Mary Jaeger

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Meet the Artist

  • About This Artist

    My work is about modern comforts and rich traditions. Uncluttered textiles and accessories reflect my aesthetic---melding ancient Eastern and contemporary Western design. Drawing on years of study and work in Japan and other areas of Asia, South East Asia and Europe, I create timeless collections and items for fashion and interiors that seamlessly move between seasons, places and occasions. The core of my niche hand-dyed collections are layers of color, texture, pattern and volume.

  • Q&A With This Artist

    A: In my Brooklyn atelier I design a collection of hand-dyed and manipulated textiles for accessories, garments and interior products mindful of sustainability, natural fibers, circular fashion and eco-consciousness. The atelier is a vertical operation where I do all stages of the design from conception through construction, production and marketing. Currently I am working with silks remnants I have from past collections and I am reusing them for my unfolding project: silk accessories. The one-of-a-kind pleated accessories include pleated silk dusters, dresses and neck wraps (Accordion BonBons) that have simple silhouettes and intricate textile fabrications involving hand-stitched applique, pleating, dyeing, edge-stitching, sewing and finishing. The flowing, diaphanous dusters and dresses are lightweight and easily worn from day to evening activities. The sculptural neck wraps are made for women and men. They fold flat, then open to reveal colorful mosaics that can be worn as three dimensional collars. My Personalized Shirts are reimagined tailored shirts that are saved from a landfill by using various deconstruction, reconstruction, resist-dyeing, and machine and hand-stitching techniques so they are unique, fresh and desirable again. The fine, hand-woven cashmere shawls are mindfully sourced from a family-owned and operated factory in Nepal. The dyed patterns and finishing is done in my atelier. Each shawl is individually dyed and one of a kind.

    A: Born in the USA of European heritage to a family of dentists and farmers. I had an epiphany at the age of ten when my parents took me to an exhibition of Japanese Ukiyoe Beautiful Women woodblock prints at a gallery in Madison, Wisconsin. I knew at that moment I had to go to the place where these Beautiful Women lived and this artwork was created. After achieving my master's from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and designing for the mass market in New York City's garment center for five years, I moved to Kyoto, Japan. There I studied the textile design technique Tegaki-Yuzen and other traditional dyeing methods unique to Japan. I worked in two kimono and obi ateliers in Kyoto, designed corporately in Tokyo and Paris, then returned to New York City eight years later. In NYC I opened my own atelier and design business, mindful of the blend of Eastern and Western techniques and methods learned through work and extensive independent study and travel in Asia, SE Asia and Europe.

    A: I am inspired by the need and desire for simplification. Streamlined practices that require thought, imagination and creativity. And I am deeply concerned for climate change and mindful practices that respect natural resources and our environment.

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