House call: Memory lane
A creative textile and fashion designer uses personal mementos to decorate her home and workspace-it's like living in a scrapbook.
Tue Aug 26 2008
Caitlin Mociun (pronounced "moe-shun") likes to surround herself with things that hold special meaning. Everything in her South Park Slope apartment has a story behind it: Take the jarred petrified sea horse a friend gave her a few years ago for Christmas, the cast-iron Buddha she got on a trip to Vietnam with her parents when she was 12 years old, the illustration that hangs over her bed drawn by business partner Alyson Fox (check out their debut joint clothing line, Fox in Mociun, this spring) or the ceramic ornament Mociun created in kindergarten that hangs in her bathroom. "My friends are all very artistic so I have a lot of stuff they've made, things I've made or just that I've found with my friends," says Mociun. "I like my things to have significance." But that's not to say she's a pack rat: "I'm constantly throwing things out." And she has to, because her apartment doubles as her design studio.
A wall divides the rest of the apartment from her workspace, where she designs—and used to print—her own textiles and clothing line (mociun.com). Mociun would like to say the partition is enough to keep her work out of her personal life, but that's often not the case. The 26-year-old says leaving work at work is harder than it sounds, and she sometimes finds herself cutting fabric at her kitchen counter or piecing patterns together on her couch, which she craftily made herself out of wood and her own fabric. Inversely, her personal wardrobe (most of which she sewed herself) is kept in a giant walk-in closet (again, made by Mociun) in her office because there was no space for it in the main apartment. Ideally, she'd like to rent the apartment next door to get more distance between her two lives, but that luxury is a long way off. "Right now my bed is the one zone where work doesn't seep in," she says unconvincingly. "Well, sometimes I'll sketch in bed. But that's it."
Even with her stellar work ethic, it's a wonder she gets anything accomplished: Her apartment building, a former furniture factory built in 1896, is also home to six of her close friends. Impromptu lunches and drop-ins are all too common—there was even a visitor during her TONY shoot, "I wouldn't say it's quite like the TV show Friends but there's always something going on," she says.
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