Monday, 31 January 2011

The Gifted Gisele Ganne.

Gisele Ganne is a french jewellery designer currently working in London, she studied product design in France before moving to study at the Royal Academy of Art in London. Gisele is a designer with an original, distinct message represented through her jewelery, being recognised for her mourning or memorial jewelery. 'Common symbols used in mourning jewellery included forget-me-nots, flowers, hearts, crosses, ivy leave and more macabre symbols such as skulls, coffins and gravestones, I refer too these, and expound upon them glamorizing death to the level of Haute Couture Catwalk'
She also focuses on dead relationships and 'decaying marriages' 'I use union and marriage symbols and subvert them to show that from these ashes may raise a new life'

The subject undoubtedly throws up questions as to why? Why the use of such themes, fortunately an online interview enabled me to be able to read the answers directly from Gisele herself...
'Inverting the romantic ideas of jewellery has always been a major theme in your work. How did that begin?'
'Well. I guess I began thinking about the gifts you receive for positive moments in life, for example birthdays and anniversaries. Traditionally jewellery is used to celebrate these moments but life is not exclusively full of these things. I see the jewellery box as symbolic of life, collections of where you have been on holiday and gifts you have received. It says so much about one person and their life and I feel as though the bad moments must be remembered and immortalized in jewellery.

And her inspiration...'You got a lot of your inspiration from the Victorian Era, specifically mourning the dead, what did you discover in your research?''I discovered this when I first came to London and was studying at the Royal College of Art, I didn't know anything about it before and I just loved it so much, it influenced my whole collection. I discovered lots of symbolic references to hair and teeth, women would wear their husband's skeletons as necklaces as a way to remember them. Although it mourning jewellery, it actually has a very beautiful message embedded in it. You must appreciate your life, and I think that is such a beautiful concept.'

The explanation for these rings...'There are several contrasts in your work, specifically the bird skull knuckle-dusters, which are decorated with flowers and pearls.'
These are the divorce rings. I began envisioning divorce as the end of one moment in life and the start of another. The French tradition is to offer pearls and flowers to the bride, I suppose I wanted to hold onto these elements when I created divorce jewellery.'

And the beautiful fur jewellery....
'After divorce, you have to find a new husband and this is how I created my next collection, titled 'Hunting Man'. I began working with fur, to create something sexier and more appealing. The story of jewellery is very important to me and I don't think it should be designed purely aesthetic purposes. Whatever it is I am working on, I want to remain my ethos.'

It cant be denied that this is not your usual inspiration and theme running through jewellery designs, however, despite the morbid background behind the pieces, they are outstandingly beautiful, original and completely show stopping..

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Rag and Bone! Rag and Bone!

The Story Behind The Name:
A century-old British fixture, the rag and bone man was known for practicing the first form of recycling. The rag and bone man would travel by horse and cart, circling the neighbourhood in search of scrap metal, old furniture, wood or anything else that he could sell or reuse to support himself. Children would come running at the shouts of 'Rag and Bone' to collect sweets and candles in exchange for the items they loaded onto his cart. Rubbish collection began to supplant the rag and bone trade by the late 1970s, and today there are few rag and bone men. As the homage to their pioneering ingenuity and conservation, rag and bone derived their name from this legendary practice.

The Story Behind The Brand:
Founded in 2002, rag and bone had one very clear vision in mind: to make clothes that they and their friends would love to wear everyday, I have come across this initial story before, its encouraging to know their are people out their that have the ambition to take this idea one step further as opposed to merely purchasing the clothes they like, however I am also well aware that this ambition equally needs to backed up with a talent to be able to design, one that I do not have but that's where the balance is, isn't it? Some of us just have the enjoyment of purchasing these designs that are to each individual taste. This is where the rag and bone story takes a different route, Marcus Wainwright and David Neville had no formal fashion training, incidentally this didn't stop them from setting out to learn how to make jeans, they believed that denim represented the history, authenticity and fundamentals of classic work wear that they would strive to reflect their designs.

