If London is known for anything as a fashion capital, it’s nurturing and supporting a hotbed of creative talents all across the design spectrum.
For a second year running, Selfridges has selected its Bright Young Things. The project allows 15 newcomers from the worlds of fashion, art, design and food talents to create a window display for its Oxford and Duke Street stores.
With participants this year including womenswear designer/illustrator and CSM graduate Sorcha O’ Raghallaigh, who specialises in intricate metallic coloured and lace designs (Lady Gaga is a fan) and designer Maarten van der Horst, who gave a new and fashionable life to the otherwise dreaded Hawaiian prints, it’s a testament to the design talents that the Big Smoke has to offer.
For those more interested in non-fashion creativity, interior designer duo Tinker & Tailor have created a Twitter-friendly interactive space, while coffee connoisseur Jack Coleman made his own personal ode to the art of the brewing and roasting.
There’s never been a better reason to stop and take a closer look. Rush hour crowds notwithstanding.
Bright Young Things is on until February 29.
Zana Bayne makes pieces for people who aren’t afraid to let their accessories do the talking.
The Brooklyn-based designer handcrafts body harnesses, belts and other accessories worn by the likes of Lady Gaga. Having founded her blog Garbage Dress in 2008, Bayne already has a strong following for her own sense of style, which is composed of Ann Demeulemeester, Rick Owens and lots of black. Both her personal and brand aesthetic showcase a penchant for slightly dark and elegant.
Twin talked to the designer about bullfighting suits and the power of blogs…
What is the design process of a collection from start to finish?
I like to make collections that respond to the one prior, often ‘carrying over’ designs. Sometimes it begins with a color, or shape, or specific body part that I want to highlight. A lot of the time, I think of a certain ‘lack’ or ‘void’ – something that I wish existed, or was more accessible. From there I do a lot of sketching. In the developmental stage, I do a lot of image hoarding; I collect pictures that seem to resonate with my current state of mind, and once there’s enough of them I try to look for themes and patterns.
What inspires your designs in general, and more specifically, your F/W 11 collection?
I like to design with my friends in mind, taking what I do and adapting it to something that would fit their style. I like my work to be wearable for a variety of people, so I definitely keep styling options in mind. For F/W 11, I began with the image of a Torrero & his Traje de Luces (bullfighting suit) – the feelings of strength, pride, and confidant finesse. I also used wider cuts of leather to create bolder lines on the body. The colour palate of red, black, and patent black leather echoed that masculinity.
How has your blog helped you develop your brand?
From the advent of my blog back in 2008, I realized that if used correctly, it could become a very effective portfolio of my point of view. I have always posted my own photographic content, and kept the entries based on my life experiences.
Every step of my business development is chronicled on my blog. I think this openness and visual archive has been a huge help. I’m able to share the process behind the product as well as show how my pieces can be worn in daily life. I think its hard for a lot of new labels to establish consumer trust without years of brand history, so in a sense I have been able to create this through blogging.
What are your future plans and projects with Zana Bayne Leather?
Right now I’m working on my S/S 12 collection which I will be showing in February (I think seasons are unnecessary for accessories), as well as a few collaborations with designers for their F/W 12 collections. Everything is still made by hand by myself & my studio helpers, so I’m hoping to find a way to relieve some of the labour intensity. We shall see.