Tour Designer Marcia Patmos’ Glistening Meatpacking Studio

Marcia Patmos--who launched her first solo collection after leaving Lutz & Patmos last fall--shows us around her sunny studio and showroom in the Meatpacking District.

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Catherine Blair Pfander / Thread NY
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Catherine Blair Pfander/The Thread
A veritable "knit wit," designer Marcia Patmos launched her eponymous collection of ready-to-wear this spring after ten years working with designer Tina Lutz on their shared collection, Lutz & Patmos.
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Catherine Blair Pfander
We caught up with Patmos -- whom we found to be an effortlessly hip, soft-spoken Brooklyner -- at her Meatpacking studio as she recovered from a near FedEx catastrophe. "They thought they lost ALL of our samples," she says. "Phew, I was in such a bad mood." Luckily, Patmos' work -- and her good humor -- were restored by the time we stopped by.
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For M.Patmos, Marcia couldn't resist the cozy knits that made her famous. "I wanted to keep my loyal customer base," she says, "But experiment more with new items, and really make the collection feel like a complete wardrobe." Here, a rack of samples from her fall 2011 collection, for which Patmos found inspiration in Paul Bowles and '70s-era Moroccan excursions.
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Catherine Blair Pfander
Fabric tents and a '70s-era Yves Saint Laurent provided inspiration for the stripey knits and muted desert palette. "I like to play around with a lot of different textures," says Patmos, who created pieces fashioned from burnt sequins for fall.
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"This is actually woven like a knit," Patmos explains of a glorious racoon-fur coat. Luxe details like double-breasted buttons give the pieces added elegance and structure.
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Catherine Blair Pfander
Likewise, this fringed sweater features a removable scarf at the neck. "Knits are extremely technical, which I've always enjoyed," explains Patmos. "There are kind of endless variations ... I just kind of like figuring it out."
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Catherine Blair Pfander
"I love trying to figure out things that are multi-use," says Patmos. "Things you can change from one to the other. I think it's the part of me that would have become an industrial designer. I like things that flip inside out, or convert into something else." For fall, a number of pieces feature hidden buttons, enabling the wearer to change coats or dresses from long sleeve to short.
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A convertible short-to-long-sleeve maxi dress from Fall 2011.
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Fabric swatches and lookbook snaps from M.Patmos' Fall 2011 collection.
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"I swear, whoever costumed 'Star Wars' must have looked at this book," she laughs, pointing to a page with unmistakably Leia-like hair 'dos.
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Unusual photo books are an important part of Patmos' design process. "I found this in the Yu Home Furnishings in Fort Greene," she explains, holding up a copy of Beth Lesser's "Dancehall: The Rise of Jamaican Dancehall Culture."
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The book's vibrant color palette provided inspiration for Patmos' most recent pre-spring collection.
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As for the woman she imagines herself designing for, Patmos explains that she always think of her "as a gallery owner, or maybe an editor ... She could be a doctor."
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"Whoever she is, she's definitely someone who is really, really busy," Patmos laughs -- perhaps because she has unintentionally described herself. After all, if she continues whipping up such knockout knitwear collections, we can't imagine Patmos being anything other than in-demand.
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