Recently I have been on a search for a beautiful new minimal backpack to serve my everyday needs, but at a reasonable price. A search that is not as easy as you may think. Of course, I have come across many bag designs over the years, many of which however, have been discontinued. Just yesterday, I discovered Derbyshire based accessories brand, C6. Their range of accessories includes this beautiful and protective minimal backpack, ideal for laptops and various tablets. Available in two sizes; Large (37cm x 50cm x 25cm) and Small (32cm x 45cm x 25cm), the backpack is also available in two colours; Black and Olive. The large black version is particularly appealing and currently tops my wish-list. Further backpack suggestions are always welcome.
The Australian label Bassike is well known for their structured collections that emulate both minimalism as well as the carefree attitude of beach living. In their Spring Summer 2013 Women’s Campaign, each piece appears well tailored while looking relaxed; chic in the minimal palette and elegant in forms and material. Reputed for using high quality in material and an emphasis on local production, Deborah Sams and Mary-Lou Ryan, the duo behind the label, always design with comfort in mind for both sexes: The beauty of bassike is its appeal to men and women whose easy-going style still requires an element of subtle luxury. Bassike’s very specific aesthetic is influenced by the contrasts of loose australian beach style and the integrity and simplicity of japanese design. Draw-string and dropped-crotch pants have not looked any more stylish on women with Birkenstock sandals. This collection Bassike has taken relaxed luxury to another level.
This chic laconic bag has been created by London based designer Katharina Eisenkoeck. The piece is crafted from high quality leather and intended for your laptop and not much else. Here is how designer explains her vision: It is hard to find well-made, simple, and non-fussy bags without the usual extra pockets and gold or silver additions. Hence the laptop bag was designed against the movement toward excessive decoration. The challenge of determining the simplest solution possible was playing a major role in this project. It was crucial to create a minimalist and functional shell through sharp lines, a subtle colour, and smart proportions. I love the versatility of the piece – you can use it as a backpack or a tote. The shade and thinness of the bag resembles a simple manila folder, which adds to its understated beauty.
Based in New York City, artist and designer Doug Johnston has been focusing since 2010 on a process of coiling and stitching rope into a variety of functional and sculptural objects. From this new bag collection, photographed by Brook&Lyn, each piece is handmade and hand-formed one at a time in Johnston’s Brooklyn studio. The rope works are made from sewing thread and braided 100% cotton cord, stitched on my vintage industrial zig-zag sewing machines. The fabrication technique was learned from the crafting community and adapted for my sculptural and formal explorations. His work spans the disciplines of art, design, architecture and music – Johnston has conducted explorations in the varying worlds of installation, fiber art, sculpture, photography, collaborative performance and even architectural metal fabrication. Such a multidisciplinary background obviously informs everything he makes, helping him create thoughtful and functional pieces that have become widely sought after.
Slightly bias in this plug, but Melbourne based designer Alpha60 should need no introduction. Originating from Canberra, the brother-sister duo has been styling the fashionistas of urban Melbourne since 2005. Their collections feature bold tailoring with beautiful details and a minimalist palette. Their newest Spring 2013 Collection is a continuance to this testament. The SS13 Collection is an evolution, as with all of their work to date, of their passion for details and fabric through the expression of technique. Alpha60 has flourished into a unique, inimitable label known for its fresh take on classic styles and cute, reflecting a sophisticated quirk unique to the brand. The lines, folding and cuts of each of these pieces have a timeless-ness that seems to also embody an urban edge that is so quintessentially Melbourne. Alpha60 are not content to smell the roses and with a portfolio than spans international borders and features some impressive creative collaborations, they are a force to watch. And wear, of course.
Devon-born and London-based fashion designer Charlie May (of the blog Girl a la Mode fame) launched her Autumn/Winter ’13 collection in the beginning of the year, giving continuity to her signature minimalist, androgynous style. The collection plays with solid, pure colors and instances of sheer transparency, gravitating stoically from pure white to pure oxblood, going through blacks and grays. In counterpart to the contained color palette, May plays with layering and materials, adding texture and depth to her pieces. The collection is bold and equally ethereal, two interesting contrasting sentiments. The collection’s styling and makeup, achieved with the strong red lip look, add an impeccable finish to the whole. I’m quite enamored with the featured long white dress myself!