Beginning in Kentucky, rag and bone surrounded themselves with people who had been making patterns, cutting fabric and sewing their whole lives, working with these kinds of craftsmen taught them the importance of quality, craftmanship and attention to detail early on. These early beginnings became the keystones of the rag and bone philosophy, the definition of what clothing can and should be, with these principles in mind despite the rapid growth of the brand wherever possible they produce the majority of their garments in US factories that still sew clothes the way they did 50 years ago.

These days rag and bone produce both womens wear and menswear along with accessories and footwear for both, all guided by a strong British tailoring influence, producing both classic yet modern pieces known for being understated and wearable, each made from high quality fabric, classic construction and perfect fit with a handmade feel.

Rag and Bone collections are available at high end boutiques and exclusive department stores worldwide, they have currently been mentioned frequently lately due to their original, innovative advertising campaign for their SS11 collection, also formally known as their 'DIY Project' consisting of posters being plastered around towns adorning the most trendiest models in their own rag and bone clothes, styled by themselves. Thinking outside the box advertising, or just plain genius, they have created a hype allowing everyone to get involved, urging you to submit an image of yourself in your best rag and bone look, Marcus and David will post their favourite submissions on facebook for us to vote the winner, allowing the top five most 'liked' looking receiving a $1000 voucher to spend on rag and bone.

It has created a whole new view on the brand and invited such a vast audience to part of it, with a new focus on many enjoying models off duty looks, so have chosen models who many are fans of their individual looks referring to the likes of Abbey and Sasha, plus the brands cool relaxed look, and even including the much loved facebook, Ive got a feeling they are onto a winner...

Saturday, 29 January 2011

The Story Of The Orphan's Arm's.

My discovery of The Orphan's Arm's occurred whilst walking through Old Spitafeilds Market, the bombardment of printed t-shirts almost makes you a bit blase, almost dismissing a new stall as...some more printed t-shirts, however the original designs of these t-shirts stood out, they had their own style as opposed to others frequently printing the same quotes. Going on to their website its clear that they have created a unique brand and style, I believe its such an achievement when you can look at something so simple as a t-shirt with a print, one you haven't seen before, but can immediately associate it with the makers behind it, they have succeeded in their attempt to pass of their vision and create a full understanding of their style on to their fan base, creating thoughts as ..'that looks like an Orphan's Arm's t-shirt' leaving the mere presence of the boring, common printed t-shirts that anyone would be able to create and turning it into a whole new style, pushing the dull t-shirt boundaries and taking it to a whole other level through the uniqueness of the thinking behind the brand, almost an old English sort of theme....

I am conscious that these posts are beginning to form a pattern, I find something new be it designer, website, magazine, and delve into the research to share with you all, mostly for my own benefit so I am able to have some back up information about the 'new' subject, and also that sentence in an article that I read in Pamflet some time ago but always find myself applying it to almost everything nowadays, something along the lines of, the difference between a fashion girl and indie girl, adapted slightly in my own way, but the point I assumed they were making is that Fashion girls flit from any new trend to another not worrying about who makes it or even really caring as long as it looks good, as opposed to someone who will wear something, and it means so much more, they know about the designer or the band emblazoned on the clothing, I find myself buying clothes, many of which I haven't heard of before, excluding the more common ones, and wanting to find out about them, for me it just makes the pieces more interesting, aswell as fulfilling my excitement and enthusiasm to gain much desired knowledge about....yes I know its becoming repetitive...'The World of Fashion'

So...not one to break habits easily I began my new research subject, this time the 'About' section on The Orphan's Arm's website said it best, even displayed it better than I ever could, not wanting to change their choices of wording, wanting to represent the brand how they want to be known, not from my own perception of what they are about.

Obviously, clear on my understanding of the blogging world, although slightly seeing glimpses of the tumblr world I am yet to jump in completely, however looking at The Orphan's Arm's I am completely in love with the mere ability of what a collection of images can represent of a brand/person. Its very clear where there coming from and what their style represents, I may have to learn more about this new tumblr world...

Theres only so much you can say about t-shirts and vests, just perfect for the summer with denim shorts.

Sweet Little Bullet, Pretty Little Gun.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Walking High On Wedges

A Wedge Shoe; A raised shoe heel with the heel and sole forming a solid block.

Think they speak for themselves...and easy to walk in could they get any better?

Monday, 24 January 2011

A Fan Of Folk.

