October 4, 2011

Behind the scenes with Serena Mitnik-Miller…

First of all, this is the best damn hangtag I ever did see, and if you buy a piece of the Serena Mitnik-Miller collaboration with QSW you can have your very own hangtag (for free!).  I know, for some, it’s just a little piece of paper…but for me, it’s a beautiful little painting with texture, color and poetry…just like this collaboration!  I walked around the studio with one of them attached to the belt loop of my jeans for a week…yes, I really did.

I’m not sure what can be said about our collaboration with Serena Mitnik-Miller that has not already been told.  Ultimately the product speaks louder than the words, but I must mention that this has been the dream collaboration.  Originally I was just hoping to bring Serena’s amazing taste level and signature watercolor aesthetic into the collection, but over the last year and a half (we first met in early 2010 at her shop, the General Store, in San Francisco), Serena and I have bonded over quite a similar love of all things vintage, artisanal and hand crafted.  I see her almost every month scouring the isles at the Rose Bowl flea market and we’ve been hanging out at her new communal construction site tucked back into Topanga canyon.  We’ve even managed to sneak in a surf at Malibu a couple weekends back!  Bottom line, we’re buddies now.  And even though I told her I would never show anyone all my iphone pics behind the scenes at her studio, I feel confident enough that she’ll still talk to me after this blog post (fingers crossed)!

This is our good friend Kyle Field sitting in front of the General Store.  Kyle and I actually went to kindergarten together, so over the last thirty-plus years, we’ve shared quite a lot of friends.  But it was cool to have this connection with Serena as well.  Kyle lives just around the corner from Serena and his band, Little Wings, became the unofficial soundtrack to our collaboration. I’ll have to post some of his music in the coming days…Not to mention, it was fun to finish off each “work” day with a beer, and start each morning with a surf check and cinnamon toast from Trouble Coffee with my lifelong friend!

And as always, I’m a little late to “the party” with this blog post.  And you’re a little late to the party if you were hoping to buy the Water Stripe Tank above, ‘cause it’s sold out.   That means you better grab the rest of the collection while it still lasts!

The above was the original mood-board that inspired our QSW designers, Annika & Megan, as we kicked off this design process.  This collage is a combination of vintage clothing we pulled out of Serena’s closet, tears from magazines, images from the General Store and the Outer Sunset neighborhood and Serena’s original paintings she did specifically for this collaboration.

And here are a few of my favorite items…The 100% Silk Petal Paisley dress is also sold out but I have Serena’s print that inspired it next to me in my studio so it’s definitely a favorite!!!  The Sea of Waves tee is one of those pieces I made Serena do ’cause I know people love this signature style of hers!  The Neighborhood Cardigan is a complicated jacquard sweater pattern that was inspired by Serena’s colorful reclaimed, wooden, hand-painted blocks, which I have on my desk. The Arrow tee is also a classic ’cause Serena’s little geometric geodes remind me of the “reverse-stop-play” buttons on an analog cassette deck – remember those?  And last but not least, is the silk chiffon Diamond Dress.  There is a very small lurex yarn running through this featherweight fabric that creates just a little glisten of light within Serena’s hand-painted diamonds.  Sort of like the energy emanating from the new pieces of artwork she sends us every season.  Snatch the above while you still can, and get ready for some more Serena / QSW love in seasons to come!