Matthew Ames is an American fashion designer, graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. With a minimal aesthetic much comparable to Christophe Lemaire, Ames started his own brand in 2005 in New York. In 2011, the designer took a break for a tutorship at the Savannah College of Art and Design. For Spring 2013, Matthew Ames came back to the fashion scene with a collaboration with Weekday simply called Prairie. Prairie is a loose-silhouetted collection whose garments show off a certain ease both to the mind and to the eyes. What’s exciting about the collection is the excess use of denim, a fabric of casualty. Nevertheless, different shades of blue denim embrace every stitch – presented through square pockets, mandarin collars, deep slits, and asymmetrical cuts – giving an elegance to the collaboration. Ames said: It’s about focusing on what is integral to the design. It’s something quiet, but powerful. Photos Courtesy of Weekday.
Practical. Functional. Minimal. These elements were what inspired Ivania Carpio, the multi-talented force behind Love Aesthetics to develop her own design collection with BlackBlessed‘s Capsule Collection. With a sharp and clean aesthetic, the Pant-Skirt, the Jacket and the Bag, were results of Ivania’s desire to make life work for her that exudes her personal style and lifestyle. What I love about this collection is the intent behind each piece. All the elements are about the everyday life of running after a child, riding a bicycle, getting errands done, or just simply what you bring with you when you leave the house. Having a single bag designed to fit different needs for different occasions sounds more complicated that it actually needs to be and Ivania has a clever, minimalist solution with The Bag and its detachable straps that turns a clutch into a backpack. The silhouette of her collection reminds one of Calvin Klein’s sophistication and Acne’s simple practicality. Yet with the comfort and functional ease of these pieces, Ivania’s personal style of clean and minimal shines through. I, for one, am looking forward to her next collection of such beautiful, functional designs.
Esteban Cortazar’s latest collection for Net-A-Porter is a demure and muted palette of tonal subtleties and bold forms. Originally from Columbia, Cortazar’s work has seen him create now two collections for Net-A-Porter. Elegantly feminine with a touch of attitude, the collection sees the combination of leathers, structure, defined textures and bold shapes. Expect a fresh approach to layering, tailoring and asymmetry, alongside a selection of achingly cool eveningwear. Cortazar’s brief from the beginning was for the collection to be trans-seasonal and work throughout the year, in different countries and climates globally. With the intention that every piece be versatile and translate easily from day to night, the collection also seems to embody an urban-ness; an edge, if you will. This Net-A-Porter collection is a champion for the craft of tailoring to be celebrated. Minimal lines, restrained colour and beautiful execution.
These simple folded wallets are created by Romania based studio CleanEverything. The company name is a motto as well. Designers were aiming to reduce their product to the absolute essentials. Each wallet is cut from a single piece of leather and then wrapped around cash. This origami-like approach eliminates stitching and additional details. Only a piece of leather and a single stud. I like that the laconic nature of the design does not compromise the function. Each piece holds bills (of any currency) and 2-3 credit cards, which is what most people use on a daily basis. The wallets are made from 100% Italian vegetable-tanned calf leather and come in red, white and green.
Primary colors: black, white, red, blue, and yellow. Silhouettes: cropped shorts above knee, wide-sleeved t-shirts, tailored trousers, slim-fit shirts, long coats and smart blazers. Sounds simple enough? Not even. Christopher Kane has proven to be a strong contender in contemporary fashion; he likes to experiment and his ventures never disappoint. So why does this description sound so… ordinary? The Scottish designer seems to be on a rampage of prints lately, so this collection was no different. This time, horror characters from his last menswear collection are replaced by fine thin lines of computerized matrix images. Those meshes, or rather landscapes, span across the entire outfits sometimes, giving those looks a head-to-toe complexion. The undulated pattern might be the only element that elevated this presentation, but with the twist of buttoned-up-sleeved button ups, the collection became a little cheekier. By no means is Christopher Kane’s menswear S/S 2014 revolutionary like his womenswear collections, but with the fun take and its extreme wearability, one can’t help but appreciate the simplicity of the forms and the topographic field of contours. Photos Courtesy of Style.com
In his 2014 Resort womenswear collection, London-based fashion designer J.W. Anderson takes an interesting step away from the classic styles that propelled him to debut at London’s Fashion Week only at 27. Because of his interest in stage costume, this is the first collection of J.W. Anderson which I have noticed, that exudes more character in the typical details. The usual silhouette of the collars, waistlines and sleeves are distorted, twisting and cutting away while their proportions are slightly emphasized to allow the fluidity of these gestures in the details. Though his designs seem somewhat conservative when one thinks of stage costume, I love this collection because with the minimal use of color and more controlled manipulation of where the fabric folds or stops. Compared to his previous collections, this feels like a more mature, well thought-out execution on the whole.