WHY WAIT?: As part of her ongoing efforts to champion New York manufacturing, Caravan Stylist Studio founder Claudine DeSola will be creating a made-now capsule collection with Tabitha St. Bernard that will be sold at The Gregory Hotel for two days during New York Fashion Week.
On Feb. 10 and 11, drop-ins will be able to see-now-buy-now, make-now and wear-now dresses that will be made in a pop-up atelier in the 132-room boutique hotel’s lobby. Having leased studio space on the second floor of The Gregory Hotel since July, Caravan Stylist Studio periodically does special events for guests.
The two companies teamed with NYC Fashion Made, an offshoot of Save the Garment Center, which in turn worked with the Brooklyn Fashion Design Accelerator to help train pattern makers and sewers while the designs are being made. In addition to giving people a closer look at the design process, another upside will be the samples that are made as a result of the two-day project. DeSola and St. Bernard recently made a Facebook Live video to demonstrate how the designer can create a look in 30 minutes. The two women joined forces in the past to help “Orange Is the New Black” actress Danielle Brooks and Emma Rose Kenney from “Shameless” with styling.
Thanks to a tie-in with NYC Fashion MADE, passers-by will be able to select a recycled fabric and watch their dress be made on-the-spot in a pop-up atelier in the West 35th Street lobby. With the help of sewing machines provided by Brother, DeSola and St. Bernard will be on hand to speak with shoppers or those curious about the design process. The end result will feature samples including ones for Caravan to lend to talent, and a video will be made with BFDA so that it can be used for educational purposes to see how a garment is being made.
It will consist of two styles that have been tested by St. Bernard, the Brighton Beach designer who focuses on zero waste with her Tabii Just label. She started down that path a few years ago after reading about Parsons’ assistant professor of fashion design and sustainability Timo Rissanen’s commitment to zero waste designs. Each design will be made in an hour or less, while guests linger over hot chocolate and baked goods provided by So Delicious.
The Gregory Hotel fashion week project was green-lighted by David Israel, senior vice president of Hotel Ave. NYC Fashion MADE’s Anthony Lilore was also all-in about supporting the project and he enlisted sample maker and sewer Roberto Silva to pitch in.
Last week’s test run at the hotel was just part of what was a highly scheduled week for St. Bernard, who played an integral role in the National Women’s March as the youth and family coordinator and the point person for the youth ambassador program. More than 15,000 children eight years old and under turned up for the D.C. March, she said. Last week photographer Kate Parker, the author of “Strong Is the New Pretty” came to The Gregory Hotel to shoot some of the ambassadors including nine-year-old Amariyanna “Mari” Copeny, also known as “Little Miss Flint” and two Idaho teens who organized a 17,000-person march in their home state. As one of the 25, who helped to coordinate marches in 17 countries, St. Bernard said she was trying to plan for the march and Caravan event at the same time. “I was up at 1:45 [a.m.] on Saturday. It was complete insanity,” she said. “My [two-year-old] son took a two-hour nap during Madonna’s speech. That was amazing because she was loud.”
In May, she will be part of a brainstorming weekend in Miami but in the meantime she has the New York Fashion Week event to tend to.