Newbie designer and all-round brills person Ashley Williams has collaborated with Selfridges. The launch of this fun link-up, planned around the Denim Studio’s 1st anniversary, is taking place tonight and I’ll be there to see it up close.
This range is a clever way of a retailer and a designer working together to test the waters – here’s why.
The capsule comprises eight Autumn/Winter 2014 designs, but each given a denim spin. So there’s the amazing leather horse jacket and dress, re-imagined in denim, an exclusive motif of western style dancers on a sweatshirt and a pair of jeans and the cat print on a white tee that’s perfect for pairing with true blues. Easier & cheaper to buy into than leather, no?
Instead of buying Ashley’s mainline collection, Selfridges have been clever in setting themselves apart from their competitors and dipping their toe into the Ashley pool at the same time. They have been able to work with an emerging designer on their terms, collaborating on the product itself – utilising the designer’s nous and the retailer’s rep as a denim destination. With a prestigious launch event and the press-worthy story backing the partnership up, Selfridges is able to see how the goods perform in store and test Ashley product on their customer to see if she’s a worthwhile investment for future seasons (if you ask me – duh.)
I’d like to see more of this in the future. Sure, I’ve heard plenty of stores asking for an exclusive on a style or a colour way to give them the edge over other retailers, but why not ask for specific tweaks, or plan product with the designer personally to utilise the retailer’s large-scale production knowledge/expert contacts and the designer’s idiosyncratic vision? After all, if there’s one thing that designers could use a leg up with it’s getting their garments made by the right factories to achieve the right price, and then ultimately achieve the right sell-through. It’s all good for everyone.
Read more and see the pics on Dazed Digital & i-D.
Holly Wilcox‘s jewellery really reminds me of both the sea and forest. The intricate detailing and seemingly whipped shapes are both fragile and striking. Holly gave me an insight into her beautiful works..
How did you get started in jewellery?
I’ve always enjoyed making things, but I realised my love for jewellery design at an afternoon workshop when I was 15. I made a ring from sterling silver (which I still have today!) and was hooked from the moment the solder ran…There’s nothing more satisfying than manipulating a piece of solid metal into a different form!
Your pieces remind me of the sea and woodland berries – are you interested in nature?
Yes – growing up in a costal village has given me a real interest in nature. I love photographing and drawing all the ihe interesting little details in plants, and picking up smoothed seaglass and stones from the beach. What I find most interesting about nature is the life cycle everything goes through, from teeny tiny buds starting to flower to the crinkled leaves falling from trees. Even the view of the countryside from my window back home is inspiring.
What else inspires you?
So many things! My everyday surroundings, whether it’s an interesting leaf found on the ground, to discovering a jeweller with gorgeous work I’ve never seen before. Meeting other artists and designers and hearing them talk passionately about their own work is inspiring too.
Which jewellers do you admire?
I absolutely love Ruth Tomlinson’s intricate work – my favourites are in her ‘Flora’ collection. The use of porcelain next to precious metal creates pieces so delicate and beautiful. I also admire Ruth Wood and love the organic qualities of her jewellery.
What’s the one piece of jewellery you never take off?
I constantly wear a little delicate gold ring, which was actually a bit of an experiement but turned out beautifullly and may well lead to the next collection…and I’m also currently enjoying wearing one of my own ‘Cluster’ bangles. I tend to go through phases with my favourite piece of the moment and wear it all the time till I change my mind to the next one!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
I would love nothing more than to still be designing and making jewellery and perhaps be running my own gallery filled with beautiful objects…watch this space!