Wednesday, April 6

July is thinking Green in our homes, with a fashionista

Tamara and Susan overlooking Susan's garden

sharing a lunch with

talented designer

Susan Young


Launch clothing line!
I join Susan in her stylish Nest
to learn more about her
edgy, new line of scarf dresses & tops utilizing vintage scarves
handmade pottery, vintage lace, organic garden, aged Vermont barn wood for the dining table and fireplace mantel - these concepts keep "green" in Susan's home
I have been great friends with Susan for over twenty seven years, so that makes me partial to her many talents but I can say without prejudice that when Susan focuses her creativity in a certain direction the result is stylish, quality and alluring. Susan injects her unique flair into how she lives and works. For many years she worked successfully in the interior design business as a specialty painter. After studying decorative painting at The Finishing School in Floral Park, she worked on dozens of projects, including exclusively for fashion designer Joseph Aboud's homes.
Susan's artistic style is reflected in how she dresses and lives and throughout her home the style permeates, weaving from her home to her line of unique clothing. Susan and her husband Larry decorate their home in the rolling countryside of Weston, Connecticut with an eclectic manner and peppered with pieces from the Federalist shop in Greenwich, Connecticut where Larry oversees the sales and operations for the company and shop. The Federalist draws designers from all over the world to its shop of Federal period replication furnishings. If you haven't already stopped by this exquisite shop or checked them out online, please do because I think you will be thoroughly impressed. It caters to designers since most of the furnishings can be custom made to tailor the needs of a client.

Susan's painted finishes are also showcased throughout her home. Her love for handcrafted pottery, antiques, vintage linens and gardening all help to give her home a stylish yet warm appeal. We enjoy our lunch overlooking the beautiful rose bushes as she describes to me how she arrived at this new line of dresses and flouncy tops that are currently selling at many boutique shops in the area. After lunch, we walk into her studio and the busy room buzzes with sketches, fabrics and garments in progress to divulge the life of a busy working mother.thank you Susan

for making me my very own Halston vintage scarf pillow
from the
Launch Collection
a peek at this season's vintage scarf dresses & tops -

Susan in her garden modeling her halter scarf dress

example of the hand dyed technique on the edge of top

What inspires Susan's designs? My painter background influences how I approach my clothing line -I love antiques in a home because of the the lived-in, warm feel, yet elegance of the wares but prefer to combine them with modern sensibilities to keep it fresh. I am an avid collector of vintage fabrics and scarves because I appreciate the craftmanship and quality of the garments. Many of the ideologies from my past painting and faux finish design projects have been infused into my clothing lines. I approach my designs in a similar nature, manipulating the surfaces and textures of the fabric. I tap into my painting training, and recently started hand dying my products. This is a similar effect to what I achieved on walls and furniture and thankfully those years of education and experience have a direct benefit to Launch. I try to come up with new ways to manipulate the fabric and also utilize drying techniques to create new and unique looks.

Susan takes her cues from nature - I use color combinations I see in world, either from nature or even in an urban setting. I once took photographs of bubbles, and later used the color and texture for a dress. For another design I was moved by the gritty texture of pavement. There are wonderful color combinations in nature that work beautifully together, like a conch shell's contrasting inside pale pink with the creamy outer layers.
Living in a relatively quiet suburban area, I have been struck by how little is available to the consumer other than mass produced clothing. I enjoy trekking to the city to scoop up unique designer clothing, however, the price points have increasingly skyrocketed. When designing my clothing, I strive to keep my peers as my consumer target and create unique pieces but with a relatively affordable price tag. first and foremost I manufacture in New York City. To me, this is a very important commitment and by keeping my work local, I support the community. In 1973, this industry employed 400,000 people in manufacturing jobs. Sadly, these numbers have dwindled to only 24,000 employed today. I feel that sustainability of this industry is very important to the economy. If more designers kept it local we could support the manufacturing industry here, which has sunk to an all time low.

Secondly, my line of timelessly designed scarfwear is made from vintage designer scarves such as Halston, Chloe, and Balmain to name a few, that were printed in Como Italy, the silk capital of the world. I am inspired by the quality of the workmanship as well as the meticulous printing methods unique to that era that allow for the vibrant colors and unusual patterns of these "raw materials". Using these pieces from my own collection as well as scarves that were handed down to me from a retired family business, I've come up with unique ways to use them in my line, thus helping me to keep a relatively affordalbe price point. Now I am thrilled to recreate something beautiful, yet modern with what I have always loved. This "green" way of thinking can be reflected not only in my designs at Launch but in how we live in our home as well.

How do I think green in my designs?

a glimpse at Launch's Fall 2010 Collection

Where to find these fabulous scarf dresses by Launch this summer -

Cote d' Azur - Greenwich, Ct

Suzie Creamcheese - Westport, Ct

Parker East - Ridgefield, Ct

And Company, SoNo, Ct

Un Minette, Wilton, Ct

Cashmere, East Hampton, Ny

Are you in the Hamptons?
stop into

the Cashmere shop

at 85 Main Street


East Hampton


this July

to scoop up one of these summer dresses and tops!

Thanks Susan!
website featured in July

"I allow the fabric to lead my designs. Often the fabric is where I start and draw from those components, whether it's color or texture" Susan Young, Launch.

Susan's tags read -
"This garment is made
vintage scarves circa
that were printed in Como, Italy,
the silk capital of the world.
Each piece from this unique line
manufactured domestically
in the
iconic Garment District
of New York

can proudly wear
this beautifully recycled
knowing that you
helped support the revitalization


My Dog-Eared Pages said...

Susan's designs are just great! I will definitely pop-in to the store in Westport when I'm there in July. Brava to Susan and great post T!! ox

tamara matthews-stephenson said...

Hope you check out her stuff. She is a gifted, creative girl. thanks for stopping by. July is turning into a fun month, and the "green" idea has so many option to write about....week from next I'll be covering the Mulford Farm antique show in East Hampton best, tamara

Tricia O'Brien said...

Great site!
Thanks for the inspiration. Tricia

Housewife Bliss said...

loving the green theme, fit will with my sudden plunge into 'brown' thanks to our move from London to Arizona. Am popping over to have a look at some of the links you posted. As always, a pleasure popping in.

Lisa said...

It's a good morning when I have time for a second cup & Nest!
Moving on to read more about your July!
Hey Tamara, who inspred you to start your wonderful blog?

Brian said...

Thanks for the follow on Twitter! I love your blog, and congratulations on being selected by HGTV as one of their favorites. Please let us know if we can be of any assistance to you or your clients who might be looking for just that right piece of fine art for their home or office.


Capability Mom said...

love your site and the charmoing cookie jar!

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