I Can See Through You

 

GIRL IN A BUBBLE

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My hunt for clothing in clear PVC has lasted for many, many years. It all began with a transparent biker jacket from Comme des Garcons. From that point it snowballed into an eternal search. Needless to say when I discovered Italian brand Apnoea, which has clear PVC at the core of it's debut collection, I was pretty damn excited.

Their PVC is embellished, curled and embossed and takes the shape of dresses and tops which could double up as rain coats. Can you imagine - wearing a full length PVC gown as a rain coat? That's the dream right there! There is not a single PVC piece here I wouldn't be thrilled to wear. 

 
 
A BUBBLE OF AIR. LIGHT, TRANSPARENT, THROUGH WHICH YOU CAN SEE BUT CAN’T EVER BE SEEN.
 

The  collection has a real streetwear feel to it too with oversized tees and hoodies emblazoned with prints and graphics and raw edges compliment the silhouettes which are loose and wide. In other words, everything I want to wear.

 

her feet don't touch the ground...

A long time ago, away back in the last century, when I first met Queen Michelle she used to wear these huge black boots ( I think they were Buffalo  boots). She didn't seem to touch the ground, she was like a little human hovercraft, it looked like she floated above it. I called them her hover feet.. 

For some reason I started thinking about hovercrafts again when I saw these glorious Joshua Sanders Black Ruched High-Top Sneakers. It must be the leather skirt....

High-top grained leather sneakers in black. Round toe. Ruched leather panel at vamp. Zip closure at heel. Textured rubber sole in white. Tonal stitching. Approx. 1.5" platform. Upper: leather. Sole: rubber. Made in Italy. 110% fabulous. I want them.

I also had to show you these Namibia ones too. Just look at the colours and the jaunty little pom noms. You can nab these ones at Selfridges.

Queen Marie

Duvet Days

 
 

WHEN LEAVING YOUR DUVET JUST ISN'T AN OPTION

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Photography: Prince B, Styling; Queen Michelle

 
 

In the Kingdom as we approach spring the weather is getting colder instead of milder, with rain, wind and snow all happening within days of each other. Not a drop of sunshine to be had. Luckily I have lots of hats to keep the hair in place when I need to brave the weather to shoot outfits. i usually find that if I have one

really warm piece therest kinda takes care of itself. In this case it's these quilted trousers. There may be a trend for pyjama dressing but I see your pyjamas and raise you a duvet. That's exactly what these trousers are like - warm and quilted like your favourite 13 tog duvet. Like taking a little part of your bed out with you.

 
 

Trousers, Oh Hey Girl // Gingham Shirt, FRS // Black Shirt, Twist x Turn // Parka, Zara // Bag, Marketa New York // Hat, Bernstock Spiers // Shoes, Joshua Sanders

 
 

The black shirt, with it's long train, is all business at the front, party at the back - a quality that doesn't work for hair yet absolutely works for shirts.

This shade of green is what Marie and I call Techno Green. it's the colour of our warmest parkas, thrown on after all night clubbing, lock ins and after parties at our homes from home, the SubClub or Club 69. It doesn't hurt that I'm pleasantly camouflaged among these rather pretty surroundings. If only we were always this camouflaged when we undertook the inivatable walk of shame after the aforementioned clubbing, lock ins and parties...

 

sipping in style...

It's no secret that The Kingdom is powered by tea.

Gallons and gallons of tea. From early in the morning until last thing at night, the kettle is always on. I have a cupboard full of mugs and I use them all. The only thing they have in common is that they are all bone china.

I honestly don't think I could get another single mug or cup in there but I am seriously tempted to try for one of these Bauhaus inspired beauties. London-based designer Byung is the founder of DesignK, which produces beautiful tableware with geometric forms. Dreieck & Kreis, which is German for ‘triangle & circle’, is their second geometric collection, merging primary colors and geometric shapes to form a series of ceramic mugs and saucers inspired by the Bauhaus movement. Each mug features a unique handle utilizing triangular and circular shapes.

These will available in April.

