The chevron.

chevron

2012. It is all about establishing new (better) patterns. Or so you promised yourself as you watched the ball drop.

(Don’t worry! I am not about to ask you the status of your resolution(s). If you extend me the same courtesy.)

The good news is you do not have to exercise any will-power or resolve to enjoy the plethora of patterns that are popping up in everything from clothing to kitchen accessories.

To help you find the perfect American-made way to incorporate these graphically charged items into your life, the next couple of posts will deal with patterns.

Our mini-series begins with the chevron. (You know how I love a good series!)

The pattern takes its name from the series of inverted V-shapes that form it. Chevron is an old french word that literally translates “a pair of angled roof rafters.” Because a set of roof rafters looked like an inverted V, soon other inverted V’s became known as chevrons.

It is my sincere hope that you will enjoy the American-made products below. If you do, buy them! Or at least bookmark them and buy them later. (Don’t forget all of these companies are now and will forever be on the Featured Companies list that you can find at the top and bottom of each page in this post.)

One more thing: I have introduced a new component to this post. Because I make every effort to constantly bring you new American companies, I do not get to show you all the great products that the previously featured companies offer. So, I have decided to start showing new products from old friends that relate to each post. This section of the post will be (quite cryptically) called From Our Old Friends.

Brooklyn Junior – Made in Brooklyn, New York

It is a fact that babies respond better to high contrast colors and geometric shapes.

It is also a fact that parents (and the rest of us non-toddlers) respond better to clothing that is attractive, durable and well-made.

Brooklyn Junior has taken everyone into account in the construction of their 100% cotton dresses, shirts, hoodies and pants. (Styles are available for boys and girls.)

The Zig Zag Dress (above, $25) will engage your little one’s sense of sight and stimulate her cognitive development as she wears it. (Oh yeah, she will probably look adorable too. Not that you are the kind of shallow person who cares one iota about that! It is all about helping your baby grow and develop – I get it.)

Available in sizes 3-6 months, 12 months and 2 years, this dress is also available in diamond pattern.

Visit www.brooklynjunior.com.

Chuck Routhier – Made in USA

Don’t just sit there, get Moving!

(The Moving Bag (left, $200) that is.)

Chuck Routhier, the Yale-educated designer whose work can be found in the San Francisco Museum of Modern art, has dreamed up a bag that is as rugged as it is handsome.

The whimsy of the subtle, but oh-so-jazzy white-stitched chevron pattern on a charcoal background belies the bag’s true character. Made of an authentic moving blanket (100% cotton) with strapping rawhide handles, this bag is ready for anything you can dish out. And will be for a long time.

At 28″w x 10″h x 9″ d, the bag has enough room for overnight business moves or weekend leisure moves. (It also has generous 13″ straps which means that you can shoulder the move like a champ!) And thanks to a generously sized top-opening and a sturdy brass zipper, the Moving Bag is as easy to pack and unpack as it is to carry.

Visit www.chuckrouthier.com.

The Olive Crow  - Made in Toledo, Ohio

Here is the dilemma: You love your dog. (Some days more than your spouse or your children.) You want her to be comfortable. (After all, how much comfort has she brought you?) But you hate looking at her depressing dog bed day after day.

Fortunately, you are not alone.

The Olive Crow is a line of dog beds that are designed to work with the decor of your house, not fight against it. Diane, the company’s founder, crafts her dog duvets of stylish upholstery-grade material that will not only look great, but will last.

What exactly is a dog duvet? (I heard you ask!) It is much like a duvet for your bed. The Olive Crow’s duvets are envelope style and have no closures. The large bed shaped envelopes come unstuffed. Simply fill the dog duvets with whatever materials will make your dog the most comfortable – pillows, foam/memory foam, sheet/blankets, etc.

The best part about the duvet design is that to clean it, you simply remove the stuffing and wash it in cold water with a mild detergent. (To help the bed maintain its size and shape air-drying is recommended.)

The Olive Crow duvets come in small, medium and large (above, $55) and a variety of fabric options – like the orange Chevron pattern the gorgeous June (Great Dane/Supermodel) is resting on.

Visit The Olive Crow.

Foxtail Jewelry - Made in Portland, Oregon

Who says more is better?

Certainly not jewelry designer, Betty Yates.

Her Floating Chevron Necklace (left, $45) is a testament to the power of a single chevron.

Stripped of the rhythmic repetition usually associated the chevron, the Floating Chevron Necklace gives the wearer (and her admirers) the opportunity to focus on the beauty and simplicity of this angular shape without distraction of additional chevrons.

Betty’s hand-made floating chevron is formed of hollow brass. To add visual interest, it has has been slightly oxidized (or blackened).

