For over 10 years, York Furrier has been a proud supporter of local design students looking to make their mark on the fashion world. It’s such a pleasure to watch their creative designs evolve into a manufactured garment – from the initial sketched idea, to the craftsmanship, to the runway – especially when fur is the focus!
This year, Jamie Lange, a junior at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), worked her magic in the York Furrier workroom at our Elmhurst location, creating a garment (part of a bigger collection) for the 2016 international ReMix competition. ReMix is a global fashion and fur competition organized by the International Fur Trade Federation.
From design schools throughout the U.S.A, 100’s of entries were received for the annual ReMix Contest. A panel of judges from the Fur Information Council of America’s Fashion Committee (York Furrier co-owner, Kathy Rezny is a long-term board and committee member) Jamie was selected as one of three U.S. A. finalists. Her sketched design was chosen to be transformed into a fur garment that will then be part of the global competition in Milan, Italy during the annual MiFur Expo in February 2016. A panel of international fur industry experts, global fashion editors and MiFur attendees will then select the winner based on three criteria: Creativity, Is it Wearable, and Saleability.
“My inspiration was translated into my design through use of bright color, as well as a classic tartan plaid, all envisioned into a modern fur textile.”
Jamie used multi-length sheared mink, multi-colored fox and beaver, plus removable lamb leather sleeves. She perfectly blended the various pelts to create one cohesive look that’s bold and beautiful.
On working with fur, Jamie said, “I love everything about it! I love the texture, I love that you can piece it together to create something entirely new … and no piece is unusable.”
Like almost everything in the fashion industry, Jamie’s masterpiece started with a bit of inspiration and a sketchbook. Titled Cautionary Coat, Jamie was inspired by the street style and construction sites of New York City. Brightly dressed workers, yellow tape, orange cones – all eventually cleared away to leave city space renewed and vibrant.
After the idea was on paper, she got to work. ReMix pairs students with local furriers for instruction, equipment, pelts, etc. Jamie worked with the York Furrier Design Team to cut, craft, line, sew and embellish her coat. The coat’s color palatte mixes mink and fox in royal blue, apricot orange, iridescent yellow, various reds and black. The plaid is constructed out of fox, beaver and mink, each strip sheared at different lengths (with the help of her hairdresser, Songna Di Vita salon!) to create depth within the fox. The final product is nothing short of incredible!
Since the ReMix competition’s debut in 2003, York Furrier has worked with several design students (Ramon Lawrence Allan Coleman (SAIC), Kip Gerenda (Columbia College), Alex Simon (SAIC) to name drop a few of the talented fur designers) who have gone on to compete (and win) in Milan. You can bet we’ll be cheering Jamie on every step of the way! And when she graduates from the design program at SAIC?
“My long term goal is to open my own design house and build a manufacturing site with an adjacent school in South Africa … making beautiful clothing, shoes and fur in a sustainable way.”
Check back with our blog and Facebook page for updates on Jamie and the 2016 ReMix competition!