This blog has moved to http://age-of-reason-blog.com
We'll be showcasing more illustration, monthly interview features and how to style tips than before.
Saturday, 6 July 2013
Monday, 17 June 2013
We thought we'd share some snaps of the Age of Reason / M Hulot showcase, which is at Kirsten Goss's London Kensington store throughout July. Below Kirsten Goss, Anna Kreeger designer of M Hulot bags and our own Ali Mapletof pose in front of the Holland Street store window, which is beautifully decked out in scarves, bags and jewellery. We're particularly keen on the angular silver and bronze jewellery in Kirsten's Urban Edge range, which has just returned to wholesale after several years away. And a special mention goes to guest brand Modelliani sunglasses, colourfully sported below.
Our balloons scarf made its debut at the London showcase, and has also just launched in her Cape Town store as a South African exclusive.
Kirsten Goss jewellery designer, Anna Kreeger of M Hulot bags, Ali Mapletoft of Age of Reason
photography by Lea Salomone
Friday, 14 June 2013
To celebrate the forthcoming LC:M (16th-18th June 2013) we're launching a new range of hand-rolled pocket squares. Made in England from pure silk crepe-de-chine and carefully rolled by a seamstress in Yorkshire, these pocket hankies inject a little anarchic individuality into a suited and booted fella's attire.
This is a sartorial step in the dapper direction for Age of Reason. Over the past year we noticed that, as British menswear went from strength to strength, dapper men were buying the hankies we'd originally designed for women as neckerchiefs. It soon became clear that we needed to create something especially for men, and hand-rolled squares are the most desirable. In fact some men will not wear a pin hemmed pocket square because it doesn't meet the coded standard of luxury implied by the hand-rolled version. Wearing a hand rolled pocket square is code for "I know stuff."
Have a look at the LC:M site for more fashion forward menswear. We particularly enjoyed Christopher Shannon's SS14 collection and the be-glittered barnets of the male models in his show. Our tip is to turn the sound off if you're visiting the LCM homepage, or you'll be forced to listen to Boris Johnson and generic dance music. We don't know why.
Monday, 10 June 2013
Throughout the rest of June and July we'll be showcasing our scarves at Kirsten Goss's eponymous accessories shop in West London. The showcase, which has previously played host to brands such as Esska Shoes will open this Thursday the 13th of June and stays open late until 8pm.
Kirsten, a talented jewellery designer in her own right, has worked with names like Liberty London and owns stores in both London and South Africa. She now lives in South Africa, running her successful label and goldsmithing studio out of her home city Duban. Kirsten regularly travels to London for events such as the June-July showcase. So mark the occasion we're launching a new design inspired by Ali's own Southern African childhood memories. We couldn't resist!
The scarf is called Magic Balloons and was inspired by my childhood in Lesotho, Southern Africa. As kids my sisters and I used to sit on the roof staring at the huge blue sky and imagining different types of flying machines and balloons. We also watched the swallows migrating from Europe to South Africa and enjoyed seeing them swoop across the sky in large numbers, having crossed thousands of miles.
The event will also include bags by M Hulot, another British Made brand, which we are most definitely lusting after, especially the bowling bags. Join us on the Thursday the 13th for some fizz and accessory ogling!
13th June - 30th July
29 Holland Road
London W8 4NA
Friday, 31 May 2013
As a scarf label we get asked all the time to demo our scarves. Ali recently demonstrated a bit of styling to fab staff at our new stockist "The Boutique Gallery" at Jaeger Regent Street. This inspired her to take things a bit further by putting together some videos back at Age of Reason HQ. For her scarfy debut she demos 3 basic headscarf knots using our "I Will Never Surrender" 90x90cm scarf, which is our medium size. Enjoy!
Tuesday, 21 May 2013
We recently shot our AW13 scarf look-book with London fashion photographer Claire Pepper who works in a bright attic studio in the East End. The collection "Mutiny" has a defiant feel to it. Our designer Ali describes the essence of the collection:
This season we celebrate rebellion, tipping the balance between anarchy and order. The collection marries sharp geometric lines with orderly stripes, juxtaposed against manic, chaotic drawing; furious scribbles and scrawls. There's too much obedience in the world. Rage against the routine, don't conform, and certainly never surrender your individuality!
For the look-book shoot Ali worked with Claire on the idea of hiding the model in the silk and wool scarves.
I wanted to focus on the scarves over things like hair and make-up styling by shooting them in fun, fluid ways, which concealed Cecilia our model. The idea came from the punk tradition of using a scarf to hide your identity, combined with the image of a classic pantomime ghost. (I'd have liked to have cut little holes in the scarves for Cecila's eyes but I don't think that would have gone down too well with my hard working seamstress! ) In a funny way hiding behind something like a scarf draws more attention to a person. The pictures have a sense of humour and playfulness, which is really important to me.
Behind the scenes Claire used a rather industrial looking fan to aid the movement of the silk and wool scarf collection.
Monday, 20 May 2013
Ali recently travelled to Marrakech to gain inspiration for the SS14 collection. If the photos are anything to go by, there was no shortage of inspiration. She visited some of the old Palaces in the walled Medina and the Madrasa, an ancient Islamic college set around a large courtyard.
