by Tisha Leung
Mau, a design company and nickname of its founder Marian Schoettle, reinterprets wardrobe staples in Tyvek® for a collection of garments known as post-industrial folk wear. Ranging from a ruffle coat to dresses to a unisex anorak and accessories that include market bags and other totes, the artist (her previous work includes sound and light installations, teepee space modules for the Smithsonian) uses the featherweight material to make the entire line—most garments weigh less than 300 grams (about ¼ of a pound).
The high-performance non-woven material, increasingly borrowed from the building and advertising industries and repurposed in clothing, consists of 25% recycled content and can itself be recycled. In addition, Tyvek®offers both water resistance and breathability.
Mau's clothing weathers seasonal storms, can take a turn in the washtub and dries within minutes. Softening with every wash and wear, the material eventually becomes supple like leather.
The upshot makes for provocatively innovative and easy-to-wear garments, combining artisanal patternmaking and art-infused details (which she's known for) with the high-tech fabric.
Both functional and conceptual, some come crushed inside carry bags, which also softens the material and requires little more than a simple smooth out for wearing. And many of the garments are reversible, going from either white or cement gray (reminiscent of past duo-tone collections by fellow NYC conceptual designer Rebecca Turbow).
Made in the garment district of NYC under the auspices of theGarment Industry Development Corporation, the organization recycles all design and cutting room scraps and uses surplus materials from local computer, automotive and snowboard industries.