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COASTAL & ORIGAMI ALLEGRO VEST in “piano” color of supima cotton, 2013. Photographs by Tim Priest.
Chris Triola

Made in Michigan





Michigan has an outstanding design heritage and in the twentieth century was a major contributor to the Modernism movement. Many important designers plied their craft: Charles Eames, Eliel and Eero Saarinen, Minoru Yamasaki, among many others, established a standard for excellence, quality and innovation. Ray Eames and Ruth Adler Schnee were creative forces in textile development. This lineage continues to influence the state’s contemporary arts and crafts renaissance now carried on by artists like Chris Triola.

Made in Michigan fits Chris Triola very well. Her sturdy and beautiful textiles exemplify Michigan’s enduring creative and entrepreneurial tradition, especially given the constant challenges her home state has faced. Michigan—certainly not all Rust Belt ridden, with the loss of its manufacturing industries and the decay that ensued—is rediscovering and reinventing itself in diverse ways and forms; among them through its arts. This is an instructive example of how a creative economy can contribute to both a state’s growth and stability for its citizens.





Carolyn L. E. Benesh
Carolyn L. E. Benesh is Coeditor of Ornament, and the magazine’s resident expert on contemporary wearable art. Within its pages for this issue she poses questions to fellow Michigander Chris Triola, investigating what makes Triola’s work tick. Triola’s sturdy and beautiful wearables exemplify Michigan’s enduring entrepreneurial and creative spirit, especially given the challenges their home state have been facing these last several decades. She also contributes an article on the Charles James exhibition currently showing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Fascinated by the whirlwind life led by this spectacular fashion maker, Benesh seeks to express what made James an extraordinary personality.




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