In honor of our People Issue, which will hit newsstands and computer screens November 25, Cultist proudly presents "100 Creatives," where we feature Miami's cultural superheroes in random order. Have suggestions for future profiles? Email [email protected] with the whos and whys.
83. Karelle Levy
Nearly every fashion designer will profess that their clothing is art, even if they're so big time all they do is sign-off on someone else's drawing. But if you're Karelle Levy, you've got particular dibs on the claim. Parisian-born and Miami-raised, every garment that bears her brand has been handcrafted, deconstructed, or doused in day-glo by Levy herself. Defying all conventional grandmotherly rules of knitting, her designs range from bright bikinis to glow-in-the-dark hot pants and asymmetrical rompers to shredded knee-highs.
The Swedish and Tunisian artist got her start as a teenager, gathering
inspiration from her mother, a weaver, needlepoint artist, and knitter.
Levy immersed herself in the fiber arts, eventually studying textile
design at Rhode Island School of Design. After receiving her BFA, she
worked as a costume designer for dance and theater productions in Miami,
and eventually began knitting for her own experimental movement
Last year, she created pieces for a TM Sisters performance titled Whirl Crash Go! (see the slideshow here), which combined light and music
effects with roller skating and synchronized swimming routines. Her solo
exhibit at David Castillo Gallery titled "Oh, the Tangled Webs We
Weave" involved a giant labyrinth of illuminated yarns that examined the
idea of twisted connections.
Levy's fashion projects include her signature line KRELwear, as well
as a "quickie couture traveling project" called KREL2go, in which the
designer knits on-the-spot custom outfits. She recently debuted her last collection of knits at Miami Beach's Funkshion Fashion week. For
the next few months, she'll be focused on large-scale installations and
performance art, and her Wynwood boutique will be open by appointment
1. List five things that inspire you.
- Fairy tales
- Dreams and fantasies
- Fashion Week
2. What was your last big project?
My Flora & Fauna Fashion Show presenting Spring 2011 at Funkshion at the Setai Hotel.
3. What's your next big project?
I'm working on the Performa Fundraiser in New York City called the Red Party, where I will be making RED Quickies for all participants that aren't wearing red. A few weeks after, I will be making quickie couture at Scope Art Show November 30 through December 5.
4. Why do you do what you do?
I was born with yarns in my veins, and I try to put them together in a creative, but utilitarian way.
5. What's something you want Miami to know about you?
I'm spreading the word about the magic of Miami through knits.
What's something you don't want Miami to know about you?
I don't stress much at all, I can't sit still, and even though I'm never in town, I'm always here.
The Creatives so far:
84. Matt Gajewski
85. Antonia Wright
86. Charles Allen Klein
87. Christy Gast
88. Gustavo Matamoros
89. Shareen Rubiera-Sarwar
90. Kyle Trowbridge
91. Clifton Childree
92. Jessica Gross
93. Danny Brito
94. Nektar de Stagni
95. Anthony Spinello
96. Vanessa Garcia
97. Justin Long
98. Rosie Herrera
99. Rick Falcon
100. Ingrid B