Monday, March 30, 2015

Spring Artisanal Speakeasy

Oh... Springtime... I can't wait for you to come!  Just a reminder that the artisanal speakeasy approacheth!

*Note: This tour definitely has enough reserved to make it a definite "go", and I am REALLY looking forward to it!  It will be fantastic!

For quite some time now, I have been crafting a very special Speakeasy, where participants will get to see creative workshops and technicians in the garment district to who make magical things happen to fabric.  Through surveys, conversations, consultations, and experiences, I have curated a truly exciting combination of experiences and learning opportunities for a unique group of Speakeasy participants.

After careful planning, I am finally ready to tell you the dates.  This tour is a "go" no matter how few attend, since I know some of you are "in" already.  There is limited space, though.  While I would like to invite the whole wide world, more than 20 people would make this unmanageable. (Note: - As of this writing, I have 11 9 two fewer than before confirmed spots reserved - 3/30/15)

This will be a 2-day event. The dates will be May 8th and May 9th, 2015.  For those of you who were participating in our exploratory "Group Me" discussions regarding this event, I will share precise details with that group, or with anyone who inquires individually.  This particular adventure is as "Speakeasy" as it gets... so don't expect to get your details here...

To reserve your space, a $50 deposit (refundable if cancelled no later than 30 days before the event) will be required. Balance payment will be due by April 8, 2015.  The cost of this speakeasy is $250.  This includes our events, and lunches for the group on both days (with consideration for any special dietary needs/restrictions addressed in advance). I am holding the funds in a special account specifically designated for tour expenses, which I will incur as the date draws nearer, so please do not make full payment unless your plans are set to participate.  The deposit reserves your spot.

Who will want to participate in this Speakeasy?

Someone who is a creative sewer
Someone who is a creative designer/small manufacturer
Someone who loves to learn, loves history, appreciates fine skill
Someone who loves stories and creative adventures
Someone who enjoys both old and new

*If you are someone who has spoken with me at length about this, and know you are already committed, feel free to submit a deposit to reserve your space, or submit full payment if so inclined.  In the event of my illness or unforeseen calamity, the tour will still take place with a replacement guide.

I know some of you will call, email or text me with questions.  I'll answer many of them, but, I assure you, I'm being secretive ON PURPOSE.  There are some HUGE surprises on this one!

Payment options are below:

Payment options

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Garment District Exploration - Hai's Trimming

Saturday shopping in the garment district is a bit foreign to me nowadays, but I have discovered that there is an entirely different energy in some of these stores on a Saturday, and I think I like it!

For one thing, performers and their costumers and stylists come out.  They dream and conspire loudly over the magic they want to create, hold things up, drape them on themselves, seek input, laugh and gesture theatrically!  Love it.

Hai's Trimming has a no photo policy, printed boldly on signs throughout the store, so I won't betray it here, but man, do they have some sun stuff!  

I'm particularly intrigued by the couture crystal necklaces pictured on their website here, since I think it is really fun to dress up something extremely ordinary (like a very basic tank dress) with over-the-top party pieces.

This store hasn't been on my radar until recently (client projects, not my own), but the layout and the prices are a real winner for a store of this type.  I tend to get overwhelmed and anxious when I am among an abundance of sparkly small things, because the sight of them all together often extinguishes their individual appeal. When it comes to display and layout, this store does a particularly good job.

A teen perspective - More conscious garment production and consuming, and my own dressing concept... "Tayo"

Note: This post was mostly inspired by my daughter, but also partially inspired by the simple routine act of my putting on my dad's beloved sweatshirt, again... nearly 13 years after his death.

On my personal Facebook page (about a month ago), I posted this:

My daughter: The English language needs a new word for "we, not including you".

Me: What do you mean?

My daughter: For example "We are going to the movies" can mean "you, too", or it can mean that I'm telling you where we are going, without you.

Me: So kinda like an inclusive "we" and an exclusive "we"?

My daughter: Yeah.

Follow-up: Rather than make up a new word, she suggested, we should find a language that already makes that distinction, and adopt their word for the "not you" version of we, directly.

I like this idea. Anyone speak a language where this distinction exists?

The best answer was (from a friend): Tagalog/Filipino has 

'tayo' and 'kami'. Tayo is inclusive we. Kami is exclusive we.

*She, of course, was intrigued by kami, while I was intrigued 

by tayo.

Me: If I make a shareable clothing line, I'm calling it "Tayo".


"Tayo" works very well as a name for a clothing line based on usage too. Much more comfortable than 'we' would, even if we ignore the ambiguity of inclusiveness. The Filipino idiom equivalent to "let's go" is "tayo na" where 'na' is barely a word, something just to indicate a sense of immediacy (or "completeness"). The phrase can also play the role of "let's do it" or the more broad "let's get going".

Tldr; Tayo seems like a great name for something that celebrates inclusiveness.

The documentary film "Cotton Road" premiered at the Tribeca Cinema on Friday, March 20, 2015.

Having seen a good number of documentaries and posts about more responsible, human-friendly, and eco-friendly production, I now feel that it is time to ask ourselves some of the more obvious questions.


Does your clothing have to be NEW, solely yours?  Unused? Current?

Does it need to be? Better yet, do you even want it to be?

Why does a jacket need to serve one life, with one primary owner?

For myself and my family, I have devised a new type of garment category, that I have lovingly named "Tayo".

*Sometimes I forget to conclude my point... this is an update to my rather abrupt ending.  So, just in case I didn't articulate it clearly, I am often moved by all of these stories chronicling how our clothes are made, and I feel the problem is too large for me to fight it alone, and yet I know that my own participation in the cycle is optional. I make things because I enjoy it, though, not some garment survivalist mission. So, for me and my close family, we can simply decide to pay attention to where/how our own clothing is made, and take a small step in that way.  At least it's a beginning.