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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

House of Coco Presents: Behind the Designer - Shadow Sisters

Posted by Coco Madrid on Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Shadow Sisters is a Portland based design collective comprised of Sarah Faith Gottesdiener and Nancy Shevlin. Earlier this year they debuted their designs at the Portland Mercury Open Season Fashion show as reported here. Since then they have expanded their line for more ready to wear pieces, contributed to Rill Rill's latest lookbook, and now have released their own lookbook for their first line called Ancient Future.

Here is a little chat I had with them:

What inspired the line that was shown at Open Season?

The line was inspired by a number of colors, styles, and emotions that we pretty much telepathically agreed on. Black, white, chartreuse, IKB, and teal were colors that all resonated with us. The idea behind our line was "Ancient Future," which was coined by Laura das Liebe, a collaborator of ours that participated in the Open Season Fashion show. The line sums up our influences and inspirations: looking ahead while informed by the past.

After Open Season how did life change for you as designers?

Open Season was truly amazing! We are so grateful to the Mercury for taking a chance on a bunch of unknowns and letting us share our collective vision with Portland's fashion community. It was incredible to see what we could accomplish in such a short period of time, and all of the overwhelmingly positive feedback we got was truly a surprise and a gift. It was really unexpected, especially because the work was coming from such a personal and unique place. The many requests we got for clothing afterwards pushed us to produce more items for people to purchase.

Aren't you ladies living in different locations? How do you continue to progress with the distance?

Nancy lives in Portland and attends the Art Institute full-time for apparel design, she finishes up this Spring. Sarah now lives in LA and is finishing up her masters at CalArts. We communicate weekly, technology is a blessing for us!

Nancy is constantly tinkering with her patterns and creating modifications so the line evolves continuously. We do all our own patterning, print design, fabric printing and production, so as we go through the process there's always room for adjustment and improvement.

What are your goals for Shadow Sisters?

We would love for more people to find out about us and have even more fabulous people wearing our clothes! We'd love for stores all over the globe to carry our designs, we think we'd be really big in Taipei! We also hope to sell out of our first short run so that we can produce another line at an even higher level. Shadow Sisters is a labor of love, we have no backers or bags of money to help us, we are truly doing this all ourselves, stitch by stitch. Shadow Sisters is both a dream and a gift, a reminder that what we are here to do in this cosmos is create.

Here is a preview of the lookbook:

Honey Owens in Rule of Threes Wrap and Alchemy I Dress
  • Jason Kinney
  • Honey Owens in Rule of Threes Wrap and Alchemy I Dress

Antoniette Sparkles wears Rule of Threes Wrap and Gradient Assymetric Dress
  • Jason Kinney
  • Antoniette Sparkles wears Rule of Threes Wrap and Gradient Assymetric Dress

Coco Madrid wears Gradient Tunic, Rule of Threes Wrap, and Sacred Geometry leggings
  • Jason Kinney
  • Coco Madrid wears Gradient Tunic, Rule of Threes Wrap, and Sacred Geometry leggings

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