Friday, 31 May 2013

How To style a headscarf - Age of Reason

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

Age of Reason AW13 Photo Shoot

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

Age of Reason gets inspired in Marrakech

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. 

 Monochrome tiles in the courtyard at Hotel Mamounia.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

AW13 Press Day at IPR London

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

Marrakesh Research Trip Essentials by Ali

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.