September 7, 2013

The Foundation of Fashion

{I'm in love with these gorgeous silk scarves designed and crafted by artist Jodi Clayton}
It's no secret. I love fashion. I love art. Lets face it. I love pretty things! And I'll bet that you do too. As I flip through my September issue of Harper's Bazaar, which is my favorite fashion magazine by the way, I begin to think about all I need want for fall. I start making a list, narrowing it down to my ten must haves, which is not an easy task by the way. So far I have it narrowed down to twelve. I need to scratch off two more items. A tough decision for me! 

I must say that this difficult compromise was made much easier after I made a trip to One Lupine Fiber Arts Studio located at 170 Park Street in Bangor, Maine. I have always loved the idea of shopping local and supporting local designers, but I had never given it too much thought until I had the opportunity to speak to a local designer in the flesh. Recently, I was lucky enough to meet Jodi Clayton, owner and designer at One Lupine. It is at this very location that she teaches spinning and knitting classes, makes and sells her own yarns and designs gorgeous clothing and accessories. Jodi sells her elegant designs in her retail space on the first floor as well as many other works of art created by local designers. Everything in the shop is unique and everything is made one at a time. No two pieces are the same. Hence the name "One Lupine". "One" referencing uniqueness and "Lupine" referencing Maine or local. Everything at One Lupine is made in the United States or Eastern Canada. Jodi is very mindful of the carbon footprint. At One Lupine you will always find high quality work that is very unique at every price point. 

I ended up purchasing a delicate pearl ring designed and crafted by Mara Bonsaint. {See photo below} I loved it at first sight, but I loved it even more because I knew it was special and unique and I got to meet the designer herself! I was totally impressed by that. 

I also had the pleasure of meeting another local artist, Sally Gilbert, who also walked me through the shop. She could tell me the story behind every work of art that was on display. One of my favorite pieces on display was a work of art created by herself. It was an acrylic on canvas painting of Mt. Katahdin.

So, the moral to this story is that when you are flipping through those fashion magazines this fall, try not to only think about what you "must have" for the season. Think about who designed it. Do you know who made it and the craftsmanship that went into it? It's human nature to want adorn yourself and your home with pretty things that express the person that you are. But when you end up with a bunch of stuff that is mass produced in foreign lands, does it even feel special to you? Was it worth your hard earned cash? 
I think not.

Support your local designers and learn about them. Feel good about what you buy. Shop local. 

Here are more photos I took of some of the gorgeous works of art that you will find at One Lupine Fiber Arts:
{These stack-able rings by Mara Bonsaint are so pretty. You won't want just one because they are so pretty stacked in sets of three!}

{These bracelets were made from vintage buttons and cuff links. LOVE them.}

{I thought these wine vases were so pretty and would make a great gift!}