Design Week in New York is coming to a close. There were parties a plenty and more than enough furniture to be seen, sat on, and contemplated curiously while people watching to your heart’s content. We were lucky enough to get in on the action by working with Natalie Chanin of Alabama Chanin on the inaugural run of MakeShift: A Series of Panel Discussions, Workshops, and Conversations for the Fashion and Design Industries.
We opened the week of events last Tuesday with an incredible evening at the Standard Hotel, East. Dubbed “Shifting Thoughts on Design, Fashion, Craft, and DIY” this was anything but your typical panel discussion. The night was highlighted by two performances of “Fair and Tender Ladies” by Rosanne Cash—the first a heart wrenching rendition that showed off Cash’s extraordinary depth and range, the second a tweaked version with some lyrics replaced with suggestions from the audience. The 100 plus in attendance then got to sing the new version themselves, led by Cash. Add in some finger knitting with Natalie Chanin, remarkable stories of DIY success from designer Maria Cornejo and Heath Ceramics owner, Cathy Bailey, and some perspective on the state of the fashion and design industries from NYU professor, Jessamyn Hatcher, the night was, simply put, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
After an Alabama Chanin pop-up shop party held at the Billy Reid showroom on Thursday night featuring the musical marvels of Grammy-nominated Tift Merritt, and a knitting workshop on Friday, we readied ourselves for the main event—at least as far as we were concerned—on Saturday afternoon, “Crafting Design.” For our part, we set about collecting cast-off chairs from Krrb and scouring the streets of New York for broken and busted seating that could be resurrected by attendees.
Partners and Spade provided the space to work and some serious inspiration with their current show of “Children’s Chairs.” Alabama Chanin provided tools and material that would allow attendees to turn the sad and forlorn chairs into pieces ready to once again take center stage in anyone’s home.
With some serious star-studded attendees including Los Angeles-based designers Amy Devers and Tanya Aguiniga, the affair produced some gems that would have been the highlights at any of the many galleries putting their best feet forward during design week.
But we had other ideas. While some attendees took their pieces home, we set Amy and Tanya’s contributions free in the wilds of New York—returned to the streets from whence they came. We are firm believers in what comes around goes around.