CRINKLED SILK WRAP DRESS of bias-cut crinkled silk cotton; hand-dyed. ORGANZA TUCKED SLIP of silk organza; hand-dyed, vertical tucks stitched with metallic thread. SILK ORGANZA DRAWSTRING SKIRT of silk organza lined with silk cotton voile; hand-dyed, highlighted with metallic thread and adjustable drawstrings. Spring 2011. Jewelry by Diane Morelli. Photograph by Julien McRoberts. Model: Valeria Alarcon.
Nancy Traugott

A Sense of Remembrance




From the ballet also comes a certain aesthetic of times past; a fleeting impression in her clothing of nostalgia or recollection.

It is the usual morning hubbub in the kitchen of their old Santa Fe adobe, as Nancy Traugott and her husband and business partner, Philip, talk about plans for the day while he makes breakfast for their teenaged son, Luc. Two dogs happily mill around underfoot. While Phil leaves to drop Luc at school and open their clothing shop, Traugott walks through a flagstone-paved courtyard into an adjoining living space. In their remodeled version of a traditional northern New Mexican compound, where an extended family used to live side by side, the casita next door is used by Nancy, or often Phil, to do the hand-dyeing for everything they make. “It’s just constant. We both dye every morning around five o’clock in the morning, and most evenings after the shop closes,” Traugott says. She is in the middle of dyeing a batch of linens, and carries a timer around with her to monitor the load cycles.

The adjoining rooms, like the Homefrocks shop, are not strictly business: a big white banquette covered in natural-linen cushions looks welcoming and informal in front of a fireplace. Around the all-white walls are shelves of fiber-reactive dyes, a kitchen counter and tables for paperwork and books. Small antique lamps dotted here and there shed pools of warm light. In another room, organized bins of clothing stand next to washing machines busily churning away. Outside a wind chime strikes a sweet tone. In spite of how much more work Traugott must get through that morning, the atmosphere is tranquil.




Leslie Clark works as a writer and editor in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has known Nancy Traugott for several years and described her interview as “more like a conversation, while a lot of work—phone calls, conferring with her assistant, a delivery—swirls around her.” Clark adds, “You always see her wearing her own designs, and you get the impression that she lives the life for which she creates her clothing. Comfortable, full of beauty and incident, yet purposeful and unfussy.” In our next issue, Clark turns her attention to jewelry artist Emanuela Aureli.



This article in its entirety appears only in the print magazine.

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Our upcoming issue 37.4 contains


Nubian Jewelry

Kate Mensah

Philadelphia Craft Show


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