Liam of York is a slow fashion label that celebrates ancient textile techniques and mixed prints with a modern point of view. We spoke to founder and designer Rebecca Wolsten about her approach to design.
What is your background and why did you decide to start your label?
Rebecca: I studied fashion design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and started my label after working in the NYC fashion industry for 8 years. I was making clothes for myself and people around me were asking about them and wanting to purchase the pieces. The line grew from there.What I like about fashion is that putting on a certain piece can change your attitude and how you feel about yourself. I hope to make pieces that woman can really wear all the time in their lives that are special enough that they look forward to wearing them for many years.
What was the concept / inspiration behind your range for SS16?
The inspiration is the islands and wildflowers of Greece in the summer. I was lucky enough to take a trip there last year and fell in love with the colours, architecture, and slower way of life, especially in Santorini.
How important are ethical or sustainable considerations in your process?
They are very important in my process. I love that I am able to work with sewing contractors in NYC who work out of their own studio spaces. This allows me to make sure the pieces are being made correctly by someone whose name and life I know. I love when my sewers drop off their work and we talk about life and the industry and why it's important to make things by hand.
Each season I am also trying to use more dead stock fabric (other designers leftover fabrics) which helps to lessen waste. We donate all scrap fabric created in the process to other crafters and non-profit organisations. Lately I've also started quilting scraps together to make pillowcases.
How do you feel about the fashion trend cycle? Are you influenced by traditional seasons?
I am not that interested in the trend cycle. At Liam of York I make pieces in colours and fabrics that feel right to me at the time. It is more of an instinctual process. I think of it almost as curating an art collection when deciding what to add to the collection.
Is your brand a reflection of your personal style / lifestyle?
I have lived in Brooklyn for 9 years and my lifestyle here definitely influences the collection. It's important that the pieces are wearable and easily incorporated into the wardrobe a woman already has.
How do you like to spend your time off?
I enjoy spending my time off going on adventures big and small, learning new things, and experiencing art.
Images courtesy of Liam of York.