The chevron charm comes on an 18″ long silver-fill chain with a brass spin-clasp closure. (Different chain materials and chain lengths are available on request. Of course, these changes may impact final pricing.)

This necklace is perfectly able to stand on its own but also would pair well with others. (Wonderful attributes in both a necklace and a person.)

Visit Foxtail Jewelry.

Jill Platner – Made in New York, New York

What ever happened to your college thesis?

Odds are most of you would have to think about that answer for a while and then spend another day or two searching through boxes to actually find it. (I know I would.)

But then you are not Jill Platner. This wonder-woman sold her thesis to Barneys in 1992. (Take a moment to be impressed.)

Since then she has not looked back. The uber-talented metalworker/designer operates a studio and store on Crosby Street in Manhattan (stop in if you are in the neighborhood) where she creates jewelry and accessories for men and women in sterling silver, 19-karat gold and/or platinum.

Inspired by both nature and the urban landscape, Jill’s designs are truly wearable works of art. The Whalebone Belt (above, $1,300), for men or women, is just one example of Jill’s artistic interpretation of the world around her.

While this 2″w x 1 1/2″h belt buckle may have been inspired by a whale bone, it has all the energy and graphic resonance of a less organically-inspired chevron. Hand-made and rendered in sterling silver, the Whalebone belt buckle is a showstopper – derivation and appellation notwithstanding.

The Whalebone, like all the buckles in Jill’s collection, comes with a leather belt strap (standard and custom sizes available) in your choice of tan, dark brown or black.

Visit www.jillplatner.com

Jill Rosenwald – Boston, Massachusetts

Don’t hide your love for chevrons under a bushel.

Let it shine!

And what better way to do that than with Jill Rosenwald’s navy Chevron Oval Lamp (left, $395)?

This slender, chic lamp is also available in taupe and coral. Each lamp comes with a Belgian linen shade, a nickel plated 3 way socket, and a matching finial.

With its classic good looks, vivacious presence and petite base (6.5″ w) this lamp will slip easily into any decor – from beachy to urbane, minimal to toy-filled.

The Boston-based designer is a pro at translating both preppy and ethnic patterns into bold accents for the home. Her current ceramics line includes vases, bowls, mugs, trays and, of course, lamps.

Jill got her start selling (illegally) on the streets of New York. But today this rule-breaker is the darling of such taste-makers as Neiman Marcus, House Beautiful and Elle Decor. She has even been able to translate her flawless style into dinnerware, rugs and pillows that compliment her ceramics.

Visit www.jillrosenwald.com.

Pigeon Toe Ceramics – Made in Portland, Oregon

Pigeon Toe Ceramics has created the perfect point-of-entry for those of you who fear the chevron.

(You do not have to say anything. You know who you are. You see these jubilant chevrons and are concerned that overexposure to them may increase your energy level to a point that you begin to feel younger than you really are and/or you fear that they might make you happier than you are comfortable being.)

The Chevron Pixel Pot Holder (above, $30) is appropriate for everyone from the chevronaphile to the chevronaphobe. At 7″ x & 7″ this perky potholder, with its spring green color, pixelated pattern, loop for hanging and back pocket for enhanced usability, delivers the ideal mix of function and fun.

(Isn’t it ironic that Pigeon Toe Ceramics’ daring POE (point-of-entry) has nothing to do with pigeons, toes or ceramics? Sorry. I think the chevrons are getting to me!)

Love the pattern and want more? (I know I do.) Pigeon Toe Ceramics also offers Chevron Pixel tea towels/napkins and pillows.

(I have saved the best news for last: Pigeon Toe Ceramics is in the process of moving to larger, cooler digs within Portland. As a result they are offering 30% discount on all orders through January 25th. Now is the time to buy. Believe me, they have lots more than pot holders, tea towels, pillows to offer. Hurry!)

Visit www.pigeontoeceramics.com.

From Our Old Friends:

Geometric Clothing – Made in Seattle, Washington

These clothes have all the right angles. Clothing for both men and women.

Above from left to right: (Each garment is screen-printed or hand-painted on American Apparel blanks.) Bronze Chevron Dress ($45); Feather Organic Tee ($30); White Chevrons Indigo Raglan ($42).

Original fifty post: Math

Oomph - Made in USA

Remember: the easiest (and usually least expensive) way to update your home is to change or add throw pillows.

Above from left to right: (Each pillow is 22″ square with a 90/10 feather/down pillow insert, a zipper for easy cleaning and retails for $385.) Montectio Eros Pink; Zig Zag Grande NavyMontectio Parakeet Green.

Original fifty post: Social Studies

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