BEHIND THE DESIGN: TOOLS OF THE TRADE

  • Mata Traders
  • 07 Jan, 2014

I have really enjoyed telling the stories and processes behind some of the prints in the Mata Traders Fall ’13 collection and decided I should go back and do the same for prints created for Spring ’13. The great part is that these next couple prints I will write about are now on sale, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a good sale?

Tools of the Trade print as seen on the Shanghai Shift dress (now $37.99)

This print is called Tools of the Trade, and I believe it is one of the funkier prints Mata Traders has created (so far). I introduced the design team to the beautiful artwork by Dan Funderburgh, a Brooklyn-based artist. Funderburgh’s art focuses on organizing illustrations or silhouettes of everyday objects in a way that references traditional ethnic designs. These two pieces are my favorite of his. Take a good look at the image of the hand on the right; it’s made up of interesting shapes such as hangers, spray bottles, and shoes, just to name a few.

Chinatown Flat Ball and La Mano de Dios by Dan Funderburgh

The design team was just as inspired as I was, and we went to work creating our own version. Nora Slavin Howe (the super-talented mother of the creative director) sketched a single image combining retro geometric shapes and sewing supplies. Can you spot the scissors, bobbin, spool of thread, pencil, needle, and ruler in the first image? Even the Mata Traders logo got hidden in there!  Once I got her original drawing in my hands, I began reworking it (just like I did for the falling floral). I started to flip it, turn it, and pieced it together until finally it all fit, looked balanced, and felt just right.

Tools of the Trade print – Dahee dress on the left and Shanghai Shift on the right

This print comes in two different dresses as well as two color combos. On the left is the Dahee dress, and on the right is the Shanghai Shift dress. Both are on sale now, for $19.99 and $37.99, respectively. Plus, check out how Laura, Mata Traders’ fashion blogger, styles the Shanghai Shift dress with a current fashion trend.

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