Most of our readers must have remembered Dylan Cao, a young accessories designer based in New York, from our Inside Instagram feature. Now with a degree and the title Designer of The Year for Accessories Design from Parsons University, he is here again to showcase his awarded footwear collection. Simply coating in white, this series of minimal designs reflects the designer’s personal experience as a mental patient. The stark and pristine definition faithfully delivers the sterility of an institution; however in this case, sterility takes on many other layers of complexity. To contrast the monotony, the decision to include the metal heels, as a direct translation of the sterile stools at the facility, is rather clever. Not only that, but they also have a relation to the doctoral equipments, taking on different geometric shapes. The inclusion of screws creates machinery image while the interplay of leather panels gives a newness to the silhouettes. As a whole, it is an experimentation of form and structure, as well as color (or the lack thereof) and material. I especially enjoy the addition of the supporting leather strap on one of the sandals. Even without the apparent appearance of the metal legs, that line adds...
Amelie Riech’s Uncommon Matters series is a striking collection of idealistic future lines. The pieces are based on simplified geometric forms that supplement the users own style, using subtlety and an understated design philosophy. There is also a strong connection to the enduring craft techniques of the past with the construction of the pieces being well considered and constructed with exemplarily quality. Reich is based between both Berlin and Paris and her work is said to reflect a luminous energy that is reflected by the sleek, fluid surfaces of the pieces. There is also a timeless and sensuous manner to the way in which light interacts with the elements through movement. See list of stockists for all available pieces. Photography courtesy of Matthias Wingartner
Connected Magazine is a new contemporary fashion magazine that has just launched its first issue. As the brainchild of Nani Lim and Pontus Samuel, the magazine started of as a school project and evolved into a platform for the Stockholm-based duo to express their identical love for photography, fashion and design; a platform that celebrates the motivation of good design instead of mere current trends: There is a very one dimensional look on fashion today, which is basically “buy! buy! buy!”, and we felt that the function behind clothes sort of got lost in translation. The style of minimalism is the tool that is used to express their aesthetic and visual language both in the design of the magazine as well as the articles they feature. The images exude an appealing simplicity and the styling of the editorials are of a minimalistic elegance. The magazine communicates the team’s personal tastes and inspiration to their audience. I love the fact that it is so personal and shared in such a beautifully crafted and designed publication, which makes this project more meaningful. As the editor Nani Lim so eloquently sums up: Most of our inspiration comes from meeting creative people and the interaction...
Romanian studio Clean Everything recently produced their latest collection of simple, elegant, vegetable tanned leather goods titled, Trilogy. Sharp edges and sleek touches are the key inspiration and theme of this collection, which, as its title suggests, includes three pieces. The Triangle Folded Clutch is a simple and elegant clutch featuring a sleek folded design involving one piece of leather and one polished metal stud. Based on the classic Italian coin purses the triangle has been enlarged and cleaned up, transforming it into an entirely different and contemporary piece. The Triangle Folded Backpack is a stylish and innovative triangle shaped leather backpack with adjustable shoulder straps. Its uniqueness originates from the folding design using one piece of leather, manipulated into shape, and riveted together with two metal studs. The Stitchless Bag, crafted from two pieces of vegetable tanned leather with no stitches, is a minimalist shoulder bag that allows you to effortlessly carry your daily essentials with style. Each design is available in three colour variations — red, white and green. Photography by Robert Petreanu
With a French name and a Catalan heart, Deux Souliers is a Barcelona-based footwear brand led by designer Nunu Solsona, who also shares the creative direction with Folch Studio. Deux Soulier advocates a slow fashion spirit and a contemporary craft ideology, prioritizing comfort, quality and responsible manufacturing (every shoe is handmade in Menorca, Spain). The Spring/Summer ’14 collection de-contextualizes classic shoe designs, featuring sandal-shaped and often unisex models with a sophisticated sport aesthetic, and materials like cowhide or clean cotton provide subtle texture to their neutral-toned color palette. Albert Folch, creative director of Folch Studio, shared with us a bit of insight into the process behind the brand’s aesthetics, which he described as reductionist in itself. Deux Souliers means Two Shoes in French – simple as that, a simplicity that is at the core of every byproduct of the brand – from beautifully crafted shoes to advertising campaigns, branding and online presence. The focus is the product, and every aesthetic decision revolves around featuring it in the most straightforward, best possible way. Nunu is also interested in maintaining open door sessions at their studio in order to maintain closeness with the client – in fact, it’s how I had the opportunity to experience first-hand the lovely ethos of the brand. Campaign photography by Teddy Iborra.
