Weather Vain: Miami, Florida - 84 With a Chance of Thunderstorms
Party in the city where the heat is on…or where it’s pouring down rain. EITHER WAY. Here’s what to wear in Mee-ah-mee on a day like today. (Keely! We miss you! Come back!) —erica
Clockwise from top left:
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At eight years old, when most of us were hawking lemonade in our front yards, Winifred Grace Gundeck was selling her hand-painted barrettes, decorated with balloons or whales, at a chic children’s boutique in her hometown of Miami. “I just went in there one day with my mom and said, ‘I made these. Would you want to buy them for your store?’” Winifred recalls. “I even remember getting my first check. It was for like $9 or $13, and I never cashed it. I still have it.”
Winifred’s juvenile design empire soon expanded to silk hair combs and rhinestone-studded shirtdresses, made out of her dad’s old oxfords. Years later and all grown up, feeling unfulfilled at her job designing logos and book covers in Chicago, she walked into her favorite local boutique wearing a necklace she had made out of an old charm of her grandma’s, and the owner inquired and got Winifred thinking about her jewelry-making future.
About a year later, in 2003, her line was born. Since that day, Winifred’s business has evolved from pieces embellished with all kinds of beads and leather to minimalist bronze cuffs and necklaces based on geometric shapes and constellations. Part of that shift comes from her having her first baby, Alexander: “I was really looking for a way to streamline my business and simplify things,” she explains. “I can sleep in these pieces!” —raquel laneri
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Annie Larson Makes Sweater Art
The knitwear whiz gets all luxe.
You wouldn’t think it would be a sweater designer’s dream to work in steamy Miami, but Annie Larson, the color-happy talent behind the line ALL Knitwear, could not have been more thrilled to head south from Minneapolis (where she was then living) to work with one of her artistic idols, Jim Drain, and put some grant money and cashmere yarn to good use. Here, she shares her experience.
“About four years ago, a friend introduced me to Jim Drain’s work. But Jim was actually the one who reached out to me, soon after I started knitting, when he was working on a sweater series for Opening Ceremony. He sent me a really friendly email that just said something like, ‘You’re doing a really great job. Keep it up.’ And I just felt great. It was really exciting. We started emailing a little. When this grant proposal for the Textile Center in Minneapolis came around, I knew that I was going to apply for it, but I didn’t know exactly what my proposal was going to be. The day before the application was due, I asked Jim if he would be open to the idea of me writing a proposal to come to Miami to work with him.”
“I worked with Jim in his studio every day for a week and made a sweater that was shown at an exhibition. I was inspired by a series of benches that Jim was working on while I was there—professionally powder-coated, custom-colored benches made out of handicap rails that you would find in places like bathrooms. He sells them as functioning sculptures.”
“I feel like there are definitely parallels between that sort of transaction and the sort of sweaters I make—the wearable art idea. My Miami sweater was also a very literal translation of Jim’s color scheme—I really connected with the lime green, hot pink, and black. I used cashmere, which plays on the high-end feeling of Miami and the fact that I wanted to do something different than anything I would do on a daily basis.”
“The cashmere yarn is very, very delicate. It was a lot more stressful to work with than cotton, and obviously the stakes are a lot higher when your material is five times your regular material cost. I’m using the remainder of the yarn from the Miami sweater to make ten scarves, and there aren’t any plans for cashmere after that!”
Bench photo courtesy of Jim Drain.
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The Insiders: Jenny Capano and Tara Gilson
Tara Gilson (left) and Jenny Capano manage sales at 3.1 Phillip Lim—a job that, among about a zillion other things, includes working to curate buys for stores around the world. And that means that these two crazy-impressive girls get to trot the globe a whole lot during the year—all while dressed in a mash-up of pieces from the designer’s line. Here, they talk shop. —jiayi
Q: What are some of your favorite places to visit when you travel for work?
Jenny: We’re in Paris a lot—we go about five or six times a year and always stay in the Marais. We love to eat in Paris—at Anahi, Le Voltaire, and Hotel Amour to name a few. Just recently, we started exploring new eats in the 11th. For shopping, we always go to L’Eclaireur. Veronica is the best and makes sure we don’t leave empty handed. And of course Le Bon Marche—everything’s under one roof there. We’ve become obsessed with Tabio for socks. Everything there is really, really fun.
Q: Being on planes as much as you are, what are some of your essential magazines?
Tara: Monocle is a must. I actually still read The Economist every week—which is completely separate from fashion. Lately, Jenny and I have been really investigating more niche international fashion magazines. Ones like Sweden’s Bon and London’s Gentlewoman and Love Magazine that have very specific photography and interesting stylists and models really appeal to us.
Q: You both started working at Phillip Lim five years ago, after interning here. Did you always intend to work in fashion?
Tara: I always wanted to, but we both have a lot of other interests, too. I do a lot of yoga and taught it at Yogamaya in Chelsea for a bit. I did toy with the idea of grad school for international relations, but I never made the jump. And you learn about many other things being in this industry. We’re learning about global business, branding, and marketing —skills and ideas that translate across other industries.
Q: Besides yoga, what are some of your other hobbies?
Jenny: I do a lot of cooking—I’m a huge foodie. I’m big on mixing travel with food. Being in a new place, trying new food—I can’t think of a better experience. Tara and I travel all the time for work, but we always make time for vacation too.
Tara: We’re actually going to Art Basel in Miami in a couple of weeks for vacation. But the art and fashion worlds are very connected now, so to see what’s going on in the art world relates back to our business and our world. It’s a fun trip, but our eyes and ears are definitely always open for things that connect back to what we do.