For the past several years I have been designing, tailoring and embroidering clothing in collaboration with artist and designer, Carolyn Curtis. During college, we interned with our design teacher, Pat Autenrieth. She makes incredible mixed media quilts. We learned a lot of the techniques that we currently use (sewing, embroidery and appliqué) from her.
After college, Carolyn and I worked on an elaborately embroidered suit together. That was the beginning of our collaboration. The suit was inspired by the work of a personal hero of mine; Nudie Cohen, the Rodeo Tailor. From the first time I saw an image of one of his suits, I was completely in awe.
I was looking at a lot of images of Gram Parsons and the Flying Burrito Brothers, Nudie suits, Jimmie Page suits, and Psychedelic posters when I began my design brainstorming process. I wanted the suit to be contemporary , but also look western , rock n roll and psychedelic . Skulls and flowers have always been a recurring theme in my work. I decided on the image of a cow skull with horns. It would be blowing flowers through its nostrils in place of smoke. As I researched images of desert flowers and venus fly traps, I began to draw the basic elements of the design. I then scanned everything into the computer and created the design in illustrator. The color palette I chose was black, white, and hot pink. I wanted it to be worn on stage, and I knew that that bold, contrasting colors would stand out to an audience.
When I was finished with the design, I printed it on fabric. Then, Carolyn and I embroidered the entire design. The suit took us a month to make, because we honestly didn’t know what we were doing at the time. Aside from our internship in college, we were self taught in many of the tailoring techniques that we currently employ.
Since then, we have tailored and designed custom clothing on commission. Here are some photos of the suit in addition to some of the other things we have made over the years.