This collection of simple leather sleeves for Apple devices has been created by the Dutch company Mujjo. All pieces are simple, slim and at the same time provide enough room to carry your iThing plus a few extras. The iPhone and iPad cases are folded from a single piece of leather in such a way that there is an integrated pocket for your papers, cards, earphones and other essentials. The Macbook sleeves feature felt for extra padding. They have a compartment inside to fit your stuff. Here is how designers explain their vision: We obsessively try to keep it as simple as possible, while trying to make each part as good as possible, every stitch, every button, they have all been intensively thought out. While it’s not easy to keep things simple, it does pay off to create a product that is perfect in a sense of simplicity to that extent that you cannot leave anything away without compromising it’s intention. I love the functionality of these pieces. While slimming the lines, designers did not strip away the comfort. I would appreciate more colors though.
Camilla and Marc’s SS 2014 collection embodies what their brand has always preached; flattering silhouettes, clean lines, keen attention to detail. The collection sees a fusion of strong lines, draping and a restrained palette. The resulting pieces embody minimalism to a tee and are fresh beautiful adornments. They can’t help but entice mass envy. Based in Australia and built on a contemporary and effortlessly elegant philosophy, their portfolio is nothing short of handsome. Since their launch in 2003, Camilla and Marc have headed innovation in luxury Australian women’s fashion. The brother and sister duo’s passion for working with quality textiles and couturier techniques such as draping have seen them hold their own. SS 2014 is a curation of beautiful, considered and texturally opulent pieces. Knowing them is a must. Photography courtesy of Camilla and Marc.
Last year we introduced Thisispaper’s beautifully basic Natural Irma Bag — and today we are featuring their new range of minimalist bags & rucksacks, showcased in their impressively designed online shop. Designed and manufactured by Thisispaper, by hand, in their Warsaw based studio, the range includes the beautiful Top Roll Rucksack — 100% cotton, the minimal and elegant Pocket Bag — 100% linen, and the stylish yet durable Market Bag — 100% cotton — all featuring vegetable-tanned natural leather. Some items within the collection are available in black, natural and off-white colours, as well as various sizes. All of which look just as impressive as each other. Perfect for everyday use, this made to order range offers everything you need in a bag. Wonderful work.
Livia Arena is a Melbourne based lawyer-turned-designer who brought her namesake label to life in 2010. Since the very first collection she committed herself to advocating natural fabrics such as silk, linen and wool, while keeping the silhouettes of the outfits straight and compelling in a very smart way. Her design is without frills while the garments are constructed with a great love for detail. And she is very much into knitting, as her statement regarding the AW14 moodboard shows: Lots of washed-out city landscapes and photos from far-away places. A lot of raw materials — a bunch of different mohair curls, felting samples and about a million knit swatches from my hand loom. — via pagesdigital Livia Arena’s latest collection is an amazing touch and feel experience that combines the softness of high quality fabrics with sculptural shapes. I love the invigorating appeal of Livia’s designs, which definitely make all of her clothing aspirants for long-term favorite pieces.
Issey Miyake is notable for its challenging take on the general concept of fashion. Along with the clever mind of artistic designer Tokujin Yoshioka, the collaboration between two creative visions have produced the TO watch collection that is both minimal in design and unique in material usage. TO, having four versions varied from SILAN001 to SILAN004, the fusion of the metal dial and the leather strap gives a certain boldness and masculinity to the user. With three circular layers, two for each hand, and one for the time marks, which bleed to the edge of the dial, there is something monumental about this small-scale piece of accessory. SILAN003 is the one that stands out the most to me, due to the contrast between the silver and the black, as well as the textures of the two materials. The correspondent silver buckle also helps heighten the elegance of this particular watch. Not only the watch is cautiously designed, its packaging is also carefully articulated with the use of metal spin-brushing. Nesting inside the black foam and the simple instruction is the product itself, waiting to embrace the wrist of the modern man. Photo Courtesy of Andrew Kim
Katamaku is a new series of products, born out of Tokyo, Japan, that utilise unused parts of the membrane material that were to be discarded. They were made into various cases and bags for everyday use with excellent durability. In order to keep its beautiful texture, the products are made from a single sheet of membrane that can be folded to protect things that are to be carried. The designers go on to explain: Katamaku can be assembled with ease, and in order to take advantage of the beauty of the material, we have designed each product as one piece of folded cloth, like a kimono. If you look at the material closely, you will see that each product is finished from the membrane allowing you to really appreciate the beauty of its detail. The minimalistic series includes a card, pass and pen case, a document folder and pochet. All of which are as exquisite as the next. Beautiful work.
Sydney based menswear label Song for the Mute unites Parisian-born, Italian-trained fashion designer Lyna Ty and graphic artist Melvin Tanaya under its wings. Coming from these two different angles, it seems to be the fabric’s surface which initially brings the two creatives together and inspires the work on any new collection: In essence, the label is a symphonic poem of tactile expectations and contemporary dreams. Visiting the flagship store of Song for the Mute in Sydney, I am not only awed by the impeccable fit and the cutting edge use of fabrics, but also by the all-round perfect and inviting set up of the label’s branding, the most friendly staff imaginable, and an open and honest interior design. And although it is definitely a menswear undertaking, there are more than a few pieces in the current collection I would love to wear myself. So I am very much looking forward to the upcoming online shop opening.