Alice Waese: A Fine Idea

06.05.2016 | Fashion | BY:

Alice Waese is not your typical fine jewellery designer. Despite founding an eponymous cult jewellery line that ranges in price from £1,900 to £6,500 – she has received critical acclaim from numerous fashion magazines including Vogue and Interview and exhibited her work at Frieze London 2015 – Alice’s propulsion of fine jewellery leaves it’s mark by revelling in the subversion and whim of all-that-glitters-isn’t gold cocktail sparkle. Her unisex gold and silver pieces, which are hand crafted in limited editions of 90, are subjects of her diverse research stimuli: birds, trees, roots, skulls, rock formations and limbs.

“The glowing and vivid palette os my Spring Summer 2016 collection is based on a series of paintings I created, they explore the visual intensity and subsequent symbolism of various stones. Alchemists consider the emerald as a symbol of hope, wisdom and as a preservation of love. The ruby is believed to be the most powerful jewel, and is associated with passion, vitality and courage—I incorporate them all in this collection,” she said.

Alice Waese

At 20, Alice Waese moved to New York, her current base, to intern for the jeweller Maria Cornejo and was later hired as a design assistant there. She then moved to London where she studied Fine Art at Goldsmith’s College before turning to jewellery full time. Alice describes her interest in fine jewellery as in fact a fascination with “artifacts and heirlooms, the weight of an object with intrinsic value. I consider what happens to an item that is loved, given away, passed on and worn daily. I am inspired also by the materials themselves, the transformation from wax to gold is something really satisfying both on an aesthetic level and a tactile, physical level. I also work from my drawings, an internal world of fantasy and narrative”.


Drawing from life is the basis of Alice’s work, as she truly believes that knowing the dimensions and details of objects and space are key to later constructing something fine and precious out of that which was once mundane. In conjunction with research of the fine jewellery field, Alice eagerly sketches and has published her surrealist watercolour drawings in a series of hand printed hardbound books, each containing a single piece of jewellery hidden in the cutout.

For Spring Summer 2016, Alice Waese’s launches a fine jewellery and ready-to-wear collection that is available exclusively at Hostem. //

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Hostem Spring Store

18.02.2016 | Fashion | BY:

East London clothing store Hostem has moved into a temporary space in Nichol Street for the spring, with the interior inspired by the sculptures of artist Oscar Tuazon.

Located just a minute’s walk away from their original Shoreditch location in Redchurch Street, the gallery interior at 28 Old Nichol Street has been conceived and built entirely in-house. It is an open-plan design, featuring original Chandigarth Pierre Jeanneret furniture and artwork by Lucien Smith, Kika Karadi and Graham Collins. A freestanding timber frame structure showcases men and women’s garments from the likes of Lanvin, Thom Browne, Loewe, Dries Van Noten, Comme des Garcons, Visvim, Yohji Yamamoto and Geoffrey B. Small.

The menswear boutique, which launched in 2010, has earned a World Architect Festival Award for the design of its Redchurch Street store, which over the course of five years has been expanded by five storeys. The temporary site will be used while the Redchurch Street store undergoes further expansion.

To celebrate the opening of their new space, Hostem are running their first ever Instagram competition, with a prize of £5,000. On visiting the Nichol Street store, entrants are invited to take a picture of the new space and to leave their name, email address and Instagram name in the guestbook. An Instagram user will be chosen from those who upload the picture accompanied with the hashtag #HostemSpringStoreE27HR. The competition closing date is the 9th March 2016.

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Later Alone She Wore Poems for Clothes

16.10.2014 | Art , Fashion | BY:

East London boutique Hostem has invited artist Amy Revier to perform in store for a week. To perform, the Texas born artist has installed her traditional floor loom in a studio space set in the concept store where you will find her, morning to evening, weaving textiles that will be sewn into a garment. Revier has also woven a collection of pieces specifically for Hostem, installed in the space for the duration of the exhibition. This will be the first time a large body of her work will be shown together.

“Old ways are retained not out of a sense of nostalgia, but because they serve a function,” states Revier. “I am interested in building from scratch, showing evidence of the hand, and in the plain beauty of well-made things.”

Working single-handingly to weave 3-5 garments a month in her North London studio, Revier’s pieces are intricate and beautiful. And with the materials being sourced from Kyoto-based spinners, most of which are hand-dyed and in limited stock you are left with a highly covetable luxury item for life.

