around – this is news & information you don’t want to miss!
Flapper hemlines! Victorian lace! Halter tops! Pencil skirts! Boxy blazers! Oversized sunglasses! This year’s fashion trends show a broader amalgamation of vintage-inspired looks than ever, and almost nothing is off-limits. We fashionistas have the privilege to let our imaginations run wild, and Flashback Week’s guest here on Sew & Tell knows a lot about out-of-the-box creativity. Puerto-Rican-born designer Auralis Herrero-Lugo launched her eponymous line, Auralis Studio, with an aim to create celebratory styles that are ethically produced. Based on her four collections, I’d say she’s succeeded – each one showcases her signature “urban tropical” aesthetic beautifully, pairing vintage inspiration with bright colors and luxurious fabrics, while maintaining a distinctly modern elegance. On today’s show, Auralis will talk about the mother that got her started, her path to sustainable production, and how a Puerto Rican icon transported to the highlands of Scotland served as a muse for her F/W 2012. Plus, we’ve got a flashback-filled playlist today, proving that everything old is new again. Tracks off the latest from Bear In Heaven, Kaiser Chiefs, Cheyenne Marie Mize, and John Wesley Coleman, plus a song off the upcoming new album from soul legend Bobby Womack. So grab your legwarners, bowler hat, shoulder pads, lace-up boots, leather mini skirt and favorite tie-dye blouse, and get ready to remix your decades!
Spring Break is here!! It’s time to hit the beach, and break out all those bright colors and short hem lines that have been hibernating in the back of the closet. This season’s spring fashions are in full-on party mode, with bright jewel tones and soft pastels in every designer’s collection. Miami’s Daniella Ivana Sredni is no exception – her brand new line, Aquarius, is right on trend with pops of coral, turquoise and lime, boldly contrasting tribal prints paired with black-and-white basics. But Daniella’s pieces offer a new twist on resort wear: these beach pieces can be worn on dry land, too! Dresses that will take you from brunch to beach towel to bar, and pants that are equally at home by the poolside or browsing the farmer’s market, Aquarius lets you take the spirit of spring break with you, wherever you are. On today’s show, Daniella talks with us about her sunny aesthetics, her degree from Parsons, and some exciting upcoming adventures for Aquarius! And today’s playlist is sunny, too, full of new music from M. Ward, The Magnetic Fields, Denison Witmer, Radiation City, Sean Bones, and more! So get out your straw hat, find those flip flops, and relax with gorgeous new styles for a sizzling spring break!
Designer clothes you can throw in the machine. Sound absurd? Not at all! This week’s Sew & Tell guest is a savvy young designer who recently struck out on her own to prove that dreams really can come true. Tamar Daniel is an Israeli-born, London-bred entrepreneur, designer, mother, friend, and style icon. Armed with impeccable taste and a background working for Top Shop and Anthropologie, Tamar set out this year to launch TMRDNL, her eponymous line of fashionable, well-tailored classics with a leg up on the competition: these gorgeous garments are DIY-laundry-friendly. Not only that, but they’re built for movement, and ready to keep pace with the ever-changing demands of today’s woman, all while ensuring elegance. How is this possible? Stay tuned to find out, as Tamar discusses childhood inspirations, fabrics, multi-cultural style infusions, and more! Plus, some great throw-back classic rock sounds on the show today, with tracks from Crocodiles, Pond, Little Barrie and more. So ditch your dry-clean-only blouse and come learn how to be a practicalista!
Ever wanted to exude the same sexy prowess as Sam from Sex & The City (who hasn’t)? Or the put-together understated elegance of Kate Middleton (again, hello… all of us)? This week’s Sew & Tell guests can help you achieve a look that blends both those style icons into a single wardrobe keepsake. Anna Zeman and Aja Singer met at Parsons, and formed a fast friendship based on hard-core work ethic and a deep love for polished tailoring. After internships at Rodarte and Carolina Herrera, Anna and Aja decided to take the plunge straight out of school and launch their own line. With a singular vision to “introduce the science of perfect fit to New York’s fashion scene,” the two designers boldly introduced their first Alex & Eli collection in 2009, and haven’t looked back. Alex & Eli offer refined women’s suiting that still manages to be playful, flirtatious, and distinctive – offering women the best of both Sam and Kate. On today’s show, Anna and Aja will talk about how they met and began Alex & Eli, why the love a good suit, their newly-launched custom tailor shop, and plans for the upcoming Fashion Week (which include partying and ignoring Chris Rock). All that, plus great music today from The Darcys, Damien Jurado, We Barbarians, The Joy Formidable and more. Stick around, suit up, and pay attention! Fashion just got serious.
