Indie Spirit: Caron Callahan
Caron Callahan’s collection of cool, no-fuss staples is basically the epitome of how we want to dress every day. Turns out, her signature vision is the result of her own closet epiphany, and the thoughtful evolution and independent spirit she’s brought to her namesake collection ever since. We talked to the Brooklyn-based designer about her work process and design inspirations, and her favorite off-duty haunts.
What’s the concept behind your line?
It’s evolved quite a lot—I started with the idea of what you’re “supposed to” make: printed silks, A-line dresses, date-night tops. One day I looked at my closet and realized I never wore the clothes I made. In 2012, after my daughter was born, I scrapped everything and started over, thinking about what my friends and I would want to wear, whether it’s schlepping around the Garment District or having brunch in Williamsburg. I try to make clothes that encourage confidence and give you a sense of freedom, while still feeling great.
Can you talk about your design process?
I make all my own patterns, and I sew all my muslins and first samples, and then I just wear them around, seeing how they feel. For me it’s about functionality and exploring new shapes. A lot of fashion can be formulaic. I love forgetting all that and seeing where the pattern takes me.
What were your inspirations for the fall collection?
I was thinking about vintage Perry Ellis, and this sort of 1970s/early ’80s silhouette that has a little more volume on the top. I’m always mindful of the weather, especially when it gets really cold. I used a neutral palette and chose silhouettes that you can layer with boots and stockings. The fabrics are great: 100% cotton, no-stretch denim; lightweight tropical wool; and a really chic silk noile.
Do you have a daily uniform?
I went through a phase of wearing mostly shades of white. I’m often in vintage Levi’s and one of my own shirts. I don’t really do T-shirts, or shorts. Shirts, shirt dresses and pants are my go-to’s.
What are your favorite neighborhood spots?
We live in South Williamsburg, so we go to Marlow & Sons and Diner regularly. My husband, Sean, is the chef at Reynard. We like to have brunch before my daughter (Luca, almost three!) goes down for her nap.
Do you guys have a go-to family meal?
I’m vegetarian, so we eat a lot of vegetables and cheese. Sean gets inspired by what’s at the farmer’s market, so in the summer we have a lot of salads with fresh herbs—last night we had a peach, basil and feta salad. When we want to treat ourselves we’ll get oysters. We have them with cheese and, of course, a bottle of wine!
@ashleyhelvey + @umajor
Any favorite Instagram accounts?
Ashley Helvey (@ashleyhelvey) has a beautiful feed. My friend Kate Jones, the designer of Ursa Major (@umajor), does a great job of capturing her life and her jewelry in a really natural way.
Name a favorite recent discovery.
Invisibilia. I’m a podcast junkie—I have a Tivoli radio in my studio. This one is an offshoot of Radio Lab, and it’s about all these connections that you can’t see.
Name a style influence.
Geoffrey Beene. He did such inspiring American sportswear and I always find myself gravitating to his work. I would love to see his label resuscitated.
What’s on your wishlist for fall?
We’re house hunting for 2016, so I have to say a new place to live!
Thank you so much to interviewer Kat Johnson & Caron Callahan! I'm a huge fan and consistently find myself wearing Caron's pieces because they strike that excellent balance of making you feel cool & feminine in fabrics that are wearable...
also FREE shipping on orders over $250 within the US.
Our friend Rebecca Egbert has designed a super rad deck of cards & app to help out postpartum mama's...so you know we are all over that! She's halfway to her goal...check it out if you'd like to get in on the ground floor of what I know will be an amazing product :)
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