Production Mode’s St. Louis Connection & Press

This past spring I had the plea­sure of recon­nect­ing with the fash­ion commu­nity in my home­town of St. Louis. Back in the 1930s and 40s, St. Louis had a thriv­ing garment district, special­iz­ing in junior cloth­ing.


image from St. Louis Maga­zine


There are still vestiges of the garment indus­try in St. Louis, and it was there that I learned how to sew, in the base­ment of the Winston’s Fabrics. The teacher was an extremely talented woman who ran the alter­ations room at a Sak’s Fifth Avenue for many years. She was an inspi­ra­tion- she could adapt a crappy home sewing pattern into a fash­ion­able, well-fitting garment, and shared all kinds of garment indus­try sewing secrets with us, and seemed to be having more fun in her retire­ment than most of my univer­sity peers.

It’s lovely now to see new design­ers, artists, and cura­tors reclaim­ing and rein­vig­o­rat­ing the fash­ion world in St. Louis. I was lucky enough to connect with this commu­nity during my recent visits, thanks to artist Paula J. Wilson, with whom I was visit­ing during her time as Beau­mont Artist-in-Resi­dence at Wash­ing­ton Univer­sity.

First, I met with Angela Malchionno and Carly Hilo of the Enamel, their mission, which focuses on both process and final prod­uct, was a perfect fit for show­cas­ing the Produc­tion Mode line.  Their goal- to high­light the lineage of products—where they come from, how they were made, and their impact on envi­ron­ment and community–is a inspi­ra­tion. In a short time they’ve been able to build an engaged and educated audi­ence for conscious textiles and the creation thereof in St. Louis.

Produc­tion Mode’s first pop-up was held there at the end of March. In antic­i­pa­tion of the event, both St. Louis Maga­zine and Alive Maga­zine published inter­views with myself and Enamel co-founder, Angela Malchionno. Read more here and here. In order to high­light Enamel’s process-oriented mission, Paula Wilson brought her wood burnish­ing tools and demoed pyro­graph­ing on leather during the event, along with other artist friends visit­ing St. Louis at the time, Sara Velas, of the Velaslavaysay Panorama in Los Ange­les, and Damon Locks of Chicago.

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Photo Montage by Weird Cult(ure). More on the event from their great arti­cle on Enamel and the Produc­tion Mode pop-up can be found here.

Atten­dees got in on the action, too, as seen in this video of pyro­graph­ing, also from Weird Cult(ure).


On my next visit to St. Louis, I was lucky enough to visit projects+gallery, a new gallery in the Central West End focus­ing on the inter­sec­tion of art and fash­ion. Their first exhibit is a stun­ner- a retro­spec­tive of Hideki Seo’s work.

150410Projects+_6087 Image by projects+gallery

I’m excited to see projects+gallery develop, and to see its effects on the design commu­nity in St. Louis and the region, and to see my home­town pros­per­ing and nurtur­ing the connec­tions between fash­ion and art.