Come to the Tahki Stacy Charles Trunk Show & Meet Stacy Charles!
New York! The days were long, dark, and cold, but that dreadful time is finally over—Spring has sprung! Tulips are blooming on Park Avenue, the sun hangs low but warm at 6pm, and bare arms and legs are making their prefatory appearances.
What better time to meet Tahki Stacy Charles’ fantastic new Spring/Summer collections?
We’re accustomed to keeping eyes on Ravelry for the current seasonal offerings, but opportunities to see new garments in the cloth, so to speak, come few and far between. String Yarns is thrilled to announce that garments from Tahki Stacy Charles’ Spring/Summer 2016 collections will be coming to the store next Wednesday, May 11, 2016! As if that weren’t enough, TSC Yarns' fearless leader, Stacy Charles, will also be on hand from 3-7 pm to answer all your questions and help guide you towards your next warm weather knit!
We sat down with Stacy to get some early, behind-the-scenes feedback about Tahki Stacy Charles new collections—consider this your TSC Yarns primer!
Tahki Stacy Charles encompasses 3 very distinct brands—Stacy Charles Fine Yarns, Tahki Yarns, and Filatura Di Crosa.
Can you describe the individual "personalities" of the brands? If these 3 brands were women, what would they be like? Where in NYC would they live? Can you ascribe a popular designer/designers that fit the personality of each brand?
I think of the Stacy Charles Fine Yarns’ woman as being sophisticated and fashion conscious—she’s probably trying to snag tickets to at least one runway show at New York Fashion Week every year. She lives uptown, bordering Central Park on either side—she shops at Bergdorfs and Barney’s. The Stacy Charles woman loves designers like Michael Kors, Alexander Wang, and The Row.
(L-R) Rail Yards Tank in Norah and Primrose Scarf/Shawl in Nina from Stacy Charles Fine Yarns’ Chelsea Morning Collection
The Tahki Yarns woman is more relaxed, playful, and adventurous. She could easily live downtown or in an outer borough like Brooklyn and commutes to Manhattan. She has a laid-back style and sensibility—she pounds the pavement in kitten heels for the office, but switches to stylish sneakers or ballet flats after hours. The Tahki Yarns woman loves Kate Spade and Tory Burch.
(L-R) Rockaways Racerback Tank in Ripple and Fire Island Fringed Bandana in Tandem from Tahki Yarns’ Sea Breeze Collection
The Filatura Di Crosa woman is worldly, well traveled, international and artsy. She can be bold with print and texture, is influenced by the art scene, and isn’t afraid to mix up her style. She follows trends to subvert them and reinterpret them into something all her own. She lives in Tribeca, where she can be infused with new ideas and influenced by the current art scene. The Filatura Di Crosa woman loves designers like Celine, Missoni, and Stella McCartney.
(L-R)Raphael Cardigan in Solare and Bellini Shell in Tempo from Filatura Di Crosa's Arte Collection
Tahki Stacy Charles’ Spring Collections this year are thematic—can you describe each of those themes?
The Chelsea Morning Collection from Stacy Charles Fine Yarns exemplifies the hip, chic neighborhood of Chelsea in downtown Manhattan. It includes 17 knit and crochet designs with an urban, fashion-forward feel. Chelsea is home to the Fashion Institute of America, art galleries, The Highline, and unique fashion boutiques, and you can feel those influences in Chelsea Morning.
The Sea Breeze Collection from Tahki Yarns is like a Manhattanite’s weekend getaway collection. The 17 garments and accessories in Sea Breeze are inspired by New York’s beaches—Long Beach, Rockaway, etc. It’s very relaxed and casual, full of natural fibers and textures—it’s your classic, sitting-in-the-sun-on-a-towel, book-in-hand beach knitting.
The Arte Collection from Filatura Di Crosa is all about creativity and color, and the thoughtfulness and ingenuity of designs that exist in the place where fashion meets art. Arte includes 12 garments and accessories inspired by the runway and the art world—so many of Filatura Di Crosa’s yarns are infused with rich colors and textures, so it’s easy to see how that translates to garments with a painterly, artistic vibe.
Where do you find the greatest inspirations for your collections? Which designers do you consistently follow, year after year?
