Friday, January 29, 2010

Featured Shop: Haute Indiscretion

By aNGrYGiRL Gear

Sexy, Mysterious, Sinful...

That's how textile wunderkind Mara Franklin describes her Etsy shop, Haute Indiscretion, and she couldn't be more spot on. If you're looking for sexy vintage reconstructions, sinful original designs, intricate crocheted scarves or handmade hair pieces, Haute Indiscretion is the shop for you.

With several impressive degrees under her belt - a BFA in Jewelry/Metalsmithing and Art History from the U of I, Champaign, and an MA in Costume Studies/Decorative Arts from NYU - Mara's knowledge of textiles, design, and the clothing industry is formidable. Her style is so unique that it defies standard classification. "I have no idea what to call my style. I used to try to label it, but no label really fits. My friends all call it "Mara style", and have since I was in high school."

"Mara Style," to me, is a blend of diverse fabrics and contrasting textures that seem to defy logic with their harmony. Mara lives in the southwest, an influence that is readily apparent in her choice of colors - turquoise, black, muted plums and pinks, and rich reds frequently find their way onto her palette.

Mara is also the proprietor of Indiscretions, another Etsy shop. "The two stores differ in materials, colors and styles. Indiscretion is much more casual, most items have bright or light colors, and are playful. Haute Indiscretion items are darker, there is a more formal look to the items, you might see more lace, sparkles, etc., and lots of black!"

As strange as it may seem, Mara's prowess with fabric and sewing machine is not what repeatedly draws me to Haute Indiscretion. It's her talent with other textiles - most specifically, yarn. There are no words to adequately describe her crocheted neckwear, or its effects on the viewer. They are a "visual cacophony" of elements, shapes, lengths, texture, and color - when the parts are examined separate of the whole, its impossible to believe that any unity could be achieved. Yet, when examined collectively, the elements take on a simplicity and a harmony that leave you wondering exactly how Mara could have accomplished such a feat.

Mara is a genuinely nice person, and a pleasure to have as a friend. She also has a wacky side that is endearing, if not humorous. I asked her what she would do if I gave her an elephant. She replied, "Paint it turquoise, make it a hat with mirrors, sequins, and a big peacock feather and give it some peanuts." Yep, I can totally see her doing that ;)

Mara's final thoughts on creating for a living? "I think it's important to do something you love, even if it's not your main job. I LOVE creating clothing and accessories. I have discovered that I have to create at least a little bit every day or I don't feel like myself. Even when traveling, I'll bring along a project, no matter how small." I, for one, hope Mara continues creating for many years to come.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thursday Night Temptations!

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