September 21st 2017 Lucy's Magazine featuring Alexa Stark Woven Denim Tank, Denim Jacket Collaboration with artist Kellen Chasuk, Denim Lace Up Tank, and Denim Fringe Dress.
September 13th 2017 WWD issue features Alexa Stark Spring / Summer 2018 Blazer
In an homage to the recent summer Olympic games, the August issue of Harper's Bazaar Brazil combined athletic wear and high fashion in a beautiful nine page spread featuring pieces from the AW2016 Alexa Stark collection alongside looks from Christian Dior, Missoni, Kenzo, Giorgio Armani, Etro, Nike, Adidas, Marni and more.
The items featured are our organic vegetable dyed red silk wrap pants, organic vegetable dyed red silk bomber, re-purposed sweater, and denim envelope skirt. All items are now available for pre-order on alexastark.com/shop and will be in stores in August.
Photos by Chris Hornbecker for Harper's Bazaar Brazil
Have you ever been curious about how designers spend their day? How a garment, or even an entire collection, goes from idea to finished product? To shed light on this sometimes mysterious process, we decided to share something we're calling 'A Day in the Life of the Designer'.
8am: Alexa starts her day.
10am: After her usual morning routine, Alexa grabs some coffee and heads to her North Portland studio.
11am: On the day in question, Alexa had a visit from a friend and patron of the Arts & Crafts Museum. After discussing the materials Alexa used in her Spring / Summer 16 collection, her collaboration with Eileen Fischer, her upcoming Autumn / Winter line and her upcoming residency in New York this September (which will include a fashion show and a pop-up in a friend's studio), Alexa prepared to interview an intern candidate.
12pm: Alexa interviews a local art student interested in an internship. Discussing her experience, skills, and line of study, she and Alexa work together to cut material for a jump suit.
1pm: Alexa sneaks in some lunch and prepares to interview another intern candidate.
2pm: Now is when Alexa fits in the bulk of her work: emailing shop owners, updating social media, working on marketing, packaging online orders, and working on sampling items for her upcoming Spring / Summer 17 collection.
6pm: Alexa takes a break to head home and have dinner with her roommates. There might be some kitten hang time involved too.
8pm: Alexa heads back to the studio to fit in more sketching and sampling. This is also when she typically experiments with new designs and techniques.
10 - 11pm: Alexa hangs up her tool belt and heads home for some well deserved rest.
Of course, this typical day doesn't include major production work. In the months and weeks before a new collection is released, Alexa spends most of her time working with her production partners, often sitting side by side with her seamstress to help sew garments or working with her silk-screener to handprint large bolts of fabric - but that's another post for another time.
Continuing on from last week today we're shining the spotlight on Alexa's London stockist, LN-CC.
Located in London's Stoke Newington district, LN-CC describes themselves as 'an evolving platform of curated ideas that encompasses menswear, womenswear, music and books. The store consists of individual product rooms, a library, record store, gallery and club space for private events'. Though appointments aren't required for a visit, entry is private and a bell must be used for access.
Once inside shoppers will find a selection of brands hailing from around the globe, including items from both established and emerging designers. LN-CC is also very proud to offer a conscious collection of brands at the forefront of both eco and tech practices, offering truly unique expressions and low environmental impact to the savvy shopper. LN-CC says: 'Working away from the restraints of trends by selecting products and ideas that inspire us, LN-CC is it's own culture, uncompromised, unprejudiced, and inclusive'. We say: Amen.
Alexa Stark can be found in some pretty awesome shops and we thought we'd share a few of them with you, starting with Portland's own Stand Up Comedy.
Located Downtown in the historic Morgan's Alley building, the space had a former life as a jewelry store, which Stand Up Comedy owner Diana Kim has kept intact in her shop design. The front display windows, which were made to display jewelry and therefore don't fit garments, are instead used to display special art installations made on a rotating basis by the designers she stocks. A lighted 'Applause' sign adds a tongue-in-cheek touch.
Inside, garments run down the middle of the shop while lighted display cases along the walls house complementary accessories including shoes, jewelry, hosiery, books, and skin care. Everything is very carefully chosen and thanks to Kim's curatorial skills and avant garde aesthetic, Stand Up Comedy is known internationally as a go-to for contemporary, artistic, and experimental apparel.