Embracing the spirit of Bauhaus the Geometry collections are characterised by a combination of precise geometrical components. These geometrical shapes were transformed into tableware and the depiction of forms inspired by Oskar Schlemmer’s “Triadisches Ballett”. 

Now let's get that kettle on again, it's time for tea...

Queen Marie

Brave It Out

 

AS ELSA SAYS, LET IT GO, LET IT GO, LET IT GO

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I shared on Instagram that one of the most difficult things to do in ballet is to really let go. Often in graded class our teacher asks us to perform our exercises with emotion, to imagine a scenario, such as telling our lovers how we feel about them, and express that emotion through the exercise. It's nearly impossible to not feel utterly self conscious doing that kind of thing. Good grief it took me about 4 years to be able to smile during exercises without feeling like an idiot. But recently, when we do choreography, I find myself asking what scenario the character is supposed to be in during that variation. Once I know this, it helps me understand that the movements should be fast or slow, happy or sad. Do I feel self conscious? Sometimes, but letting go has been one of the most rewarding things I've learned from ballet.

Whilst I consider myself a fairly brave person, ballet has definitely made me braver. Stepping into my first ever ballet class by myself, muddling through exercises feeling like a lump of lard, took all the guts I could muster. Telling myself to stick at it when all I wanted to do was run for the door. And I see that same internal dialogue played out on the faces of girls who come to our barre and stretch class for the first time. The cringing self consciousness as they try and pick a spot on the barre, or when they can't touch their toes or keep up with the music. You can tell they just want to change their minds and leave. But they don't. They stay because they're brave. Just as I was brave stepping into Scottish Ballet for the first time.

I often feel ballet takes far more than it gives, especially when you're an adult learning it for the first time, but there are gifts it gives you that reach much farther than the studio. Since doing ballet I've accepted things that I'd normally say no to and I go places on my own I'd normally only go to with a friend. As an adult you often find you have to do things alone as friends have their own lives and families, but normally I just wouldn't do those things but now I go on my own and I'm perfectly confident doing so. So whilst ballet class often leaves me more miserable than happy, it's bestowed upon me gifts that have changed the person I am.

If you're swithering as to whether to take that first lonely step into a new class, just do it because you might just become a better person for it.

 

if unicorns wore skate shoes...

Forget the ruby slippers Dorothy, what every girl wants are these glitter vans.

No doubt as I type, this glorious Opening Ceremony x Vans collaboration is already sold out.

Are these not the happiest shoes you ever did see. Like I said in the header, if unicorns wore skate shoes, then it would be these suckers. Drowned in a big bucket of sparkles, I can't say how much I love these.

The Vault by Vans’ classic OG Old Skool LX sneaker has been reimagined in an all-over glitter with the signature side stripes rendered in contrasting colours. It comes in three colours - blue, black and pink.

• Unisex
• US men’s sizing – See Size & Fit tab for women’s size conversion here
• Round toes
• Tonal glitter laces
• Padded collar
• Leather and canvas lining
• Original waffle rubber outsole


The Glitter OG Old Skool LX Sneakers cost $110 a pair and are available here.

Queen Marie

Laid Back Luxury

 

WHEN MONSE AND OSCAR DE LA RENTA MET

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Show me a deconstructed ruffle and I'm one happy gal. And that's exactly what Monse has done. Inspiration for miles with their FW17 collection which features tailoring with a twist, deconstructed shirting with aforementioned ruffles, grommeting on belts and tops and a general hard edge elegance.

Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia, the owners of Monse, are also the new creative directors at Oscar de la Renta, and showed their debut collection for Oscar de la Renta on the very same catwalk as their own line, which is a first for NYFW. 

Monse is an entirely different aesthetic to that of Oscar de la Renta, which is historically known for it's lady-like elegance and refined, grown up shapes. This collection from Monse is a little tougher than their usual fare, with rock 'n' roll influences coming through thick and fast.

Parkas feature exaggerated collars and are paired with sequined gowns that looked like dripping paint. Suiting fabrics like crisp white and checked cottons and herringbone and taken out of context and used for ruffled skirts and New Romantic-esque shirts.

all about alaia..

