A few weeks ago I wrote about designer Natalie "Alabama" Chanin and her company, Alabama Chanin. (Click here to read the posting). As promised, Natalie has graciously stopped by to talk about her wonderful limited-edition jewelry, clothing, home furnishings, accessories, furniture and fabrics as she gears up to show her line in New York September 5-10.
Using a mix of new, organic and recycled materials Natalie's handmade designs are constructed with care by artisans who live and work in the local communities in and surrounding Florence Alabama.
mj: Could you talk a little about your new Home line. What inspired you to start this and what are some of your favorite pieces?
natalie: The home line is really just an extension of the work we started doing with clothing. Taking old pieces that might be thrown away and giving them new life by adding artisanal craft to the existing pieces. There is a pie safe with screen doors where the doors have been appliqued with our traditional cotton jersey fabric. I love the combination of wood and fabric...metal and wood and I have always found collaborations between materials (and people) are very exciting.
mj: What is your inspiration for fall and how do you feel your line is evolving?
natalie: I feel very moved by my simple, elegant shapes and feminine details at the moment. My life is very full--consequently, I think that I am striving for simplicity.
mj: I love your whole concept and dedication to sustainable/organic clothing and lifestyle products at the luxury level. What made you move in this direction, was there a person who inspired you, or something motivating you in this huge task?
natalie: It was not really a moment of inspiration that motivated me but rather a gradual realization and change. I was using the recycled shirts because I liked the "feel" of them rather than for the ecological value. I know that it may seem strange but it seemed that I was on the path and did not really realize it and it came later that I understood the importance and then realized that I had been on the path for a long time.
mj: Besides designing do you do any other art work such as photography, sculpture, etc?
natalie: I have always said that I am a filmmaker at heart, posing as a fashion designer and I spent the morning finger painting with my daughter... does that count?
mj: What is your favorite piece/project that you've created so far?
natalie: The favorite piece is always the one you are working on at the moment.
Here are A FEW THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT NATALIE CHANIN
A) THE FOUR MOST STYLISH PEOPLE THAT INFLUENCED ME:
B) FOUR WAYS THAT STYLE MAKES THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE
Whew... how can that be limited to 4?
C) FOUR OF MY FAVORITE DESIGNERS:
Dries van Noten
+many, many others...
D) FOUR JOBS I HAVE HAD IN MY LIFE:
Soda Fountain Girl
E) FOUR MOVIES I WOULD WATCH OVER AND OVER (AND DO):
How could I ever begin to choose 4?
F) FOUR PLACES WHERE I HAVE LIVED:
New York City
G) FOUR TV SHOWS I LOVE TO WATCH:
The Tonight Show
I) FOUR WEBSITES I VISIT DAILY (Or at least Weekly):
www.alabamachanin.com (we built the website so, we monitor it each week &
try to find ways to improve!)
J) FOUR OF MY FAVORITE FOODS:
K) FOUR PLACES I WOULD RATHER BE RIGHT NOW:
I am happy right where I am... thanks.
Thanks Natalie for stopping by! Stay tuned because tomorrow I'll be back with some great photos from a little pre-opening party from the John Van Hamersveld show I stopped by on Saturday night.