One day, while drinking my favorite morning coffee, I was flipping thru social media and my attention was drawn to the cool image posted by a friend of mine Mathieu. Mat is an artist who creates very unique, tribal paintings using different media and the colors are very vibrant. The image of painting he posted that day got me to think… What if we collaborate? What if we create a line together featuring his amazing work on my designs… Oh I couldn’t wait and immediately emailed him and scheduled to meet over coffee to discuss.
Mat was actually as excited as myself to give it a shot and after a few meetups and 9 months of work and adjustments our amazing line Mathieu Jean by KARO was ready! When our manufactured prototypes came in from the manufacturer, we just couldn’t believe how perfect they came out! So vibrant and beautiful. We did good he said. I smiled and I knew that day that we created something that was special and unique…
Wrap yourself in luxurious art and stand out from the crowd
“When I look into your eyes
I can see a love restrained
But darlin’ when I hold you
Don’t you know I feel the same
‘Cause nothin’ lasts forever
And we both know hearts can change
And it’s hard to hold a candle
In the cold November rain.” – Guns N’ Roses, November Rain
“The term “haute couture” is French. Haute means “high” or “elegant.” Couture literally means “sewing,” but has come to indicate the business of designing, creating, and selling custom-made, high fashion women’s clothes.”
When You hear the word “couture”, what comes to your mind I’m sure is a beautiful gown made for celebrity to flaunt during red carpet event.
Have you ever thought of “couture” in the world of swimwear? Well, I did… over 5 years ago, I decided to create something very unique and special. I incorporated hand beaded jewelry into my first collection. My first design was “jasper suit”.
I spotted these beautiful and colorful jasper stones at the local craft store and I just couldn’t keep my eyes of them. I had to own them. Previously I’ve purchased some bright fabrics and one night I sat down and decided to give it a try. Never before I had experience in making bathing suit. This was the night. I made the necklace part, I learned from a friend how to string the stones, how to make the clasps and it came out so awesome. Very surprising, irregular shaped of the stones, the colors and texture… then I made two of mini “necklaces to use as the hip connectors for the bottoms. After that, I got sucked into it and before I know it’s 4 am and I have this 2 piece set ready. I looked at it and I liked it! The top was simple amethyst color Bandau gathered in the middle and from that gathering arouse big chunky necklace made of my gorgeous, irregular jasper stones. From green to pinks, purples , blues and oranges, it looked so dramatic and I was so happy! The bottoms were olive green and connected together by handmade connectors made with the same stones… the effect was so surprisingly awesome that I ran upstarts and woke my husband up to show him what I just created… I’m not sure what he said but I know I couldn’t sleep That night… that was the beginning of KARO… couture swimwear…
While working on this custom piece, I wanted to go back in history of velvet. From day one I’ve been in love with this luxurious fabric and before I even started my own company, I felt there’s something special about it. 20+ years ago I made my first dress. It was a prom dress with a huge collar and two rows of buttons , and it was made out of black velvet. The look was completed with velvet chocker… I wish I’ve kept this gown. Maybe one day I’ll try to recreate it. Going back to my first year of designing swimwear 2013, I remember I fell into fabric store by chance in NYC and bought a few yards of stretchy velvet and then created a few couture pieces. I loved them and people who appreciate unique loved them as well. Now, 5 years later velvet is so in style. I’m very happy it’s back. For me, it’s such a timeless fabric…
Now a bit of history:
“Velvet has always been a luxury fabric. Difficult to produce, woven of lustrous silk, and with a rich depth of color and texture from the cut or uncut woven pile, velvet was only available to the very wealthy until quite recently…
Pile weaves, woven from silk and linen, which resemble velvet originated in approximately 2000 BCE in Egypt. In China, between 400 BCE and 23 CE, uncut pile weaves that more closely resemble our modern concept of velvet were developed. Then, the Middle East and eastern Europe came into their velvet zenith, with the most skilled velvet weavers in Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus. But it wasn’t until the late medieval and Renaissance period that the improvement in draw loom technology lowered the price of production and allowed velvet design and innovation to really take off in Italy and Spain.
Florence was a hub of the arts in the late-medieval and early Renaissance periods, and velvet was a major economic phenomenon there. Competition was stiff among silk velvet weavers in the major Italian velvet centers: Venice, Florence, and Genoa. Techniques were so closely guarded within the production guilds that skilled craftspeople were often forbidden from leaving the city where they lived and worked, to prevent rivals from learning their secrets.
Velvet generated enormous wealth, making the fortunes of many and exhibiting the wealth of others. Wealthy families like the Medici patronized silk weavers and commissioned elaborate velvet cloth decorated with their family crest. Other common motifs, such as pomegranates, were steeped in religious significance.
These velvets, woven from pure silk, dyed deep, royal colors, embellished with threads gilt in fine silver, and patterned with cut and uncut sections of pile, sent a clear message. One look at the richly shifting colors, the luxurious texture, and the elaborate decoration made it clear that this was fabric fit to adorn a king, well out of reach for the poor or even the middle class. This attitude continued well through the history of velvet, in the Renaissance, into the Napoleonic era, and beyond…. [interweave.com]
Today, we have the luxury of having mass-produced velvet available, and it’s made from a wide variety of materials from silk to cotton to polyester.
I hope to keep creating using this magical fabric to make my clients stand out from the crowd…