Fiber Artist Snapshot of the Day! Vintage-inspired lace jacket. The design features a signature Crystal Woolsey medallion as well as a combination of several lace patterns. She trims the piece with ribbon and silver buttons. Crystal’s signature style reflects her interest in historical costume and dress design.

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Today, there is a market for ‘vintage’ clothing, some even calling it a hard asset, where over time it appreciates in value. The resurgence of interest in lavishly detailed clothing has risen hand in hand with the popularity of television shows set in the early 1900s as well as a strong interest in the cultural aspect of the timeframe from which the piece originated.

And that’s where Crystal comes in. Hopping on the train to our nation’s capitol last fall, Crystal spent time amidst the Smithsonian’s collection of historic American dresses worn by First Ladies.  Immersed in the history surrounding the style, Crystal enjoys connecting her designs with the people who were there and wore the clothing. Her knitwear designs reflect painstaking lace knitting, combing various lace knit stitch motifs and elegant trim.

Not being an expert on all things ‘vintage’, but having a background as a department store buyer, I have seen many designers look for inspiration in previous eras. There is contemporary vintage where a design element such as the fit of a dress is popped from, say, the 1930s is then stylized to work with a contemporary wardrobe and there is also a growing sub-culture that has a taste for early 20th century clothing style and the history behind it. I think this is where the collectible fits in—finding a piece made in that era and developing a wardrobe around it. And then, there is the style where people combine pieces from the 1910’s, 40’s and 70’s!

Have fun with it all!

–Jenny

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