My beginning stages of research about Folk led me to discover the website, oki-ni, once again I stumbled on something I knew little about, adding to my research of what the site was about, oki-ni was born in September 2001, originally both a global gallery space and online destination, oki-ni worked with established brands and upcoming designers to offer innovative collaborative products to knowledgeable fashion consumers. They presented exclusive, limited edition products produced with several partners including Paul Smith and Levi's, peices were displayed in beautiful spaces that could be found at the Saville Row flagship store, as well as leading fashion destinations across UK and Japan, this gave customers the opportunity to touch and feel the product before ordering online.

'Nearly a decade on, the concept of oki-ni has evolved but our ethos has remained. The drive to discover and break the most inspiring products available, while them in an environment true to us, is still our main focus.'

Oki-ni is a group of young, enthused, product focused individuals led by three directors with over 50 years combined experience. 'We love product, music and style.' And it has to be said, reading through such a well written website I was unable to compete with their wording of what they predict the future of the website to be....

'As a team we are working to create the most interesting and forward-thinking retail/lifestyle website around, continually evolving to keep our customers interested and informed. Oki-ni will continue to globally source product with integrity-the rare, the niche and the premium. We are committed to supporting young talent and nurturing partnerships with established labels whilst curating our groundbreaking online retail space'.....Not just your standard online shopping website, clearly.

All that insightful information before I've even touched on the main subject, Cathal McAteer established the contemporary menswear brand Folk in 2001. The ethos behind the brand was to create a collection that Cathal's friends would like to wear, clothes that were fun, unrestricted and making clean, honest understated garments with a meticulous eye for colour, fabric selection and design detail. Folk creates simple everyday clothing with subtle, innovative and sometimes playful detailing.

Oki-ni's Beth Vincent interviewed Cathal McAteer, Head Designer and Founder revealing future plans for new stores, and more exciting...womens wear!
Cathal's take on womens wear was really interesting, stating that they 'make men's garments in woman's sizes, but some women don't have the confidence to put a men's shirt and really style it, so we're going to make it easier - add a feminine edge to it.'

Walking into the shop its clear to point out their most popular pieces....I feel what makes the brand special is that they make quite normal shapes, nothing too extravagant, just giving little bits of 'detail happiness' like comfort parts, a nice button, leather patches, just little bits that can be hidden and taken away, and we can accept that special Bestival badge!

'The 'People' cardigan really came from an old piece of knitwear we just came across. The man and girl holding hands, well-we're a bit soppy you know, we're into people being happy and shit., no skulls and cross bones. It just seemed simple and we thought it might not do particularly well but we stopped it for a season and people started complaining! We'll always bring that back now-it's a bit mellow and nice. Last season we made it in Peru so the style of knitwear went with the actual graphic. Then we produced it for Bestival-we made cardigans for the owners to give away to this staff at the end of the festival. We put a badge on saying Bestival or something. We've done it every year since the festival started, they're old friends so we're happy to support,and we get to go down and we have a Folk tent at the festival, have a couple of beers....

Saturday, 22 January 2011

I Should Coco!

LauraLaura...'Reclaimed knitwear, embroidered by hand, 100% unique'
I first discovered the creations of Laura Laura one Sunday at Spitafeilds Market, London's oldest market, resplendent under a Foster & Partners designed glass canopy, the market and shops offer cutting edge fashion, handmade jewellery, artwork as well as food. Walking through the market is a path of discovery, finding small, often sole traders along the way offering the opportunity for you to directly purchase their hand made creations.

There are various stalls providing individual customisations to a variation of clothes, LauraLaura significantly stands out with the beautifully chosen vintage high quality jumpers, in a vast colour palette all perfectly embroidered, with quirky, original sayings.

'LauraLaura is new from old, re-working the unwanted to create captivating clothing and accessories; We source the best second-hand knitwear (always 100% wool) to embroider with our thoughts and create unique accessories from the forgotten; fabric remnants wrap old bangles and odd buttons become adorable earrings.'

You can find LauraLaura at Old Spitafeilds Market and Greenwich Market, as well as few selected boutiques...and whats more perfect....'hand embroidered with our thoughts, making every piece truley individual' So yours will be just yours and no-one else will have the same.