Pure coincidence? We don’t think so. For the second time in less than two weeks a textile artist and designer graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design, Kieley Kimmel, steals our heart. For the summer season 2013, the designer presents the first collection of her line MARFAKIND at Weltenbuerger in LA, an open love letter to Marfa, a desert city in West Texas, where she lived a few years ago. A remote place engraved upon her heart with its peculiar charm. So, she set about documenting the fences of the city, mostly hand-made from garbage, dented sheet metal, car parts, cactus, or other discarded objects. For the designer, symbols, which refer to that liminal space between architecture and landscape, as explored by the artists Donald Judd and Dan Flavin.
Sustainability encourages a return to the hand-made, and a new relationship between consumer and creator.
Later in Los Angeles, she creates her first collection born from that “DIY”-spirit and the pictorial quality of the urban landscape of the desert city. A project based on the experimentation with materials, and in which, naturally, textiles play a prominent role, as the designer tells us. Thus, it’s especially the precious silk-screened prints and the delicate hand-painted fabrics that immediately catch our attention – reminders of some of her most treasured places in Marfa. And in that search for the exact color of the chipping walls of the city, Kieley developed a washing system that would allow her to control water consumption and waste, at the same time creating the designs she had envisioned. Some of the knitwear pieces, such as the “Agave Sweater”, are made from eco-friendly cotton, cultivated to strict organic standards, while other knits were died by hand. Because the designer firmly believes that a sustainable textile production is essential to the future of fashion. And not just from an environmental perspective, but also an artistic one, as she asserts. “Small steps forward through material use and local production will help consumers to focus on what really matters, which is a meaningful product. Not just another mass-produced item. Sustainability encourages a return to the hand-made, and a new relationship between consumer and creator.” Amen to that.