Our Interview with Katherine from Wovenplay

November 25, 2010

wovenplay girl

Wovenplay successfully features sustainable clothing that hasn’t lost its playfulness or touch of magic – a combination that seems perfect for every child and family.  Culling inspiration from vintage books, Woody Guthrie, Jacob Lawrence and her own son, Wovenplay owner and designer Katherine Edmonds creates effortless play clothes that ignite a child’s imagination while keeping them stylish.  As we look forward to the Wovenplay’s exclusive holiday collection for Estella, we caught up with Katherine to ask her about her work and life.

I love your tagline, “Sustainable Couture for the Everyday Artist and Adventurer.”  That’s beautiful.  Do you think that is the kind of child who wears Wovenplay?

Yes absolutely.  Children are drawn to the expressive quality of the original fabrics, hand-tinted colors and original trims.   The clothing is comfortable and great for everyday adventure.

I recently read your guest blog post at Boz Around where you describe the perfect New York day.  You mentioned feeding birds at the Bronx Botanical Gardens, grabbing a sandwich at Walter Foods, and taking the subway often instead of a cab.  Is this list permanent, or do you see it changing as the seasons change and your son grows?

This is a timeless list for me. I love being outside in nature, wandering into new experiences and being free to get around  efficiently so there is more time to have fun.  I have a curious and passionate son and we have fun playing, learning and exploring together.

Let’s talk about the Wovenplay Holiday collection. What was the inspiration for the collection? There’s definitely a touch of theatricality to the clothing – without being too costumey.  I love that!    How do you find inspiration before you design a collection?

This holiday collection was inspired by the lines, colors and shapes of Modigliani as well as the opalescent and glossy shine of natural materials like shell and glass.  I like clothing to be expressive and original yet subtle so the person wearing it is the prominent focus in the end.  I find inspiration from many sources—art, literature, nature, ideas and discussions, memories, dreams and theater… all coming together and re-connecting in new forms.

How is this collection different from your past collections?  What pieces from your special holiday collection for Estella are you most excited about? Why?

For Estella’s holiday collection, I am most excited about an exclusive starburst tutu which has a one-of-kind luminous radiating pattern on the bodice resulting from the hand-dying method we used on the silk satin and finished with a striking silk tulle skirt.  We are also introducing hand-knit cardigans with vintage glass buttons, exclusive ribbon tights in pine/dark cherry and two new holiday featherbands with hand-made italian beads in dark turquoise and wild grape.

How far in advance do you work on your collections and what is the process?

I begin designing about 5 months in advance for each collection.  Much of the process is difficult to describe as it is happening deep inside my mind without a logic, but very much inspired by color, textiles and hand-processes.  Often technical methods need to be worked out through a number of trials and suddenly something completely unexpected turns out to be a great surprise and then leads into another area of development until finally the collection almost builds itself!

I know your background is in textiles and traditional French dressmaking, how did you decide to get into fashion?  Did you happen upon it serendipitously?

I was an Art History major in school with a Studio Art minor and always wanted to make things with my hands.  I worked in both fine arts and design before falling in love with draping and making clothing after I enrolled in an intensive French dressmaking course in Manhattan.

Which women’s clothing designers to you admire the most? Are there any other Estella kids clothing designers that you admire?

I am most intrigued and excited by designers like Boudicca, Hussein Chalayan, and Dries van Notten taking risks and pushing outside the lines with color, texture and always something abstract and conceptual.  I also like Rick Owens  and Ann Demeulemeester for their modernity, comfort and rock and roll aesthetic.  I also like very much the modern elegance and luxurious decadence of Alber Elbaz for Lanvin. Other Estella designers I like are Max and Lola, Simple Kids, and Maan.

Do you have any fashion advice or styling tips you could give to our readers for dressing their babies and toddlers during the holidays?

I would focus on original, colorful and charming pieces that are always comfortable and inspire the children.

Thank you!

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