Designers Julie Haus Alkire and Jason Alkire are storytellers first, and the designers behind Haus Alkire second.
Last week, the duo was awarded the Fashion Group International’s Rising Star Award for their innovation, creativity, and accomplishment within women’s wear, alongside fellow recipient Sally LaPointe.
With each collection, Haus Alkire creates fabrics from photographs–either taken by them, or from their design studio explorations. A photograph of Lady Archer in Hyde Park was the basis for their last fall collection, showing up on coats, dresses, and blouses. Close-ups of rare, Bahamian flowers (alongside iterations of multi-functional fishing wire) came up in their spring/summer 2014 line.
Most of the original images have been mirrored, geometrically positioned, enlarged, reduced, and touched-up to make the transition from photo to fabric.
For fall/winter 2015, Jason used his own photos taken at Overlook Mountain, a nature reserve located at the southernmost peak of the Catskill Escarpment and just outside of Woodstock, NY. “Images are reminiscent of the landscape surrounding the Mountain House ruins,” said Julie. “They tell the imagined story of wildings living in and around the hotel’s compound in the modern day.”
Photographic imagery includes: the vibrant fur of a fox, twisting tree branches captured at the entrance of the mountain’s trail, moss-covered rocks and dead roses.
“This season we printed a photo of a deceased tree on silk twill and silk organza, which you can find layered atop the image of decayed roses printed on silk crepe. The fox fur seen on coats and dresses was actually photographed and printed on silk crepe. The fabric fades from its original color to black-and-white, similar to how fur fades in the change of season. We also experimented with silk-embroidered organza, which is layered in the tree branches. Within the layering, a fox-like creature was formed and emerges throughout the collection,” Jason elaborated.
These images of wildlife and nature are accented in horn buttons, cashmere coating, needle punched wools, embossed lamb, snakeskin, herringbone woven cashmere, fox and dip-dyed furs.
Through personally inspired collections like this, and an offer to create bespoke looks for each client, Haus Alkire continues to captivate in story, image, and feel.