Go make a cup of tea. Sit down and get ready for a treat

The stylist Joe McKenna has just released on joes film his documentary on Azzedine Alaia. Filmed over the past several years,whenever McKenna had breaks from work, it’s a wonderfully intimate portrait of Alaia and his method of working–thanks to McKenna’s long friendship with the designer, he had rare access to the studio and workrooms. Watching Alaia as he does fittings with his house model and makes his own patterns, you get a better sense of why he’s a class apart in the fashion industry.

As they discuss in the film, Alaia is man who very much marches to the beat of his own drum. A man who can take five years to develop a skirt, working to his own timescales and refusing to fit into the gruelling system of two shows a year.

 The fact that the black-and-white film is so simple and true (and not overly polished) is what makes it charming, a time capsule. There are interviews with Nicolas Ghesquiere, Carlyne Cerf, Naomi Campbell and Grace Coddington, among others; and McKenna unearthed amazing clips of Alaia’s early shows. It’s quite a story of commitment to the same ideals over five decades.

At it's heart this is a film about family. The family he has built for himself and that is what makes him so beloved. 

Queen Marie

Dusturbing The Peace

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DUSTURBANCE 2.0

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Photography: Prince B, Styling; Queen Michelle

 

For many years now I've been the style guinea pig for our friend Dust. She tries design ideas out on me and we are constantly sharing ideas and thoughts on fashion. 

Earlier in the year she created her signature Dusturbance coat for me but with an important amendment - a detachable hooded cape. Dusturbance 2.0, if you will. To compliment the coat she also created a huge pair of checked cargo trousers for me. Trousers can never been too wide and when they come with huge side pockets, I'm clearly winning at pants.

 

Coat & trousers, Dusturbance // Hat, Etsy // Bag, ASOS // Shirt, Marquis' Almeida // Trainers, Lonsdale // Belt, Zara

 
 

 

A very oversized silhouette isn't for everyone but I personally have never been one to shy away from anything normally considered 'unflattering'. In fact, hiding under swathes of fabric is comforting and reassuring and makes you feel rather small, like a mouse inside a coat pocket.

Dust is working at potentially opening a shop and this coat will be one of the items you'll be able to purchase. Form a queue please.

 

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Dust is available for commissions. If you'd like chat to her about her creating something magical for you, drop her an email at dusturbance@gmail.com and let her know you saw it on KOS so she knows you're nice.

 

walk on by...

Marimekko. Yay! It always makes me feel happy.

For her final collection for Marimekko, the Fall 17 show saw designer Anna Teurnell pay homage to the brand’s homeland: Finland, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of its independence this year.
For this delightful collection she mixed exclusive prints, both old and new on retro silhouettes that were inspired by local nature, art, architecture and folklore.
Highlights included a long, brown shirtdress in the house’s fun new blobby Pop print, and a replica of a 1956 shirt from the archives in the iconic Piccolo freehand stripe.

My favourite print is the zigzaggy one which apparently was inspired by a handsaw but for some reason it makes me think of tyre tracks. Needless to say the snuggle duvet style scarves have my name written all over them...

Featured during the show was a film by Polish-Swedish photographer Kacper Kasprzyk, featuring ambient footage of models in looks from the collection in urban landscapes and the house’s mill in Helsinki. When I think of marimekko I always think fun fun fun but oh my goodness what a disconnect when I watched this film for the first time.

The music and juddering camera work made me feel quite unsettled and uneasy. Strange.

Queen Marie

The Delpozo Effect

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We've both featured Delpozo countless times on the blog. If there was one label who's images are constantly passed back and forth between Dust and I, it's Delpozo. For those who who appreciate colour and volume, Josep Font is a fashion god-send. Each and every season he sends his models down the runway in a kaleidoscope of colour and this season was no different. He delighted show-goers with a palette of cobalt blue, rust, cobalt, cream, navy and black on fabrics such as wool, taffeta, satin and tulle. Wool jumpers are unexpectedly adorned with giant paillettes and teamed with a single floral print. The floral motif features throughout the collection and makes me wonder if there are some artistic references in there we don't yet know about.

