Member News October 15, 2013
The Loveworn Label
Katie Sherman Infuses Poetry, Fashion and Passion
Not early enough for sunrise
but just after. When there are no secrets.
Swaddle these Maytime rays and
things that are light enough
Stir what’s hot and lemony
The whole day of slow honey
Not in search any longer,
but just after. When faces are at rest.
Fresh cold bursts and warm tomato soup.
Knowing grins that close your lids
fleetingly. Socked feet
alternate tiptoe and flat foot,
this oversized hour of scattered and gathered
If you guessed, what would you say was the inspiration behind the above lines of verse? Would you be surprised to find out that the ode was written to a cardigan?
Katie Sherman, daytime copywriter, sometime poet, and all-the-time lover of well-worn clothing, began The Loveworn Label as a way to share the experiences and love she felt toward items of clothing and accessories in her wardrobe. In her words, The Loveworn Label, “a weekly dedication to poetic personal style”, captures “tales from a city girl and her clothes; personal experience [and] the charge and essence of what they are.” The Loveworn Label has evolved from poetry alone to a blog, an exhibition, and a collection combining Katie’s beloved garments with her words. ADC recently had the pleasure of speaking to Katie about her labor of love: her inspiration, her process, and, of course, her clothes.
ADC: Why did you choose clothing as your subject?
Katie Sherman: In the words of Garance Doré in The Sartorialist, ‘If you want your clothes to age with that kind of grace then wear the clothes you have and stop always buying new ones.’ I just have a lot of hand-me-down clothes and I go to a lot of vintage stores—part of living in Brooklyn—and I’m interested in the wear-and-tear of what you have. I have so many things that have come from other people. I wanted a subject matter that I felt strongly about, so I started writing about my clothes. I didn’t write specific stories, but about the charge that the clothes had—more of a loose, poetic thing. People related to it.
ADC: What is it about a particular garment that inspires you?
Katie: The uniqueness of each piece is what I find compelling, as well as where I’ve worn it. For example, the sweater [from the above poem] having oversized hours—that feeling, the comfort of being in an extended hour sounds lovely.
ADC: What was your inspiration for beginning The Loveworn Label?
Katie: I was inspired by Rivane Neuenschwander’s exhibition a few years ago at the New Museum, but wanted to achieve something even more hopeful, sweet, and delicate, like a clandestine secret within your hem. I really like the idea that clothing is worn with love, and my brand being a label makes sense with fashion, but it’s in a more approachable way.
ADC: Tell us about the various adaptations of the project.
Katie: I started out by attending a poetry workshop in Park Slope, which was essentially 10 people in a bedroom, critiquing one another. I continued writing and eventually published some self-compilations via Blurb, and then the idea of the exhibition came about. It included twenty pieces–ranging from cardigans to pocket watches–and twenty corresponding poems, each typewritten onto ¼ inch silk satin ribbon. I typed the poetry onto the ribbon using my grandmother’s typewriter, and a fashion designer friend in Greenpoint taught me to sew so I could stitch the ribbons into the garments. The pages of the book were placed next to the clothing to tie it all together. I felt like it was a really nice story to tell, and because the exhibition space was small and raw it was good for an opening. The label has now expanded into three pieces: a book, a dress, and a bracelet, and the full collection can be found at the Brooklyn Flea, and has also appeared at the New York City Poetry Festival on Governor’s Island.
ADC: Have you thought about taking this project full-time? How does The Loveworn Label relate to your job as a copywriter?
Katie: I want to keep working both with brands and with my own label. Poetry and copywriting are very similar. Both are all about distilling something into very few words and having it be emotionally charged.
Katie lives in Brooklyn and daytimes as the Senior Copy Director for Vogue. She also freelances copywriting and, of course, continues to write poetry inspired by her beloved clothing at www.thelovewornlabel.com.
Tweet Katie your loveworn poetry at @katieshermanink or email her at Katie@thelovewornlabel.com.
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