From Oaxaca, With Love
On a visit to southern Mexico, Katie Hatch finds vibrant color in the most unexpected corners.
Published Mar 25, 2017 5:00 AM
“I typically like totravel to places
that have great textiles—and tons of color,” says New Yorker Katie Hatch, creative director ofsleepy jones
the spirited line of old-school pajamas and laid-back loungewear helmed by Andy Spade. A recent trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, perfectly fit that criteria, with the city’s color-blocked Spanish colonial architecture, artisanal craft museums, and maze-like markets that overflow with geometric Zapotec rugs and embroidered huipil blouses.
Wandering the cobblestone streets, Hatch marveled at the painted ombré graffiti, the stuccoed wall treatments that could rival a Rothko, and the hand-stenciled details on many a facade. Most of her time, however, was spent in the boutiques and open-air mercados, where she picked up brightly patterned paper lanterns and a giant needlepoint blanket trimmed with rainbow tassels. “The shopping in that town is unreal,” says Hatch. “I’m already planning a return trip.”
“It would be amazing to paint signs in Oaxaca— so much creativity and craftsmanship.”
“You can see nature in Technicolor here; I wouldn’t have thought about some of these color combos.”
“The simple paint treatments around town are fantastic. I’m now thinking about adding a two-tone or matte-and-shine mixed wall at home.”
“I gravitate toward anything multicolored,” explains Hatch—even a satellite dish spotted peeking over a rooftop.
Other inspirations include the painted metal patio furniture at Casa Colonial, a local B&B that also hosts the artist residency Obracadobra.
The kaleidoscopic baskets, hand-embroidered fabrics, and decor accents Hatch found around Oaxaca—like the gems pictured here—make easy entertaining pieces back in her New York apartment.
“I like traveling to places with great textile traditions and finding new patterns and palettes for my collections.”
WHERE TO SHOP
Los Baúles de Juana Cata
Calle Macedonio Alcalá 403, Centro, in the Plaza Comercial Casa Vieja
A great high-end boutique with fine workmanship (think: heirloom quality) that stocks lovely huipiles and blusas. Not bargain prices, but the pieces are special.
Mercado Benito Juarez
At the corner of Calles Flores Magón and Las Casas, Centro
I picked up playful party decorations at this mercado—like oversize tassels, bright paper lanterns, and woven totes, which all make perfect gifts.
La Casa de las Artesanías de Oaxaca
Matamoros 105, Centro
An expertly curated collection of Oaxacan craftsmanship, with the best selection of locally made pottery and souvenirs.
Huizache Arte Vivo de Oaxaca
Murguía 101, Centro
I found amazing wire baskets, as well as breezy tops and dresses, at this handicraft museum’s shop.
Mercado de Artesanías
At the corner of Gral. Ignacio Zaragoza and Calle de J.P. Garcia, Centro
A must-stop for handwoven baskets and textiles, with an an array of colorful Otomi work