Whilst it's not quite as vibrant as past seasons, the silhouettes from the former architect are as dramatic and voluminous as always.

 
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Oddly, I translate my own Delpozo colour inspiration most often into my ballet outfits. Earlier in the year I sent Dust some cobalt blue chiffon to make me a ballet skirt and low and behold this season we see the very same shade. And coincidentally I have been searching high and low for a rust/ochre shade of leotard for months now and again the very same shade has appeared here. I guess Delpozo has permeated my brain even more than I realised.

 

in the navy...

Maybe because I'm all at sea this weather, my mind this week seems to have turned to sailors.

It was pea coats onTuesday, today I'm going to show you the most DIVINE sailor bag from Feit.

I've written about feit many times because I admire them so but their navy bag is taking things to another level of lovely.

FEIT founder Tull Price reimagined the traditional sailing dry bag in vegetable-tanned leather to result in the Navy Bags. It’s made to be worn as a cross body bag or over the shoulder.

The design of the FEIT Navy Bag features a two-piece body, mirroring the signature one-piece upper and leather wrap construction of the FEIT hand sewn collection. 

To open and close the bag, roll the top of the bag two or three times and then clip it together using the speed clip. This secures the bag and its valuables. When the bag is closed, an attached leather sheath covers the clip, forming a top handle.

The bags are available in two sizes, a 5L and a 15L in black or natural leather and the bags also come in a leather and canvas option. 

The bags are available online and in their New York stores 

Queen Marie

Bold + Fragile

 
 

THE PURITY OF IDEAS

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Aesthetically, if responses to most of my outfits are anything to go by, I don't have much in common with anyone. Outfits I'm super excited about sharing, garner the online equivalent of blank stares. It's often the same with collections and labels I love - they rarely excite any of you guys in the same way they excite me. It becomes so much more important to me then that when I do find a designer to rave about it means there's someone out there who does like the same things as me. 

To discover less commercial ideas and styles, which is always how I like to approach dressing, I tend to look to graduates who are

less constrainedby the financial realities of running a business and can focus of purity of ideas and concepts.

One such designer is Fotini Handra who graduated from LCF last year.  For her end of year collection she collaborated with fellow student Jaewon Sophie Kim to create a collection of delicate beauty enhanced with the print work of Sarah Forgie, another classmate from LCF. The pieces are created from nylon and silks and are influenced by the work of artists inspired by artists John Chamberlain and Nicolai Howalt who mostly work with sculpture made from crushed cars.

 
 
Initially, toiles were draped with paper, creating abstract and geometric shapes that merged into garments by developing suitable fabrics. The results are pieces that look very bold, but are very fragile and demand a lot of caution by the wearer.
 

There is nothing here that isn't standout, from the delicate, muted palette to the gorgeous hand printing. I'd love to see this collection translated into buyable pieces and can't wait to see the future career path of this talented young creative.

 

the poor boy and the pea...

There's nothing better than a boy in a peacoat.

Simple. Functional. Perfect.

Hard to believe they have been around so long.

Now Poor Boy have decided to give them a bit of a remix

They have taken men's original vintage peacoats from the UK navy of 1962/1968 and reworked them with laser finishings for a more used look and lined them with new colourful screen printed linings in bold vibrant patterns. In addition they have been decorated with vintage inspired embroidered patches and pins to give each of them a unique look.

The peacoats are all reworked in tuscany and every peacoat can be fully customised.

They have a pop up showroom in Paris this week atPARIS PALAIS ROYAL Rue de Richelieu 20 .

Their website will follow soon.

Thank you so much for you kind wishes for my mum. She is home thank goodness, we just need to get her back on her feet now.

Queen Marie

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Arts & Crafts Movement

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FRAYED EDGES AND HAND DRAWING - IT'S ALL A BIT CRAFTY.

