Thursday, September 26, 2013

New Horizons part 6 - new 'local' beach

It's taken me a while to find my feet in this new terrain, settling into a new landscape, learning new customs, adopting traditions.  But I'm happy to report, I've found my new 'local' beach.  I don't need to search anymore.  I have indeed found the perfect balance of rock and wildness.  Other trips to the edge of this new coast have failed to impress me.  The beaches have been surrounded by towns.  The sand and the waves always felt contained and artificial in someway.  The wild landscape had been codified in these places, it had lost its edge, subservient on the surface to stone and concrete.

But this place.  Well, this place was different.  The wildness has kept its edge.  It hasn't been contained. The towns and the cities have not reached this place.

A quick scramble down steep cliffs gave way to a myriad of limestone inlets, peppered with caves and carpeted with pebbles.

Perfect pebbles are few and far between.  They need to be a certain shape and a certain depth if they are to be incorporated into a silver lining.

Pebble hunting, 22 September 2013
With my pockets weighed down with treasure, we explored the caves, venturing in as deep as we dared,

before climbing back up and out of this secret coastal world and into the windswept and ochre sprinkled with white.

'Love is All You Need'

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

London Fashion Week - MORE Stylish Neighbours

London Fashion Week seems a long time ago now.  I imagine most of the designers will have already turned their thoughts to their next collections.  I myself have been looking at free form faceted cabochons in shimmering shades of tourmaline and aquamarine.  In amongst that, a capsule collection is being developed for a new online retail site that I will be signing up with soon.

But before heading back to the workbench I wanted to share with you the work of my two other stylish neighbours during London Fashion Week in the showroom spaces at Somerset House.

Conqueror, Gold by Marion Ayonote from her Couture Collection
First up, Marion Ayonote.  She was showing her diffusion MA collection which she kindly and eloquently explained to me.  Inspired by the mountainous landscapes of Israel, the shoes were a kaleidoscope of saturated hues.  You can find out more about her work here

And finally, last, but by no means least, a veteran in the shoe world, Dr Martens!  They had an impressive array of evolved and diverse boots and shoes that stay true to their heritage and core values.  Their representative, Mathew Forster, showed a real pride in the brand, highlighting the fact that the boots are still made in the UK and was excited about some of the new designs that incorporate British woven silks and some really interesting updated brogue patterns.  Dr Martens prove that you can always keep redesigning your classic styles; they look as fresh and rebellious as they did in the 1960's.

Dr Martens 1460 Boot 
More on Dr Martens here

And so, a final farewell to London Fashion Week and all my very stylish neighbours.  It was a pleasure indeed.

I have some hard work ahead of me, so expect some updates from the work bench over the next few weeks

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

London Fashion Week - Stylish Neighbours

In between and round the edges of all the hard work there was a chance to talk a little with my fellow exhibitors.  And what a stylish, international and generally all round fabulous bunch they were!

First up, the girls from Gothenburg Boots, led by Tatyana O'Cuinn (a co-founder along with Viktoria Kozyulko).  They were such a beautiful bunch of booted sparkling people with goodness knows how many languages between them.  With so many international business visitors to London Fashion Week, I really thought this gave their brand great representation.

Gothenburg Boots,  The Rianna Boot
Gothenburg Boots evolved out of the frustration that Viktoria and Tatyana felt when they were faced with rainy weather and nothing stylish and waterproof to wear on their feet!  You can find out more about Gothenburg Boots by visiting their website

It was an honour to also share the show space with the magical shoes designed by the ├╝ber talented Zoe Lee.  Her spring/sumer 2014 collection was a shimmering array of subtle muted metallic and blushed colours.  I loved all the beautiful materials and tiny details in Zoe's work; from the printed suede and meshes to the grosgrain trims.

Zoe Lee, image taken from SS 2013 collection
There is a considered gracefulness to all of Zoe's designs.  She is a designer where the 'Less is More' edict definitely applies; over designing and fussy details are out.  Such restraint allows the carefully chosen palette of materials and the silhouette of each shoe to shine through.  You can find out more about her work on her website

Monday, September 23, 2013

London Fashion Week Diary

Sunday, day 3 of London Fashion Week, started off in a quiet reserved way.  Walking through the streets of London to get to Somerset House early on a Sunday morning in the sunshine was lovely.  The city was all hushed up and tucked up.  I almost had the place to myself.

Somerset House, 15 September 2013
I decided it was time to ditch my uniform of grey and black and wear something that clashed with ALL of the Julian Hakes London collection!

