Michelle Lane’s Thoughtful Fashion
“Everything that I’ve learned has brought me back to the idea that we need to create a new dialogue in fashion,” offered stylist and jewelry designer Michelle Lane at Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s Lower East Side boutique last night. “I’m interested in exploring capitalism as a religion through fashion—and moving away from [the construction of] fashion as fantasy.” The industry vet is explaining her rather academic motivations behind founding BREADstudio, her philanthropically minded design studio. Lane’s project debuted last night via A Trace of Thrace,—a pop-up show of Bulgarian design pieces at Zadeh’s shop.
The works—which Lane curated while studying language and sociopolitical theory in fashion in Switzerland last February—represent an exciting assortment of young Bulgarian designers. “There’s something in the Balkan culture that resonated with me,” related Lane, at the show’s opening, between sips of white wine and bites of Turkish pastries. “That mixture of the Eastern and Western sensibility, the very deconstructionalist and spiritual components, the sadness and nostalgia…. It’s a very interesting culture.”
The pieces on view encompassed all these complex components: neon, transparent bracelets from recent Swatch Award winner Milko Boyarov seemed fit for a minimalist architect’s trip to a next-century rave; a delicate woven necklace from Neva Balnikova encases a ceramic-cast toy the artist found in the trash; and a multicolored necklace that Evgeniya Tsancova crafted out of scraps of fabric retrieved from the American Apparel Factory is object-art-meets-artisanal-treasure.
“I hope this will give people other motivations for what they buy and what they purchase. Instead of going to H&M to get that new shirt so quickly, maybe they’ll stop and think, Who made something like this?” said Lane, holding up a thick, woven navy knot necklace to the light. “Evgeniya spent hours knotting a rope and twisting it around. Things like this carry a presence with them.”
A Trace of Thrace is on view at Maryam Nassir Zadeh through August 23.