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Beautiful, silkscreened and eco-friendly clothing from A Fortes Design

September 15, 2009

A fortes

I first met  Janessa Bautista last Fall, after she recently moved to Portland from New York City.   I didn’t know much about her line A Fortes Design at the time, even though her collection had been in stores like Fred Segal and Steven Alan. It wasn’t until I saw her collection in person several months later that I truly appreciated the scope of her talents.  Her clothes are not just seasonal trends, they are works of art to be worn year after year.

When I visited Janessa’s home studio just a few weeks ago, I saw first hand how her designs are created and sewn.  There are several stations set up for each stage of production, from the cutting table to the sewing room to the dye and screenprinting center.  And every step is hand done by Janessa herself.

Like many eco-fashion designers, Janessa creates her own patterns and uses natural fabrics like hemp, cotton, wool, and denim.  She takes her handmade collection to another level, though, with the hand dying and silkscreening of the fabrics. Having studied textile design at the University of Oregon, Janessa loves to manipulate fabric colors and incorporate her own illustrative designs.

Janessa adds, “The idea behind A Fortes Design was to have each piece be an individual design and to have every piece be a favorite everyday piece that would last season after season.   I also wanted each piece to be functional.  It had to fit my lifestyle, a large part of which is spent on a bicycle.”

I only have a few dresses in my closet (Korinne can attest to this), and one of them is from A Fortes Design.  It’s versatile, well-constructed, and a beautiful fit.  I’m excited to announce that Olio is now exclusively carrying four styles of A Fortes Design’s new Fall ’09 collection!  We hand picked these designs with Janessa for our Olio customers.  Check out the new styles below.

shop A Fortes

New to the collection is the use of raw hemp denim.  (I own a pair of raw denim jeans and absolutely love the look of them!) The A Fortes piece that I’m eyeing is the Smock Tunic, which would look great with leggings and boots.  The new styles are only available at Olio thru the month of September, so start shopping for your favorite piece here.

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