Heading Upstate

Kalen Kaminski and Astrid Chastka, the designers behind super cool label Upstate, create pure genius with their tie-died creations.  Based in New York, they have mastered their own stunning variation of shibori, the Japanese method of binding and dying textiles.

The pieces they design are unique, gorgeous and the type of singular classic designs that will have complete strangers coming up to you to tell you they love what you’re wearing.  We interviewed Kalen and Astrid to get the lowdown on their line.

WWL NYC: What inspired the Upstate name?
We both love escaping from the City and spending time in nature and quiet. We’re called Upstate because for us the creative process is a restorative mental escape from the City, similar to a weekend in the woods. We also have hopes of having places Upstate one day. 
WWL NYC: You work with amazing tie-dye techniques.  How did you come across them?
We’ve learned a lot through mistakes. Often a mistake becomes our new favorite way to make a pattern.  It’s been a really experimental and fun process. Often times, one of us will not like a piece because we notice our own mistake however the other person will love it and this is one thing that adds to our supportive partnership. 
WWL NYC: What’s the inspiration for your fall/winter line?
We were inspired a lot by Madame Gres and simple geometries. We wanted to incorporate an interesting combination of materials, so we used canvas and silk together in several pieces. We just wanted to make simple, elegant pieces that we wanted to wear on various occasions. As usual, our thrift and vintage collections have given us some pretty great ideas. 
WWL NYC: What are your favorite pieces from your new collection and how do you like to wear them?
Astrid: I love the Canyon dress in solid green.  I’d wear it alone with sandals now, and when it gets colder as a tunic layered over jeans.
Kalen: I love the Canyon and Lille dresses.  They both can be dressed up or down and worn day or night.

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