Clothing designer Guo Feng, owner of 3 Potato in downtown Los Altos, showcases her first original patterns at this year’s Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival.
This marks Feng’s third year at the festival, a place where she essentially launched her storefront business a year ago. She spotted an empty storefront at 358 State St. while working the festival and a month later signed a lease for the space.
Feng takes a multimedia approach to fashion, transforming her oil pastels and acrylic paintings into unique patterns that she photographs, scans and manipulates with Photoshop. Through this digital process, she is able to create multiple individual patterns from one original painting.
"I need to consider each part as different but also how to make it more interesting," Feng said.
Before she opened 3 Potato on State Street, Feng used prints from the fabric market to design her clothes.
"Now I create my own. Nobody else has it, so we have no competition," she laughed.
When Feng arrived in the U.S. from China at age 27, she found art to be an outlet - one that eased the adjustment period.
"I thought, if I don’t learn anything and just stay at home doing housework, it is not interesting," she said.
That lead Feng to art.
"I wanted to make my life busy and not so boring," she said.
Also inspired by her mother’s creativity and her own desire to paint, Feng took a class led by Jianyou Yang, a distinguished Chinese painter, muralist and sculptor.
"I had no experience in making clothes," Feng said.
She later had an epiphany.
"I can put my artwork on the fabric," she said. "That would be great."
Now familiar with oil pastels and ceramic sculpting, she integrated the media into her newest clothing line.
"It’s a big advantage for us," Feng said, referring to 3 Potato. "We can now paint whatever on the fabric and print for people to wear."
Feng now has found a way to let her creative freedom flow - similar to her clothing.
Her loose-fitted trousers and tops are designed to be practical for the everyday-busy woman, Feng said. She uses earth tones to easily complement pieces. An added bonus: Feng uses wrinkle-free materials, so no iron is necessary.
"Time is very limited," she said. "I want to help save time in the morning when choosing what to wear and to be convenient."
Feng added that she has received positive feedback on her clothing for its functionality and uniqueness.
"When people buy it, I feel so happy," she said. "With clothing, you can see their immediate reaction."