Łódż Fashion: OFF out of schedule

Fashion Philosophy / Fashion Week just ended here in Łódż. It was epic in May, and parts of it were pretty great this October. The ambience accounts for a lot of it. Many more photos and descriptions are to be found on our Flickr.

Saturday was the awesome day. Both Martyna Czerwińska from Mysikrólik and menswear designer Marcin Podsiadło put in awesome shows with great, inspired clothes. While trying to find some pics of the Podsiadło collection from this season, or his website (no luck on either) I ran into this great short-lived menswear appreciation blog… i think maybe it was his blog? Anyway, it’s great.

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Peter Coffin

My husband and I are fortunate to know quite a few very interesting and talented people working in music and the arts. I thought it might be fun to do some casual interviews and get a little background on what they’re into.

NYC-based artist Peter Coffin is a good friend. He married my husband and I, and even helped me drag my tradeshow props all the way to Javits over the summer in his stationwagon, for which I still owe him big. I don’t want to describe his artwork for fear of saying something stupid or leaving something out, but to start, it’s refreshingly approachable, with a good dose of humor (You can check out a pretty comprehensive interview with Peter in Flash Art).

Pete came and visited us here in Łódż earlier this year, and between gorging on Polish food, playing with our baby, and web surfing like a maniac, he found time to answer a few questions:

PB: What have you been researching the past few days?
PC: Galactic life unveiled. The phenomenon of biological communication between advanced life in space and its subliminal effects on terrestrial man. (That’s the title of the book he’s been reading)

What is one thing you wish people would pay most attention to?
Life in space and its subliminal effects.

What are your top 3 favorite Polish foods, listed in order?
1. Stuffed cabbage (gołombki… meat and rice stuffed cabbage leaves in tomato sauce)
2. Potato pancakes with gulash
3. Barszcz z uszkami (beet soup with mini meat pierogi)
4. Crispy fried mushroom pierogi (honorable mention)

What’s up with the shapes you keep leaving around the hallway and apartment? Last time you came over to our house in Berkeley, you were stashing circle stickers with words on them all over stuff, remember?
The silhouettes are meant to be reminders of the things they reference. I like things that at first go unnoticed, are barely noticable or are a surprise. I did a project recently that involved large sculptural silhouettes which were meant to be reminders of the icons they reference. These Silhouettes were very big and very thin and flat so they’d appear and disappear as you walk by them in the park.

The piece above is from a series of public art works Peter made a couple of years ago. All about it here. Love Park! This one is especially iconic for me… brings me right back to Philadelphia’s favorite skate-park in the 90s.

What are 2 of your favorite things about NY?
1. The new bike path that’s about to go around Manhattan
2. Every Frederick Law Olmstead park. City parks in the summer.

What media do you take in on any regular basis?
The Huffington Post, Pacifica News, Project Censored, the UFO dude from late night AM radio, Wiki leaks

What is your biggest flaw?
“I’m an over-achiever” …That’ll really impress them. just kidding. I think my humor is hilarious. That’s my greatest flaw.

Do you get a lot of email? Too much.

Pete and Deco enjoying some quality web surfing.

While visiting, Peter told us about his interest in making a moss-solution that you could paint/stencil onto a surface. The idea is that the moss would then grow in a pattern or something. I was picturing moss-flocked wallpaper (amazing right?). We put some moss in the blender with some beer, according to the recipe, and stenciled a pattern in our attic (see blurry pic below), and a Face of Jesus stencil by the stairs to our building, but no luck getting it to grow. I think I’m in charge of finding a recipe that works, so I better get on it.

Check out some of Pete’s pieces below, or see more  here (boooooooooom).

Tree pants: Custom Jeans for Trees

Wolf Cycle: So inspired it inspired our Bike Wolf shirt!

Yes, Pete made a UFO (in Gdansk, Poland). Click for details.

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Poster Madness

I love this poster so much, it's just perfect. And the COLORS.

