Amelia’s Magazine | Constructive Studio: London Fashion Week S/S 2013 Preview Interview

Constructive Studio scarves
Constructive Studio is a brand new label launching this season, a collaboration between graphic designer Craig Yamey and fashion designer Ian Scott Kettle, who discovered a mutual love of street art, colourful painterly patterns and photographic collaging, put together and engineered into dramatic shapes for fashion design and beyond. Craig Yamey tells us more about what inspired this unique partnership.

Constructive Studio bow_ties
How did you meet Ian Scott Kettle and what made you get together to create a new label?
Ian and I met at a Central Saint Martins Degree show in 2009 through a mutual friend. We instantly hit it off and it was clear we shared the same approach to designing and similar influences. When I saw Ian’s portfolio I was blown away. He had recently worked as a designer for Alberta Ferretti and I had just returned from a year travelling through Vietnam so I was buzzing with ideas and new sketch books. I could see parallels between Ian’s engineered forms and my own illustration work so we started to investigate ways in which we could marry our skill set. We were both freelancing and teaching at the time so initially we would just meet up to show each other ideas. Ian would give me sketches and I would expand on them or design a print that could be engineered into his ideas. We soon realised that there was a strong aesthetic being born and that’s when we decided to form a new label and get a studio together. It was great to have a dedicated work space and have some set deadlines to work towards.

Constructive Studio lace_face
As a graphic designer how hard is it for you to get your head around fashion and what new things have you learnt recently?
Working in commercial graphic design often requires you to turn around print-ready artwork in an hour. The greatest lesson Ian has taught me is the importance of an incubation period; time to research and develop ideas, materials and processes. I am used to working with pen, ink and computer, my output has always existed in a 2-dimensional realm and I have only been restricted by my own time frames. Now relying on suppliers to send samples of materials, fittings and experimenting with print techniques means I’ve needed to create a much longer time scale to complete work. The other area within fashion that has been a great learning curve is understanding the difference between designing for flat graphics such as posters or CD covers and designing for engineered prints and scarves where fabric drapes and hangs off he body. It’s been great learning how different materials function.

Constructive Studio epaulets
Who do you hope will appreciate the various elements of your collection, eg. the bow ties and the plush dolls?
We have always been interested in creating a range that cuts through the boundaries between high-end luxury fashion and something more ‘street’ in it’s aesthetic; that’s my graphics background coming through! The colour palettes are bold and young and there is a sense of fun to the work. The bow ties are unisex and proving equally popular amongst women and men – I like the idea that certain pieces can transcend gender, an aesthetic we pushed in The Look Book. I always thought the plush dolls had quite a dark edge, using weeping Victorian-etched faces. I pitched the dolls at a KID ROBOTdesigner toy” market but it’s great to see how many young kids love them too.
Constructive Studio lazer_cut_tie
What’s the inspiration behind the newest design elements?
The influences for the first collection are a marriage of opposites; we are fusing our own hand-painted brush strokes with computer-generated vector-lines. Juxtaposing the mark-making of street art with photographic images of nature; clouds and flora. We like to mix strong angulated engineered forms with softer painted patterns and conversely enjoy mixing the strength of bold geometric shapes on delicate materials such as Habotai silk. We are very interested in exploring non-fashion materials to create our accessories, using polypropelene and acetates to make our collars. We like the fact that certain pieces such as the acrylic toggles and plastic collars sit somewhere between fashion and product design and our work has been picked up by The London Design Festival which focuses more on homeware and furniture design. 

Constructive Studio pink_collar
How do the graphics work with the complicated pattern cuts, and what is the process of designing together?
Creating engineered prints is an exciting process of passing the ball back and forth to one another. With the bow ties Ian will start with a sketch which we both look at and consider any necessary adjustments to the design. Ian will then create a pattern and make a Calico prototype. When the form is created I can gauge how the shape twists and folds, which areas will be exposed or overlap when worn. I then start designing the direction of the pattern in accordance to the form. Ian will then give me the flat pattern on which will apply my prints. Once sewn we can see which areas of the design need re-adjusting. With the meter silk scarves it’s important to understand how the scarf will be worn and will fold. Sometimes a design will look beautiful flat but when worn we realise the scale of certain elements need re-adjusting to have maximum impact on the body. 2-Dimensional graphics is easy to assess on paper but graphics for fashion prints needs testing and adjusting on the body.

