Copyright © 2023 TOko Enterprises, LLC - All Rights Reserved.
Designer Lena Kvadrat founded her brand, Artpoint at the end of the 90s in Russia under changing conditions of that economy. In 2001, she went to Austria, and where she and her have thrived in Vienna. My experience with Lena is that is an imaginative and cerebral bundle of concept, unisexism, adaptability and high spirit. Her pieces are very wearable for women and men. The “theme” of her current collection, 2019 into 2020 is “EPICENTRISM”.
Gosh, we’ve known Carole since the mid or late 1990’s, when she was introducing her work into the US. We’ve visited her and her ceramics-artist husband, Gary Wall, in her Bath, England studio in the early 2000’s. She is the consummate art-to-wear artist who has kept her finger on the pulse of brilliant composition on silk. And because she maintains an open studio/gallery in Bath, she is very in touch with the end-wearer, so is constantly updating her look without losing her visual language of color, abstract imagery, geometry and clothing shapes that are imminently wearable.
Born in Birmingham England in 1956, Carole began to make wearable art in 1986. She studied at the Canterbury College of Art, then pursued her MA at Cranbrook Academy of Art near Detroit.
Her work is featured in many books on contemporary textiles and is found in museums such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, Birmingham City Art Gallery , private collections and contemporary galleries internationally.
Somporn Intaraprayong is a self-taught artist, living in Bangkok, working with seamstresses to create embroidered textiles, who has become an international *star*, with works collected around the world. She is both an antique textile dealer, a collector of folk art, a big personality, and a huge creative talent, with a deep and loving heart for her kin, and we are all kin. She collaborates in adapting folk art and contemporary imagery in her work (and that of her empowered seamstresses) with Vichai Chinalai, part of the marketing and international distribution effort, Chinalai Modern.
This image was taken and published by Polly Leonard, Selvedge Magazine.
Beginning in Belgium three decades ago, this design collection, urban and sophisticated, produces its line of knitwear and pret-a-porter in Italy and throughout Europe. It is known for high-quality yarns, asymmetry and subtle coloration.
Setsuko Torii created her own brand in 1992, and works in Kyoto, Japan, in a lovely machi-ya (traditional wooden Japanese building). She opened a yarn shop, adjacent to her atelier in 2016, called “Itonokura”, and creates knitwear designs with great color blends and various stitches that differentiate her pieces from commercially-produced knits.
Terry Macey, together with wife Angelika Elsebach, and son Jethro Macey, runs a family business in the heart of Somerset, England (Glastonbury). Terry and Angelika employ their passion for textiles and hands-on experience with what women want to wear. Son Jethro is the force behind making Terry Macey, the company, become an international brand, building beyond their small studio origin. Still, their ethos is to remain a clothing company with a focus on the handmade, rather than mass production.
The clothes are made in their charming studio, a converted Chapel in the burgh of Glastonbury. After years of research into fabric quality, they now use only carefully sourced natural fabrics; predominantly Irish linen, English wools, Donegal and Scottish tweeds, and crushed silks and silk velvets.
Traces of Me, called Tracos de Mim in Portuguese, is an ethical designer fashion brand from Portugal, created by Teresa Martins.
Ms Martins is guided by an ethical ethos, offering a selection of elegant garments that reflect a rich and patterned aesthetic, emphasizing femininity, and the artistry of s textile traditions. The most important thing for Teresa is to make people feel good about themselves, so the identity of Traces of Me has to do with the quality, fluidity, beauty and movement of fabrics. Traces of Me is best known in Europe for its unique art in mixing & matching colors and patterns. TM’s fabrics are designed to take advantage of the textile techniques of India, Nepal and Portugal, where they are realized.
YaccoMaricard was the brainchild of 3 partners in the mid-to-late 70’s in Japan: Mari & Isamu Watanabe, with their friend and colleague Yacco. Together, they introduced an expertly tailored pintuck cotton women’s clothing line that continues to this day, with hundreds of variations of crisp shirts, jackets and cotton jersey tops. The next generation of Watanabes have emerged into management of the company, with a strong retail presence in Japan, Thailand (where the products are actually manufactured) and London. A limited number of retail shops around the US carry this collection, and TOKo Santa Fe is the leading representative of the brand at retail.
Our next collection arrives in early February, 2020.
Alex & Svet are a multifaceted couple, of Russian origin based in Paris, artists, designers, makers, and jewelers with an innovative & avant-garde perspective.
Their point of view is to “thoughtfully source the finest and alternative materials, and transform them into innovative & contemporary adornments with a retro-futuristic aesthetic.”
Each item is handcrafted in their Parisian studio, including an exclusive color treatment of the acrylic & rubber material used in their jewelry. Svet makes use of a tinted core manual process to create a vibrant and sophisticated color palette.
Vlas Blomme is a brand, based in Japan, and designs around a European look and heritage, using ‘Kortrijk Linnen’ from Belgium. Designer Yoriko Sakurama began her collection with the Spring Summer season of 2007. The name, Vlas Blomme means “Linen Flower” in Flemish, the language of Flanders, Belgium, a territory that has prospered over centuries as the center of the linen industry.
While the design team has changed, and is now under the direction of Satoshi Ishii, Vlas Blomme continues to create a relaxed, vintage-y look, which is imminently wearable, blurring the lines between feminine and unisex, with its signature “broken-in look” and casual attitude.
Using all natural fibers, Vlas Blomme is comfortable, luxurious, and beautifully crafted in Japan, with a daywear styling and unique character.
Lora Nikolova is Russian, living in Milano. She creates abstract exclusive artwork to be worn. Her necklaces resemble architectural networks, linked in harmonious geometry. Materials vary between glass, crystal, semi-precious stones, plastic and river pearls.
Reiko Sudo is co-founder, current CEO and design director of Nuno Corporation of Tokyo. Sudo is a superb designer, and master of bringing the best of design out of her team members, and also of discovering new textile possibilities with the mills with whom she works. Nuno is universally recognized as one of the world’s most innovative textile companies, and specializes in interior design fabrics, scarves and clothing. Nuno takes the techniques, materials and aesthetics of traditional textiles and reinterprets them with cutting-edge technologies.
Sudo and her design team, together with the company’s skilled weavers and dyers, have greatly broadened the parameters of contemporary design in the industry, experimenting with an eclectic array of materials, ranging from silk, cotton and polyester to hand-made paper and aluminum, and finishing methods that include salt-shrinking, rust-dyeing and caustic burning.
She helped to launch Nuno, with Junichi Arai, in 1984, has taught at Musashino Art University and at Tokyo Zokei University, and was appointed professor there in 2007.
Nuno’s pieces are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; and the Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art Craft Gallery.
Ms Isensee is a textile artist, having begun as a weaver, and now exploring shapes, dimension, and the concept of bringing an airy quality to her wearable accessories.
She “strings” together geometric shapes of cutout silk, cotton and unconventional materials such as plastic, through basic sewing techniques to create scarves, stole and capelet-like ponchos.