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Behind The Scenes

Morgan Carper Gets Outta Town

During an eight-month journey to basically every nook and cranny of Asia, Morgan Carper discovered an incredible number of unheard of local design techniques. “That trip was one of the most satisfying experiences of my life—to meet with different artisans and see how their craft had been preserved, and not preserved in some cases,” Morgan explains. “That’s when I knew I wanted to integrate travel into fashion.” So she set out on a mission to combine her textile expertise with unique beadwork and embroidery culled from the places she visits to create each of her stunning, romantic-bohemian collections. Here’s how she’s done it. —monica derevjanik Turkey - Fall 2011“This was my first collection, so it was overwhelmingly amazing to translate an experience like this into something more tangible that others eventually got to be a part of. I didn’t get to meet with many artisans while we were there, but two of the fabrics I bought were made in Turkey. We ended up doing a lot of really full dresses with pleats, metalwork, beadwork, and more traditional Eastern references in the collection. The ancient mosques we saw were instrumental in the conception of the collection as well.” Arizona high deserts - Spring 2012“Spring 2012 was inspired by the high plains of Arizona. There’s a book called Half Broke Horses, and the author talks about her grandmother, Lily Casey, who was this rough, tough, woman on a ranch in Arizona. She was fiercely independent but had this style that was unique for that time, especially for being a rural countrywoman. I ended up going to the area where Lily Casey spent most of her life and based the collection off of her style. Creating this collection was especially fun for me because there’s something about the American West that’s fascinating. I don’t know what it is, but I’m just naturally drawn to the desert landscape and vast open spaces. In fact, each of my collections has an underlying Southwestern theme.” Vietnam and Laos - Fall 2012“I was lucky enough to spend time with skilled artisans that practice indigo dyeing, tapestry work, ikat weaving, and batik printing. The custom prints from this particular collection were inspired by the traditional batik and tapestry weavings from different Hmong tribes in the region. It’s always about the textiles for me, and Southeast Asia has such a rich history of textiles.” Rajasthan, India - Spring 2013“I am powerlessly allured by the desert, and I decided to visit Rajasthan. I carefully planned this trip around meetings with artisans that specialize in block printing and embroidery, which eventually led to creating some of the fabrics in this collection. One of the highlights of the trip was taking motorcycles to a small Muslim village about 30 miles from the Pakistan border where they specialize in intricate metallic hand-embroidery. They showed us their craft while we sat on the floor in their brightly colored homes with all the village children hovering above us. They were giggling over my short blond hair, not understanding why I looked like a boy.”  Morgan did it again with a must-have cape you do NOT want to miss!
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Watch Morgan Carper Fix Up Her Fort Greene Casa

When Morgan Carper—the force behind the textile-fueled apparel line of the same name—and her hubby, Chris Bradford, got their hands on a 125-year-old Fort Greene brownstone in February 2013, they were pumped to dive in and make it their own. “There’s still work to be done, but this house will constantly be a work in progress,” she says of her (very major) renovation. “I love the idea of growing and evolving into our home.” See what she’s done with the place so far. —alisha prakash Before! After! The Living Room“This is the parlor-floor living room—beautiful bones, but so dark. Because the house is so extremely narrow, we wanted to lighten up the space as much as possible. Bringing down a few walls, painting everything bright white, and laying down white oak floors was our solution. The old floors were actually quite beautiful, but they weren’t original to the house—and the red oak made the space dark. New flooring transformed the space, while adding a personal element to make it our own. I have always loved the classic look of herringbone flooring—the lines elongate the room, and the light finish brightens it.” Before! After! The Study“We removed a wall with double doors, opening up the space. The restoration of the moldings was painstakingly time-consuming but incredibly rewarding to preserve such detail and character. Chipping away at all the years of paint was like going back in time. I loved thinking about the families that lived in this house and what was happening during that time, color by color.” Before! After! The Kitchen“We wanted to make the space as light as possible, so we gutted it and replaced the dark cherry cabinets with black countertops with white cabinets and Carrera marble. We splurged on the countertops while maintaining low costs with the Ikea white lacquer cabinets—it’s all about balance. Getting to see the skeleton of the house was amazing. The beams and foundation are so stout and solid—they just don’t make them like they used to!” Talk about amazing, Morgan’s latest cape will seriously step up your outerwear game.
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