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Magic Mud
The simple name “mud cloth” scarcely does justice to the mastery of chemistry needed for the multi-step production of these dyed cloths. The deep brown color is created using iron-rich mud, fermented for over a year. But the fabric must be pre-treated before to allow the mud to function as a dye, and the motifs...
Design By Hand | Ralph Rucci
Public Lecture: Join us as Ralph Rucci talks about his creative process, inspiration, and the role of the hand in his work. About the Design by Hand series: Launched in fall 2013 with the iconic Finnish brand Marimekko, the Design by Hand series focuses on the craftsmanship, innovations, and merits of contemporary global designers. Special...
Ducharne sample book
Fresh Floral Prints from 1940
François Ducharne (French, n.d.), owner of the luxury textile company Soieries F. Ducharne, sold his colorful printed dress silks in France and the United States. Ducharne started his business in Lyon, France in 1920, likely inspired by the successful and profitable collaborations between artists and textile manufacturers such as Raoul Dufy’s (French, 1877–1953) partnership with...
Russian shawl border
A Uniquely Two-Sided Shawl
This distinctive, fully reversible shawl border was handwoven in Russia in the early nineteenth century to be part of a Kashmir-style shawl. It was woven such that the intricate floral design is identical on both sides of the fabric. Kashmir shawls were essential fashion accessories for stylish women of means in nineteenth-century Europe. Initially imported...
Child's dress
Fit for a Girl – Or a Boy?
Do you wonder why this early eighteenth-century silk dress is labeled a “child’s dress” and not a “girl’s dress”? You may be surprised to learn that both young girls and boys wore dresses at this time, a practice that actually continued into the first decades of the twentieth century. Before the sixteenth century, European men...
shawl border
Passion for Exotic Fashion
When Napoleon presented Josephine with a shawl that had been given to him on his Egyptian campaign (1798–1801), he started a fashion craze that lasted half a century and had major economic impacts on several nations. Fashionable ladies wearing the extremely lightweight Neoclassical gowns of the period went wild for the soft, beautiful and very...
DISEÑO | Fashion
Hear fashion luminaries Maria Cornejo, Francisco Costa, and Narciso Rodriguez speak with NBC’s Natalie Morales about their influences, process, and inspirations. DISEÑO is a partnership between Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and El Museo del Barrio. This program received federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center. Recorded 15 October...
2014 Winners’ Panel
Join us for a special panel discussion featuring our 2014 National Design Award winners. Panelists will discuss what drives and inspires them as designers, and include John Edson, President, LUNAR (Product Design Award); Aaron Koblin (Interaction Design Award); Narciso Rodriguez (Fashion Design Award); and Robin Standefer, Principal, Roman and Williams Buildings and Interiors (Interior Design...
Design Talks | Fashion Designer Behnaz Sarafpour
Known for her modern elegance and innovative textiles, 2013 National Design Award winner Behnaz Sarafpour debuted her collection in 2001. Sarafpour brought her classic and refined feminine style to the masses in 2006 by joining Target's GO International line, the first designer to represent the United States in this campaign to merge high fashion and...