ADORE DESIGNS MERGES PAST WITH PRESENT, CRAFTING CUSTOM-MADE APPAREL OUT OF HERITAGE BLANKETS.
Weaving artistry and fashion, Carpenter deftly captures and preserves the original textile’s patterns and pictorial designs. PHOTOS COURTESY OF ADORE DESIGNS
DEEANN CARPENTER’S grandmother and mother, both master seamstresses, taught her to thread a needle, and by age 9 she was sewing and pattern matching with fabrics. Born and raised in Minnesota, Carpenter moved to Aspen in 1991. That year, she discovered a vintage Beacon blanket in a shop in Aspen. She was drawn to the blanket’s artistry, and as a seamstress, she recognized that the fabric’s texture, colors and patterns could be reimagined as wearable art. From that first blanket, she made a vest and embellished the front and back of a jean jacket. Those first garments were the genesis for Adore Designs (adore-designs.com), a line of distinctive handmade coats, vests, wraps, ponchos and bathrobes crafted from Beacon’s iconic Southwestern blankets.
“As I began wearing my designs around the village of Aspen, word got out,” Carpenter says. “Soon, I was selling jackets and vests to local boutiques in Aspen and at local craft events.”
The Beacon Manufacturing Company was founded in 1904, and the blankets were an American mainstay by the 1920s. Today, the legendary blankets are collectors’ items. Most of the blankets upcycled by Adore Designs were originally manufactured between 1920 and 1950.
Adore Designs offers custom design services to create one-of-a-kind garments tailored to fit a client’s exact specifications. The company has a selection of vintage blankets on hand that customers can choose from as a starting point. Adore’s designers will also repurpose a customer’s own blanket, applying the brand’s signature workmanship and artistry to every piece. “We have a new woven fleece textile blend that replicates the private archives of the last owner of Beacon Blankets,” Carpenter says. “It’s like wearing a story.”