Up Close with StyleWeek Designer Joseph Aaron Segal

Saturday, January 15, 2011


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“Unusual and tasteful,” is how textile artist Joseph Aaron Segal describes his work. The Providence-based designer completed his MFA in Textile Design from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2009 and currently teaches Industrial Knitting at his alma mater while working as a freelance knitwear designer and lead designer for his own brands, JAS and Pretty Snake. Showing his most recent collection as part of a trio of StyleWeek Providence grand finale shows on Saturday, January 22, the foundation of Segal’s work is the textiles he fabricates by hand. “My clothing forms are inspired by the fabrics I create,” he explains. “By letting the fabrics dictate form, my clothes become about the use of the fabric and its relationship to the human form, which allows me to create unexpected clothing shapes.”

Made Locally, Sourced Globally

In the process of using machine knit fabrics he designs from scratch, Segal imports yarns from Italy and Japan which he says work best with the specific technique he has developed. For Saturday’s show, Segal’s collection is inspired by two machine knitting techniques the designer has recently employed, “as well as two of my favorite yarns,” he says. “The colors are hazy and

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dreamlike. I decided to use purples and grey as a neutral and build my palette from that.” With little more than a week before show time, Segal is hard at work putting the finishing touches on each garment. “I am extremely thankful for my hard working assistant and interns these days!” he jests.

Stirred by his Renaissance City environs, Segal says he is a longtime admirer of Providence’s and Southern New England’s rich textile and jewelry making history. “There are a lot of really cool materials and machinery left over from the local industrials,” he explains. Segal counts world renowned designers Rei Kawakubo (mastermind behind Comme des Garçons), Jeremy Scott, John Galliano and Bernhard Willhelm among his favorites, and his long term goal is to have his garments “sold in cool stores around the world and to survive completely off the sales of my work.”

To view more of Joseph Aaron Segal’s work, visit www.josephaaronsegal.com


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