Beyond the Garment District


Beyond the Garment District: Perspectives on Craft and Technique in New York-Made Fashion

As the meanings of fashion and luxury shift and as mass consumption and production take a toll on the environment as well as human rights, the idea of craft in clothing has never been more pertinent. How a garment is made becomes as relevant as its design, both informing its meaning and its appeal.  Culled together from considered materials rather than punched out and assembled, it is the idea of clothing as object, fashion refashioned.

Garmento editor Jeremy Lewis discusses the ins and outs of crafting clothes in a contemporary context with some of New York’s most unique and innovative fashion designers, all of whom make some if not all their clothes in New York City. Considering the practical as well as conceptual implications of such clothes, the series hopes to highlight a new mood in fashion that deals in honesty, responsibility, and a newfound desire in clothes with a more personalized history and a crafted appeal.

Koos Van Den Akker     May 22, 7:00 pm

An American fashion legend, Dutch-born and French-trained Koos Van Den Akker has been designing couture-caliber clothes over the last 40 years. Emerging at a time when folk traditions and home crafts were a huge influence in fashion, he made a name for himself as the master of couture collage. A rich panoply of color and pattern painstakingly pieced together, his designs have provided inspiration for fashion tastemakers like Nicolas Ghesquière, though they are known more popularly as worn by actor and comedian Bill Cosby on the hit sitcom The Cosby Show. Representing one of the highest level of clothes-making possible in New York City, Koos Van Den Akker’s operation is a true couture atelier, endless in its technical feats and creativity.

Mary Ping     June 12, 7:00 pm

In 2003, after studying fine arts at Vassar, Mary Ping joined a slew of downtown designers who were actively challenging the status quo of contemporary fashion. She has since been designing Slow and Steady Wins the Race, an unconventional label comprised of a series of perennial capsule collections that focus on a single theme or concept. Engaging the anthropological as well as aesthetic facets of fashion, Ping reconstructs familiar tropes and memes ranging from the white T-shirt to the wedding dress, distilling from them their essential meanings and building on them with her own interpretations. Her qualitative and critical assessment of materials and garments as symbols has made her work a compelling and ongoing critique of how consumers perceive and engage fashion as object and as idea.

Mike Eckhaus & Zoe Latta     June 26, 7:00pm

Having founded Eckhaus Latta in 2011, the designing duo Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta have staked a space for themselves in New York’s buzzing downtown fashion scene. Their enigmatic, fragmented and disheveled aesthetic is perhaps easiest described as post-deconstructionist.  Repurposing the various components of a garment into their own refreshingly youthful and devastatingly domestic vision, Eckhaus Latta push the idea of the homemade, radically juxtaposed with contemporary materials and modern fabrications; a connecting thread throughout their conceptually leaning collections. Their clothes are often abstract groupings of textiles and fibers rather than fully realized garments, directly challenging the dichotomies of refinement and rawness, the machine-made and the hand-made, and the impersonal coldness of fashion and the warmth and personality of crafted clothes.

Andre Walker     July 10, 7:00 pm

A designer’s designer, self-taught Andre Walker has been one of the fashion industry’s secret weapons, having shown his eponymous collection on and off since he was a teenager in the mid-’80s. Championed by New York arbiters of the avant-garde Bill Cunningham, Kim Hastreiter, and Patricia Field, his ingenious ideas on construction and materials have proved prodigiously prescient, often finding their way into the collections of the most directional designers years later. Having worked as a consultant for Marc Jacobs, Kim Jones, and Louis Vuitton, he recently teamed with Comme Des Garçon’s Dover Street Market to design a women’s ready-to-wear collection. His ideas on dress and fashion are as powerful as ever, and his current outlook, impassioned by growing contemporary concerns, is just as sharp and enlightening.

For all press inquiries please contact



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s