May 17, 2011

In Words and Pictures: Needles Printed Quilt

Lines like Needles and Engineered Garments earn its praise and followers because of the effort and research it takes to find subtle references from American garment history. Once we have found the characteristics of a certain fabric or piece, we take all these strengths and flaws and apply it to create something unique and special.

In the 1980’s Keizo (Needles designer) really wanted to find out more about the current trend of Native American and Western style that was growing amongst the American fashion community. To learn by reading is one thing but to really grasp an idea or concept, you really have to get your hands dirty and learn by doing. With this in mind, he packed up and set off to the Southwestern US and surrounding area to really learn firsthand what sort of lifestyle and culture existed there and how it was being translated into clothing. On one of these trips he came across a garage sale on I-25 outside Santa Fe, New Mexico. After digging through crates and boxes filled with all sorts of clothing and materials he came across the patchwork quilts you find here.

The quilt is pieced together by all kinds of fabrics and you can trace the history of this through all the various locations and dates sewn together. Over the years, the quilt had made its rounds in our Tokyo office and various Nepenthes stores before it was used as an inspiration piece for Needles. For this season's collection, the pattern was digitized and printed to create a unique fabric. The course of these Needles pieces started well over 20 years ago and has now come to life as you see now.