IT TAKES A VILLAGE: Community, or the lack thereof, is an ongoing topic of conversation, as “Vanishing New York” blogger Jeremiah Moss can attest.
But Mimi Prober, a designer who specializes in “creating modern heirlooms using antique textiles,” created her spring collection with the help of Élan Flowers.
The designer relies on local fiber farms, artisans and New York-based manufacturers to create textiles design and one-of-a-kind pieces. About a year ago en route to People’s Revolution’s Grand Street office, where she keeps a space, she started dropping by the local florist. “I got really excited because I’ve always used natural color dyes in my process. I’d always wanted to collaborate with a florist because they have a lot of waste, and flowers that they throw away, that can be used,” she said.
It just so happened that they were on board with her design philosophy and they started giving them flowers for natural dyeing. For spring, they offered her roses, hydrangeas, sunflowers, and wildflowers to use to create natural dyes for the collection. “They’re familiar with what I do. And they created this kind of beautiful glowing forest as a backdrop,” said Prober, adding that she also gave them some lace scraps which they returned in different colors as part of their textiles development.
The team set up the backdrop at Skylight Clarkson Sq in a few hours although they had built some of the hanging aspects beforehand in their SoHo flower shop. “We envisioned this collaboration basically a week ago so they spent a lot of time preparing it in a very short amount of time,” Prober said.
Élan Flowers owners Christine and Patrick Hall, and their floral designer Yuko Hasegawa all pitched in to help Prober with the project. The trio then stuck around to attend their first fashion show. Among the looks they saw was a handmade jacket made of hemp and linen from the 1800s that she found through some local farmers that happened to be imprinted with “MI” and “MI,” which she pieced together to spell her name.