Podasca Hand-Painted Scarves Debut

Work that art

Every summer we drop several words from our vocabulary: mittens, hot chili, cuddle, and scarf.

To revive that last one, we sat down with Williamsburg-based designer and artist Stephanie Podasca. Her brightly colored silk creations are light enough to tie on in the heat and perfect for pulling an updated Jackie O. or Sophia Loren.

When did you first start making scarves?
I discovered my love for painting silk during my last year at FIT, about a year and half ago. I needed a final art credit and signed up. The very first scarf I painted was a large-scale reproduction of a black and white Egon Schiele drawing. Everyone, myself included, was surprised by how naturally it came to me. From there I just continued to make custom scarves for friends and family.

Everyone’s design process is different. Can you explain yours?
I start with stretched silk and free draw the design on with a resist. Then I use different dye techniques depending on the desired effect and set with a steaming method that retains the luster and softness of the silk. I do not use digital technology to create my scarves — just dyes, gutta serti, and watercolor brushes. Each one is its own unique experiment.

Can you tell us a little about the silks and dyes?
I traditionally paint on silk de chine but recently started using chiffon for a lighter, whimsical effect. I use Sennelier silk dyes made in France.


Where do you look for inspiration?
I have a journal filled with doodles and sketches of scarves and collections or collaborations in mind. In New York, ideas and stimuli constantly hit your imagination and thirst for creating. If I were to follow through with the book, I could probably paint a scarf every day for the rest of my life and still not see all my ideas through.

What’s the last thing you painted?
Bright galactic scarves and graphic designs with jewel tones for the fall.

You collaborated with Hadria earlier this year. Anything similar in the works?
The collaboration with Adrianna Beer at Hadria was a fun start to what I hope becomes a regular occurrence. I love working with other designers and artists whose work complements my own and vice versa. I would love to be known as the go-to silk girl!

We hear you make custom scarves. Can you walk us through the process?
I ask buyers basic questions: colors they love/hate, size, and detail. I then ask them to look through my past works, pick their favorites, and point out what they’d love on their own scarf (a girl, feathers, diamonds, etc.). From there, the artistic juices flow, and I’ll spend all day in the zone working for the buyer’s vision. I can send over pictures halfway through, and I always like to top it off with initials.

Anything else we should know?
My passion aside from painting is baking pies, and my spirit animal is a dolphin. You should also follow me on Instagram. My handle is stephantasy.

Available at podascashop.com, $75-$225.

Photos: Courtesy of Podasca