For over a century, our region has been home to extraordinary artists. Local Arts Index highlights the work of individuals who continue our community’s rich creative legacy.
Meet fashion designer and seamstress Lisa Oliviere.
How Did You Become An Artist?
I became an artist because I was basically unemployable and possessed a vivid imagination. My parents were both artists. My father a folk artist painter and wood carver and my mother a poet and interior designer. My parents dragged me to foreign films from the time I could walk and not understanding the sophisticated content I focused on the clothing and thus developed an aesthetic. My mother worked in a shop that sold fabric and while waiting for her to get off work I would play in the bolts of luxurious textiles.
Also, being a Libra I am obsessed with harmonizing color, form and texture. Living in SOHO in the 80’s inspired me to create my own line which existed for 23 years. I love art, music, books, dance and these color my choices.
What Kind Of Art Do You Make?
I am a fashion designer and a seamstress working in Nyack. I have a studio downtown. I wear a variety of hats. I’m a full service tailoring and alterations shop where I also perform home decorating miracles making pillows, window treatments and slipcover replacements after the dog and kids have trashed them. I love working with the friendly folks of Nyack. When not working on a job I create my own fashions out of upcycled and repurposed clothing.
I also make soft sculptures and fabric wall hangings. Recently I completed some work for the Renaissance Faire and a custom made vest and shirt for a prominant Nyack artisan. Lots of challenges and lots of fun.
What’s Your Muse?
All the impressions and contacts I encounter on a daily basis are my muses. I have many, quite a stable of them. When I first moved to Nyack, I was not accustomed to a lack of street life and seeing people parade around in groovy outfits or an exciting life so it took me awhile to be inspired.
Soon I discovered hiking in Harriman, kayaking on the Hudson and the Nyack Library which got the juices flowing. Now I have got about 10 ideas going at any time and can’t wait to get started on the next project. I enjoy the company of others and all the colorful characters around these parts are inspiring. I’m having so much fun working on my clients jobs and even the simplest hem or restoration job gets me going. I also get into the city from time to time which is a must for a fashion designer.
Who knows what lies just beyond the horizon? I’m pretty busy and would like to create a look for an actress in a film or live performance. I would like to have time to continue exploring my work in fabric and soft sculpture, perhaps creating one for a public space. Maybe even producing a small line again. Ideas are flowing and positive energy coupled with that is pushing my creativity forward.
I don’t know what type of challenges await me in my field but I continue to enjoy all aspects of the sewing trade. I have recently restored some antique fabrics and I feel there is a lot to learn about that. So any of you that have a project that has been sitting around in a drawer please contact me.
Local Arts Index is sponsored by Maria Luisa, 77 South Broadway and ML by Maria Luisa, 75 South Broadway, Nyack, NY