One Of A Kind

Every so often I stumble across beautiful concepts, riveting images and special stories. But none of them pull all three together quite as effectively as Of A Kind.

I chanced upon Of A Kind while in New York and found their article, ‘Why Buying From Emerging Fashion Designers Costs More Money (And Why That’s Okay)‘ very eloquently written and hit the nail on it’s head square on at describing why emerging designer stuff is so “spensive?!”, as they put it, and more importantly – why is absolutely a-okay!

Founders, Claire and Erica, share their thrill for new designers and give us access to these designers personalities and the things they make. Through their beautifully crafted website, we get to experience these designers’ products, process and stories. As they describe, Of A Kind is for ‘people who want to know the story behind everything, people who are the first to hear about the next big artist/designer/musician/chef, people who shop as much for the experience as they do for the product.’

Something admirable and distinctive, although perhaps a little obscure, about Of A Kind is their transparency.

Yes, you read that right. Transparency.

They celebrate small batch sizes, disclosing exactly how many pieces are available for purchase. ’50 of a kind’, ‘4 of a kind’, ’39 of a kind’, ‘1 of a kind’ … thus, Of A Kind. Get it?

Of A Kind’s appeal, I feel, is in addition to buying something, you also support with your dollar – a story, a designer and a sense that you own something special. When someone compliments you on that item, it can be a whole conversation about Who designed it, Where it came from, What went into producing this piece, and How special you are to own only one of X number of pieces in the whole world! How special is that?! (:

Well, onto what really compelled me to write this post.

This curious cat hadn’t been to Of A Kind’s site in awhile and I just thought I’d pop in to have a quick look. This “quick look” made my heart stop when I saw Creatures of Comfort‘s Dyed Julie Tee. This crinkled just-rolled-outta-mah-bed cotton gauze oozes comfort and ease, AND looks perfect for our equatorial heat and humidity. Add to that a kaleidescopic mashup of every colour know and unknown to man triggered memories of rainbows, blow pens and pastel PaddlePop ice creams

I think, Kandinsky would be proud.

There are 30 pieces of the Dyed Julie Tee by Creatures of Comfort available. Each tee retails for US$135. And you should capitalize on the exchange rate (which is in our favour, yay!) to be one of only thirty proud owners of the gorgeous tee.

 

Weekend windup

Over the weekend my friends and I caught snippets of Night Festival Singapore 2012 after dining at Food for Thought’s 8Q outlet. We caught Argentinian performance troupe – Fuerzabruta by Ozono Producciones and their performances Corresdoras and Mylar. May I just say, being suspended in the air and splashing about in a pool of water suspended 15 metres above the audience heads both looked exceptionally fun.

In between the Fuerzabruta performances we also watched Kevin Lester featuring Kiat’s killer performance. Was very happy and proud to see some of the audience dancing (myself included, ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!!! Good job Singapore!) We need to work on our singing-along/shouting out lyrics skill but I was pretty surprised and impressed.

And a Night Festival favourite (and staple, in my opinion,) were the National Museum and Singapore Art Museum facade digital light projections. Its a long shot but i hope the organisers invite Australia’s Electric Canvas back, they were here in 2008 and produced these: check out my favourite at 0:39.

2012’s Night Festival facade favourite was the galactic projection (image above) which I posted on wearewottoncool’s Instagram. Which, in turn, made me think of these gorgeous shoes.

And here’s a bunch of links which made up my Sunday reading:

Have you met Pusheen, the Cat? He can even dance, Gangnam Syle (on August 28 2012).

Pamela Love’s Jewellery Masterclass via Net-A-Porter makes me wanna unearth all my accessories and wear them at once.

And I just found out through New York Times that 23-year-old Coco Rocha is one digitally savvy chic who has amassed “millions of followers across 13 social media platforms (400,000 on Twitter; 197,000 on Instagram; 1.6 million on Google Plus; and 2 million followers on Weibo, to name a few).” Read what Zac Posen, Tyra Banks and Cindy Crawford have to say about Coco Rocha in the article here.

And lastly, vintage photographs dating back to the 1960s of children whizzing through New York City on skateboards. My favourite is image 19.

Karla Spetic-ular

We’ve been keeping tabs on Australian designers ever since we worked part-time in this multi-brand store that focused on brands from down under. Camilla and Marc, Sass & Bide, Therese Rawsthorne, Zimmermann, Zambesi, loved it all! Might have shifted our focus to our surely burgeoning local scene, but let’s talk about Karla Spetic now.

Croatian-born, Australia-based Karla Spectic delivers simple silhouettes in subtle prints, so subtle and subtley used compared to the ones here.

