Friday, February 27, 2009

Williamsburg Fashion Weekend Review: Racecar! Apparel for Men

Considering that I was in Williamsburg for a fashion show, I was prepared to see a lot of over the top, absurd and crackpot ideas on stage. Well... I did, and I was very entertained. But the saving grace of the show was the very sensible and über stylish line Racecar! for men. Or, as the designer Nettie Tiso likes to put it, "for helpless boys."

Nettie was quite accommodating and gave me an interview via email.

Clothes Coach: How did you come up with the clever name "Racecar!"?
Nettie: It comes from my Dad's lifelong hobby of restoring old hot rods, I grew up around this my entire life- he even taught me how to build an engine by the time I was 12.

Photo by Kristin Ezell

CC: My first sewing experience was making really risqué doll clothes by hand out of old elbow-length gloves for my Little Miss Makeup? When did you start?
Nettie: I am a self-taught sewer, starting with my great grandmothers' old Singer. I used to alter all my clothes. When I was 11 or 12, I was always uncomfortable in my own skin, literally, I used to even wear my clothes inside out because the seams on the inside were too harsh for me! But then I learned how to fix that by altering my clothes, which slowly evolved into making my own clothes, and clothes for friends and family.

Photo by Kristin Ezell

CC: What were the influences for the pieces in this line of Racecar!?
Nettie: This latest Racecar! line was influenced by menswear of the late 1880's. I am in love with that part of fashion history. Besides that, this line was primarily inspired by my goal of creating a perfect fit for my customers. By "perfect" I mean, clothes that fit them well, that are stylish, comfortable, versatile, and not over the top.

CC: Which piece from Racecar is your favorite and why?
Nettie: My favorite Racecar! piece is the denim vest, it is by far the most flattering and versatile piece in the collection. It is sleek enough to be dressy, but down to earth at the same time- by the mere fact that it is denim.

Photo by Kristin Ezell

CC: When will Racecar and Nettie's latest lines be available for purchase?
Nettie: All Racecar! pieces are custom fit and handmade to order by emailing to set up an appointment. The vests are available to order at

These models look so sharp, the clothes aren't screaming "pay attention to me." I totally dig the plaid tie, and I think I might ask Nettie to make me a more feminine version of the white vest!

Nettie also has a women's line called Nett, which you can view on her myspace page:

+ Williamsburg Fashion Weekend [YouTube]
+ Bogdan Tiflinksy at Vagabond Journal

- Kristin Ezell aka The Clothes Coach

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