A Joy was There

A friend came by with a box of antique lace. He cleans out apartments for people who acquire them usually as an inheritance. The times change, customs change, fashion changes, and he was asked to take away the lace. While sorting it, I realized that the servant women responsible for the care of the clothes in these well-managed households had conscientiously retrieved lace, much of it handmade, from whatever article of textile that was withering away and would be disposed of. Collars from dresses, flounces from sleeves, borders from tablecloths and curtains were saved in this manner. Rescued by hard-working women who knew the labor involved in making lace: the strain on the eyes and the necessity of damp conditions to keep the linen thread pliable. I would imagine that they saved these pieces as a celebration of the fineness and skill of the lacemakers. It was saved, and saved and thought of and then after awhile it was no longer wanted in that household where perhaps ties of relationships and empathy had ceased.

While sifting through these intricacies of knotted wonders, I thought how to honor the labor and skill involved.

A Joy was There recuperates the lace.

LABINAC contacted Jiyoung Kim, the clothing designer based in Berlin, to collaborate with us in this honoring. If you send us an article of clothing, Jiyoung will send you two samples of lace applied to it that you can choose from.

To place orders and for more information please contact us at:


Highlights of meticulously crafted lace on linen shirt by Carla Fern√°ndez.



Alves’ mother gave her the Yves Saint Laurent 80s power jacket.
Some lace on the shoulders extends the discussion to include other fields of women’s work.