I mentioned briefly a post or two ago that we went to Austin, TX for Thanksgiving to visit some old friends. The wife of the couple is an artist, and I was fortunate that she was willing to indulge my request to visit the Alabama Chanin pop-up store at Billy Reid in downtown Austin.
I wasn't really sure what to expect beyond finished garments. I was hoping that there might be some DIY kits, but there were not - probably better for my pocketbook! But there were two of the Alabama Chanin swatch books available to leaf through. So gorgeous! The girl who was minding the shop that day said it was fine for me to take pictures, so I took a lot, and I'm sharing them here with you today.
It was so fantastic to see and feel the garments created by the artisans who work for Alabama Chanin. And I was a little surprised - they looked a lot like the things I've been making! That is, I'd expected that the quality of stitching would far surpass mine, but they look just as rustic and imperfect as the stitching I've been doing. Not every stitch is perfect, and I like that a lot.
My favorite pieces were those made of "Alabama Fur" and the heavily beaded fabrics. These garments are quite substantial!
All these photos were taken on my phone, so the colors are not always true, but I'm hoping they are clear enough that they inspire you as much as they do me.
Outside the shop:
Petting some other garments:
Looking at construction:
And the beautiful swatch books:
I'm so glad I had the opportunity to see and feel these amazing garments, and thankful that Natalie Chanin has open-sourced so much of her work so that those of us who love to create can make our own.
I've got 2 pieces underway right now, and more in the pipeline, so I'll be sharing those soon!