The designers are from New York. The focus is Women’s Wear. The venue is Need Supply. Join us as we highlight another night in the Meet the Maker series.
This is the first women’s wear event in the Meet the Maker series. The store has changed, but the mood remains the same. It is comfortable and laid back, but there are undertones of electricity, excitement. The designs are varied, but they still fit the Need aesthetic . After talking to friends and familiar faces, I start in to the tables lining the center of the store. I slip past the circles of conversation, past the clothes on their hangers, and stop under the soft light in the center of Need.
My first stop is Courtshop. Though this is a women’s wear event, I can’t help the habit of looking at jeans first. The first thing that pops out is the wash. There is a classic look to all the washes that Courtshop offers.There are traditional washes with colors ranging from jet black to a dark rinse blue, to various shades of purple, and even creme. My eyes are drawn to the high waisted cut off shorts in the various purples. I imagine them wrapped around the hips of some girl walking down Cary street in the summer heat.
A girl in a large brimmed hat and knit black sweater introduces herself as Christine. She is here representing Courtshop and is wearing a pair of their signature jeans. We spend a few minutes discussing the brand. She tells me that the focus of Courtshop is not on branding, but a solid pair of jeans. They pride themselves on quality denim that last and is affordable. It is clear they have achieved it once I feel the fabric and run my fingers over the stitching.
Next I check out Collina Strada, a name that has been on the end of most people’s sentences tonight. I chat with Hillary Taymour, owner and designer, as she pulls on a piece of her hair and watches her puppy running around the showroom.
The table holds bags in all sorts of shapes and colors. Her work is highly structured. Leather mixed with fabric and all with her signature pleat work. The centerpiece of her table is a leather vest. It looks like a cross between a bra and a gun holster and has this science fiction feel about it. Someone says it reminds them of something out of the Fifth Element. I couldn’t agree more.
Before I cross the room to look at the other two designers, I stop to watch and listen to the performer. A woman with her hair in her face and bare feet is clapping into a microphone. She leans over a Casio keyboard and plays.
Her voice is soft and the music sounds like it could be playing in a pleasant dream you were having. She plays and moves as if no one is watching. Sometimes at the keyboard, sometimes under the keyboard, sometimes with the guitar, and sometimes wandering around her set up. I ask who she is. Will Godwin of Need Supply turns around with a huge smile to tell me it is Nelly Kane. Her album Ish Ish is in his hands. I mark her name in my notepad more for myself than the article.
Dusen Dusen is a brand I could picture on most of the girls I know. There are canvas backpacks and short skirts that zip in the back. The colors are lighter and have a very summertime feel. I imagine girls on a vacation in the Hamptons in the early 90’s. Ellen Van Dusen designs all of her prints. Her shark print is particularly enticing. Between the cuts, the prints, and the color choices, I found her line light, fun, and cute.
In God We Trust is the last brand I visit and my eyes are instantly attracted to the various accessories laid out on their table. The jewelry compliments almost any outfit. I eye their business card holders. Jeff nods to me as he has one engraved for himself with “Talented Mother Fucker” on its matte finish. I watch owner Shana Tabor as she engraves his card holder. Her white hair, and sleeves of tattoos give an air of rebel elegance that draws you in.
I speak with Julie, Shana’s right-hand woman, as she is setting out a few more of their metal straws. She talks to me like we have known each other for years. I look over the table of accessories as she explains that everything is manufactured in-house. This started as a small scale operation, but with the designs and tireless work of Shana it is blowing up.
The excitement of a women’s wear event was evident to everyone. Women’s wear is always a bit more fascinating. It has a wider range of versatility, and designers are more willing to take risks. I loved watching girls throw bags over their shoulders or stand in groups by the dressing rooms with nods, pick up the pieces and hold them to their bodies, and to watch eyes go wide with excitement and wonder. These events are wonderful to attend, between the designs, the musical performances, and of course all the people who make it happen. They resemble more of a party atmosphere and a celebration of mutual interest. Everyone wears a smile and leaves with at the least a story to tell, if not a few pieces of apparel. My hat is off to Need Supply. I can’t wait to see what is next.
Word by Sean O’Hara
Photographs by Jeffrey Ocampo
For more information about the designers and the collaborations visit….
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