By Claire Ala
Designing clothes is not an easy task. There’s a ton of work that goes into making clothes, but most of the time the work is allocated between a designer and seamstress. Kata Mari is a Fayetteville designer who creates whimsical clothing while sewing everything on her own. It’s not everyday that someone is as passionate about their work as Kata Mari. She lives and breathes design and sewing.
Mari works from her home where she still uses her first sewing machine on which she learned her art. She started sewing at age 12, after she saw her mother, a seamstress, working at a friend’s house.
Mari recalls being intrigued by sewing and wanting so badly to learn, but her mother was reluctant to teach. However, due to Mari’s persistence her mother finally gave in.
A special characteristic in Mari’s sewing process is the way she executes her design. Mari calls her steps, “frankensteining” because she freehands all of her work, which means she rarely uses patterns unless it’s for something like puffed sleeves. “It’s all in my head. I visualize it, and then I go to putting it together,” Mari explained.
Many times she just cuts into the fabric, and sews from there. When she does decide to use a pattern, she just takes old newspaper and cuts her own pattern out of it. Designing clothes comes naturally to Mari. It is an amazing talent to be able to cut fabric and it automatically lay well for sewing. Her clothes fit like a glove on the human body. She mastered designing for the voluptuous female form.
“I really like to design for women. I like to accentuate their most beautiful features … I love having models that have curves to ’em. I just think the girls that are stick straight on the runway today are so boring,” Mari said.
She is a fashion designer who embraces the average woman’s body. Many designers don’t think about women who aren’t a size 0 to 2. However, Mari’s designs are for everyone. She doesn’t find inspiration from the runway or style magazines. Instead, she takes a look at things in everyday life, for example examining the roses sitting on her dining table and focusing on their petals’ shape or texture.
Mari’s style is eclectic, colorful and vintage-inspired, which is seen throughout her work. One of her latest pieces was a pair of 1950s inspired, navy-colored pedal pushers that could easily be featured in any high-end fashion ad. Mari’s clothing has a vintage feel that fits a modern day woman. She also finds inspiration from spring and summer because she loves to use bright, colorful prints, she says “black is boring.”
Mari’s collections are themed ranging from goddess-like gowns to rock-star pantsuits, there’s something for everyone. She describes her clothing as “curvy and flowy,” so they fit any body type.
Her one-of-a-kind pieces are currently unavailable in stores, but she can customize pieces. Mari can be contacted through Facebook, where she has also posted many of her designs (search Kata Mari Fashion-Designer).
Kata Mari showed her line of unique, hand-sewn clothing at the 2013 Northwest Arkansas Fashion Week, on Thursday at the Chancellor Hotel in Fayetteville. Visit Kata Mari Fashion Designs Facebook page.