Photo, above, A work in progress: Stina’s design, inspired by a jacket in the museum collection. Photos courtesy MV Museum
The collections at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum include a wide variety of textiles that date from the last three centuries, many of which are so delicate they haven’t been exhibited. Among the hundreds of objects are wedding dresses, kimonos, uniforms, linens, hats, and embroidered accessories of all kinds. Wanting to share them with the public, chief curator Bonnie Stacy and assistant curator Anna Carringer created a collaborative exhibit they’re calling Re:Make. They invited local clothing designers to create a new garment inspired by something from the museum’s textile collections. The new garment will be displayed alongside the original, along with video clips of the designers and their process. Designers featured in the exhibit include Marlene DiStefano, Noavakay Knight, Stina Sayre, Randi Sylvia, and Karen Trotier.
Stina Sayre created Stina Sayre Design in 1989 as a place where customers could watch the design process unfold in front of them. She now has stores in Vineyard Haven and Edgartown. “I really was attracted to this jacket from the museum collections because of its historical value,” Stina said of the museum piece that inspired her contribution to Re:Make. “It’s beautifully made by a highly skilled maker, and it has a high design quality. The garment is well balanced in its clean simplicity and decorative parts — the shawl collar, dressed buttons and buttonholes. Only one or two buttons have practical value, and the rest are purely decorative. The center back vent pockets are a great surprise. This jacket’s style and execution have what I strive for in my own designs: simple design with just the right amount of decorative detail, not to steal the show from the person who wears it. Every stitch has intention for function and beauty.”
Noavakay Knight, the creator of Human Imperfection, a line of ethically-produced travel bags, chose a linen duster to remake. “When I was looking through the collection…I found this linen duster and it had really beautiful simple lines and the kind of simple design that I am feeling drawn to recently. But it also has some points of interest…I wanted to make this piece more usable and wearable in the environment where we live.”
Re:Make will be up until August 13 at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum in Edgartown. mvmuseum.org