February in Kansas is a time of transition, teasing us with the occasional 70 degree day, then plunging back into the depths of winter. For some Kansans (mostly teens and twenty-somethings), the warm weather brings a premature debut of camisoles, flip flops and shorts. For others, it makes us want to work the bare soil more than to show some bare skin.
I mull over the latest and greatest offerings from the seed companies and am tempted by the amazing blue color of a Himalayan Blue Poppy, but since it is as inappropriate in Kansas as flip flops in February, I settle for new varieties of Asiatic Lilies, among other things. After placing my online order, I wait patiently for warmer weather and the first few spring blooms poking up from the soil.
I look forward to coming out of winter hibernation by dressing in the lighter, brighter colors of spring and occasional florals. This year, spring fever will be even harder to bear, since PC's spring catalog won't be available until mid March. In the meantime, here is a glimpse of some of PC's springy floral offerings:
If you are as impatient as I am, here are a few spring flowers that are available now:
Peony Bed Cardigan
Floating Lotus Cardigan
Floral Lacework Tunic
Handknit Jolie Cardigan
Peruvian Connection designers have been creating some of the most coveted knit and woven designs around for over 30 years now. We are so proud of their talent and endless capacity for innovation and creativity that we thought it would be fun to let you meet a few of them…see what makes them tick. Today we begin with Tabbetha as she answers just a few questions for us. Tabbetha has designed knitwear for Peruvian Connection for 14 years.
Tabbetha (center) at PC’s Washington store opening with the Ambassador of Peru, PC’s director of South American operations, the owner’s daughters, and Tabbetha’s husband, Jeremy.
What made you want to become a designer?
I don’t know when I made the conscious decision to become a designer. I have loved making clothes and working with textiles since I was a young kid. I spent a lot of time with my mom, grandma and aunt who were always knitting, sewing or crocheting. I joined in and used their leftovers to make clothes for my dolls – some of which I still have! I was a fast learner and picked up the different techniques quickly. At some point in junior high school, my mother had purchased the supplies for us to make a pair of corduroy jeans – together. One day, she came home from work and I had completed them without her – including the fly zipper! From then on, I have had my own sewing machine. Throughout high school, I worked at my mom’s knitting shop, then at a wonderful Kansas City fabric shop while attending the Kansas City Art Institute. I studied textiles and fashion textiles in college. I have worked for two wonderful clothing companies since college – Asiatica in Kansas City and then for Peruvian Connection.
What inspires you?
My travels – I have been to India, Turkey, Spain, Morocco, Italy, France, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay, lived in England, and I am planning a trip to Iceland in January…only for 3 days…but I am excited to see a country with such a great knitting tradition.
Some of the highlights of my travel:
met H.H. the Dalai Lama in India on a trip with a Buddhist group from KC.
traveled through Turkey with 2 friends – taking buses and trains all through the country. We bought textiles, ate fabulous Turkish food, and saw the sites. I also was in Turkey on another occasion to take a workshop with a Turkish feltmaker.
I was in Oaxaca, Mexico for the Day of the Dead celebration (1989!)
lived & studied in Brighton, England for about 6 months.
have seen the Mediterranean from the Spanish coast, the Moroccan coast and the Turkish coast – it may be my favorite body of water
have been traveling to South America for over 14 years. I have had the privilege of being to Machu Picchu 3 times (climbing to the top of Huayna Picchu once), I have been to Ollantaytambo, Pisac, Cusco, and the ruins at Tiahuanaco on the Bolivian side.
I collect textiles and other goodies from everywhere I go which totally influences all of my designs. It is not only the textiles – but I also take TONS of photos (especially now that everything is digital) and use those images in my designs.
The DAHLIA skirt and jacket from Spring ’06 was from a photo I took in Agra, India (where the Taj Mahal is).
I get inspired by looking at old textiles, ethnic textiles, and new techno textiles as well. The materials that I am working with also inspire and influence what I do. I can get motivated by looking at what other designers are doing. There is a great art community here in Kansas City with many fiber artists living here. Seeing interesting or unusual clothes on the street can give me new ideas. Sometimes just being at an art exhibit or a concert can make me want to come home and work in my studio.
What are you working on right now?
For Peruvian Connection, I am getting ready to start developing knit designs for the Spring 2010 season. It is hard to believe! I am also knitting a cardigan for my niece that will be covered in embroidered flowers.
What is your favorite piece of clothing?
It is tough to pick just one piece. My favorite sweater (this is really a tough one) is my long Rabari alpaca cardigan from Peruvian Connection a few years ago. My favorite dress is one I bought this summer at Urban Zen – Donna Karan’s new project. My favorite accessory is a piece from Liz Collins: a long brown wool scarf with leather strips of ruffles knitted into it.
Some of Tabbetha’s Designs:
Lotus Flower Kimono
Dynasty Jacquard Kimono
With all the buzz about what Michelle Obama will be wearing to the Inauguration and in her first days as our First Lady, I can’t help but wonder what she might select from Peruvian Connection. Designers and catalogues alike are clamoring to clothe America’s next style icon. The black and white sundress she wore on The View was a recession-friendly $148, selling out immediately. The tailored silhouettes she wore on the summer campaign trail showed off her trim arms and classic style. Her scarlet-and-black election night dress from Narciso Rodriguez showed no fear of figure-flattering brights.
If I had the honor of being her personal shopper, here are a few picks from our current collections that I think would suit her sophisticated style:
Black Suede Corset Dress
Berkeley Cowlneck Dress
What PC styles do you think she should wear?
A resolution adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations back in 2005 is now coming to fruition. 2009 is declared the International Year of Natural Fibres.
The International Year of Natural Fibres will be officially launched on January 22, 2009, at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome.
raise awareness and stimulate demand for natural fibres;
promote the efficiency and sustainability of the natural fibres industries;
encourage appropriate policy responses from governments to the problems faced by natural fibre industries;
foster an effective and enduring international partnership among the various natural fibres industries
From the Resolution:
"Noting the diverse range of natural fibres produced in many countries provides an important source of income for farmers, and thus can plays an important role in contributing to food security and in eradicating poverty. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations encourages all governments and non-governmental organizations as well as the private sector to take advantage of the Year in order to increase awareness of the importance of these natural products."
Look for these natural fibres in Peruvian Connection designs: Pima Cotton, Alpaca, Wool, Silk, Linen
A store-front view of Noche de Milagros
(Night of Miracles).
Patrons enjoy warm conversation, flamenco guitar and the treasures of our At-Home department.
Guests were treated to the Peruvian dish of "Ceviche", one of several Peruvian appetizers.
Wine and shopping – the perfect combination!
October 30, 2008
Tagged Ceviche, flamenco, grand, guitar, home, Milagros, opening, party, pics, Washington DC