Sunday, November 25, 2007

Bespoke Leather Coat


I've finally got a pix of the coat I'd posted about earlier, the way it's supposed to be- on a body!

Thanks Diego, for loaning me the jacket to shoot and thanks Noel, for throwing it on. (I still want a pix of you in the jacket Diego, that does not change...)


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Stretch Leather Leggings

Finally got some new stuff up in the shop. (I hate MIVA Merchant) My faves are the stretch leather leggings, which will go great with a sweater dress I am jonesing for, or under anything else for warmth and sleekness.


& these long stretch leather sleeves and this nubuck hat, which was inspired by a hat I saw once on Larry Shox of Shox Lumania. It is really fun to wear, warm, and a lot more interesting than a knit cap.


Friday, November 16, 2007

Divas in Leather

alicia-keys-in-leather-pantsIt's so funny- on I Tunes e-mail today they are featuring 3 of the powerful female artists I have designed for. Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys (who was like 16 the first time I worked with her!) and Jill Scott! 3 ladies with great chops and style...

mary-j-blige-in-leather-by-behrle-nyc Left- Alica Keys in Behrle NYC (InStyle Magazine) Above- MJB in Behrle NYC (Us Magazine)

I wish I had some images of the of the skirt and jacket I made for Jill Scott for her Grammy awards performance, she was very cool to work with...


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Leather and Other Art

Angelo Filomeno, an astounding artist working in silk & thread primarily, told me about an artist who’s work I had to see.
I finally got to look her up & it is the artist, who years ago- having seen one tiny, grainy black and white photo of her work, pretty much launched my fascination with all things leather.
… I will never forget that photo, the black leather head encased in leather and spiraling zippers that looked as if they might actually unzip like a peel, fascinated me. For ages, I obsessed over how a 3D piece like that might be made actually functional, without any molding- just the leather and zippers. (I love construction puzzles) I think it really informed my obsession with both leather and Fit. I could’t find images that particular head any where, but here you will find an interview with Nancy Grossman.

Nancy Grossman HeadsThe Third Mind" Palais de Tokyo, Paris

Now I must plug Angelo, he is an artist of the highest caliber. He "paints" (for lack of a better word) with embroidery. The scale and detail of his work is awe inspiring. And if you got a look at the process he goes through to create these incredible tableaux, they become even more incredible. I have never seen a photograph that can do justice to the work. You must see it in person. He was a featured artist in the Venice Biennale this summer, and I was very lucky to get to see the work in progress.

My Love Sings When the Flower is Near, Angelo FilomenoMy Love Sings When the Flower is Near (The Philosopher and the Woman), Angelo Filomeno 2007

For an idea of scale, these skeletons are at least life sized. The canvas is 13 feet high. This is the kind of detail he gets...with an old, completely hand-guided, industrial Singer embroidery machine. If you had any idea the kind of work this entails. Needless to say he does it all himself- no farming out of the work. You must see it in person.

Cold (detail) Angelo Filomeno
Cold (detail) Angelo Filomeno

Here is more of his work. He is represented by Galerie LeLong


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Subprime Explained

just a small, if only they will explain how the dollars drop in value will help sell more American made goods (to Americans?) - since they are so much cheaper now.
If it is made here, the raw materials more than likely aren't. (like mine, which are all out of Europe)

Prices go up.

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Friday, November 9, 2007

Romantic Gothic Wedding Gown

Here is a Wedding Gown created for Linda Marrota for her wedding to Kaz.
Linda is a Wiccan Goth Goddess (obviously!)… film & book reviewer for Fangoria magazine magazine and head buyer for Shakespeare and Co. books here in NYC.

It's actually 2 pieces, a cordovan laced leather corset and a free-form suede skirt that drapes and fits as though it is bias cut.

It's one of the really unique wedding outfits I've had the opportunity to create (In leather or fabric- but more on that later...)


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Marty and Allison's Wedding

I don't think people think of leather first thing for wedding attire, but I've made quite a few leather pieces specifically requested for weddings. Most recently I made this classic suede shirt jacket for Marty to wear to his wedding to Allison. It was perfect for a late September outdoor wedding!


