2-16-17 The Queen Stitch x Anne James New York

I would consider myself a clothing manufacturer, a knitwear designer, maybe even a fashion designer, but I have trouble considering myself an artist. What is an artist? What's a real artist?

 Courtesy of @annejamesnewyork - but seriously, when was the last time your feet looked like art?

Courtesy of @annejamesnewyork - but seriously, when was the last time your feet looked like art?

I have a friend that I think of as a real artist.

Anne went to school for fashion (reppin' Parsons), she draws, and paints and you know, the resume type stuff... but she also just, is art. You know anyone like that? When I hang out with her I feel more creative. That's the sort of affect she has. It's what she wears, how she looks at things. It's just like this warm energy that prods you in the side and asks "but what if you looked at it this way?" or "what if you added this, and this?".

She has three different instagram accounts (so far) just to account for all her different artistic personalities, and she's really creating art for all three! Oh, also has a full time job in fashion, also repurposes her own clothes, and makes all the art in her apt. Because when you're a burning ball of creative energy apparently rest is unnecessary.

She makes friends wherever she goes. Which I find both insufferable, and also very lucky, since I get to be her friend even though I'm a pessimistic grumble bun. In part, I'm sure, because her good humor and good eye she was invited to debut her line at NYFW this year. Yeah you know, casual, no big deal. 

So why am I telling you about this? Well, everyone should know her and know about her is my general feeling, but she also asked me to collaborate on a piece for her line. That's right! I! Me! The Queen Stitch! have a collaborative piece t'walkin down that runway come February. I was so humbled, excited, worried about making something that quickly... and also making it work with both of our styles. See below for a hilarious and sort of sad comparison of our notebook pages:


I mentioned her artistic personalities before - the fashion line she's creating under her Anne James New York personality. AJNY is bold, chic, classic, sustainable. Black&White with a red lip. A lipstick that didn't test on animals and uses organic ingredients. She sourced all of her materials from recycled fabric. The Queen Stitch is... well, bold maybe, sustainable even, but I have a very colorful and kitschy approach to my designs... so how do I tone down my saturation but keep the fun? We settled on an over-sized sweater with lots of tassels. Because if tassels aren't the embodiment of fun I don't know anything.

Now this is fashion week, so I wouldn't really be testing myself if I didn't bite off more than I can chew and make almost an entire sweater before I decided I didn't like it. I think I watched too many crappy fashion reality shows about taking risks (did I mention I don't really actually have any fashion experience?) Oh god this was so horrible. We bought the yarn, had to wait anxiously for it to arrive, I even completed the entire vest before I realized I was kidding myself. It was too stiff, it wasn't fashion forward it was shoddy as shit. 

So now we're about a week and a half before the show. Bless Anne and her faith in me and our friendship for pulling this off. I still had the design in my head, but I needed to restart. The sweater was still full of risk for me - first time creating a drop sweater, an asymmetrical sweater, a sweater with tassels... I could go on, but my failures can't be that interesting. So let's move on to what I managed. For the show. I bring you, the Sgt Pepper sweater (furthest to the left).

The entire collection turned out beautifully. The looks, the models, everything was beautiful, well-made, and made sustainably. I couldn't be more proud of Anne and her debut collection. Polaroids and champagne - what an unreal day!

Katie Jagel