TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
AIE VEE, a New York based Menswear Company designed by Joseph Aloysius Williams IV, announces the release of its debut collection entitled Cuyahoga (pronounced KYE-a-HOG-a). The name, taken from Iroquois, translates to “crooked river”. At least 100 miles long, this waterway is located in Northeast Ohio and is infamous for being “the river that caught on fire” due to heavy industrial contamination.
Cuyahoga is inspired by Joseph’s coming of age alongside the burning river. It is heavily influenced by the dichotomy of being surrounded by striking nature and the seeping in of waste that has irreversibly altered the water to an unnatural state. It is a reflection in which innocence is tainted and faith is lost.
The collection focuses heavily on inspiration to influence the creation process. The Cuyahoga River’s geography is transferred into the curving paths of seams and natural textures. To convey the process of contamination, the collection begins with natural bone whites that gradually disseminate into shades of dense fog, ultimately fading to black.
Fabrics were dyed using a layered process inside vats containing sample water from the river itself. Heavy washed-linen jackets and pants were stiffened and waterproofed with accelerated oils and natural pigments, such as carbon and zinc — a technique dating back to the Civil War.
The leather used was processed in New York and tanned to highlight the texture and grain of each animal. The result is supple nubuck cow, soft fleshy deerskin, and armor-like shaved bison. Handmade sterling silver hook closures and jump rings, carved with the AIE VEE (IV) crest, add militant closures and utilitarian function to the garments.
The images are meant to evoke feelings of solitude and a cold human touch. Their frames are uneasy and voyeuristic, lending insight into a watchful mind as it copes with shifting surroundings.
AIE VEE is entirely designed and crafted in New York. Cuyahoga will be shown at Fall Winter 2012 New York Fashion Week.
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