Constructive Studio cleric_collars
What else do you hope to create in the Constructive Studio range?
We will be designing a range of T-shirts for the next collection. Instead of applying a print to a standard T-shirt we will be engineering the designs into the form and creating the Tees from scratch. We will also be introducing the scarves in larger sizes and lazer cut shapes, we are keen to engineer our patterns into more unusual shapes of scarf beyond the standard square format. The bow ties have been one of the most successful items in the collection so we will be applying new prints to our 3 shapes.

Constructive Studio plastic_collar
Constructive Studio launches this fashion week. What has a typical day been like in the run up to such a busy period?
Since the Look Book came back from print, we have taken to the streets, presenting the collection to buyers and the press. We have found that sending emails to buyers is no where near as successful as visiting shops, meeting with buyers and showing key pieces, so the past week we have targeted specific shops in London. A typical day also involves working on production, both to supply our forthcoming on-line retailers and to create stock for the open studio events that happen at Cockpit Arts where we are based. Then we start researching and developing the next collection to stay ahead of schedule, so next week we are off to Premier Vision in Paris to source fabrics and fittings and do some research into the French market. 

constructive studio cushion
What do you hope for over the next twelve months?
The next year its all about developing the collection, sourcing quality suppliers and getting the CONSTRUCTIVE STUDIO label known. London & Paris Fashion Week is on the horizon for the February Collection as this season its all about creating introductions. We have some exciting collaborations ahead of us and will be developing more products to apply the Constructive Studio aesthetic to.

constructive studio bowties
See more from Constructive Studio on their website, follow the label on twitter @constructive2 and facebook. The new collection will be stocked on Culture Label and with other stockists soon. Craig Yamey is also featured in my first book: Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration.

Categories ,@constructive2, ,Alberta Ferretti, ,Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Cockpit Arts, ,Constructive Studio, ,Designer Toy, ,Facebook, ,Habotai silk, ,Ian Scott Kettle, ,KID ROBOT, ,London Design Festival, ,Look Book, ,Plush Toys, ,Plushies, ,Premier Vision, ,twitter, ,Vietnam

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Amelia’s Magazine | Diamond Jubilee Party and Gift Ideas!

This weekend (most of) Britain will come together to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, marking 60 glorious years on the throne. Here’s a selection of Jubilee-themed goodies we like for your delectation…

For Sweet Tooths…

Union Flag Cupcakes and Jubilee Biscuits by Biscuiteers

For Excited Royalists…

I’m So Excited I Could Wee… Tea Towel by House of Holland

For crafty types…

Make Your Own Bunting Tea Towel by Cerys Turner

For Tea Drinkers…

RoyalTea tea bags available at Oliver Bonas

For Souvenir lovers…

Alternative Her Majesty plate by Katie J Spragg

For Glamazons…

Corgi scarf by Liberty

For Hipsters…

Jubilee Tattoos by Lydia Leith

For Girlies…

HM Queen necklace by Jaymie O’Callaghan

For Help With the Dishes…

Jubilee Tea Towel by Jane Denham

For Decorators…

Recycled London bunting by Stephanie Wheeler

For Snarfle Monkey

Reusable Jubilee Cloth Nappy by TotsBots

Queen babygrow by Rosie Wonders

For Jewellery Addicts…

Crown necklace by Tatty Devine

For Illustration Fans…

Tea Towel by Charlotte Fleming

For Foodies…

Jubilee Jelly Mould by Lydia Leith available at Selfridges

For Fashion Lovers…

Union Flag Tights by House of Holland for Pretty Polly

For Thrifties

Free toys by Samantha Eynon – download the templates here!