“The product has to be beautiful because the process is beautiful. Each step has to beautifully fit together…” – Noah Guy of Joshu + Vela In honor of BreakThru Radio’s Innovator Week, I have a truly innovative designer on today’s show. Noah Guy creates Joshu + Vela, a line of stunning hand-crafted bags, from his studio in San Francisco, employing natural materials and dyes. The majority of his materials are sourced from the U.S., and the results are beautifully durable, stylish bags that are at once reminiscent of the past and perfectly suited for the future. On today’s show, Noah will talk about the path to starting his own line, the ethics and challenges of creating with U.S.-sourced materials, and an oak-tanned leather he uses that makes each bag truly one-of-a-kind. Plus, great music in the mix today, with new tracks from Plants and Animals, Virgin Forest, Virals, and even a weird-but-wonderful Buddy Holly remix. So turn up the volume, enjoy, and just try to resist the siren song of your own new Joshu + Vela bag…
Ready to save money on gorgeous fashion? OK, that was rhetorical – who isn’t?? When it comes to budget style, few people are more knowledgeable or well-versed than Dianna Baros, the editorial voice behind the popular blog The Budget Babe. With six years at Oprah.com under her belt, as well as a stint as spokeswoman for TJ Maxx and Marshall’s, and a two-year run offering Cybermonday tips to 50+ media outlets, Dianna is an over-qualified resource for designer bargains. The Budget Babe combines celebrity outfit looks-for-less, designer collaboration previews, and daily sale updates for a one-stop budget shopping bible. On today’s show, Dianna will tell us about the career & life path that led her to specialize in budget fashion, her thoughts on the designer collaboration trend, and she’ll even share a few of her top bargain shopping spots! Plus, new music today from two talented young artists, Grace Woodroofe and Youth Lagoon, alongside Porcelain Raft, CREEP, and a “Ryan Gosling Remix” by the UK band Spector of Florence and The Machine’s “No Light No Light.” So stick around and get out your budget worksheet – we’ll get your wardrobe prepped for spring with cash to spare (perhaps for some new music?)
Wanna know a secret? I’ve got a fabulous jewelry designer on Sew & Tell today! (In fact, just between us, she might be the best-kept secret in Chicago fashion… but you didn’t hear it from me.) Sarah Fox of Cursive Designs started out as a sculptor, studying at the prestigious Art Institute of Chicago. While there, she translated her talent for creating unique three-dimensional designs of lines, shapes, and space, to a smaller scale and began working with jewelry. Sarah’s creations are original, incorporating references to vintage deco designs and sleek ’60’s mod, while remaining thoroughly contemporary and fashion-forward. Her pieces have been featured at Anthropologie, and even she did a custom creation for the Of a Kind webshop – a gorgeous hand-died lace necklace. On today’s show, Sarah will share the “trade secrets” of her process, where she finds inspiration for her wearable art, and the influence of Keith Richards on one special piece. Plus, a fabulous play list full of new singles, in anticipation of the upcoming year’s new releases! We’ve got tracks from Heartless Bastards, Rival Sons, Lissy Trullie, Lana Del Rey and more. Stay tuned to Sew & Tell for the dirt on all the latest and greatest in design and music. This is one secret you’ll want to share!
It’s the first week of 2012, and what better time to focus on nutrition? And not just dietary – nutrition in every area of our lives. On today’s Sew & Tell, we’ll hear from someone who’s helping to keep the fashion industry healthy through an exciting new website. Benita Singh, along with Summer Rayne Oakes and Elizabeth Cloyd, recently launched Source4Style, an online marketplace for sustainable textiles that serves both suppliers and designers. Source4Style is also an incredible educational resource, and on today’s show, Benita shares some about the company, the fabrics they currently offer, the future of sustainable textiles, and some exciting new design initiatives that exhibit the changing face of global fashion. Plus, I have a very “cool” playlist today, dedicated to winter. You’ll hear tracks from The Loom, Wintersleep, The Subjects, Say Hi, The Bees, and even a song featuring guest vocals by Feist. An action-packed show gets your year off to a great start, here on BTR!

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