One of the best things about visiting designers' studios -- and seeing up-close the clothes you've just gotten a far-off gander at on the runways -- is finding out the origins of particular prints. Rachel Comey, a New York designer who has a cultish following of quirkily chic women, is one of those people who is unafraid to emblazon an unexpected image (see: spring 2010 and oysters) onto lovely clothes. Here, a few of Comey's prints and their inspirations:
Comey's friend Leanne Shapton, the razor-sharp former art director of the New York Times Op-Ed page and author of Was She Pretty? drew these whimsical poppy-like florals, which turned up on billowy blouses and dresses (above).
This gray and black print (above), evoking slightly ominous shadows, is actually a photo of the Shenandoah Mountains, which Comey pulled off a National Parks website.
"I think it reminds me of wood floors, but really it's a basketweave," Comey said of the cool brick-orange crisscross print on these pants (above).
Another friendly collaboration: artist Anya Kielar (at whose mother's apartment Comey showed her fall market appointments) created the filmy print on this dress (above), which look like tiny wings and flowers.