Age of Reason

Photographed by Capture Factory.

Age of Reason‘s scarves are humorous and just slightly off kilter. Two things caught my attention: bondage and punk. Russian dolls are given a bondage twist and dogs are given mohawks – design staples of the spring/summer 2012 collection. Its designer, Ali Mapletoft, explains, “We used to have Great Danes. Pugs and Bulldogs have a comic aspect to their faces.”

Ali sources everything from the UK and is inspired by books, film and music. In an interview she gave to another magazine, this quote stood out.

I avoid television, magazines and other peoples fashion design as a source of inspiration. If designers are too introspective fashion will eat itself and become too homogenised. In the UK we have an immense fashion heritage and we can’t let the side down.

Sharply observed indeed.

Ali’s childhood was a mixture of idyllic and hair raising. “Chasing fairies in the garden one day, being held at searched gunpoint the next,” describes Ali. “You acquire a sense of humour about it all.” Watching her parents work as potters in Lesotho, she never had any doubts about doing something creative herself. “Seeing your own intentions translated into material things is very rewarding.”

While perusing Ali’s scarves, do drop by her blog too, featuring lots of exciting ways to wear your scarf.

JOURNAL readers, use the checkout code NEWSPRING12 to enjoy 20% off until 25 March 2012

Photographed by Capture Factory.

Photographed by Capture Factory.

A very luxurious handbag

Hermès bag photographed by Dan Tobin Smith (via FT)

Have you heard of the €1.5m handbag? Yes, you heard me right. A €1.5m handbag. Made by Hermès, the bag’s intertwining chains are covered in 11,000 diamonds. It is not created with a specific customer or market in mind. It’s not even a marketing gimmick.

According to Vanessa Friedman in her blog yesterday,

Hermès had made the bags, it seems, because the design idea was very Hermès and because they wanted to see if they could (it took two years to develop and they can only make three versions of each).

Another fashion writer, Dana Thomas, in her book Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Lustre, described an Hermès bag as the antithesis of an “It” bag,

Most of the designs have been around for almost a century and are coveted not because they are in fashion but because they never go out of fashion… To see how an Hermès bag is made is to understand what luxury once was and what it is no longer.

In fact, you can catch a glimpse of the Hermès craftsmen at work. They have been brilliantly captured on film in a series of short portraits – titled Hearts and Crafts – showing us what they do is not just a job. It is a calling, a vocation for life. And you can’t put a price tag on that.

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