Detroit City is no stranger to talented designers. Detroit has produced a number of well known designers from the city, such as Tracy Reese, Kevan Hall, and Anna Sui just to name a few.
However, I had a opportunity to hear from Designer Isabel Toledo and her husband, Ruben who is a painter and sculptor. To say that the Toledo's collaborate on many works would be a serious understatement. Isabel designs the clothes and Ruben illustrates them and that's putting it as plainly as one can. The couple who met when they were 13 have played to their strengths over the years to a wonderful body of work that extends from clothing, accessories, paintings, books and more.
What I have not mentioned is that the Toledo's and the ubiquitous Andre Leon Talley were brought to Detroit by the DIA, The Detroit Institute of Art for an intimate conversation not just about clothing and design, but about the Toledo's and how they met, how they work, how they collaborate to bring about such vibrant and diverse pieces of work.
After an introduction by DIA Director Salvador Salort-Pons, Andre and the Toledo's took to the stage. The event started promptly at 7pm and I can honestly say, I could have sat and listened to the trio chat all evening. There was no grandiose feel to the chat it simply flowed. Andre and the Toledo's carried themselves as if they had been talking to everyone personally in the theater.
The hour in which this talk took place seemed to be the fastest 60 minutes ever. The Q & A segment lead by Talley was a bit of fun and light-hearted. Many in the audience thanked the Toledo's and Talley for acknowledging Detroit as the city makes its comeback. But there were a few people in the audience who caught the eye of Talley and thus ensued a more in-depth conversation. Sadly, the evening had to end. The event I would say was a huge success not only for the DIA but for the people of Detroit.