Seth Shapiro's American Manufacturing
An image from Seth Shapiro's spring 2001 collection “The Preamble to the Wilderness” each collection was inspired by a play, this play was called Love Story but the website looked like this.
His label was called American Manufacturing and was more about performance initially than it was clothing from what I can tell. The first collection was only available in pattern form and from then the shows seemed to grow in popularity. The website is like this never ending maze of his thoughts behind collections. Everything is included, ideas for plays, full scripts for plays, set lists for shows, look books with models and their agencies listed, memos to models for how they should act when they walk, line sheets, and inspirational quotes. I recently had the great pleasure of speaking with Seth. Here are more collection images from fall 1999.
Before American Manufacturing he was a co creator of Bernadette Corporation, an art and fashion collective from the 90s as well as the creator of another label, ORFI (Organization for Returning Fashion Interest).
(images from ORFI's fall 1999 show)
His very first show was in 1991. He was inspired by a woman he saw walking the streets of New York City several times while he was out. In his publication (which I'll link at the end) A Vague Fashion Memory, he recalls her outfits in great detail. My favorite description being, "a big black ball gown, with handkerchief ruffles, a cowbell tied low on her waist with a red rope, and tap dancing shoes." how chic does that sound? Her name was Jennifer Tzar, and she inspired him so much that he created an entire collection for her. When he finally saw her again at a party, he told her about the collection and gave it to her. A few days later she contacted him asking if he could show an entire collection at fashion week. He said yes. The show was titled a Vague Fashion Memory out of admiration Jennifer. On the way to the show he accidentally crashed his truck into the bar it was scheduled at because he was so nervous and the models walked directly onto the bar top.
American Manufacturing produced five shows in total. Seth refers to them as the collected fairy tales of American Manufacturing. There aren’t many images of past collections available. Seth lost all of his work in a storage unit years ago. Trying to track down images form his first collection because I still have no idea what it looks like! Adding more collection images from American Manufacturing and a link to one of his publications below.
Link to A Vague Fashion Memory: