Don’t you love it when you “lose” a friend for years and years and then one day quite by accident you not only “find” them but discover that they are happy and incredibly successful? That just happened to me and I can’t wipe the smile from my face.
While at Auburn I had a precious little cupie doll friend named Dana Barnes. She was the tiniest cheerleader who always was tossed the highest and because she was in Fashion Design and I in Interiors we spent many hours together at good ole Spidle Hall.
So last night I couldn’t sleep and ended up surfing random blog sites at midnight. Suddenly this post pops up about Dana Barnes who has won the ICFF ( International Contemporary Furniture Foundation) Award for textiles and was preparing for an exhibition at Ralph Pucci… was it possible?????
There she was right in The New York Times. My sweet, sweet little friend. Dana, I am so very proud of you and for you. Here is her story as told in The Times.
“Dana Barnes’s debut collection “Souled Objects” won the Editors Award for Textiles at last year’s ICFF. And deservedly so: They are like nothing you’ve ever seen. Her new collection, Unspun: Tangled and Fused, currently available at Ralph Pucci International.
This collection was inspired by a trip home, down south, where aspects of the landscape and vegetation (oak trees, hanging Spanish moss) made their way into the needlepoint and knotted vessels seen here.”
Actually, the whole thing started when her neighbors complained about the pitter patter of little feet and Dana had to come up with some way to cover the vast floor space in her 3250 square foot loft in Soho.
All photos from The New York Times
Traditional textiles were an earlier obsession, said Ms. Barnes, who has collected Asian pieces for years. She and Mr. Westhoff married in Nepal in 1996, and have traveled extensively in the Far East.
“Dana always meets the artisans wherever we go and brings stuff home,” he said. “I think, ‘Why is that even interesting?’ When we get it home, I can see it. She makes you see it.”
Ms. Barnes made banquette cushions out of Japanese saki-ori — indigo-dyed work clothes — and wrapped the leftovers around a giant steel spring. This reporter sat down on it, thinking it was a bench.
“It’s just a sculptural thing,” Ms. Barnes said. “I thought it looked neat.”
A colorful pile of woven clothing in a corner came from Hmong farmers, she said, explaining that she had traded Mr. Westhoff’s T-shirts and sunglasses for the pieces on a recent trip to Vietnam. “Look at this hat, isn’t it great?” she asked, holding up a striped cap. “I just love it.”
Mr. Westhoff said, “I really loved my sunglasses.”
That quote cracks me up. Turns out Dana has been a fixture on 7th Avenue all of these years designing collections for several internationally known fashion houses. She wanted more time at home with her young family and turned to her love of textiles to make that happen.
You really must go to her home page at http://www.souledobjects.com/#/process
to view the pictures of the process. It is quite amazing!!!
You go girl and War Eagle!
If you want to say,”That was fun!” at the end of your project
contact me at www.cindybarganier.com.