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I proudly wore my Sketchinc Stag brooch which was admired a fair few fashionistas!  Hand made by Becky Kemp, you can find out more about this talented fellow Etsyian on her blog

Geometric Neon Stag Head by Sketchinc on Etsy
And then I had what can only be described as a 'Fashion Moment' when Zandra Rhodes, a very well respected and established textile and fashion designer, dropped by to say 'hello'.  Julian has been working with her on a possible collaboration and I was really touched that she had found the time to seek us out in the showrooms.

Zandra Rhodes, Andrew Logan and Karen Youdell drop by to say 'hello'
Zandra is pictured here with her friend, fellow artist and collaborator, Andrew Logan (more on his work here) who kindly invited me to an autumn sale of his work the following week in The Glasshouse, Melior Place, London.  To the far right is Karen Youdell of Inhouse Enterprises who also works with Zandra.

I felt rather glad to have picked my mustard yellow dress / peachy pink scarf / lime green shoe combination - I was in good (colourful) company!

Elsewhere, the Hybrid Handmade Husband was busy in Milan preparing for the Vogue awards proving decisively that it is indeed impossible to be in two places at once.  Just as well he's got me then.

Friday, September 20, 2013

London Fashion Week Diary

London Fashion Week is done and dusted for another 6 months.  It was a whole lot of hard work wrapped up in some fun and frivolity.

For people watchers and photographers it was pure theater.  There weren't many people who just threw on an outfit!  Somerset House became a flocking point for these colourful fashion birds; dressed in their finery, and their costumes.  It was a beautiful and entertaining thing to behold.

I had a brief chat with Simon McGill, a hard working photographer who would already be installed in the grounds of Somerset House, working away, when I arrived each day.  Upon leaving, when the showrooms were closed and my working day was done, Simon was STILL there!  Braving the inclement London weather with a stiff upper lip I should imagine.  I recommend checking out his photo stream on flickr here if you want to get a feel for the amazing range of 'street style' outfits that were parading outside the runway tents.

London Fashion Week, Spring/Summer 2014 - Day 5, Somerset House, 17 September 2013
London Fashion Week Spring/Sumer 2014, Day 5, Somerset House, 17 September 2013
by Simon McGill on flickr (click here)
While I was left to set up the Julian Hakes London space on Friday, by Saturday the man himself had flown in for a day between shows in Dusseldorf and Milan!

Team Hakes at London Fashion Week, Day 2, 14 September 2014
Ethical womanswear and accessories designer Ada Zanditon paid us a quick visit.  She was exhibiting her new collection in the the Estethica zone in the west wing of Somerset House.  Ada has used Julian's shoes in several runway presentations and was happy to strike a pose in the new Mojito bootie.

Ada Zanditon testing the new Mojito bootie by Julian Hakes wearing a hat by Mich Dulce
You can find out more about Ada's work by visiting her website  She has just had this beautiful video shot of her Spring Summer 2014 collection. For more on the rather striking hat worn by Ada, visit Mich Dulce's website

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go and hand deliver a very important jewellery commission.  More on London Fashion Week later mes amis.  Bon Weekend to you all.

Friday, September 13, 2013

London Fashion Week

I'm taking a little break from the workbench. I've swopped my apron for some glad rags and heels and have just finished setting up the 'Julian Hakes London' space in the East Wing of Somerset House. 

It's a great location, overlooking the main runway marquee in the courtyard. I can hear the thump of the music from here. There is a palpable buzz of excitement and anticipation as each new collection makes its debut. Months of work paraded and photographed and over in a matter of minutes. 

Everyone is bright eyed and sparkling. Beneath the gloss and shine there is some serious business and marketing going on here. 

And while we may not be cracking out a cure for cancer or negotiating world peace - at least collectively all the designers here will make sure everyone looks fabulous whilst they work towards those lofty aims!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Hybrid Handmade Weddings

Fresh off the workbench this week - this set of cuff links (for him) and necklace (for her) using leaves from the flowers used in the wedding celebrations.

I've been developing a technique to make recycled silver sheet.  I've used this for the cuff links.  It has a particularly rugged, robust feel to it which was perfect for this commission.

A July Wedding 2013, cuff links and necklace by Cari-Jane Hakes
Good memories from a great day, preserved and pressed and ready to be taken by the couple into their future.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Introducing, 'Big Jaffa'

I'm sure it is a very common thing, I'm sure it is on many of your wish lists too. In all honesty, every girl needs a hydraulic press in her life, am I right?

Well, I have wanted one for a few years now.  When I was doing my goldsmith training I would study in fantastically well equipped workshops with hydraulic presses, kilns, pillar drills, polishing machines, oh the wonderful things you could make with all the tools in the world!

And then, my brother managed to arrange and find and weld and powder coat and source and fit a pressure gauge and send me my very own hydraulic press for my birthday!

This weekend I attached her to an old workbench that was left behind in one of the out buildings and I christened her, Big Jaffa.

I think she is rather beautiful in a big kind of orange way.

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