…And for Republicans…

Jubilee Sick Bags by Lydia Leith

Categories ,Biscuiteers, ,Biscuits, ,bunting, ,Cerys Turner, ,Charlotte Fleming, ,Cloth Nappy, ,cupcakes, ,Denham Design, ,Diamond Jubilee, ,House of Holland, ,Jaymie O’Callaghan, ,Jelly Mould, ,liberty, ,london, ,Lydia Leith, ,Nappy, ,Necklace, ,Oliver Bonas, ,Plate, ,Pretty Polly, ,Queen Elizabeth II, ,Rosie Wonders, ,RoyalTea, ,Samantha Eynon, ,Selfridges, ,Sick Bag, ,Stephanie Wheeler, ,Tattoos, ,Tatty Devine, ,Tea Bags, ,Tea Towel, ,tights, ,TotsBots, ,Toys

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Amelia’s Magazine | Christmas Gift Ideas 2011: Jewellery and Hats

Rosie Wonders Dala Horse Necklace - Amelias Magazine - Janneke de Jong
Rosie Wonders Dala Horse Necklace by Janneke de Jong.

It’s getting scarily close, this Christmas malarkey. And I bet that if you are anything like me you’ve done very little about actually getting or making any presents for your loved ones. Well, help is on hand – over the next few weeks I’ll be rounding up some of my favourite things. First up some bits of gorgeous jewellery and headwear.

dala_horse rosie wonders
Rosie Wonders is an old friend of mine who started out creating gorgeous handmade cards. Since then her range has expanded hugely and I was delighted to find these gorgeous new enamelled Dala Horse necklaces when I visited her recently at her Sunday Upmarket stall on Brick Lane. Think gloriously big, bright and chunky: a real statement piece. Rosie Wonders is offering 15% off orders over £50 online this weekend and free delivery on orders over £25.

electic eccentricity bobtail necklace
Eclectic Eccentricity‘s Lucy Crick makes gorgeous upcycled jewels from bits which she scours from antique markets. I particularly like the Cottontail Hare Necklace, with a glass pearl for the tail on a bouncing hare. All her jewellery comes beautifully boxed and ready to give as Christmas pressies.

Emma Ware Cuffs
Emma Ware is a fabulous eco designer who is featured in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration. Since I discovered her she has gone from strength to strength and when I caught up with her at the East London Design Show I was pleased to discover that she now stocks her unique jewellery in stores worldwide. Created out of old bicycle tyre rubber, her clever pieces are quite unlike anything else.

Spirithoods Husky hood - Amelias Magazine - Janneke de Jong
Spirithoods Husky hood by Janneke de Jong.

Spirithoods are a bigger brand than most featured here, but oh boy do I love their furry hoods – I tried one of these on for size at a recent press day and was instantly smitten. They are quite pricey, but absolutely the bees knees when it comes to hats with ears. Snuggly perfection.

Howkapow have teamed up with illustrator Will Scobie to produce these glorious cat necklaces, which come in black and white on a chunky gold chain.

Clara Necklace by Richard Parson
Clara Necklace by Ridley and Dowse, illustration by Richard Parson.

ridley dowse
Ridley and Dowse are a Brighton based duo. Their innovative jewellery features large bold geometric designs that work especially well in semi precious metals such as brass and steel. I love this Quadra necklace (I do like necklaces, so it would seem).

the aviary zoom_mothle
The Aviary are another eco design team who work with illustrators (including some of ours, Harriet Gray and Gemma Milly!) and I absolutely adore this beautiful moth locket. Very unusual.

rosie sugden fluoro beanie
Rosie Sugden makes gorgeous cashmere knitwear – created using tubular techniques on Shima knitting machines. I particularly love her pink fluoro bobble hat, created from Mongolian cashmere goat yarn and then made up in Innerleithen, in the Scottish Borders.

More ideas coming up soon!

Categories ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Brick Lane, ,Cashmere, ,Christmas, ,Dala Horse, ,East London Design Show, ,Emma Ware, ,Gemma Milly, ,Gift ideas, ,Harriet Gray, ,Hats. Jewellery, ,Howkapow, ,Innerleithen, ,Janneke de Jong, ,knitwear, ,Lucy Crick, ,Mongolian, ,Necklace, ,Richard Parson, ,Ridley and Dowse, ,Ridley Dowse, ,Rosie Sugden, ,Rosie Wonders, ,Scottish Borders, ,Spirithoods, ,Sunday Upmarket, ,The Aviary, ,Upcycled, ,Will Scobie

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