Karelle Levy on Tonight's Krelwear Reopening and Her Upcoming Solo Exhibit
Your boutique reopens tonight, why was it closed?
I've been in Wynwood for 7 years. I was probably one of the first people there before it was the Wynwood Arts District. It's been really exciting to watch the community grow. We were only closed for about a month, but it's basically a re-launch of the boutique. We've reorganized the studio to make it a little more people-friendly.
You've booked local DJ Ray Milian for the opening. What else do you have planned?
A portion of the proceeds are going to Project Medishare for Haiti. Not only is it devastating what happened over there, but people are taking advantage of the situation and it's really hard to tell which organizations actually do help. Medishare is probably one of the best organizations that is bringing prostheses to the amputees to be able to mobilize people again. We want to do as much as we can to help.
The DiscGlo collection is really unique in that I'm going back to the company's roots, which was all handmade knits. Everything is one-of-a-kind and uses a multitude of different yarns. Basically, you have three different looks: In the daytime, it looks like one thing, and then something else in black light (which is something we're always in here in Miami, whether we like it or not, because we're surrounded by nightlife) and if you walk into a room that's pitch black, then that has a different look because a lot of the pieces actually glow in the dark.
Are you using fiber optic yarn?
No, it's glow-in-the-dark yarn with a lot of neon colors.
|Oh, The Tangled Webs We Weave|
My life has been pretty chaotic in the past couple years. I'm going back to my roots as an artist and seeing textiles as a surface and as an art form. [The exhibit] is a reflection of the way that my life has turned out as well as incorporating all these amazing materials. There can be so many different perceptions of seeing the same thing. Like a web...sometimes you can't see it at all and sometimes you almost walk into a web before you even see it. You may walk into a situation and it turns into something completely different, or you're completely trapped.
The Krel 2 go project, where you create custom pieces on the spot, has been described as a traveling performance project. Can you tell us more about it?
I make all of my fabrics so instead of throwing away whatever is left over, I've started doing this project Krel 2 go. It started because my guy friends were complacent about not getting enough clothing from me, and it was kinda like the running joke that I can make a 20-minute sweater. I've been collecting yarns for over 15 years.
|Karelle Levy at work|
There's a lot of yarn stores here locally but I don't use that kind of yarn gauge. I use a very fine gauge yarn so I have to order online and sometimes I order odd dye lots. I'm really good at mixing colors; I see it like mixing paint. I use mostly cotton-based yarns but I also incorporate a lot of rayon and bamboo.
Are you still involved with the Stitchin' Boozin' & Bitchin' event at The Standard?
Yes, it was recently moved to Sundays. It's a very low key thing if anybody wants to learn the basics of knitting. Really great people come out, and [knitting] is a really relaxing activity.
Tonight, the Krelwear boutique (180 NW 25 St., Miami) holds it reopening party, with music by Ray Milian, from 6 to 9 p.m. Call 305-576-7465 or visit krelwear.com
Karelle Levy's site-specific "Oh, the Tangled Webs We Weave" will be on display at the David Castillo Gallery from February 13 to March 6. Call 305 573 8110 or visit davidcastillogallery.com.