She’s incorporated digital photo images of the Australian outback and the suburbs so that customers could “wear what we see” and has since taken a more stylized perspective with porcelain and ceramic motifs and most recently, Roy Lichenstein’s pop art prints against leopard.

I spy 1960’s pop art meets the waist-conscious and swelling skirt of the 1950’s ala Mad Men, with the too-manly military suit influences in 1930’s womenswear but it works.

Oddly enough, with such a still, minimalist streak in her collections, you might think her though process a thorough and linear one, but it’s far from it: “I don’t draw my designs. It would make it so much easier if I did sketch but then I get bored with it and don’t want to look at it anymore… I make a conscious decision to keep everything jumbled in my head so I never know what’s going to come out or how it will end up looking. So when things come to life – with my colours and prints and shapes and patterns draped on a dummy – that’s when I find peace; when I feel that satisfaction. And I feel really happy about that.”

Pictures from here (beware there is an online store, but according to the website also available at Lula Rock in Singapore), excerpt from here.

Interview with Charlotte Olympia

20120329-231703.jpg

British shoe designer, Charlotte Olympia was hosted at On Pedder today for a day of interviews and guest appearance at the outlet at Scotts Square. Channelling the glamour of 1940s and 50s, Charlotte Olympia is walking perfection. Her accessory designs have also been acknowledged by the British Fashion Council, awarding Charlotte Olympia Dellal the Accessory Designer of the Year award, beating nominees such as Mulberry. Here are some of her responses to our interview today:
(it was a group interview, generic questions are marked ‘Q’ and Wottoncool questions are marked ‘WC’)

Question (Q): Hi Charlotte, how would you describe your style.
Charlotte Olympia (CO): My style is nostalgic. Personally, I like tottering in heels. I love the style from 40s and 50s and pin-up girls like Rita Hayworth.

Q: You’ve worked for Ungaro and Giambattisa Valli previously before starting your brand, Charlotte Olympia. How were you able to grow your business in such a short time? What was a turning point for your brand?
CO: I’ve always tried to focus on a small group of retailers – the right retailers.

Wottoncool (WC): What was a highlight when growing your brand?
CO: Opening up my standalone store in London, that was a big turning point. And we’ll be opening a store in New York too, that is quite exciting.

Q: If you weren’t designing shoes, you’d be…?
CO: If I wasn’t designing shoes, I’d be a hat designer!

Q: If you could design for any person, who would it be?
CO: My grandmother, she’s my muse. Or Rita Hayworth.

Q: You design many shoes but is there any one pair that you really like?
CO: Yes, it’s a shoe called ‘Banana is my Business’. It’s a shoe made entirely out of fruit, it’s my homage to Carmen Miranda. And they’re fruits, they go with everything!

Wottoncool (WC): What are the three things you know now that you wish your 20-year-old self knew then?
CO: Be yourself, Take off your makeup off every night and always have a good manicure and pedicure. And go to a hairdresser, never cut your own hair, especially your fringe. (bonus tip!)

Q: What’s the biggest compliment that you’ve ever received?
CO: That my shoes are comfortable. That’s the biggest compliment.

Wottoncool (WC): I noticed the tattoos on your arms, what do they mean?
CO: I have a tattoo of the roman numeral pi and my right wrist. And on my left forearm is a chalice, I got this with my sister, it was her first tattoo, and it’s a combination of our names – Chalice: Charlotte + Alice.

Thank you Charlotte.

Parco NextNext Sneaks

Inspiration boards and flats from Parco NextNext 2012 designers. I’ll be meeting them next week for an intimate meet & greet. Have any burning questions for them? Leave your questions in the comments section (or if you are shy, drop us an email). And I’ll ask on your behalf. For now, FEAST! on this lovely eye-candy. (:

Enjoy!

Hermès + Kongo: Pushing Boundaries

The very kind and accommodating people at Hermès invited graffiti artist, Kongo, to the opening of their Scotts Square outlet. Was there on Friday and Saturday two weeks ago (thus Kongo is wearing two different shirts) and had the opportunity to sit with Kongo as he sketched out names of guests on Hermès paper, no less.

LOVED how his hands were dirty with streaks from his markers. Evidence of an afternoon of graffiti-ing for the benefit of Hermes’ clients and guests. He had a very intriguing tattoo on his right wrist, just above his watch which read, ‘La vie est belle’ (Life is beautiful). Thought that was so poetic and truthful. (:

If only I had a recording of him talking about his tattoo, you’d also be enamored by his easy-going personality and love of life (:

The last picture is of me and Kongo (ignore my weird hair) and Kongo is holding up my very futile attempt at a name tag of his own. Figured since he drew me one and has been drawing for people for the past two days, he’d like something back. hahas. What was I thinking really?!