Shop Stand Up Comedy in person at 511 SW Broadway in Portland, Oregon or online at StandUpComedyToo.com.
Starting early next year Alexa Stark is teaching a class at Oregon College of Arts and Crafts Fibers Department.
Re-Fashion: In this design class you will explore experimental fashion techniques to create a series of clothing. Through examining the effects of culture, history and place in fashion, you will be encouraged to consider the different definitions of dress, garments and accessories within the context of sustainability. Class projects will include experimentation and exploration of design through the deconstruction and reconstruction of clothing. We will study materials, forms, construction, color and issues of representation through both research and hands-on tutorials, making approximately one garment a week. Join us for this unique opportunity to work with local clothing designer and artist, Alexa Stark.
Prerequisite: Basic sewing machine skills.
Jan 26 - April 5
Tuesdays 6:30pm - 9:30pm
More info and sign up here (scroll down): https://cms.ocac.edu/taxonomy/term/4
One of the conversations we'd like to have is the what goes into the process of creating fashion. Too often fashion is thought of and treated as shallow or disposable, notions Alexa rightfully challenges. While studying and honing her craft at Parsons, she wrote in her thesis: The clothing I create is the integration of introspection, awareness, and practicality. This explanation aligns with the thought and material processes I have developed since I began making. Through production I have found joy and have gained a more profound self-awareness and heightened sense of what is meaningful in my life — connection, community, history, and identity. The clothing I make reflects my identity and sense of purpose as well as the meditative practice of handwork.
Unfortunately that sort of connection to fashion and ones clothing has become a rare thing as the mainstream fashion industry moves faster and faster to stay on top of disposable trends and copy runway looks, often in just a few weeks, for delivery to the consumer. The result is that material quality and workmanship suffer - not to mention factory workers in deplorable conditions - in favor of ‘fast fashion’. While fast fashion is now widely accepted and rarely questioned in the main stream, and as large corporate conglomerates continue to buy fashion houses (currently six corporations own forty major fashion brands), independent designers are becoming the ‘punks’ of the fashion industry as they question and eschew those unsustainable production methods not only in their designs and material choice but by working with ethical business partners.
One such company is Portland Garment Factory, Alexa's production house. From Alexa's thesis: I work in groups in order to encourage creative community and to invite practitioners to slow down and live in the moment. Alexa works with Portland Garment Factory because they take the time to work out the best production methods, not the just the cheapest method which is what major retailers demand from most overseas factories, as well as high quality in both materials and construction. From start to finish, they complete a circle of sustainability by keeping a low carbon footprint and recycling excess fabric. Communication between Portland Garment Factory and their design partners is key in dialing in quality.
In today's fashion world, designers are taught to be a solitary star who not only designs clothing for multiple seasons but is a branding genius who can and should slap their label on any and all products for the creation of revenue. In reality, it's good to know multiple roles as a designer, however there are far too many things for one person to think about. It’s good to know when you need to hire out, but when it all comes down to it, you should be focusing on your art form: making clothes.
Last week a select group of Portland buyers, fashion editors, and clients converged in a mid-century modern chalet-style home in SW Portland to view upcoming spring/summer 2016 collections by Alexa and her fellow designers Kate Towers and Howard. Located in a heavily wooded neighborhood, the home's floor to ceiling windows and warm wood details served as the perfect backdrop for the brunch presentation. Enjoying mimosas, cold-brew coffee, bacon wrapped dates and homemade pumpkin bread with spiced butter attendees chatted happily until the doorbell rang, signaling the start of the show. Up first, Alexa Stark.
As the models entered through the front door, they performed a piece created for Alexa by performance artist Sidony O'Neal as part of their walk. Focusing on breath to express the interconnection between all of us and the surrounding world, models showed their breath by blowing softly on the hair which had been draped in their faces for that purpose. Overall the piece brought attention to the juxtaposition of our interconnection while being present; more specifically, being present in your garment which becomes an extension of you in the world.
As promised, here are photos of Alexa's upcoming collection as seen during RESIDENTS ...
Yesterday Alexa showcased her Spring/Summer 2016 collection for a private group of buyers and editors alongside fellow Portland designers Kate Towers and Britt Howard. This is your behind the scenes pass to RESIDENTS ...
Next week: Images from the RESIDENTS show