When not creative directing FluffyCo, I like to put my creative energy into the not-so-simple art of Poster design. Living here in Poland ironically puts me an ocean away from our fully equipped screen-printing studio in the Mission, but gives me the time and perspective to design and print. So alas, I am back in the kitchen over here, moving the dirty dishes out of the way to awkwardly sponge the water-based ink off my screens. On the upside, the printmaking paper store is right downstairs.

So I’ve been printing some pieces for my side-project TUYYO Studio, and trolling the web, finding ridiculous amounts of cool stuff. Here’s some of it.

You can find the designers and pieces above on their respective websites or on the super-comprehensive, time-sucking design-hole of Gigposters.com. Also check out The American Poster Institute for more endless links and info having to do with this medium and related events.

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Muminki Forever!

Growing up in Poland and then Canada, I was exposed to a completely different set of childhood characters and stories than were my American friends. Sure, we had Tom and Jerry. Once we had moved to the US, I was a pretty huge He-Man and GI Joe fan for a girl. But my baby days were dominated by awesome Eastern-block stop motion animations galore, and some of the cool European imports like Babar the elephant, Barbapapa and family, and most importantly Muminki (Polish for Moomin) – all so popular with the Japanese for their epic design styles and cuteness.

The Muminki books were written and illustration by Tove Jansson starting all the way back in the 40s, but became super popular in the 70s. Below are illustrations from some of the original storybook copies we have lying around, including those below.

Left: Diaries of Daddy Muminek. Right: Comet over Muminek Valley (!!!!)

Also loving this Muminki stencil graffiti I ran across recently. More Euro kid stuff (Adult Design Nostalgia) coming soon.

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LODZ Murals

Łódż is an old Polish working-class city- much of it is desperately in need of a paint job. As such, it is full of cool old Communist-era mural advertisements (mostly for businesses that no longer exist). They definitely add a certain charm to the city.

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David Bowie said it best.

I’ve been keeping up with Spring 2011 on the super-convenient NY Times coverage online, which lists all the shows and lets you zoom in to really check out all the looks. Though we’re more of a design brand and so pretty disconnected from the Runway, there’s a lot of meme cross-over between fashion, art, and design.

ORGANIC PATTERNS are everywhere. Gorgeous forms inspired by nature as well as more traditional florals, all over the runways. I was already planning on doing an IKAT inspired pattern for next season- so it’s great to see these. I’ve been obsessing over this Derek Lam print so much I can see it with my eyes closed.

Anna and Erin had a pair of snakeskin patterned skintight pants lying around the studio forever (I think they were too small for one of them, too big for the other… awaiting alterations). I thought they were spectacular and apparently the people at Thakoon have been thinking along those lines too.

ORANGE is a big theme. Stripes and patterns in bright neon colors. I don’t know how wearable an orange teeshirt really is, but something to think about, maybe as an accent.

AND OF COURSE Black and white are back for Spring as usual, this time as solids with lots of translucency and cut outs for a sort of graphic appeal. The white is pretty epic actually… Especially with all the neon, or mixed with Leopard at Dolce and Gabbana.

Check out our Flickr to see some more pics that are starting to inspire our next season. The Textiles pics on there have got us thinking too. All runway photos from the NY Times.

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Textile art in Factory City

This weekend, I checked out the LODZ Central Museum of Textiles.  In addition to some cool installations and the International Textile Triennale exhibition, the museum has a huge collection of tools used in textile manufacturing all the way back to the 1800s. The video above is a short clip of their digital archive of patterns rolling past. The samples are taken from old Salesman’s kits.

Lodz was once a center for textile production for the Eastern European Market, so there are abandoned factories in various states of decomposition all over town, as well as ones that have been re-purposed to house various artistic and cultural events.

About a month ago, my husband and I went to check out the new  Jim Jarmusch film on the grounds of the Lodz Art Center, projected (with great sound) in a narrow alley between two deserted red brick factory buildings… that sort of thing.

This museum is housed in the massive White Factory complex.

Checkout our Flickr for more textile action.

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