When I first started writing the section of this blog that is titled "An Abundant Life", the first post was about Neeta King and her store Aaraa in Hoboken. Neeta shared the space with Sharon Florio of Sixth Street Antiques, another favorite store that I have also written about, and both of their lovely spaces were places I visited on a regular basis. When I heard last year that Neeta was moving and closing her storefront I was very sad to hear it, though I was happy for her that she was moving into what I was sure would be a wonderful new life. I still kept visiting with Sharon because her store has long been a favorite destination, and one afternoon a little over a month ago I heard that she would have a new designer moving in to share the space with her. The way that she described the clothing sounded as if it would be a place I'd like to visit, and so I put the opening day in my calendar and made sure to stop by. There was a lovely party going on, full of exuberant life and lots of delicious pizza and Prosecco, and I met the designer Carla Mota who welcomed me warmly and shared that she had been meeting so many friendly and welcoming people that afternoon that she was feeling very much at home in the space. I was glad to hear it and glad to meet her, because Carla and her store, The Art Of Utility, are delightful. There is a whimsy about her, but also an eye for detail that is not found everywhere. Her designs are lovely and inspiring and she is using excellent materials and vintage clothing that she refashions into something completely her own. Mud cloths have long been favorite textiles of mine, and Carla is turning them into clothing that not only is comfortable but is beautiful. Hand stitching and cutting the fabrics and clothing, she creates one of a kind designs that can become signature pieces for the wearer. Her store is one of those places that feels comfortable too - it's lovely and light and she has made the most of the already charming space by designing places to relax and live in while exploring her designs.
Sustainable fashion is a beautiful way to encourage and educate people on the ways that they can live every day in beauty and comfort and elegance without creating heavy footprints. And Carla Mota's art and dedication to her craft shine through in the way each piece is chosen and identified and created uniquely into something special. Formerly the Design Director for the Champion Sportswear brand, the aesthetic of her designs is influenced by military, workwear and athletic classics combined with her own unique touches of comfort and beauty that bring out the best of each garment and create a lasting style. The lived-in quality of the pieces is enhanced by the couture attention to detail that makes each piece unique, wearable, enduring and endearing. A visit with Carla Mota is a visit to a much more peaceful planet, one where you can find that special something, be inspired, and simply just be.
At The Art Of Utility
408 East 6th Street
Hoboken, New Jersey
A Lovely Opening Party
And Some Behind The Scenes Preparation
For Opening Day
Video Courtesy Of Carla Mota