Where do the ideas for the Tucker prints come from?
Candy wrappers. The painted side of a building. Jun'ichirō Tanizaki’s book, Naomi, flowers in the garbage can tossed out too soon while still colorful, open and louche.
Ideas and thoughts come from everywhere. Irving Penn’s Personal work described by John Haber. Sometimes it,
"begins and ends in the gutter. At least it begins and ends on the way there…scraps on the sidewalk, blown up to poster size. “ One of the first Tucker prints came from a package of nuts served on the airplane. A crinkled wrapper saved for its beautiful colors. And for the reminder that flying in an airplane is extraordinary.
Later, I blew up the wrapper on the photocopier, extracted a detail, enlarged the scale and put the images into a repeat with scotch tape. Care in the making is a joyful responsibility at Tucker. Prints are not always plucked from the garbage, but often created from a not so obvious starting point.
Prints are the mainstay of the Tucker meal. A parrot blouse paired with a polka dotted skirt breaks some rules but is as delightful as dessert in place of dinner. Prints are often colorful and unexpected. A bright armadillo on a sky blue background. A red climbing ivy print. Florals, seashells, bugs, ducks, deers, chickens, stars, boats, polka dots, plaids, houndstooth, paisleys, birds, butterflies, ikats and stamp prints. Each print has a name, a title. When the first order was ready for Barneys NY, style numbers were needed and numbers seemed too austere for the personality-laden, story strewn prints.
A veritable archive of thousands of prints.
Dottie is Naughty. A polka dot colored outside the lines and shadowed by an imperfect circle. The Roulette Game, should have been called Backgammon Game, the shapes most look like the board rather than a wheel. Dancing Monkey Coin. Gypsy Ribbon Bow. Little Bird’s Kiss. Dinner in Cassis.
What fabric the prints go on is as important as the colors. Will the colors look best on a silk crepe de chine? Does the delicacy of a print call for the translucency of double georgette or chiffon? Would the sturdiness of cotton be best? Or a georgette with stretch for ease and bounce? Could the slippery drape of a silk jersey be the one?
All this is imagined and considered. Dances are done in the studio with swatches draped and held like partners. Will it be the tango, the cha cha cha, a waltz?
An obvious adjective to describe Tucker is silky. But, I prefer the word velvety for its sensual connotation.
Tucker’s got depth. Tucker’s got nap. Tucker looks different on different women. Resoundingly Tucker is appreciated for its comfort, and for its reliability.
It is designed to be worn like an embrace. Memorable.
Tucker’s got soul and a heart.
The first Tucker blouses and dresses were made in an ice cream shop like offering of prints and patterns, sometimes one of this, three of that. If I wasn’t taking flowers out of garbage cans and turning them into dazzling fabric, I would have liked to be a painter in a studio covered in paint… barefoot on a hardwood floor, with splinters and spills everywhere.
Or a dancer, living my life in tights and leotards, leaping around into the arms of Nureyev, Baryshnikov or Nijinsky. A fence climber to reach beaches along the shore of the East River in New York City. Prints and colors are my medium. And I fly high when the samples come back from the factory.
Swatches turned into blouses amaze every time. Like a Penn print, long-lasting and permanent.
Tucker’s got soul and a heart. Victor Hugo’s character Gavroche. “brings a breath of happiness and humanity a love of life, wit, goodness, and courage in the face of adversity… kindness to everyone he encounters. Gavroche represents the unruly, eccentric, and imaginative.” (In the words of Vargas Llosa.)
Tucker is Gavrochian. Say it out loud like a battle cry of approval, triumph or encouragement.