Exclusivity has always been a clever marketing scheme for designs, especially for the fashion industry. Continuing with the ongoing collaboration between British fashion brand COS and Serpentine Galleries in London, the minimal Serpentine Bag, inspired by the 2015 pavilion, has marked the supportive attitude of two creative fields. If one knows of the 2015 Serpentine Pavilion, one can see the total contrast between it and its inspired product. While the installation contains a diverse degree of opacity and a prism field of colors, the bag is made of an opaque off-white canvas with grey leather straps. Many spectators have voiced the contrast as a misopportunity to carry out the pavilion’s essence. However, I would argue that the bag acts an absorption of the maximalism in the bigger structure to be represented in a minimalistic manner. With its top folded down and secured with a simple buckle, the fold almost mimics the complex connections. Meanwhile, its boxy shape exudes an architectural feeling. The bag is now available online and in several COS stores within London for a limited time. Serpentine Trust will receive all the proceeds from sales in order to support its annual commission given to an architect. Minimal and beautifully constructed, the Serpentine...
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The benefit of choosing minimal accessories lies in their flexibility to be integrated to many outfit combinations. Recently, Collection Of Style—Swedish fashion powerhouse—launched their minimal accessories collection called In Contrast. Although the series only hold a modest number of items, the curation has a uniformed aesthetic of monochromic black and white. In Contrast ranges from highly crafted leather sandals to a leather bag with raw hems. While they don’t act as fashion statements, these accessories subtly complement the wearers with a new edge. However, my favorite is a piece of rubber block necklace that has a smaller counterpart in the form of a wristband. With a thick strap, this particular adornment stands out due to its unique and chunky nature that is not often seen in minimal fashion accessories. The collection is now live at COS online store.
AÃRK Collective’s timepiece range is a fusion of tradition and precision. Each piece uses Swiss and Japanese Quartz movements and hand-dipped casings and soft Horween leather straps. The Eclipse is the epitome of this balance and discipline. Inspired by time and the duality of night and day through the dual-tones of materiality and formal placement. The simple, contrasting dial evokes the moon’s movement in relation to the earth and the sun. Based in Melbourne, Australia, AÃRK Collective sees a collaboration of four creative aligned by family and a love of design. Emphasizing the need for quality and considered pieces has meant the resulting design is the uncomplicated and imbues minimalism. There is a simplicity in the undoing, and the careful placement of elements coming together. AÃRK Collective put as much thought into the parts that most people won’t see, and the result is beautiful. Photography courtesy AÃRK Collective.
Inspired by East Londoners’ pastel-hued hairstyles and boasting a 30-year heritage of traditional British manufacturing, accessories brand Ally Capellino‘s SS15 collection features a rose-tinted collection of rucksacks, satchels and bike-bags in ice cream shades and pastel hues, with every design constructed using waxed cotton and Italian veg-tanned leather. Photographed by Agnes Lloyd Platt with styling by Aurelia Donaldson, make-up by Sky Cripps-Jackson and hair colouring by Olivia Crighton of Glasshouse Salon, the lookbook materializes a beautifully simple idea brought to life by colour-blocking, elegant set design and flawless execution.
Hemsley London is a young English fashion brand that specializes in leather goods founded by Jayne Hemsley. Graduated from London College of fashion and previously worked under Roland Mouret and Sophie Hulme, the designer used her knowledge to create cutting-edge designs that celebrate luxury and contemporary interest. The recent launch of Spring Summer 2015 collection is a series of leather bags and clutches that holds a minimalist sensibility, with a sole focus on refined Italian calf skin and suede. Rather architectural in terms of construction while looking like artworks of artisanal craftsmanship, these accessories don’t act as products of only everyday practicality, but also modernity in the technological age. I find myself attracted to the CO1 Backpack due to its flexibility both as a backpack and a shoulder bag. The simple handles against the trapezoidal massing are crisply contoured to imply a notion of pure functionality, voided of any ornamentations. One day in the future, I’m sure to see this beauty in my closet.
Enthusiastically handcrafted in southern Germany, VOR‘s A1 Reinweiß shoes are the epitome of the company’s timeless, minimalist ethos – going through incredible effort to eliminate details and be identified more by its refined appearance than any impactful presentation. Passionate about perfectionism, premium substance and the finest possible execution, VOR believe that handcrafted items are an expression of the modern consumer’s demands regarding a product’s origins and are solely made of best genuine full grain leathers and premium leather linings, proudly creating pieces that are unique and have their own individual characteristics and natural beauty.
