Don’t you hate it when people say (or write) “I die”? Me too. Yes Rachel Zoe, I’m talking to you. However, when I stumbled upon the Spring Summer 2014 line by Upstate, those are the exact words that ran through my head as my jaw dropped to the floor.
Kalen Kaminski and Astrid Chastka founded Upstate out of Brooklyn in 2010 based on a mutual love of making things. They were inspired by the Japanese textile art of shibori. Shibori is the binding, pleating, wrapping or stitching of fabric prior to dying to create patterns, both simple and elaborate.
I’ve always loved a jacket that get its bones from the traditional kimono or happi. Although the kimono inspired cardigan or jacket has been a hot trend the past few summers at all price points, it is by no means a new shape. The soft flowing shape is a classic. Designers in Hawaii, Asia and beyond have created pieces inspired by the kimono or happi for decades. My own wardrobe includes jackets from Winter Kate as well as vintage happi from Japan. Another favorite is a cropped army trench by Atsuro Tayama with kimono like sleeves purchased on a trip to Hong Kong a decade ago.
The hand dyed creations by Upstate are tempting long-term additions to my collection. Their unique pieces can be worn over a casual day outfit, as a touch of boho flair for a night out or as luxurious lounge wear. I covet the kimono jacket on the bottom left but would welcome any item from their offerings which range from sarongs to elegant jumpsuits.
Upstate also wants to dress your home. Linens and throw pillows in their shibori patterns are an easy way to add interest and a touch of art to your space. They also make slouchy totes and envelope clutch bags.
All images via Upstate.