Later Alone She Wore Poems for Clothes is open from the 16th-20th October.


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Twin Visits Hostem

06.08.2014 | Fashion | BY:

Christie Fels is the Head Womenswear Buyer at the East London concept store Hostem. Working closely with founder James Brown, Christie quickly became Artistic Director also, and is shaping the way Hostem views luxury, not only in terms of the womenswear collections but for the brand as a whole. Above the well-loved, well-known mens space, Hostem completely renovated the building, adding new floors to cater for their growing business. Twin met with Christie at the recent store expansion to talk about the Hostem aesthetic, personal style and what luxury means to her…

Tell us a little about your background…
I’m originally from South Africa, I was born in Johannesburg and studied in Cape Town. Initially I studied Interior Architecture and that was what I wanted to do. However I moved to Antwerp, around the same time a store called Ra 13 opened. I had wanted to do more art-based projects with them, but in the end fashion was a much bigger part and so that’s where I began.

I was there for about three and a half years and I loved Antwerp, but I was too young to settle there. I decided to move to London and work for LN-CC. I tried PR and Marketing and thought it was for me, but it wasn’t. At this point, I was relooking at what I wanted out of the industry personally and professionally, and made a decision not to continue down the communications route but to look for a more creative role, this coincided with James [Brown] thinking about growing the business at Hostem. He approached me to join the team and build the brand so it was perfect timing.

What would a typical day be like for you?
I work very closely with James, which enables us to work in tandem on everything from product at the store to Hostem’s brand voice and special projects. I joined Hostem in advance of the opening of womenswear so my role developed quite quickly – I am currently Artistic Director/Head Buyer of Womenswear. This means I split my time between being in the office, on the shop floor, and travelling – no two days look alike.

Was it difficult to translate the Hostem aesthetic to womenswear?
We didn’t want to limit ourselves to a particular aesthetic. We thought about what was relevant to a womenswear customer, whilst staying true to what the blueprint of menswear stands for. There has to be substance and story, this is key to what we do. I don’t think it’s difficult, no – I do think people might be surprised by the way in which we approached womens by bringing in brands such as Thom Browne, Simone Rocha and Dries Van Noten. Saying that, mens has evolved so much since we launched, they’ve happily met in the middle.

Does your personal style reflect your buying choices, and vice versa?
It would be impossible not to have some kind of influence. It’s difficult to separate buying for yourself and buying for a store. I’m lucky that the store is very much me – I would wear everything we sell and I would put most of my wardrobe into it. There’s definitely a cross-synergy but that’s because I really get the brand. I genuinely love the product and that’s why I’m here. However, I do have my weaknesses and there are times when I have to stop myself and say no, that’s a Christie moment.

Who are your go-to brands and designers at the moment?
Well, they haven’t changed in a while. Yang Li is someone who I really respect and have been wearing ever since his first collection. In terms of emerging designers I think he’s one of the most relevant out there. Dries Van Noten is a an old favourite – I respect that as a designer, he’s still so involved with the brand on every level which shows as it’s a complete representation of himself and his passions. Simone Rocha, which is a surprising one for me as it’s more feminine then the things I would normally wear but in terms of London, she’s probably the only stand out designer.

What designers should we have on our radar?
We are about to start working with a brand called Raag who produce and make all of their clothes in India. They are creating an exclusive capsule for Hostem (available in time for Christmas). They don’t wholesale so this will be the first time they’ve worked with a store. CristaSeya is a lifestyle brand incorporating fashion, design and textiles who we’ll be stocking from Spring/Summer. Jeffrey Smith is a London based shirt maker who makes every piece by hand and dyes using natural processes.

What is it you look for when scouting new brands?
There’s supporting a person and their vision and really respecting the brand holistically and what their ethos is and then there’s responding to product without knowing any of the backstory. They both play an equal role.

We are always looking for value in product. That might be a designer who is militant in their approach like Yang Li – he is uncompromising in building his brand and the core values it stands for. Then there are makers who are doing things that hold a lot of meaning. We are constantly looking at the word luxury and what that means – it’s changing all the time. I think now, more than ever, people are looking for inherent value in the pieces they buy. If you look at Toogood, for example, every piece has a little passport with the designer’s initials as well as everyone’s who took part in the making process.

What will you be wearing this Autumn/Winter season?
The Elder Statesman cashmere and a Toogood coat.

Photography by Trinity Ellis

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