Mieko is trained in the classic art of Couture, custom made clothing in the French manner. The process starts with drawings. Then a first draft of the garment is made by draping muslin over a mannequin. When the design looks right, the piece is fitted exactly to the customer.
Mieko continues to work in this way, but now she works with her patternmaker to translate the final garment to paper templates making the fabrication of multiple garments possible. While the cut of the garments is repeated, each has a different layout of fabric, so no two are identical.
Sewing & Finishing
An overlocking stitching was originally employed to make garments reversible. This is another Mieko Mintz innovation with Kantha that came from her early work as a knit designer. The main seams are sewn six times to get this result; first a single stitch is made along the edge to stabilize the material. Then an overlocking stitch is made on each piece. Finally, both pieces are overlaid, and two lines of straight stitch are used to connect them both. This is a labor-intensive process, but this is the level of quality required for these clothing lines. The results are striking! Various colors are used that, again, both complement and contrast with the fabric pattern used. This visual effect enhances the shape of the garment.
All details such as the outside edging are stitched by hand. Mother’s Kimono and some other garments are completely sewn by hand, adding to the personal feel of the clothing.
Recycle / Recycle
Nothing goes to waste. All scraps of material are up-cycled into accessories and other objects. This is all in keeping with Mieko’s desire for sustainability. One main source for material is smaller pieces left over from other garments. Another is the leftovers from the patchwork series. These are typically used to construct a wide variety of hats and scarves. Necklaces and bracelets are also made from his same material. When worn together the clothing and accessories create a unified look.