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Photography: Prince B, Styling; Queen Michelle

 

 
 

Along with the painterly prints you saw a few weeks ago, I'm really having a bit of an arts & crafts moment in my wardrobe. I've been digging out those pieces that have a hand-woven and hand-printed feel to them, creating a textural overload which is always where I like to be, stylistically. This crafty style works well to add interest to a relatively quiet palette of

cream and black. Normally neutrals have me running for the hills, since neutral does exactly what it says on the tin - neutral, neither one thing nor another, ergo a big bunch of nothing much, but even the most basic of palettes can be exciting with mixed textures, prints and matching frayed edges.

 

Trousers, ASOS White // Top, Chili Pepper // Shirt, Primark // Hat, & Other Stories (plus additional DIY pom pom) // Shoes, Alberto Moreti // Bag, Lautem // Scarf, Primoeza

 
 
 

i bought my yellow toed Alberto Moreti shoes, with their raw edges, years ago and rarely wore them but this is just the right outfit to work with them. Sometimes it pays to hold onto clothes as one day they'll spring into action as the perfect item to pull an outfit together. The real showstopper here though is definitely my Lautem bag, which I first showed you last week. I could take photos of this bag all day long.

On top of the outfit is this & Other Stories hat Prince B bought in London last year but I just felt it was missing something...oh yeah, a huge pom pom! So I added one and now it's perfect. Hats aren't most people's cup of tea but I can't live without them personally. This outfit did garner some odd looks in Braehead the other day though, but I always feel if what I wear doesn't occasionally raise an eyebrow from the 'normals'  then I need to step up my game.

 

Fuzzy Feels

 
 

FUZZY FEELS

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I little post today to fill in for Queen Marie. Her mum is out of hospital and is on the mend, thank heavens!

I adore a big fuzzy scarf and stole. They're not too easy to come by, especially in nice colours. So I was thrilled to come across the work of Glasgow based designer Barbra Kolasinski - a womenswear and accessories designer focusing on fake furs, Mongolian sheepskin and silks.

Barbra herself has gained her BA(Hons) at Edinburgh College of Art and then to London College of Fashion where she finished her Masters by showing at London Fashion Week 2014. After completing her education Barbra went to Alexander McQueen to gain industry experience and now has created Barbra Kolasinski the brand in 2016. The brand is made and designed in Scotland using the best luxury fabrics.

 
My 2016 collection while at Fashion Foundry in Scotland where I have been able to explore my love for all things fur looking at both faux fur and real fur particularly sheepskin.My interest came into using subdued pastel colours in a solid form in my chosen furs and then to contrast and react with the bright fluidity of the silk pieces manipulating and playing with colour, texture and movement. This resulted in being able to launch with a small accessories range in 2016 with the emphasis on fur.
 

I've been after a new stole for a while as my beloved Florence Bridge sheepskin one is awesome and very warm but it moults like a dog. Time for a new one methinks. I'm hoping Barbra introduces some vivid colours into her collection - I fancy a yellow or cobalt blue one!

 

Age Is More Than Just A Number

 

INSIDE EVERY OLD PERSON IS A YOUNG PERSON WONDERING WHAT HAPPENED

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Ageing is something we all face. At nearly 44 I'm in throws of proper middle age and all that comes with it. The "all" of which I speak is mostly unpleasant and it's only once you reach a 'certain' age do you realise it. I encounter a weird kind of ageism in my job quite often, where people assume I am much younger and therefore often dismiss my opinions and thoughts, not realising that the decisions I make are actually based on many years experience. It's made me a much more forceful person but it's annoying I have to continually explain to people I have 20 years experience in my job.

But ageism can be far more destructive. It's the 'ism' that isn't spoken about as much as all the others but it is no less devastating. In fashion we all know age is frowned upon (well, you can frown upon it as long as you get Botox afterwards), especially if you're a woman, but western society in general places absolutely no value in older people.

This has really been brought home recently when Prince B got made redundant last year at 53 years old. Prince B, aside from being the photographer behind my outfit shots, has also got an impressive work CV yet, nearly a year down the line, he's still out of work. No matter what jobs he's applied, and there have been nearly 200, he rarely gets an interview. It's devastating as Prince B loves working and thrives on stress! It's also devastating for us a couple too as I make money freelancing but not enough to keep two people. We felt powerless to battle the ageism that was clearly taking place. Had he been 25 he'd have been snapped up.

