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Manny Cuevas: Wear It Out

Posted: March 10th, 2011 | Filed under: clothing, designer, feature, great face | Comments Off

I had to double-check the address, when we were headed out to meet Manny, (the son), at his retail store, “Manuel: Wear It Out”. Dickerson Road, I wondered? For a retail music-biz storefront? Manny told me the story about how he acquired the building — he and his buddies used to work on their motorcycles in the back room, and time passed, and one day, the building became available. (I told him I thought he should still have motorcycles parked in the back room; he rolled his eyes). He’s now gutted the building, laid tile, and completely transformed it into a combination of workshop for sewing, and then a retail showroom in the back.

Of course, we all know Manuel, the father, and his shop on Broadway at 20th. But this is Manny’s project to create his own brand, and his own look and identity. He also told us the story about the guy on American Idol who’s now wearing one of his custom-made suits. The video link below shows how he constructs the suits by hand.

Angela Messina: Textiles, Music, Art

Posted: February 15th, 2011 | Filed under: artist, designer, musician | 1 Comment »

I bought a house in 12South neighborhood in 2005. When I’d leave my house on Gilmore, and drive toward 8th Avenue, I’d always drive by this one particular house that caught my eye. Imagine a small house, and the front porch would be covered with giant handmade cobwebs made of fabric. I think maybe, at one point, there were also baby dolls out there too, hanging and suspended from the gutters. It was definitely not your run of the mill 12 South yuppie presentation. So I made a mental note to one day meet this person who lived there. When this MyDayWith project came along, it seemed the perfect excuse. As it turns out, the producer that’s helping me with this knew her previously — a commercial had been shot in her basement, and Lisa had met her at that time.

So the resident of this wonderful home is Angela Messina. She went to college in Memphis, and majored in textiles. Now, she’s a musician, and works in art department for film, here in Nashville. She worked on that incredible photo session for Jack White and the Raconteurs, that Steven Berkman shot on collodion. She showed me the vinyl version of the record while I was at her home; it’s quite the accomplishment.

What drives her are patterns. Patterns and graphics. And even better if the sun is shining thru a window, casting a patterned shadow on an existing pattern. Angela’s home is packed with her obsessive creations: fabric mazes on the ceilings; a sewing room in one bedroom, packed to the gills; a bookmobile in her driveway, that’ll one day be a traveling art gallery; the back yard is painted, with fabric hanging from the bushes. She is simply a pure, pure artist — she lives to create. Her back porch is a meditative, calming area, with a bench seat and a table, and a screened in area, to let the breeze pass through on a summer night.