czwartek, 28 kwietnia 2011

MARA HOFFMAN

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By David Land
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By David Land
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By David Land
"From the outside, the couple’s home looks like any other brownstone on a quiet Brooklyn street. But beyond its exterior, vibrant worldly influences and eclectic artwork come together in splendid harmony.
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By David Land
Mara Hoffman

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By David Land
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By David Land
One of Piñón’s hand-crafted “captured fairies.”
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By David Land
A self-portrait resides amongst a cluster of inspiring memorabilia, while feathers are never far from sight.
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By David Land
At work, bolts of colorful printed fabrics fill Hoffman’s Manhattan studio.
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By David Land
Found treasures as well as artworks both precious and odd occupy the upstairs display cases.
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By David Land
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By David Land
"For fashion designer Mara Hoffman, there’s no difference between her personal style and the clothes she sends down the runway each season. Her spring 2010 collection abounds with flowing dresses resplendent in bold geometric patterns, colorful Rorschach-style prints and tribal motifs, all of which you’d likely see Hoffman wearing herself.
“This is me,” she nods, standing in her Manhattan studio amidst the overflowing racks of garments from past collections. Bolts of wildly-vivid fabrics—the building blocks for the next season, perhaps—are never out of sight, while stunning vintage pieces from around the world and distant decades hang nearby for inspiration.
And indeed, when Hoffman later answers the door to the Brooklyn townhouse she shares with her husband Javier Piñón, she’s wearing a dress from her own label, an empire-waisted kaftan in a kaleidoscopic turquoise print that offers an almost dreamlike solace from the cold rain outside.
Even on a sunny day, Hoffman’s neighborhood of Williamsburg seems too brooding, too “New York cool,” for the 32-year-old designer with a penchant for colors and eclectic patterns. “That scene is almost too hip for me. I’m not really part of it,” she says waving towards a window that faces the street. “But in here, it’s like our own world.”
Or rather, many worlds existing together beneath one roof. The upstairs level of the couple’s two-story home could be likened to a larger-than-life curiosity cabinet showcasing a fascinating assortment of artworks, beloved relics from travels, and other found miscellany—but everything has its place. Vintage stools and wooden chairs flank a hefty, sinuously-shaped wooden table occupying the central dining room, which serves double-duty as a multi-medium art space. A framed old-timey cowboy collage by Piñón, an artist, hangs below an animal skull, while the adjacent wall is taken up by a carved wooden antelope’s head, a wedding gift that Hoffman and Piñón purchased for themselves and adorned with floral garlands.
Hoffman is giddy about her latest find, a small psychedelic print she picked out at a neo-Shamanistic art show. Though she hasn’t decided where to hang it yet, the delightfully trippy piece would be at home amongst any of the other drawings and paintings she’s acquired during her many trips to India.
Sitting beneath the remnants of an old wasp’s nest (a gift from a friend), a corner cabinet houses a menagerie of what Hoffman explains are “captured fairies.” “Jav made these a while ago,” she says, indicating the jars of strangely wondrous and winged skeletal specimens, which Piñón meticulously crafted from moths’ wings and pigeon bones. “He’s always had a fascination with anatomy and old medical paraphernalia,” she adds, leading the way into the next room where a yellowing series of large, pull-down anatomical diagrams hangs. On the credenza below, a model of a human heart rests on a thin pedestal beside a female body form. “We call her Matilde,” laughs Hoffman, who playfully crowned the figure with a feather headdress.
Hoffman, who launched her namesake line in 2000, lived in various apartments throughout Manhattan before moving in with Piñón in 2005. As varied as the couple’s styles are, their separate aesthetics don’t clash as much as they intertwine, a fact that’s perhaps most evident in the upstairs bathroom featuring a treasure trove of religious iconography and ornaments from different faiths. “Jav’s into Catholic religious and I’m into Indian religious,” she adds.
The century-old house is actually four stories, however Hoffman and Piñón rent the top two floors as apartments. The tiered back garden, formerly a concrete lot, offers more square footage and transforms into a lush dining area during the summertime—as well as a place to nap. “When the chaise comes out in warmer months, I just chill,” remarks Hoffman. “It’s like I’m on vacation.”
On the ground level, the couple’s bedroom is home to more colorful knick-knacks and relics from journeys abroad. Masks from Peru, small woven shoes, and tiny handmade dolls are lined up along the tops of dressers, while long dresses hang outside the closet door, adding to the room’s vibrancy. Feathers, a decorative fixture in nearly every room of the house—as well as in Hoffman’s studio—are a constant motif for the designer, both in her work and in her life. “They represent flight,” she says before pointing out the feathers tattooed up the backs of her calves.
But even with all her fixations on foreign cultures and her wanderlust for worldly travels, Hoffman adores the nest she and Piñón have fashioned for themselves. “I love our house. The only reason I’m leaving it today is because I’m going to get a massage,” she sighs."
 via foam magazine

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