I anticipate of Joanna Newsom maybe. Or Tori Amos beyond with a adolescent Sophia Loren. There is article active yet baking in the clothes of Trasteverine. Article adorable and fragile, but additionally ashore and tough. I afresh sat bottomward with Trasteverine designers Brian Frank and Michalyn Andrews at a city coffee hang, and in amid drags of their cigarettes, they approved to advice me amount out this abstruse Trasteverine girl. Who is she?
“She accordingly apprehension up actuality a mystic, but she has style. She’s a advocate and an intellectual,” Frank says, and again laughs. Andrews mulls over the catechism and assuredly tells me, “Our babe is pretty, but she has article to say and doesn’t fit into a box.”
Their label’s name, Trasteverine, is argot for a babe who comes from Rome’s Trastevere quarter. Andrews, who advised blur there, says the breadth has a actual “opulent, accustomed feeling, an abundant organicness.”
It’s that congenital glamour, not affected elegance, that comes through in the clothes, which are bashful yet adult in that Grace Kelly affectionate of way.
“There’s article far added animal about accepting mystery,” says Andrews.
The agreeable movement to the clothes and the accurate ball to the curve assume to appear from Andrews’ own acquaintance authoritative beginning films in Rome. Maybe that’s why Trasteverine designs adjure images of a adolescent Sophia Loren, or Anita Ekberg in the Trevi fountain.
But there is additionally a address and address in the designs. Dresses with draping and capacity aces of Aphrodite accomplish faculty aback you apprentice that Frank, a.k.a. Bhagavan Dasa, was a Hare Krishna abbot at the age of 17, and his job was to dress the temple deities (statues of Krishna that ambit from a few inches to 8 anxiety tall) two to three times a day at his San Diego ashram. It was allotment of the ritual accepted as shringar. Frank scrolls through his agenda camera, attractive for images to appearance me examples of shringar from his time in India — he lived there from age 19 to 23 and still visits. He is so aflame that his easily agitate a little as he advances the photos. He finds one, a account of a temple, area it takes 16 priests to dress 10 Krishnas — and they do it in 45 minutes. The statues are robed in blooming cottony dresses with abundant beadwork fabricated into blush and gold flowers and darker blooming accouterment that blinking their way up and bottomward the fabric; beginning annual garlands adhere about their necks. This is the akin of affluence and the akin of account Frank and Andrews clarify into their designs. Bathrobe a woman for them is like bathrobe a god. “We use abstracts — authentic fibers, absolute and cottony — you know,” smiles Frank, “things that would be nice for Krishna.”
The affair of the two designers seemed about like all-powerful action itself. They both begin themselves in San Diego. Andrews had fabricated her way from Rome to accompany a accouterment line, and Frank had larboard the ashram in India to alpha a career in fashion. One acute evening, at the advancement of alternate friends, Andrews went to accommodated Frank so they could allotment appearance resources. She brought him a cup of coffee, and it was affiliation at aboriginal sight. They backward up all night authoritative patterns and alive together. And they began to bare a alternation of astonishing parallels in their lives.
“We accept the aforementioned blush eyes,” action Andrews. “It was trippy. We aloof acquainted like we had accepted anniversary other.”
I analyze their irises — yep, the aforementioned golden-honey color.
“We begin out our ancestors are from the aforementioned baby apple in Italy,” adds Frank. But it wasn’t until they charted their abstruse signs and apparent about an exact bout that they formally began a partnership. They went to assignment on a business plan, designing clothes for Andrews’ city San Diego storefront, afore eventually affective to Los Angeles. Screenwriter Harmony Korine, who acclimated to adhere out and skateboard with Frank aback in Nashville afore his time as a abbot in San Diego, helped the brace out by cutting some of Trasteverine’s attending books.
The L.A. move was alone six months ago, and so far the characterization is authoritative huge waves, acceptable over the appearance aristocratic at Gen Art this year. That Appearance Week accumulating was done in two weeks, aggressive by some German beginning ambient music they had been alert to. Andrews started authoritative collages out of landscapes, and from there, they pulled calm a collection.
“I’ll daydream an account or I’ll accept a dream,” says Andrews.
“Then we sit bottomward and allotment what we’ve anniversary been alive on, and things alpha to appear together. Sometimes it changes, it wants to be article abroad and . . .” Frank trails off.
“And it grows into its own thing,” Andrews finishes.
Right now, the band is awash mostly in Los Angeles, but they plan to add showrooms in New York, Tokyo and cities all over Europe in the aing year. Another big ambition for the approaching involves acclimation up an old alone temple in India alleged Lalita-Kund. “In Vrindivan, India, there are temples to the bathing gods,” says Frank. “They’ve become dumps. We appetite to apple-pie up Lalita-Kund and restore it. It’s one of our capital goals, it’s consistently been.”
Krishna is never far from Frank, who still dresses a miniature deity, and eventually, aback he’s “an old man,” he wants to go aback to bathrobe him. Andrews too imagines activity aback to her aboriginal art form; ancient in her 40s she thinks she’ll acknowledgment to agreeable cinema. But for now, we can all alive in the fantasy worlds they actualize and dress like mystics and goddesses.
Trasteverine is accessible at Kate, 515 S. Fairfax Ave., L.A., (323) 938-7311, and Impulse Moda, 110 E. Ninth St., No. 578, dwntwn., (213) 629-5666 or www.trasteverine.com.
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