Morphew will work its metal mesh-draping magic in Las Vegas next week.
The New York-based seller of high-end vintage, with a consulting arm called Paradox, will host a trend display pop-up at Sourcing at Magic where it will showcase trends and do a live installation of metal mesh draping. The company first did this in September at the Coterie trade show. They’ll also be streaming the progress of their work in Las Vegas live on Instagram throughout the show.
“Women still want to feel strong and feminine but have that layer of armor,” said creative director Jason Lyon. “That’s the conscious thing that’s leading this lust for metal.”
The designer has been working with the material since the Nineties with Morphew founder Bridgette Morphew recently becoming reinspired by it about a year ago.
The craft is delicate, requiring the mesh to be pieced together in a process akin to jewelry-making. The complexity of the material is such that many who use it end up creating basic sheath dresses or pin it to create draping, Lyon said. He instead studied the material, learning how to shape and form it into a wearable garment.
“It’s like a tiny jigsaw puzzle where each piece of the puzzle is two-eighths of an inch,” Lyon said.
His work turned the head of the original master of metal mesh, Anthony Ferrara, who began creating couture pieces with the material in the Sixties. Ferrara, who often scours the internet for his vintage pieces, stumbled upon Lyon’s work during one of his online searches.
“I came across a piece of Jason’s work where he had taken some of my old tops and did a dress and he did it brilliantly,” Ferrara said. “I mean, it was a great piece.”
He has since traded advice with Lyon and answered technical questions about the material.
“They’re more or less starting and I’m just ending,” Ferrara said jokingly of his career. Ferrara continues to create custom pieces for clients and also sells through the high-end vintage boutique The Way We Wore in Los Angeles.
Morphew will have a collection of vintage available for sale at Sourcing and will also be wholesaling its metal mesh hoods, which take about a week to make and start at about $950. Morphew’s also taking wholesale orders for its feather leathers — a calfskin suede capelet adorned with hand-cut feathers used to create a fringe. The pieces, currently sold in Calypso St. Barth and Marine Azria’s Piece Collective boutique, retail for $388.
Morphew hopes the capelets will be a big hit at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The company will partner with Piece Collective March 31 through April 2 on four racks worth of vintage for the store’s shoppers, aimed at drumming up buzz around Coachella, with starting price points of $128.
Morphew’s booth at Sourcing at Magic is #60901 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.