I don't have much in my arsenal to help him other than design, writing and blogging skills. So I decided to put them to use. Even though he doesn't work in the creative industries, I decided he needed a web presence where we could put his CV but also directly address the age issue and all the assumptions which revolve around those in their 40's and beyond.

We started a little campaign called Age Is More Than Just A Number. We gently try to remind employers that with age comes a vast array of wonderful, valuable attrributes.

 
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We're hoping that by tackling the misconceptions about older workers on his website at least one employer will reconsider dismissing an older candidate. Will it get Prince B a job? Who knows, but even if it doesn't we are both up to the challenge of tackling ageism head on!

 

Ed Meadham's Bits & Bobs

 

STOP AND SMELL THE BLUE ROSES

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The gap left by the demise of Meadham Kirchhoff last September was palpable. This unique label came to life at a time when fashion appeared to becoming entirely homogenised. The youthfully exuberant and unapologetically provocative label, Meadham Kirchhoff rallied the fashion squad to “reject everything” and question everything, which ultimately fell on deaf ears - it seemed the fashion industry wasn't ready to hear, and watch, their frustration with the state of the fashion system, and every other system which has a strangle hold on Britain currently.

Archaic minds, whether that's fashion designers or fashion bloggers, are needed in the industry to fight against the homogenisation, even if we are in a tiny minority swimming against a tide of oatmeal coloured jumpers and 'nice' heels. Without us, and you, and the likes of designers such as Ed Meadham and Ben Kirchhoff, fashion reaches a stalmate, never moving forward and always bowing to the lowest common denominator. 

Luckily for fashion, Ed Meadham is back with Blue Roses. His latest project, which launched earlier this year, is a collection of what he refers to as "bits and bobs". These bits and bobs consist of printed t-shirts and hoodies, thigh-high woollen socks and frilly collars, cuffs and sleeves. 

 
 
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Meadham's describes this assembly of bits and pieces as being for the "young", who have been left behind by the fashion industry due to the exorbitant cost of designer pieces. Whilst for me that statement isn't entirely inclusive, myself being an old person who loves challenging clothing, I get where he's coming from. Everything in the range is pretty affordable, as evidenced by the mostly sold old signs in Dover Street Market who are currently the sole stockists of the tees and hoodies. The graphics on the tees borrow heavily from Hole's old fliers, which if you were a teen in the early nineties, will remember very well.

 

Together Forever

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RUNNING ERRANDS IN VINTAGE FLORALS

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Photography: Prince B, Styling; Queen Michelle

 

I don't have much to say about this outfit really. Some outfits are what they are I guess. This is just another entirely functional, errands running outfit for me and really just photographed because last week we had a single day that wasn't utterly freezing and/or pissing of rain/snow and that alone was worth photographing.

It's funny how some things just go together and you rarely separate them, well this dress and jacket combo is one such instance. I have tried several jackets with the dress but it always yearns out for this one. It's given the slouchy treatment thanks to my well loved and well worn Kenzo trainers.

 
 
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The Details

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Jacket, Maison Scotch // Dress, vintage // Bag, vintage // Shoes, Kenzo // Hat, ASOS

 
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Saturday with Staka...

As you read this I will be in Cellardyke, out on the rocks and blowing the cobwebs away.

It will be so cold, I could almost be in Iceland ( well maybe that's an exaggeration but it will be chilly). That's where these stunning Staka leather neckpieces hail from.

Staka marks the first collection in an ongoing series between Icelandic product designers María Kristín Jónsdóttir and Bylgja Svansdóttir, comprising a curious mix of finely crafted unisex leather neck accessories. The aristocratic vibe of each piece stems from the design duo's concept for the range, which draws inspiration from one of Iceland's most notorious narratives, the Brennu-Njáls saga. Like all Icelandic sagas, the author remains anonymous, but the extensive storyline is centered around a familial feud which brings the idea of masculinity into question. The designers were also particularly taken by the tale's leading lady, Hallgerður Langbrók, a femme fatale "who was notorious for her majestic appearance and temperament", explains Svansdóttir.

Queen Marie