July 3, 2008 Shibori: The Ancient Art of Resist Dyeing

Shibori
Shibori

Shibori is the Japanese word for a variety of ways of embellishing textiles by shaping and securing cloth before dyeing.  Rather than treating the cloth as a two-dimensional surface, with shibori it is given a three-dimensional form by folding, crumpling, stitching, plucking and twisting.  Cloth shaped by these methods are secured in a number of ways but most often they are twisted and bound. Incorrectly labeled as "tie-dyeing" by most, the shibori method is uniquely ancient (A.D. 749) and immensely varied in its techniques.

The special characteristic of shibori resist is a soft- or blurry-edged pattern.  With shibori the dyer must work in concert with the materials rather than forcing his/her own will upon the process because the end result is unpredictable and full of surprises.

Our designers have used the ancient art of shibori resist-dyeing as inspiration for years.  If you would like to celebrate this ancient art form, you can find the spontaneous patterns of shibori reflected in these designs:

Shibori Tank Dress
Optique Skirt
Shibori Sash Dress (Sale!)

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June 20, 2008 Designer’s Choice

Parfait
Parfait

I noticed recently that two of our designers are wearing something new from our Summer collection…and they paid full price! (Our employee discount does not go into effect until well after the season has ended).  I don’t know about you but that makes me sit up and take notice!   Given their keen eye for style and their eagerness to have this particular design it now makes me want to rush out and buy it as well!

I thought you might appreciate knowing about this little gem quietly winning the popularity race this season.  It is knit of silky pima/Tencel with an abundance of embroidery, flattering empire waist and pretty neckline (with hidden bra-keepers under the straps).  We styled it formally in the catalog but our designers simply wore them with jeans.   Definately worth taking a closer look!

Natural Parfait Tank
Black Parfait Tank

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June 9, 2008 Mrs. Miller’s Iris Garden

Mrs_millers_iris_25_2
Mrs_millers_iris_25_2

Most do not know that Peruvian Connection headquarters is located on the private property of Annie and Biddy Hurlbut.  Mother and daughter both grew up on the Canaan Farm homestead and long before Peruvian Connection came into existence, their back yard was well-known for it’s exquisite flower garden.

In fact, the garden was part of the National Iris Society’s tour (at one time).  Biddy’s mother Corinne Miller had approximately 2500 different varieties of iris on the farm and it was her tireless passion to share the floral splendor she had created with not only her friends and loved ones but for anyone needing a tranquil respite from their hectic lives.

Today, Mrs. Miller’s garden is smaller than it once was but it is still as enchanting as ever.  A popular site for painters, photographers and Peruvian Connection employees over their lunch hour, this time of year is the most special as the iris are in all their glory.  I never grow tired of taking pictures of our sacred eden and while it is difficult to do it justice in just one image…I wanted to share it with you.  Enjoy!

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Petites are InStyle!

Kw_instyle_sp08_cov
Kw_instyle_sp08_cov

Did you know that Peruvian Connection is a great place to find a unique collection of petite styles? InStyle magazine has discovered our secret! We are listed as one of the top 3 design houses to offer creative petite fashions.  Not just your average run-of-the-mill designs, Peruvian Connection applies the same luxury fibers, intricate knit patterns and artisan textile traditions into our petites line as our misses or standard-sizing collection. 

Find your own unique style with these creative petite designs:

Zicatela Sundress
Lacework Dress
Desdemona Dress
Yuma Cardigan
Violeta Dress

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June 6, 2008 Father’s Day: It’s In the Details

Alpaca_links_cardigan
Alpaca_links_cardigan

Father’s Day became official here in 1972, but at least one of the stories circulated about its origin began a century earlier in Spokane, Washington.  U.S. Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart reared his six children as a single parent after his wife died.  One of his daughters, Sonora Smart Dodd, was so grateful that she campaigned for a day like the then newly-instituted Mother’s Day to commemorate his shining fatherhood and paternal parenting universally.

The stories about Dodd’s dedication to her dad don’t reveal the details.  But I suspect that her admiration was not about size, but scope – a microscope.  That is, her abiding adoration for her father was composed of his mundane, minute, but ever-caring acts magnified over time to create a lasting (dare we say big?) impact in her life.

In our hearts we know it.  The good feelings we have about our male family members are not wrought of lofty edifices like the Sears Tower, but (if you’ll forgive me), woven enduringly like our men’s Pima shirts and Alpaca sweaters, stitch by loving stitch, on a smaller, more daily-wear scale.

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