Ann Williamson Designs

Ann Williamson Designs

About The Artist

Ann Williamson • Portland, OR
Clothing & Accessories

I start with vintage Japanese silks and kimonos. I remove the stitches, clean and ready them for their new life. My tools are scissors, a needle and thread. I cut, sew, piece, applique and bead until the design is right. I know I am finished when the fabrics, shapes and colors balance and the composition is complete. I believe in the craft of fine sewing. I use classic sewing techniques to sew my clothes. I prefer simple and refined silhouettes to highlight my designs and maximize wearability.


Artist website

Q&A with the Artist

Tell us how your work is made.

Piecing means sewing together pieces of fabric. Every color in a pieced garment is a separate piece of fabric. Applique is sewing small pieces of fabric onto the top of another. My applique is hand stitched. Beading is also hand stitched. For sparkle and bits of color I sew beads, one at a time, onto the fabric. I use recycled, vintage Japanese kimono silks. Besides the technical aspects of the fabric, its sturdy but soft qualities, this artisan made fabric adds extra depth to my work.

What makes you passionate about the medium you work with?

Unknown Japanese artisans wove, painted and dyed the gorgeous kimono silks that I use. I start with these beautiful fabrics, full of their own history and layer onto them my own story. My designs, colors and texture choices are made up of fabrics that were created, worn and used by other people far away. I’ll never meet or know them, but it’s as though we are collaborating and I can feel their presence in each and every piece.

What is something unique about you or your practice?

I believe in the craft of fine sewing. Not only beautifully made and finished, but equally important, the fit. There is a skill in the art of shaping fabric so that it fits and hangs properly on the body. Plus, every person is different, their shape, their preferences and their vision. A piece of clothing should work with each individual person and who they are. Everyone has different needs and desires, a piece of clothing should reflect this.