Mexico City, Mexico
Noir Handmade is a brand created by Marcella Echavarria to honor mud silk: its qualities, process and tradition. Noir presents editions once in a while according to the availability of the fabric and the different hues that the Pearl river carries each year. Mud silk is equivalent to wearing liquid, or to be embraced by the wind. Noir is a one size unisex clothing label made to layer and to last.
Marcella Echavarria is a lifestyle specialist. Her 25 year career as an entrepreneur has been marked by her love of textiles. She started Noir as a passion project that connects her appreciation for mud silk, a heritage textile with 2500 years of history and remarkable qualities, with her vision of what the future of fashion should embrace. She believes in quality, craftsmanship, slowness, ancestral geometrical shapes and respect for makers.
She runs her own consulting firm focused on branding and creative communication. She holds a bachelor from Brown University, a masters in sustainable development from Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano and a career in the publishing world as editor of magazines such as Selvedge, Harper’s Bazaar Latin America, Hand Eye and contributor to many others such as Selvedge, Vogue, House and Leisure, Trend Tablet and Wall Paper, among many others.
Sophie Hong is an internationally awarded clothing designer and textile researcher. Sophie Hong’s eponymous brand was founded in Taiwan in 1977. Today, she is one of Taiwan’s, and the world’s, top designers and features her work in Milan, Paris, Tokyo and New York. Simply put, Sophie Hong is an artist and dressing the body is her chosen medium.
Sophie Hong creates not only a beautiful design aesthetic but a whole way of relating to the natural world through her use of Mud Silk. This ancestral Chinese process involves soaking a piece of mulberry silk in yam juice, then slathering the fabric with river mud and spreading it out over the earth, exposing it to the sun and natural elements for several months. The resulting textile, called Gambiered Guangdong Silk, has a special leathery patina redolent with essences of nature — silk, grass, river, sun, earth and the rhythm of ever changing temperatures.
Another of Sophie Hong’s perfected techniques is silk dyed with tea, then lacquered following an ancestral Chinese process that produces an incredible range of tremendously deep, rich blue, green, brown and purple hues. All of her dyed silks are exceptional to work with because the thicker, paper-like texture from the dye processes infuse garments with a fantastic structure uncommon to such a light and natural silk.
To wear Sophie’s designs is to feel the earth upon one’s skin; each piece is a true gift from the soil, imbued with natural elements and generations of traditional artistry. Saturated jewel tones and earthy richness are matched with sheer luminosity, while flowing layers of silk with an unrivaled quality are matched with whimsical structuring and extraordinary craftsmanship.