Friday, October 12, 2007

New Men's Leather

custom made olive leather carcoat

Just finished this coat and I am very happy with it. Diego, I hope you are too! It's a 3/4 length car coat cut with a slight Edwardian inspiration- Edwardian like Mod, that is. it's in a glossy Olive cowhide that will dull down to a much more subtle finish with some wear. Black Oxidized Antique brass zips and pockets inside and out! Flannel backed satin lining for winter.


Thursday, October 11, 2007


This just made my day today! I could not help but to smile & laugh out loud & applaud at the end...!
Thanks Linda (sis) for sending it to me! Be Happy!


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Whatever Happened to...?

Every so often I have to track down what has happened with various jobs or editorials. Were the pieces I made used? Photographed? Or left on the cutting room floor as it were?
Last summer I did two pairs of leather pants for a film starring Sarah Michelle Gellar.
Patrica Field, the costume designer called me because we've worked together a lot (love Pat!) and I had also done other work for SMG, mainly, a pretty well seen "Vampirilla"costume.
The film was was a great commission, & the pants were supposed to be a plot point! Alas, I missed the US opening. (2 whole screenings at the Tribeca Film Festival in April!) This month it's opening in New Zealand - then in January, it's straight to video!... Phooey.

In any case.....
Next up. Thank You! Tommaso, for the fabulous pix of the jacket & hat commissioned by Rolex for their newest add campaign. I am very excited to see the final results!

It's all good...

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Just finished a job for a sweet couple and I want to just say...

Congratulations! Marty and Allison, on the occasion of your wedding! All the best to you!

LOL Carla Dawn

Friday, August 24, 2007

Fashion Evolution

Recently, I subscribed to a feed of It is a fascinating site for anyone involved with, or just interested in the business of fashion. A recent post on the site was titled "Slow Fashion" which immediately drew my attention, ("slow food" is a big interest of mine and I had not heard the term applied to fashion before) It relates very strongly to the custom made business and while specifically mentioning men's fashion, I do think it's crossing over into women's. My female client tend to order more classic items than men. My male customers go for more individualistic items. (Is this just me? Has anybody else noticed this?)

Maybe it feels a little safer with the rapid changes in women's fashion from season to season, but I feel it is changing. When I was manufacturing, I noticed that a cutting edge style could have a 2+ year run. It took that time, I think, for the eye to get used to a new look. Starting on the coasts and working it's way into the center of the country, I'd run styles (as long as I could still get the leather) and do great with them. Fashion historically has always been an evolution and I feel many new ideas and silhouettes are done a great disservice nowadays by the push to change so completely every season.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Store is Up!!!

python-skin-leather-cuffThe shop section of the site is finally up! What a process! But I am thrilled and excited that it is up and working. The shopping cart software is a huge learning curve for me and I expect it to be a long and ongoing. I want to thank the designers, Joe and Erin of Transfuture. They've been great and very patient through whatever came up. (Especially the 5-6 weeks that Miva was refusing to let us login consistently (or at all).

I am now looking for some help with the internet marketing, running the store, keeping on top of this blog, etc. etc, etc.
A part time webmaster? Good with all the web and internet marketing techniques, from adwords, to adding feeds and content to this blog, creating a MySpace page above and beyond what is sitting up there now, some SEO ability. Coding a must, Fashion Background a Super Plus. I will pay a good commission on any sales the internet generates, including any new Custom clientele. I would love to hear from anyone interested.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Made in USA?

I had a custom-made inquiry recently, and to my surprise, I was asked if I outsource!
I've never gotten that question before, but with all the news it had to happen eventually.

Dangerous and toxic children’s toys, medicines, toothpaste, tires, pet food, and now cars ? Not in the US (yet), and hopefully never- but there’s a fool to buy everything and worse, the giant multinationals (Chrysler and BMW) who will sell it to them. This crash test doesn't seem to have made it into the mainstream news yet... how can that be???

Anyhow… the answer to the original question is NO! We do not outsource!

In fact, when I was manufacturing I was EXPORTING! But it’s very hard to manufacture in NYC. So I’m sticking with the custom-made and only small production (to order) so I can keep everything in-house. My dream always was to establish a high-end US made clothing company and I’m gonna stick with it even at the smaller scale!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Trinity Images

Some pix from my "Trinity" line which featured a lot of very fine hand cut work and laser cut leathers as well as hand-painted suede as well as my own stretch leather and silk leather "cloth" which makes the leather fit like dance-wear, or renders it soft and flowing and about as light as silk. Both the stretch-leather and the silk-leather are available custom made. I did a bunch of stretch leather for the Dixie Chicks a while back, all black patent leather- HOT!


