This week on Sew & Tell, I’m joined by biodesign innovator Suzanne Lee, former Senior Research Fellow at Central Saint Martin’s in London, and founder of the consultancy company BioCouture. Suzanne and the BioCouture team see the future of fashion at the intersection of biology and textile development, and they help their clients achieve breakthroughs in this new and emerging field. From reverse-process silk to lab-grown leather to kombucha-brewed fabric, BioCouture is leading the way towards new growth and solutions in fashion. On today’s show, Suzanne will talk about how her research at Central Saint Martin’s led to the development of BioCouture, the bacterial cellulose fiber that started it all, what gets lost in translation between a cutting-edge breakthrough and a commercially viable product, some of the incredible textile breakthroughs currently in commercial use, and more. Plus, a playlist full of great new tracks from The Antlers, Strand of Oaks, Charles Bradley, Old Monk, Bosco Delrey, and more! So join us for an exciting hour of breakthrough discoveries as we explore fashion’s new frontier…
It’s Folk Week on BTR, and for today’s Sew & Tell, I got to speak with one of the thirteen designers showcased in the current Folk Couture exhibit at the American Folk Art Museum. Gary Graham is a New York-based designer whose work had captivated the fashion world even before the 1999 launch of his eponymous label. With a background in costume design, including his textile contributions to the award-winning costumes for Broadway’s “The Lion King,” Gary’s collections juxtapose seemingly contradictory elements: intricate details balance simple silhouettes, bold prints balance active textures, and clean lines balance luxe fabrics. On today’s show, Gary talks about the path that took him from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to his own flagship store in Tribeca, the ways in which he draws on landscape and literature for inspiration, the special methods he used to create his Folk Couture coat-dress, and more. Plus, I’ve created possibly my favorite playlist of all shows today, taking a walk down my own memory lane of folk music with songs from the archives of artists like Neko Case, Iron & Wine, Phosphorescent, Sharon Van Etten, and more. So join us today on Sew & Tell as we discover style inspiration in the rich history of folk culture!
This week on Sew & Tell, I got to speak with Jesse Finkelstein, one half of the entrepreneurial team behind a new group of web-based platforms dedicated to paving the way for independent and custom designs. Jesse and his sister Meredith launched their inaugural design site, Byco, in 2011. Two years later, they introduced the pattern-centric Print All Over Me, a site which allows users to upload their own photos or prints to one of eight different blank templates, ranging from accessories to garments. Not surprisingly, Jesse and Meredith’s sites are revolutionizing the landscape of independent design; on today’s show, Jesse joins me to talk about the origin of Byco, how his team is able to produce small-batch and limited run pieces, why strict perimeters are a designer’s best friend, some upcoming design platforms and new projects for his team, and more. Plus, a playlist dedicated solely to the first 2014 releases, featuring brand new music from Portland’s Ages and Ages, Santa Barbara-based Gardens & Villa, Wilco members’ side project The Autumn Defense, and Brit folk band Peggy Sue. So practice your best Tim Gunn impersonation, because today, we’ll show you how YOU can “make it work!”