Mama Said There Would Be Days Like These
Alexandra Giacobbe and Jess Marx are Mama Said, a design team inspired by retro fabrics and with a passion for using their design talents to document the time period of the 1940′s to early 1960′s. The pair came up with the ingenious idea of creating new fabrics based on fabric patterns from the past.
They got the idea and the inspiration from Alexandra’s Great-Grandmother Ruby, who is now 93-years-old. When she was around 8-years-old or so, Ruby gave Alexandra a box of scrap fabrics that she had used for patchwork practice—in fact, the bottom of the box was full of a half-finished quilt. I asked Alexandra if she knew how special those scraps would be to her in her creative life and she said:
“It wasn’t some magical moment where she told me how precious these scraps were, or that I should keep them safe, or any other movie-worthy scene. I was simply a crafty second-grader and she was probably cleaning out her closet! But even then, I knew in my heart that the box was incredibly special, and that I had to save the fabric for something great. I think I did.”
Alexandra and Jess scanned in their favourite scraps from that box, digitally manipulated them to create new repeat patterns and then had new fabrics printed up, which they ended up using in the design and production of modern day fashions and hats with a very vintage feel. You can learn more about their process and their project in this Kickstarter Video below. (Please note, their project has been fully funded. This video is just a great way to learn more about the project.)
Alexandra talks about why she and Jess were so drawn to the time period of the 1940s – 1960s and why they felt the urge to create this project.
“False-Nostalgia is a concept that Jess and I landed on together—it was a realisation that we weren’t part of that time, but somehow, we felt this incredible pull to preserve it and even glorify it in someway. Because we were, you know, almost half a century too late for the 50′s and everything that came with it, we are left with the stories and impressions left in our minds by our families, old movies, and the revival of particular trends and fashions that create and shape our memories. It became a really simple, desperate, and impractical matter of—if we don’t ‘remember,’ if we don’t appreciate and understand—who is going to be left to keep these memories alive? And so, Mama Said was born.”
I would argue that is why some folks are drawn to wearing and collecting vintage fashions. They want to be part of something they know they will never actually be able to experience, (unless time travel becomes a reality) but through carrying on the material culture traditions of the past, somehow they can keep them alive.
Alexandra and Jess recently held a fashion show to exhibit both the fabrics they created, as well as their clothing and millinery designs. See some photos below from the show.