The handwork and artisanal craftsmanship seen on the runways of the recent haute couture shows in Paris was inspiring to say the least. The majority of us will never be able to afford an haute couture creation but that does not mean the only alternative is mass produced fashion. Far from it. There are more and more companies who are dedicated to the unique, individual, artisanal and handmade, and prize quality over quantity.
|Binge Knitting Co Founders Carolina Herrera and Barbara Bremer|
One such company is Binge Knitting, www.bingeknitting.com, an ethically produced 100% handmade luxury accessories line founded a few years ago by Barbara Bremer and Carolina Herrera (no, not that one, and there’s no relation). The young duo met while students at Parsons, New School of Design and their common interest in management, design, and a shared passion for textiles and knitting was turned into a company.
|Binge Knitting empowers women through craftsmanship|
Thought is put thought into each product and they will customize each piece to your liking. Best of all, the designers are committed to spreading the “Slow Fashion” movement, and empowering women through artisanal craft, providing workshops for women living in low income communities in Monterrey, Mexico with whom they collaborate on the production of each piece. The Mexican women behind each bag work from home, which enables them to be flexible and care for their families while generating income from their craft. A win win situation!
|Binge Knitting Fringe Around in yellow|
As Barbara explained, “Our collections are designed around current trends, yet always with the aim of transcending seasons. We update minimal silhouettes with modern textiles and details, adding interest to closet staples. Every 6 months we add 2-3 items to our collection, and alter our color stories accordingly. Currently we are working on expanding our accessories line, ranging between handbag variations and an upcoming shoe line”.
|Binge Knitting Ivy Tassel Scarf|
Their well edited selection of handcrafted knitted scarves, beanies, headbands, arm warmers, scarves and bags are well priced to boot, ranging from $40 – $150. They are made from repurposed “upcycled” materials using cut-offs from clothing mills that would otherwise be considered as waste and are available on their website, on www.ahalife.com, at Bloomingdales, Anthropologie, and on select websites and specialty stores around the country (as well as Canada and Mexico and around the world (South America, and Asia).
|Binge Knitting violet Fringe Over Bag|
My personal favorite grouping is the clutch bags ($99), inspired by Mexico’s colorful architecture and rich textures. Four out of five of the designs are fringed, which makes them playful yet practical. There is the Fringe Over, the Fringe on Sides, the Fringe Below, and the Fringe Around. They are available in black and white, muted earth shades, and strong primary colors such as cobalt blue, yellow, and red.
|Binge Knitting red Tassel Tote|
There are also two tote bags: the red Tassel Tote ($125), and the fringed Take Me Tote, $105.
|First Lady Melania Trump in Michael Kors fringed dress
Photo: courtesy www.footwearnews.com
FYI, I am especially loving fringe right now; you can’t beat the ‘swoosh’ of playful fringe as far as I’m concerned. This was exemplified by the $2995 Michael Kors Collection white flapper-style fringed dress worn by First Lady Melania Trump to the G20 Summit concert in Hamburg, Germany on Friday night. As she made her entrance, the fabric swayed with her every move.
Regardless of what you may think of her husband, she has been flawless from a sartorial point of view and thus far, her choices have been beyond reproach: appropriate for the occasion, well thought out, completely on point, flattering, and above all, interesting. I am kept wondering what, and who she will wear next. And because of her beauty, stature, and bearing, she can pull anything off.
– Marilyn Kirschner