(Previously Published by Maggie Paine on August 20, 2014)
If you've wondered where I've been for the last few weeks, the picture below sums it up - the rocky coast of Maine. It's where I grew up, but it also happens to be a place of inspiration for poets, writers, and artists. Heck, even Thoreau explored its landscape. And, can you blame him? ;)
Along with its New England brothers and sisters, Maine has been the focus of the fashion industry in recent years. One merely has to go to a local mall to find fishermen sweaters, boat shoes, nautical bracelets, and anything with a coastal print (I found these pants at Brooks Brothers). But, as Chris Rovzar asks in his December 2013 Vanity Fair article, "Is America Finally Over Its Maine Moment?" Yes, perhaps...
...for the mass fashion brands, but the fact still remains that New England is home to many long standing brands such as L.L.Bean, Sperry Top-Sider, Converse, Timberland and others that Matt Welty nicely lists in his 25 Best New England Brands of All Time. And, New England with its rocky coast and salt air continues to inspire new brands. The shirt I'm sporting in the featured image (and below) is from Huxter, a company out of Rhode Island that is inspired by its coastal setting and focuses on luxury and utility. I think the elbow patches are genius (nautical charts!) and I appreciate the fact that they manufacture all of their products locally. Check out their story.
And the rocky coast continues to attract artists. Case in point, I found this bracelet at a jewelry trunk show hosted by Lucky Hill, a charming boutique in my hometown. The bracelet is handcrafted by Christina Jervey, a lovely and talented metalsmith from Charleston. I had the pleasure of meeting Christina and viewing her collection. I settled on this piece because it reminded me of a nautical knot. :)
I leave you with one last shot of my time in Maine. Though it depicts a peaceful setting, the brute strength of the rocky coast is clear and those who reside along the coast are familiar with this message. And therefore, as Matt Welty pointed out, "New England isn't home to the fashion industry - it's a place for craftsman who make products as sturdy as their character."
Until next time...