Designer Focus: MA+CH and 30% Off Online for Cyber Monday!
Posted on November 26 2018
Is it clothing first and art second or the other way around? That is the question when it comes to each piece from MA+CH.
Perhaps it’s up to the eye of the beholder, as so much else in fashion ends up being.
The MA+CH name comes from a combination of the first names of the sibling designer duo Marika and Charles. They boast a truly impressive track record in both design and fashion. Their collaboration on women’s art-focused fashion began in 2002 and consistently yields one-of-a-kind, made-to-order pieces of clothing, such as the ones available online here and additional pieces available in our Elmwood store:
The line includes one-thread featherweight cashmere sweaters, cardigans, pullovers, shawls and scarves in a rich variety of color ways and designs. Marika and Charles also design and create an elegant and feminine line of hand-dyed silk dresses, shirts and tanks for warmer months and to wear as under pieces with their sweaters.
MA+CH collections can be found in more than 300 boutiques worldwide and the collection has been sold in high-end department stores such as Barney’s New York, Fred Segal and Bergdorf-Goodman.
Before their MA+CH collaboration, the siblings pursued separate but related professions. They grew up together in upstate New York and both attended Pratt Institute of art and design in New York city.
Marika studied industrial art at Pratt, as she wanted to remain in the creative field while simultaneously pursuing more commercial applications. At art school the siblings were told they’d have a great time, but few would be commercially successful. She and her brother vowed they would be among those few.
After Pratt, Marika taught herself knitting, crochet and furniture design, adding to her already-notable skill set. She participated in the art movement of the 70s, an influence still evident in her designs of today. Marika has exhibited in the Smithsonian, MoMA and LA County Museum and is an included artist in the Metropolitan Museum of Art permanent costume collection. She has also received the National Endowment for the Arts award.
Charles independently pursued textile art after finishing Pratt. He owned his own fabric printing business, developing and patenting some of the same printing techniques that give MA+CH its unique look.
MA+CH is designed and produced at their upstate New York studio in Schenectady. Their vast studio houses multiple capabilities, which both improves efficiency and reduces the impact on the environment. All efforts are undertaken with an eco-conscious mindset. MA+CH makes its own fiber-reactive colors and dyes, and only in the amounts needed. Each garment is printed and dyed whole, leaving no unused scraps of dyed fabric.
Marika has discussed her decidedly artist mindset in recent interviews. She’s contemplative and reflective, drawing inspiration from the world around her. Her advice echoes that of other renowned artists: do what you love. You can work eight hours a day at something you don’t like, she explains, or round-the-clock at something you do like.
The future is not so much about what the sibling duo will do next, but how they will continue in the same vein. They have, after all, displayed a remarkable continuity of style and process throughout the decades. They are now applying similar methods to upholstery fabric for chairs, couches, wallpaper and more, so keep your eyes peeled for MA+CH items in the home decor realm.
The achievements listed above seem to put MA+CH solidly in the art camp, but perhaps Marika summarizes it best, calling their pieces “art-to-wear”. Stop by our store or check out our items online to decide for yourself.
Also, here's a quick reminder that it’s Cyber Monday today, so take advantage of 30% off all online items all day by entering THANKS18 at checkout.