I love the excitement of cities and this was my first trip to Marrakech so everything was new and surprising. One of the most striking things about the old Moroccan architecture in Marrakech's walled Medina or old town is the contrast between the narrow dusty streets and large dramatic spaces behind the earthen coloured walls. There's a magical quality to stepping though a tiny wooden door to find a lavish space beyond. Beautiful glazed tiles cover the courtyards of large buildings. Tiled arches and marble floors offer cool respite from the blazing sun outside- the ultimate luxury in this hot climate. I was really inspired by the geometric patterns, something I haven't really investigated before.
The Madrasa in Marrakech. Ali Mapletoft Age of Reason studios.
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
This April we showcased our Autumn Winter 2013 silk and wool scarf collection to press at IPR London's AW13 press day. The event was held over 2 days is their cavernous warehouse space near Liverpool Street, decked out with chic modern mirrored icebergs and merchandised to minimalist perfection.
We loved the simple meat-hook style display our scarves were hung on, which showed off the colours and the contrast between our silk pieces and new wool scarves. Press feedback was positive, with fashion journalists picking up on our Made in England credentials and the non-traditional feel of the brand. We're looking frward to seeing some of these pieces at Young British Designers in the autumn.
Tuesday, 7 May 2013
We're off this week on our SS14 design trip to Marrakesh to soak up a bit of Souk culture and sunshine. I'm bringing my drawing kit of course (it is a research trip after all) but I've also packed some city essentials with an emphasis on chic cover-ups and sun care. This isn't a sponsored post by the way, just stuff I bought in shops and I'm taking with me because it's genuinely useful.
A good book is my number one item because all my collections are designed with a book in the background. AW12 and SS13 were influenced by Jonathan Strange and Mr Norell by Susanna Clarke and my travels around Africa. On this trip I'm reading The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowels, which may or may not turn out to influence the SS14 collection.
One of our SS13 straw visors will be my go to item to protect me from the rays while I explore and barter in the markets. I'm supplementing with Kiehls factor 50, I'm too white to be too careful. And just in case some Paw Paw ointment for chapped, dry, in need of attention, bitten, scraped skin and lips. Whatever the issue slap some Paw Paw on it and job's a good-un.
My Ganni shirt, Alexa de Castilho necklace and Rock Optika sunnies will also be coming with me. I'm planning souk seeing, strolls around botanical gardens, museums from the customary riad blot hole.
If you've been to Marrakesh and been inspired I'd love to hear from you on Twitter.
Sunday, 28 April 2013
This SS13 Ali is going on a new style journey by teaming up with her friend and top image consultant Leesa Whisker to work on a Spring Summer wardrobe for work and everyday. Below is Ali's mood-board for the season, which Leesa requires before the consultation and shopping can begin.
I'm excited about working with Leesa but it all feels a bit grown up and bizarre. I've always been a sling it on and buy it kind of person. Having said that, I hate throw away fashion and love quality and longevity in my clothes so I'm looking forward to finding my ideal shapes. These days I don't have much time to shop so finding great clothes can be a problem. It feels like a step forward to ask an expert and be able to start saying "I know what shapes suit me now and I can invest in proper clothes." I'm also keen to buy some British labels.
Over the summer Ali will share some of the looks she and Leesa create, as well as giving a little more insight into how the image consultation process works and why it's a valuable thing to spend time and money on. We also hope to involve Leesa in some scarf styling tutorials.
Saturday, 20 April 2013
This week has been a roller-coaster of innovative canapes, air kissing and cooing over very fine things, with our press day at IPR, meetings all over London and a buzzing launch party for The Boutique Gallery at Jaeger. Here are a few snaps of us and various Boutique Gallery guests including Laura Bailey, Daisy Lowe, the lovely Lara Bohinc, Laura Jackson, Becky Tong and Monica Beatrice of the Elgin Avenue. We also spied press representatives from Vogue, Marie Claire, Company, Cosmo, Easy Living, La Petite Anglaise and Stylenest. It was great to finally see everyone's collections in the flesh and start getting excited about our SS13 scarf collection being stocked on Regent Street.
Age of Reason designer Ali Mapletoft- by Lea Salomone
Laura Bailey - photo courtesy of Jaeger
Daisy Lowe - photo courtesy of Jaeger
Lara Bohinc - photo courtesy of Jaeger
Ali and Charlie Mapletoft Age of Reason photo by Lea Salomone.
Ali Mapletoft Age of Reason- photo courtesy of Jaeger
Laura Jackson photo courtesy of Jaeger
Becky Tong photo courtesy of Jaeger
Monica Beatrice of the Elgin Avenue blog- photo by Lea Salomone.
Friday, 12 April 2013
It's been an exciting week for Age of Reason, with the launch of The Boutique Gallery on Monday. We're pleased to be part of it alongside Preen, Charlotte Taylor, Mawi, Orla Kiely and many more.
Housed on the 2nd Floor of Jaeger's Flagship London store, the space has been re-vamped into a new luxury shopping emporium complete with tea-room and panoramic views over Regent Street. Cuppa anyone?
Bringing together the best of emerging and established British brands, The Boutique Gallery manages to be both stylish and thoughtful, offering everything from high end apparel and accessories to beautiful Taschen art books.
For a full list of brands follow this link to the Jaeger Boutique Gallery Lookbook. So far our favorite pieces include bangles by Nicholas King, and Charlotte Taylor's dresses. We also hear rumours about Tusting Bags in menswear, which we like a lot. We always carry our samples in a Tusting bag. We're also looking forward to seeing new jewellery pieces by Lara Bohinc.
The press launch will take place next Tuesday. We'll keep you posted!