Peruse the archives of The Durango Herald and its journalistic ancestors and youll see ads that may seem a bit foreign to todays mass-market consumers. Hatmakers, milliners, cobblers and haberdashers just aint what they used to be in the shopping-mall, big-box world of retail clothiers.
Part history lesson, part super-cool shopping experience, the minds at & will take a step back in time Thursday with Accoutrementeers. Billed as the old-world craftsmanship of modern artisans in the mediums of yesteryear, Accoutrementeers will feature beltmaker Tracey Belt (the names just a coincidence) and shoemaker/leatherworker Mervin Stilson, both of Durango, as well as Brooklyn hatmaker Julie Kapustka. Her cousin, Tim, is one of the & tenants.
The cool thing to me is that all of these types of art, they would be functioning 100 years ago in 1895 Durango, and theyre very much waning as trades today, Tim Kapustka said of the show.
Were trying to shed some light on these people as artisans who make things by hand. Its kind of lost at places like Wal-Mart, where it costs two cents to make something for 20 million people. Its a hat or a belt thats made for you, not everyone else, and if its done well, it should be something you have for your whole life, and your kids can have it after youre gone.
Each item made by each of the visiting artisans is one of a kind, so if you find your exact size Thursday night, itll be by accident. The idea is to see the hand-craftsmanship and have Belt, Kapustka or Stilson custom design the item. And it might just take a few weeks before its ready.
One-size-fits-all is destroying society. Faster and cheaper isnt always better, Kapustka said.