The Ancestry Collection: Pantheia

The Ancestry Collection: Pantheia (“of all spirits”)

I recently learned about a new company named, Pantheia, and once again, I was moved by the story of sustainable fashion production. It comes from the island of Bali and was the inspiration of a designer named Alisa Kreynes …

In 2007, Alisa moved to East Timor from New York City for work. Bali became her escape; it was just a short flight away from the pressures of Timor. Just three years later, in 2010, Alisa had moved to Bali permanently, and started designing jewelry, bags and accessories. According to Alisa, designer and founder of Pantheia: “I was, and still am, enchanted with the Bali and wanted to incorporate some of its magic into my pieces. The concept behind Pantheia designs is simplicity and unity. Unity of different cultures, histories, traditions and beliefs as well as unity with nature and its elements.”

Scott Russell, Director of Marketing for Pantheia, shared more with me about the purpose and intention of this extraordinary company …

Pantheia was born in 2010 and expanded internationally in late 2011. The philosophy and values are centered around making unique and quality jewelry, clothing, bags and accessories, using the skills and techniques of Balinese artisans and craftsmen.

By utilizing local artisans to produce our products and traditional, responsible production techniques, the manufacture of our products helps support local communities in Bali.  Each item is made with special attention to detail and pride, and is infused with the ancient essence of Balinese culture. For example, we produce unique knitwear made from spun bamboo thread (rayon from bamboo), and our signature Banana Leaf Boxes are fashioned in a small village in Singaraja where natural banana leaves are dried, cleaned, and folded by hand.
A few days ago, we launched our newest collection called Ancestry. Not only is the collection beautiful, but it is also linked to one of our philanthropic initiatives, something that is close to our hearts at Pantheia. We have decided to donate 15% of the profits from Ancestry to the Sacred Childhoods Foundation. These donations are used by the Sacred Childhoods Foundation in Indonesia to provide instructors, tools, and materials to teach marketable skills, including knitting and crocheting to women who have had no other option than to beg for money on the streets of Bali. The Sacred Childhoods Foundation focuses on improving the lives of children, and adapting its programs to the changing needs of its beneficiaries, as well as developing sustainable long-term reductions in poverty as opposed to fostering aid-dependency.”  Scott Russell
What Alisa and Scott and the Pantheia team has accomplished is heartwarming and commendable. As Alisa says, “Real beauty doesn’t emerge from a fleeting trend. It sits inside each one of us waiting to be discovered.”
I couldn’t agree more. What do you think?
Pantheia production facilities

Pantheia jewelry production

The Banana Box

Pantheia resin jewelry production

The Banana Box

The signature Pantheia banana leaf box

News on the little black dress

Ralph Lauren Collection, Fall 2011
Black silk embroidered art deco evening dress
(Chrysler Building) – “Little Black Dress” Exhibition, SCAD

I turned on the television last night just in time to see Entertainment Tonight feature a story on Andre Leon Talley, Contributing Editor at Vogue, and his exhibition of the timeless Little Black Dress” opening to the public on September 28 at The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Museum of Art. This exhibition spotlights the evolution of the classic and beloved little black dress and remains on display through January 27, 2013.

The exhibition includes about 80 dresses and features many of today’s well-known designers, including Ralph Lauren, Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Jacobs, Carolina Herrera, Tom Ford and Norma Kamali. The dresses vary, reminding us that it doesn’t have to be a little black dress to be a little black dress! Dr. Talley was curator for the project and lovingly put together the collection for more than a year. In his own words: “The black dress can liberate one. It can set a new style standard or adhere to old standards. It can be rebellious, reckless, elegant or establishment.”

In addition, Dr. Talley, himself a SCAD trustee, is interested in helping young SCAD designers and has featured dresses from two recent SCAD graduates, because as he says, “The point of view is to show that there are young designers who are doing black dresses in a new way.”

It’s all very exciting for a little black dress lover like myself!

What do you think?

“Little Black Dress” Exhibition, SCAD Museum of Art – Photo courtesy of SCAD

What do you think?

A friend asked me recently what are my guiding principles and my intention for this blog. It is a good question and it turns out that I didn’t have to look far to find my answers. I have  them here. But in the spirit of conversation and collaboration I would like to know what you are looking for when you submit comments?

Getting in at the beginning


Getting in at the beginning …
My vintage Kate Spade floral handbag

In the mid 1990’s I bought two handbags from new designer, Kate Spade.The first was a brown nylon diaper bag for my baby, and the other was a whimsical, floral straw handbag, perfect for spring and summer. I had seen the original square handbags with her classic, American name sewn on the outside; they were fresh, simple, chic, and ultra-sophisticated. And when I discovered she had designed matching diaper bag totes, I was hooked!

After both my babies outgrew the need for diaper bags, I passed on the tote to another new mother, but my floral handbag is here to stay! I absolutely love it. It is unlike any other handbag and is completely fun. I feel like my best self whenever I wear it.

Thank you, Kate Spade. I am happy to have one of your first and I look forward to more …

What do you think?

My mother, my muse

My mother is always there for me. Loving me, guiding and supporting me, and supporting my passion for fashion. She has a style all her own and she wears clothes beautifully. That style is simple and chic, and she has taught me that less is more. She loves soft clothes and good color, whether it is a trouser or a dress or her favorite thing to wear, a great sweater. I know, because as soon as I was old enough I started borrowing her clothes, and some never made their way back to her closet.

We are a mother-daughter pair who shop easily together. I remember having the most fun with her when I was in my young and mid-teens, in the mid-late 1970’s. There was a boutique attitude and a one-of-a-kind feeling toward dressing.

What do you think?

Read more – (See Styling with Mel article)