Marla Kazell’s Koos van den Akker Collage Workshop and Trunk Show

This morning during our first Anyone Can Sew Fashion Show it was announced that November 1st and 2nd, Marla Kazell will lead a Koos van den Akker Collage Workshop and Trunk Show.

Marla Kazell has been sewing professionally for 30 years and creates beautiful couture garments in her custom clothing studio in Tigard, Oregon. Her focus is on fit and fine sewing techniques and her garments feature wonderful details. She has shared her sewing knowledge in articles for Threads and Sew News magazines and teaches sewing classes and hands-on workshops in Portland, Oregon and across the country.

Friday evening trunk show tickets will be $15.00 for members and $20 for non-members. Saturday’s all day workshop is $75.00 for members, $85 for non-members. Tickets go on sale this fall.


Koos Van Den Akker is a Dutch-born fashion designer based in New York City, USA. He is famed for his unique collaged ‘Koos’ designed clothing and notably the creator of the ‘Bill Cosby’ Sweaters.

It was Bill Cosby’s connection and those wild collaged sweaters he wore on TV that established Koos’ reputation with the rich and famous. Soon after Bill Cosby was seen sporting Koos’ vibrant and inspiring sweaters, famed notables such as Erik Estrada, Chuck Norris, and Richard Simmons became obsessed with obtaining their very own Koos original sweaters.

Koos van den Akker is known for his painterly delight in mixing colors, patterns, and textures in unusual, often one of a kind, garments. Always delighting clients who want something a bit different to wear his styles have not changed much, simple shapes being more amenable to rich surface manipulations. Having learned the basics of good fit and cut as an apprentice with the house of Christian Dior, Van Den Akker was able to proceed confidently with the fabric collages that have become his signature. Although his Koos garments recall the art-to-wear movement, they remain free of the sometimes heavy-handed messages inherent in the artifacts which seem more suitable for gallery walls—these masterpieces are meant to be worn and appreciated for their beauty.


In his own words Koos says- “I think of myself as very basic. I am a craftsperson and I sew like that. I sew beautiful clothes. i am nothing more than a worker sitting behind a sewing machine. That’s where I feel most comfortable, that’s where I am the best. That’s what I do best and it’s very basic.” (source)

Below is a video of Mr. Van den Akker describing the history of the Bill Cosby sweater, his inspirations and his view of his design aesthetic.
Warning: contains profane language.

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