Baby, It’s Cold Outside! Warming up with Winter Wraps
|By Claire Larrabee||> Back to Blog|
It’s hard to go anywhere in the Northeast right now without hearing one of those classic winter songs. “Dashing through the snow, I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, or Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!”
OK, we get it. Cold weather is on its way and it’s time to dig out those winter wraps. The trouble with winter clothing is that by the time you pull on a sweater, a puffy down coat, miles of scarf and stomp out the door in fur topped boots, it’s easy to look like a close relative of the Michelin Man.
So how to improve your style through the chilly winter days and nights? Paradise City has some terrific handmade winter wraps that will help you stay warm while keeping your look really cool.
Stylish Leather and Suede Coats Chase Away the Winter Chill
Cindy Spolek fashions gorgeous shearling and suede leather outerwear, vests, and boots for both women and men. Cindy describes it as her mission to create one-of-a-kind, ethnic, and world-inspired coats. Her designs combine classic shapes with unusual colors, hand-carved buttons, and unique trims to create what I think of as “practical art.”
At her studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Cindy chooses each hide, making sure that all of her shearlings follow an ethical use of materials. She lets the unique qualities of the hide guide the design, incorporating fur or printed suede trim, hand- woven fabrics, and buttons of bone, resin, silver, or pewter to accent the style of each coat or jacket. Many of her coats feature the natural sheep fur interior.
Cindy Spolek ethically sources her hides from around the world to create coats that offer outstanding style, comfort, and durability.
Make a Statement with a Hand-Crafted Scarf
A new scarf is a great place to start your winter fashion update. For an out-of-the-ordinary look, try one of the unique handmade scarves by W. John Jameson III.
John’s work is characterized by intricate weaving and fringe that turns the standard neck warmer into something festive. John selects high-quality wools, silks, and cashmere from sources around the world to create his scarves. He weaves each piece on an eight-harness loom and incorporates signature design elements including dynamic color combinations and multiple textures.
For example, the black scarf pictured is made of handspun merino wool with felt flowers and hand-dyed silk ribbon fringe. I love the thought of wrapping up in those pink and blue flowers, bringing a touch of spring to those dark January days.
John’s work is recognized nationally, and he has been honored with one-person shows for his textiles at the Southern Vermont Art Center in Manchester, Vermont and the Chaffee Arts Center in Rutland, Vermont.
Left: handspun merino wool scarf. Right: 12 different yarns and hand-dyed ribbon fringe.
Looking Cool in Cindy Walsh’s Hot Coat Designs
For those looking for a fabric option for winter coats, Cindy Walsh offers high style and warmth in one beautiful package. Cindy creates jackets, coats, pullovers, capes, and accessories of Polartec® fleece and rainwear fabrics.
“My designs are influenced in part from watching what people wear and what makes them feel comfortable and special. I use color, texture, and detail to make the clothing unusual, but not over the top,” Cindy says. She designs and makes each of the ribbon trims that embellish her work.
Her eye-catching red “riding” jacket is a good example. I love the bold leaf inserts around the buttons and pops of orange at the end of each sleeve. It’s kind of military jacket meets Andy Warhol.
Cindy Walsh’s Riding Jacket is handmade of warm Polartec fleece.
One of the pleasures of winter is wearing all those chunky, toasty sweaters. But trying to stuff sweater sleeves down a tapered coat arm often leaves me feeling like I’m wearing a straightjacket. Cindy Walsh has a perfect solution with her flowing capes. Combined with one of her funky hats and Polartec gloves, Cindy’s cape ensembles really up the style quotient while providing lots of roomy comfort underneath for as many layers as you want!
Cape, beret and gloves by Cindy Walsh
Wrap Up a New Style at the November, 2017 Paradise City Arts Festival
W. John Jameson, Cindy Spolek and Cindy Walsh – along with 175 exhibiting artists from around the country – showed their work at the Paradise City Arts Festival, November 2017.