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Men’s clothing is on a quilt trip

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Their story is a cute story to record.

In 2019, Dr Claire McKarns came across Tristan Detwiler at a fabric store in Encinitas, California. At the time, Dr. McKarns, a physician, was 80 years old. Mr Detwiler, a handsome surfer with apostle locks, a silver thumb ring and a palm tree tattoo on his hand, was 21.

I thought, well, it’s interesting, a young man buying a lot of fabric, Dr McKarns said by phone last week from his home near San Diego.

For his part, Mr Detwiler was not excited by Dr McKarnss’s friendly opening. She said: What is a handsome young boy like you doing in a sewing store? Mr Detwiler said by phone from southern California, where he also lives. I was a little shocked.

They had all, in fact, found themselves in Yardage Town, a venerable retailer that closed in 2020, after 66 years in business, for the same reason. They would buy offcuts to sew quilts.

In Dr. McKarnss’s case, it was for the quilts she sewed and donated to local charity auctions. Mr Detwiler was looking for leftovers for the quilts he started making for an art school thesis, then picked up and bought tor Stan, a new sportswear brand that grew out of it.

The unlikely duo got along so well that they began a collaboration that they provided him with quilts from a treasure she amassed over decades that would lead to the lovely second Mr. Detwilers collection which was shown Monday during American collections, such as the renamed New York Fashion Week. is now called.

Neither of them had been much interested in crafts until adulthood. I never sewed when I was a kid, said Dr McKarns, who has practiced emergency medicine for most of his career. I had no interest in it.

That changed one day when she stumbled upon a quilt top in her mother’s laundry closet. Sewn by his great-grandmother, it had never been finished. I asked my mom if I could have it to finish, Dr McKarns said. Someone showed me how to quilt, and that’s it, I was hooked.

When he started Stan in 2019, Mr. Detwiler was looking to develop the necessary sewing skills that were unexpected in someone who had previously spent their free time spotting surf spots along the San Diego coast, as well as a anchored in his birthplace and his varied stories. I see myself above all as an artist and a storyteller, he says. This is what I believe in. Fashion is the easiest way to tell my story.

For Stan’s latest offering, Mr. Detwiler mainly focused on surfer-style jackets and hoodies, board shorts and chore jackets made from worn quilts and skillfully invigorated as clothing.

The result was remarkable in a day of disappointing designer efforts: stuff like Chelsea Grays’ knit skirts, skirts and tunics, clothes so laborious in tatters they looked like the aftermath of a banquet of night butterfly; or Carter Altmans Carter Young men wear staples organized around some sadly stingy signifiers of a New York steeped in nostalgia; or Aaron Pottss APotts clothing collection so intentionally without reference to secondary sex characteristics they made you itch for a Cardi B video; or ONYRMRK, a new LA label designed by Mark Kim and Rwang Pam, whose quilted checkered parkas (try it three times quickly) underlined fashions pushing westward.

Mr Detwiler shone in part because he filmed his collection on an assortment of acquaintances and friends, including Dr McKarns, in the slums, barns and outhouses of the historic Bumann Ranch, a German farm in 1886 in what was once known as Olivenhain. colony. He discovered the place and its owners, Richard and Adeline Bumann, through his quilting group.

The collection comes together in this video account of a guy talking about how he sees this property as a window to the past, just like quilts, Mr Detwiler said.

And Stan’s creator is far from the only one who harnesses hand-sewn textiles for their built-in resonances and stories, what Dr McKarns called the life of the person who made it and the resulting gestalt. .

Raf Simons, during his brief tenure as Creative Director of Calvin Klein, enthusiastically dove into American quilting. Just like Ralph Lauren before him. Junya Watanabe has made the thrifty practice of boro a staple of the Parisian catwalks. More recently, entrepreneur Maurizio Donadi, the unrecognized godfather of clothing upcycling, worked brilliantly on the reuse of old rags at Atelier & Repairs.

And in 2020, Greg Lauren, a designer from Los Angeles, formalized his ongoing experiments with quilting by creating a superlative clothing line inspired by military quilts. Made from a surplus production line, it is labeled GL Scraps.

There’s a lot of talk these days about artisan upcycling, an appreciation for the skills and craftsmanship of the past, said Bruce Pask, the menswear director of Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. Thanking Mr Detwiler for adding a West Coast Baja, Calif. Flavor to the trend, Mr Pask said: You really can’t really talk about all of this without getting back to Emily Bode and the way which it succeeded in creating economies of scale.

Mr Pask was referring to how Ms Bode, an award-winning designer who built much of her young career around neglected crafts and folk art, began to outsource some of her textile production. in India or to make textile patterns more fleeting in the form of prints. What seems clear is that the offer of these beautiful, often hand-sewn objects is not limitless: even upcycling involves ethical challenges.

There are those who think that if a quilt has outlived its usefulness, its fair game, said Judy Buss, executive director of the American Quilt Study Group in Lincoln, New York. But there are also those who say, no matter what stage in the life of quilts, it is worth saving even the leftovers.

Mr. Detwiler is clearly in the former camp, and yet, aware of the latter, he took inspiration from Ms Bode and turned to other merchandise salvaged from our collective lingerie. Some of the best things in the new Stan collection have been cut and sewn from vintage fringed wool blankets.

Better to hide your tablecloths.

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