Saving Lace: An Interview with Mimi Prober
For most college students, a thesis means typing page after page, not working with a needle and thread. But for Mimi Prober, a 2012 graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, her senior project was a two-dress collection, created over hundreds of hours devoted to sorting antique lace remnants, draping, dyeing, hand-sewing, and beading. Mimi’s collection demonstrates her passion for preserving the textiles. Her two antique lace evening gowns, one ivory and the other black, received the Critic’s Choice award at the FIT Future of Fashion presentation, a runway show to which prominent members of the fashion industry are invited. Mimi also won the Marchesa Lenox Scholarship Award for excellence in couture and special-occasion design, and her collection was featured in the “Made in New York: Fashion Forward” exhibit at the South Street Seaport Museum in Manhattan.
In this article from Threads #166, we asked Mimi to talk about the process of creating her one-of-a-kind garments. Mimi defines her design philosophy and vision as “sustainable couture”: hand-constructed, using reclaimed materials, natural dyes and fibers. It’s a process that enables Mimi to develop each piece organically and integrate the artistry of the past with the concept of a sustainable future, through the reuse of antique textiles.