Living in New York, we’re blessed with a constant stream of inspiration. The city itself is like one big gallery, but we also have museums we can visit. I get a lot of inspiration just by walking the streets of Manhattan. I look at the way fashion is worn by both the older and younger generations. I look at trends and looks I’m seeing from a cultural as well as historical perspective. You’d be amazed at the way the brain consumes and translates the different inspirations it takes in just on a daily basis. Living in New York is a creatively enriching experience.
I consistently follow Missoni, Michael Kors, Prada, The Row, Versace, Dior, Chanel, and Brunello Cucinelli.
What is your favorite aspect of working in the knitting industry?
I love creating yarns and developing products. It’s a wonderful experience to be able to control a product and be there from its inception to its fruition. I like wearing the fashion hat and indulging in the creative side, and then taking those things that inspire me and hammering them out on the business end of things. It’s a personal investment, and one that I love dearly.
If you could pick one garment from each collection this season as your favorite, what would they be? What about yarns?
I love the Phlox Tank in Alicia & Crystal from Chelsea Morning, the Long Beach Poncho in Ripple from Sea Breeze, and the Caravaggio Cardigan in Chantal from Arte. To me, all of these garments exemplify each brand’s personality and are easy, light, wearable, and timeless—they are what Summer knitting should be about.
If I had to play yarn favorites, for Stacy Charles Fine Yarns it would have to be Alicia. Alicia is an elegant, lightweight linen in striking jewel tones. Linen is having a moment right now, which is great because it’s such a lovely Summer fiber—it has so much character, it grows softer with every wash, and it knits up beautifully.
For Tahki Yarns, I would pick Ripple. Ripple has been a beloved favorite among knitters ever since we introduced it. There is really nothing else like it anywhere. It has this very interesting flattened thick-thin quality that doesn’t require complicated stitchwork, but I’ve seen it worked up into cables and lace and it’s amazing the way the texture works out.
For Filatura Di Crosa, I have to pick another fan favorite: Tempo. Tempo is our Missoni-inspired yarn. It’s a self-striping, multicolor, tweedy cotton blend with a lot of texture. Knitters love it because it makes every knit look like an artist’s masterpiece. Tempo has a lot of personality and lends itself beautifully to outside-the-box garments like this season’s Botticelli Top.
Tahki Stacy Charles prides itself on a deep knowledge of fashion and an ability to stay trendy while still remaining wearable and timeless? How do you balance designs that are both classic and trendy?
With trends, everything goes into the idea mill. You don’t leave anything out, because even if you aren’t necessarily going to embrace the trend as a whole, you can always pick and choose details or aspects that translate well into knitted garments.
That being said, we take trends and try to balance them from the perspective of our yarns—what yarns will be best suited to a chosen silhouette? Once the trend is incorporated with that yarn, is the garment still wearable? Does the yarn lend it the right texture? When we look at adapting a trend for the hand knitting marketplace, the fashion aspect must be balanced with the wearability factor, and at the end of the day, wearability must come first.
You’ve had a lifelong relationship with yarns and fibers. What do you look for when introducing a new yarn for the season?
Believe it or not, I look for trends in yarn, trends in lifestyle, and trends in the general world. It’s like that moment in the Devil Wears Prada when Meryl Streep breaks down the particular shade of blue Anne Hathaway is wearing, and how it began on the runways and then was fed into different aspects of life. I glean information, both seasonally and globally, from so many different types of sensory observations, so I’m never specifically looking for any one thing, because what I’m looking for is always evolving.
What advice would you give to a knitter looking to cast on for a new project?
Do some research into what you are going to make. Think about what you’re putting into your wardrobe, how you will wear it. Knitting is not fast fashion—ideally, you will live with your garment/accessory for quite some time, so make something you will love. Make it with good materials too. It’s worth it to make yourself a quality garment. Know and trust your own sensibility; if you like the way it looks, go for it. Lastly, have a point of view. Wearing the trend doesn’t do you any good if it isn’t relatable to you. Have an opinion about it!
Join Stacy and the String Yarns’ staff on May 11 from 3-7 pm to see and touch the new Spring/Summer collections, try on your favorite yarns, and ask Stacy any questions we may have forgotten!