By Alexandra Taylor
Silke Labson, designer and creator of vintage-inspired label Shown to Scale is an eclectic and creative face within the fashion industry. Her Williamsburg retail store is a popular by word of mouth neighborhood gem selling both modern labels and vintage pieces.
Silke was born and raised in California between the Bay Area and LA. As a young child, Silke was already experimenting with her personal style. “My Mom always reminds me of how I would wear black and white outfits and make her buy one pair of black keds and one pair of white, so I could wear one on each foot. My home was always filled with crafts and art supplies to cater to my need to create anything and everything. Starting in high school, I began collecting vintage and cutting and re-sewing (or gluing) to make something I couldn’t find at the local mall.”
Her fascination with art and fashion continued throughout college as she studied commercial photography. Moving to NYC, Silke was determined to use her industry knowledge and personal fashion aesthetic to start her own business, opening the Shown to Scale store in 2010. The Shown to Scale in-house line was launched soon after with both menswear and womenswear. The Fall 2011 collection was influenced from Silke’s personal collection of vintage pieces. Trained as a photographer and not a designer, Silke’s design process begins with inspired imagery with coordinating colors and patterns for a mood board. Followed by sketches of shape and silhouette and working with a print designer for her vintage-inspired textiles.
The Fall 2011 collection was influenced from Silke’s personal collection of vintage pieces. “Each collection is also based off of shows or movies I watched when I was a kid. Twin Peaks was on Netflix about 10 months ago so, I watched those and used the rich earth tones from the show and picked the character Audrey to influence my “girl”. I made a thick wool cropped jacket with big sleeves and a blazer. These felt very 90’s to me. But, to keep it contemporary – I remove things like shoulder pads.”
To pick up the new collection and an array of contemporary labels stop by the Shown to Scale retail store at 441 Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg. “Shown To Scale is tucked in between a block of apartment buildings. I really like that all of us at the store know all of our neighbors and the store doesn’t feel invasive like a new Wal-Mart. Since we are off the beaten path, our success is purely based on word of mouth. The shop is set up like a boutique with wood and iron furniture and curtain draped fitting rooms. I really tried to create an environment that is cozy and welcoming. What sets us apart is that we give a boutique environment with a helpful staff, but I keep the prices attainable and under $150. Henry – my Havanese doggy- is also frequently at the store. All of our yelps mention the little guy so, I have deemed him as Shown To Scale mascot!” The collection and more is also available at http://www.showntoscale.com/.