Art and Fashion:

Do art and fashion make strange bedfellows? Of course not, and certainly, fashion designer Sylvia Heisel, who once studied art history, has been in business for about 20 years, and is known for her modern, youthful and luxurious separates, and New York artist Patricia Jacobs (better known as PJ Cobbs) think there could not be a more perfect combo.

The two talented women, longtime friends, have recently entered into a collaboration, the result of which is a couture like limited edition collection of ‘Fast Couture’ comprised of hand-painted ready to wear featuring PJ’s abstract “splatter patterns” (which bring to mind Jackson Pollack) rendered on silk organza. The well-edited line, which will be available in stores come September, will focus on small jackets and coats with simple lines, all the better to show off the colorful, bold, and dimensional artwork.

On my recent visit to Sylvia’s showroom, 214 west 39th street, suite 502A, 212 719 3916, I was shown what has to be the ultimate ‘jean jacket’ because of its sporty ease and simplicity. It is a perfectly weightless and versatile piece, which can easily go from day to night. I myself would wear this over (white) jeans, chinos, or cargo pants, but it can also be thrown over a long gown or ball skirt for something more formal.

Among Sylvia’s other signature standouts were her group of silk organza shirts, which retail from $400 to $495. Colorful, pared down, and timeless, they are a constant, something she always does because her customers ask for them and rely on them to get them through the year. I also got to see her “transcultural” resort collection, filled with global influences. It is a perfect mix of trends and technology, which is really what fashion is all about these days.

By the way, the very enterprising PJ, who has been the subject of several of my columns, has an enviable collection of hand-painted vintage coats, and for $350, she can even customize a coat of your own in a selection of three different abstract designs in a choice of four colors. For more information, contact her at

Posted by Marilyn Kirschner

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

  1. This kinf of textile painting is very popular in Latvia. Many designers do this, BUT (strange) they paint scrafs, ties, but almost never big pieces of cloth, f.e. jackets, dresses etc

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