Saturday, 31 January 2015


This month's faves from the past 25 years are;
The Coromandel Tieback from our Taupo collection went through several incarnations until I was happy with the final result. It went on to become not only our best selling tieback but also one of our most popular bespoke design products so therefore going through even more embodiments. Even in the last month we've had several enquiries about this tieback.
So called because it resembles the umbrella type trees found in the Coromandel in New Zealand, this tieback features hand-pleated ribbon, and was one of our first forays into dip-dye. Taupo was launched at TentLondon in 2008 with the current version launched a year later.
Below,left and right, the Coromandel tieback.

Below, it's first manifestation. 

Above, bespoke versions on a theme.
Below, a bespoke colourway.

This tieback was inspiration for some Christmas decoration designs for Marks and Spencer in 2008.

Above, in the pleating of the latest form of Coromandel breed.
Below, the finished tassel.

I love Japan. It's the most contradictory of countries. Simplicity incarnate yet confusingly complicated. Modern yet steeped in tradition. The glaring neon of Tokyo co-exists with the gentle calm of Kanazawa with it's ancient geisha district, castle walls, and tranquil gardens where you can take a moment to breathe and watch eagles soar high above you before wending your way back to the tatami mats, futon, cotton kimono and steaming green tea of a ryokan inn. There is also a Samurai district.

Above, incredible interiors from Kyoto 

I'm quite obsessed with armour and warriors and the Samurai suit with it's intricate braiding, lacing, lacquering, and tasseledge has to be the most handsome and complex of armours. Throughout my Japanese odyssey I saw many Samurai  suits- The National Museum in Tokyo has a whole room just of helmets- and on my last night in Japan at a rykoan, above a garage in Narita, the eccentric proprietor, whose ancestors had been samurai and whose establishment was more like a museum than an inn, let me try on some of the armour that was displayed in every nook and cranny. Heavy? I don't know how they walked in the stuff let alone fought in it, but it was from these encounters with these suits that on my return the Samurai Tieback came into being.

Above, two Samurai suits

Above, the Samuari Tieback made in 2005. First shown at TentLondon 2008

Above and below, a bespoke commission of this tieback using silk, horsehair and semi-precious beads.

Like most of what I do, make, design, I see my passementerie not only as finished objects, but a continuum for other ideas and the Samurai tieback is no exception.
When I was working for fashion consultant and stylist Johanne Mills on her jewellery collections we used this piece as a starting point for some of her necklaces. 

Above, cord necklaces made for Johanne Mills between 2007-8

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