Kris Chau, one half of design duo Day Space Night, is currently reading two books: Rebecca Solnit’s Hope in the Dark, about how radical activism can create real change, and The New Better Off: Reinventing the American Dream by Courtney E. Martin, a look at rejecting traditional ideals of “success.” Both give insight not only into the personal ideologies of Chau, an artist and illustrator, and her DSN partner Samantha Margherita, a textile designer, but also the driving ethos behind their line of body-grazing, one-size-fits-most, printed pieces. “In these politically charged times a lot of people have this instinct to stop making art. Our friend Beth Pickens made a ’zine called Making Art During Fascism, and it [basically says], No, art is how you process the world, and you have to have the things that you’re making reflect what you believe in,” says Margherita. “It was really important for me to read that because I was like, We’re making clothes at the end of the day, what does this mean? But how we produce our product, the inclusivity we want to bring to our space and our line, it’s important to put out there.”
The duo produces their product in super small batches — they invested in a digital fabric printer to avoid wasteful manufacturing minimums — and they do it locally in Los Angeles, hiring women of color and immigrant families for their sewing and pattern and sample making. They also source deadstock linen and design outside the season system, so nothing has an “expiration date.” It’s a process born from their frustration with the industry, which, ironically, is how they met — working for Free People in Philadelphia. “We both went to art school and felt like aliens in the fast–fashion environment,” Margherita says. A serendipitous simultaneous move to L.A. begat a decision to start their own collaborative line soon after, and Day Space Night was born in 2015. Margherita is in charge of prints, while Chau handles silhouettes, many of which are takes on traditional shapes like kimonos, sarongs, and wrap pants. Their small Chinatown storefront is where cool, creative ladies like Jenny Slate, who’s a huge fan (check her Insta for pics) drop in and try on. “We want to dress an empowered human,” Chau says. “And clothing, it’s the simplest form of magic, your first communication to the world. It’s your own form of power and choice.”
BY LISA BUTTERWORTH
TOP PHOTO: JULIA STOTZ
This article originally appeared in the August/September 2017 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!
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