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(Slow) Fashion Revolution | Bulgaria and Beyond

Posted on: Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Milena Silvano hand-dyed shawl with local graffiti and vines in Sofia

Sassa Björg linen patch 'tile' skirt with Ceca Georgieva acorn necklace

Study NY dip-dyed organic cotton tank with botanicals from Mount Vitosha

YOD 'slow/wear' studio with botanical dye research books

Detail of Balmaseda 'tafoni jacket' with Ceca Georgieva cord necklace

A quiet moment during our slow fashion spring photo shoot

Titania Inglis designs on Mount Vitosha with Ceca Georgieva accessories

Loup Charmant at the base of Mount Vitosha

Happy Earth Day 2014. I am celebrating the goodness of exquisite handmade wearables as well as slow textiles with this Fashion Revolution Day Bulgaria feature. Please enjoy tmy recent article, 'Ancient Futures: Slow Textiles in Bulgaria' for Hand/Eye Magazine as well.

A special thanks to the above featured designers for creating such thoughtful pieces and timeless fashion statements.

If you are not already following the journey, please join Fashion Revolution Day here.

Recent Interview | She's Something

Posted on: Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My favorite scissors | photo by Meredith Eves Flynn for We Are The Somethings

It is not every day that one gets to do an interview with a group of women whose aesthetic sensibility really keeps you on your toes. I adore the talented (global) team behind We Are The Somethings, so when they asked me to do an interview for their She's Something column, I was a bit floored.

It was a a great opportunity for me to better examine how I balance and interweave my family and studio life between NYC and Bulgaria. Please enjoy the feature whenever you have the time. It's a nice slow read with beautiful photos by Meredith in NYC and Nadya in Sofia. Together we are all quite something, and for this I am so grateful.

Lost in Fiber worktable in NYC | photo by Meredith Eves Flynn

Interior hues and views in Sofia | photo by Nadya Kaneva

Transparency | #InsideOut

Posted on: Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Transparency in fashion or any studio | maker | textile process can be a beautiful thing.

Lost in Fiber | The Gathering on the worktable in Sofia | Abigail Doan

In the days leading up to 24 April this month, I will be serving as Bulgaria's country coordinator for Fashion Revolution Day 2014. This is a critical period in fashion culture and social awareness as the one year anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory tragedy draws near. I will be working closely with local designers, educators, and the media to remember this day and engage in alterations for the future – here in Sofia and beyond our borders.

It is an exciting time for a community that has given so much to me during the time that I have lived here. It is also the right time for the world to ask and be curious about 'Who Made Your Clothes'. Greater accountability and transparency in fashion is a shared dialogue.

There is a tremendous spectrum of design talent in Bulgaria, and I am excited to cultivate an informed appreciation for what it means to produce responsibly and with bold, indigenous creativity. I will also be writing a 'Bulgarian Maker' series for HAND/EYE magazine online as 24 April draws near. 

Please follow Fashion Revolution Bulgaria on Facebook and soon via our own country page on the official Fashion Revolution Day site.

You can also participate via
#insideout events and stories through 24 April

Пролет | Spring

Posted on: Friday, March 21, 2014

'Пролет | Spring' unfurling on the streets of Sofia | photo by Abigail Doan

There is something so poignant about the transition to a new season. Of course, we are all more than ready for spring, but I always feel a bit disloyal about shedding the previous season and casting it off like a dry or dull skin casing that I essentially have no use for.
My neighbor's terrace is like a fish tank for spring sunshine | photo by Abigail Doan

That said, I am more than ready to open my terrace doors to let in the mountain breezes, sunshine, and bird songs. Everywhere I look here in my neighborhood there are signs that new life is stirring with a fresh palette burgeoning.

Outdoors this week | photo by Abigail Doan

Indoors this week | photo by Abigail Doan

Most important for me is the sensation of renewal and the reassessment of ideas that one often clings to when the days and nights are long and more introspective. Spring is definitely about sharing and also finding new details and drawings in old space – particularly with something that was formerly at the back of one's closet or neatly tucked away.

Closet fashion drawing by Abigail Doan with designs

Spring is also about the opportunity to turn things inside out. 

Old skins become new skins with a bit of light on a formerly overlooked detail.

Sheila Hicks at Sikkema Jenkins Co.

Posted on: Friday, March 07, 2014

Araucario, 2011 | linen and tree branches

"Over the course of a career that spans five decades, Hicks has distinguished herself as one of the preeminent and most innovative artists working in the woven form. With textiles as her chosen medium, she has consistently sought to expand the boundaries of the art form to create distinctive work that belongs as much to art history as it does to modernist design and architecture. The gallery will exhibit both large-scale wall installations as well as a group of minims – framed miniature weavings made on a small portable loom that have been a part of Hicks’s practice for over 50 years." – Sikkema Jenkins Co.

Hicks’s work will also be included in this year’s Whitney Biennial on view from March 7 through May 25, 2014.

Artist | Maker Profile : Neha Vedpathak

Posted on: Monday, March 03, 2014

Snowmass (2010) | snow, turmeric, and kumkum by Neha Vedpathak

Cloud (2010) | soil, water, turmeric by Neha Vedpathak

Time (detail, 2013) | soil, water, turmeric by Neha Vedpathak

"For me the unsaid says the most, making each expression imperative. I work using different materials like handmade paper, mirror and natural substances like turmeric, flowers, leaves and soil. I endeavor to manipulate these media to explore a number of visual possibilities in the realms of subtlety and minimalism. " – Neha Vedpathak

I first came across the work of Neha Vedpathak via Chicago-based ceramicist, curator, and gallerist, Jayson Lawfer. He is the founder and director of The Nevica Project, and his wise showcasing of Neha's prints and soil drawings during 2013 was rather eye opening for me.

Soil Drawing 05 (2013) by Neha Vedpathak

Perhaps it is the micro | macro aspects of these drawings as well as the mass arrangement of materials that makes these works so timely. With all of the discussion about environmental practice in the arts, organic form building, and the slowing down of modern methods in craft, design, and fashion – working directly with the possibilities of soil and its ritual applications seems to be uniquely in touch with shifting landscape interactions and interior dialogue.

Another view of Soil Drawing 05 (2013) by Neha Vedpathak

This video from Neha's exhibition, The Space Between (2103) at N'Namdi Contemporary in Miami, describes her handwork methods and artist philosophy in more detail. (Do not miss the passage on her unique paper making technique called 'plucking'). The packing of soil and delicate nature of plucking fiber in and on the paper surface demonstrates an energy transference of sorts that the artist has experimented with as an examination of cultural connection, grounding ritualistic practice, and the highlighting of delicate | resilient states. 

You can learn more about Neha Vedpathak here.
See also Neha Vedpathak at The Nevica Project.

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