British brand, Alfie Douglas is a family of creatives, who design and make simple, minimalistic, handmade goods in England. I came across their collection of incredibly beautiful leather bags and accessories earlier this year, but it was a recent preview of their 2015 collection that got me rather excited to share their work. With clean-cut lines and simple colour design, Alfie Douglas create everything from oversized totes, backpacks and duffle bags to small pouches and tool-kit covers. Their structured backpacks being a particular favourite of mine. Our products are original. They are simple visually and in the way that they are made. Ingenious in the way that they can be adapted and customised in their function. Each one is different, singular, made by hand to be reliable and sustainable. Luxurious and timeless, a.d’s bags are made from a very small range of components which are common to all of their products — made to high specifications to last a lifetime.
I was recently introduced to Taiwan based design studio, Chi and Chi. The studio has a strong minimalist aesthetic, designing everyday objects with content and purpose, and with simple functions in their essential forms. A standout design? This striking Polygon watch. The Polygon watch is a modern and unique timepiece with special geometric features in shape. The elements on the watch are designed with simple geometrical forms consistently and unlike the usual round contours of regular watches. The 24-cut case and dial present the time in a distinctive aesthetic way, which enriches the sense of touch as well as the sense of sight. Featuring a 316L stainless steel case housing a precise Japanese movement and a durable genuine calf-leather strap, the Polygon timepiece is a unisex watch available in three colour combinations — silver/grey, gold/black, and gold/brown. I particularly like the grey. Absolutely beautiful.
Dedicated, disciplined and ridiculously handsome menswear label, SCTT BNDCTN is being released for order September 2014. The label has existed as an enigma in the fashion world since 2012 and had existed purely as a brand. Through various social media outlets to the tune of Tumblr, Facebook and Soundcloud; SCTT BNDCTN has been an encompassment of sensory intrigue. That is until now. The intensely strong brand and clear dedication to adorning men is the work of its inceptionist and Master Tailor, Warren Harrison. Based in Melbourne, the pieces are a result of tireless precision. The influence of Japanese patternmaking, traditional tailoring and experimental design is obvious and fiercely beautiful. SCTT BNDCTN celebrates the male form through a methodical use of linen, wool, leather and cotton. The designer’s passion is clear. Although a rarity, this handcrafted menswear line for discerning, stoic types, is undoubtedly one to watch. And listen to. And be inspired by the mood it instills. There is a clarity and stillness to SCTT BNDCTN that should be celebrated. Photography by Jem Taylor and make-up by Nadja Mott.
Fou de Feu, founded by Veerle Van Overloop, is a ceramic studio based in Belgium that takes in the influences from architecture, photographic, and food culture. Inspired from water drops and their effects on a liquid surface, Rhythm was produced as a series of minimal tableware products. The fusion of white porcelain with leather, wood, and marble is rather an uncommon combination that works so well together, contrasting the pure white and the textured brown. With different functions, these products, ranging from something large like a cutting board to something small like a tea spoon, all share the same basic shape of a rounded square with an extended corner. The layering of materials is something quite clever that helps elevate the playfulness of these items. I found the synergy of these products, when put on top of one another to create the rippling effect, a very simple and effective method of display. Just like the name of the studio suggests, Rhythm not only has the right amount of minimalism, but it also intrigues those who are fun and whimsical.
Early last year, we introduced you to French audio accessories brand Aëdle and their superbly designed VK-1 headphones. Well, today we are excited to share with you the brand’s latest limited edition product in the form of the VK-1 Legacy headphones — an updated design of the VK-1 Classic edition. Although the design is not hugely different to its predecessor, the VK-1 Legacy features hand-sewn genuine lambskin leather in a black finish as well as a new cable with inline remote control and microphone, which enables the user with volume control, track selection, and play/pause functions. Aëdle explains: We worked closely with craftsmen to deliver an unprecedented level of quality in the materials we have chosen without compromising along with our signature sound. Made from a solid piece of aluminium machined on a 5-axis CNC, the acoustic chambers combine state-of-the-art manufacturing process to deliver this stunning shiny aspect. This machining combined with anodisation enables us to offer degree of finish never achieved before. Beautiful design. Beautiful minimalism.
Mansur Gavriel is the highly sought-after label with a collection of beautifully designed leather bags made and crafted in Italy. Designed by Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel who moved to New York City especially to start their company, the collection first surfaced in the summer of 2013 and saw immediate success, being sold out as soon as it hit the stores. The label has continued to deliver their minimalist designs of signature tote and bucket bags that come in bold pops of single color or contrasting outer tanned leather with matte patent interiors. The craftsmanship of these bags reveal just enough detail of the effortless style behind the designs which is what I love most about this label. It is a true practice of patience to get your hands on one.