Saturday, June 30, 2007

Angelina Jolie and leather...

angelina-jolie-in-leatherAngelina Jolie in Behrle Leather as seen in Movieline Magazine

One Girl to another pouring over the (pawed up) gossip mags at my Local Duane Reade:“oooohh! She really is having a baby…”
Ok, I don’t get the fascination, really … but if Angelina Jolie (or anyone) is having a baby, I have got the perfect baby gift!

Just added to the group of items we will be selling in our store, is the cutest baby bib ever in two styles “Sweetheart” and “Superstar”
leather-baby-bibsBoth Bibs are made in the Finest Italian Lambskin and lined with black cotton jersey, they feature metallic leather inlay work and contrast leather trim. They are one size and can both be wiped clean easily with a damp cloth (no dry cleaning on metallic leathers) They are $85.00 Each. And we can do special order colors and inlay for an additional charge.

I am offering them here, first. Or you can go to Etsy until my own store is up and running. Each piece is made to order so once your order is confirmed , please allow 5-7 business days for shipping.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

If you are as into Gloves…

As I am, Dutch Artist Sylvia B.’s various takes on the Classic Opera Glove are out of this World! She’s taken an Icon of Glamour and twisted it into fabulously perverted Statements on Beauty and Fashion….

“Love-Hate”… How could you ever say it better? Or more beautifully?

Tattooed leather Love-Hate Gloves by Sylvia B.
Sylvia B's Amazing Gloves

I designed gloves for years and wish I’d been allowed to do something like this! These are just brilliant!

The “Almost Perfect Model” is a classic, and grab the "Unpopular Model" for when you can't stand people. It'll work like a charm...

Saturday, May 19, 2007's only Rock n' Roll but...

python-skin-leather-vestGood, Bad and Ugly Python Backed Vest

…A lot of people have asked my why the men's wear shown on my site is not what's considered "wearable" or "fashionable" today.

The men's leather featured on my site right now is my most current work, all of which was created specifically as stage wear. I've done an awful lot of leather for bands and other performers including U2, Godsmack and most recently for The Lizards.

custom-leather-mens-coatCustom made leather Carcoat
I've also done a lot of custom made for regular guys, but have not photographed much of it. I'll add men's stuff from time to time for now.


Friday, April 6, 2007



Behrle Leather as seen in German Max

I am going to take this opportunity to introduce myself.

My name is Carla Dawn Behrle, my last name is pronounced “burly”.
, to my understanding means “ little bear” in German. I do want you to know how to pronounce my name right and remember how to spell it. And yes, I am German, which nicely leads us back into leather…

I am a fashion designer who specializes in leather- specifically leather clothing and accessories.

My work as a theatrical costume designer introduced me to Leather. I decided to make it my specialty because it really spoke to me the first time I worked with it- it has attributes that are unique only to it, and that no other textile - natural or synthetic, can match.

Leather molds to the body, it breathes, it ages, it wears and breaks in, and at every stage it retains it beauty and character while taking on the character imparted by the wearer. It can be strong and protective, or as delicate as lace.

Being such a specialized material it soon led me to work in Fashion. I will always do stage and performance wear, though because It's my first love.

My initial foray into designing and selling my own work in leather was my line World Domination. Since I started with very little, out of necessity the garments were kinda small.

The line grew and evolved and eventually I put my own name on the label.

Now, I was selling to specialty boutiques around the world. Keeping distribution small, and the quality very high. All the work was done in house, right alongside my custom made work, which is created in the same fashion as European Haute Couture.

For five years I had a retail store in Tribeca, which was great fun and my customers were the absolute best! We were quite close to the WTC, so After September 11th, I closed down the shop.

Since then, I’ve been concentrating on my custom design work and I am thrilled to be taking this next step forward.

I am really excited about the site and this forum. They are both a completely new thing for me and I look forward to what's next.

I do have to say that I pride myself on my work being among the best leather work in the USA, if not the world. I work very, very hard at the quality of everything I produce, whether it is a unique custom made garment or a production item. (I am looking forward to getting back into production soon.)

I appreciate any comments or questions, particularly regarding Design and Fashion…



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