Rhode Island Runway
Rhode Island often gets the short end of the stick with it comes to cultural reputation; neither our dining or shopping scenes get many props nationally, or even locally, especially when compared to powerhouses like New York and Los Angeles (although performing arts-wise, we are pretty awesome). So it might come as a surprise to some to discover that our little state churns out a lot of great fashion designers. Of course, we also have a little school called RISD to help us along in that area.
The thought was certainly a new one to me until I picked up this month’s Providence Monthly and read their cover story on local designers making a name for themselves. There’s Isoude designer Katie Brierly, who uses eco-friendly fabrics and dyes to create utterly stunning pieces and whose client base includes everyone from European royalty to a former Miss Rhode Island. The article also profiled Melissa Wilkins, a young mother and Canadian transplant, whose Bombshell Studios knits are gaining quite the reputation on crafting website etsy.com and at select gift boutiques.
Just this past week, world-renowned knitwear designer Liz Collins held a trunk show at RISD, her alma mater. Her gorgeously off-kilter knits are favored by celebrities like Bjork and Emma Thompson.
I know I’ve just scratched the surface of the breadth of talent this state holds. So tell me: Who are your favorite local fashion designers?