“Blink” New Designers: Richard Braqo

We always find such incredible and exciting new accessory brads at London Fashion Week‘s Somerset House exhibition. As shoes are a particular weakness of mine, I was delighted to spot these rather gorgeous heels from Richard Braqo.

A graduate of Parsons in NYC, Braqo is producing his rather seductive footwear in the very best factories in Italy. He has previously collaborated on a sell out collection with Cesare Paciotti, as well as working with Acne Studios and Helmut Lang. His own label collection features super luxurious fabrications, stunning attention to detail and a subtle yet undeniably sexy handwriting.

Richard Braqo, AW'13 at London Fashion Week

Richard Braqo, AW'13 at London Fashion Week

Richard Braqo, AW'13 at London Fashion Week

Richard Braqo, AW'13 at London Fashion Week

For mroe new designers, just click here.


Blink Discoveries: Virginie Castaway, Paris

Its been about six months since I was last exploring Paris. It really felt a little too long and I was so excited to be going back. The room at my favourite hotel, Mama Shelter, was booked and I scored a deal on Eurostar. All was looking sweet until I went to get more euros and realized the exchange rate would make Paris as expensive as Tokyo. Where did I leave my thermos flask and Tupperware lunch box…?

The good thing about my extended absence was that I really noticed a change when wondering around my favourite retail haunts. There is a buoyancy, an energy and a wonderful creativity that is lacking a little in other fashion centres. As we dipped in and out of the intertwining streets of Le Marais, we came across a new store on rue Debelleyme, with an intriguing new name- Virginie Castaway.

Virginie’s Paris based business was born in 2006, after she spent some time in Australia soaking up the sunshine and beach-life. The collection is really lovely, sitting alongside Etoile Isabel Marant and Athe Vanessa Bruno, with a dash of Maje perhaps, in both an aesthetic and price sense. There’s a sporty, sexy feel with a touch of vintage detailing- something that innovative French brands are delivering brilliantly right now. It seems to be the new Parisian handwriting, and its really pretty irrésistible!

We found this video of the AW’10 collection online, and also swiped some shots from the Virginie Castaway website- which does have an online shop. There’s a cool Virginie Castaway blog for keeping up to date with brand news too.

in the Marais store

Virginie Castaway SS'11 collection, from the Virginie Castaway website

Virginie Castaway SS'11 collection, from the Virginie Castaway website

Blink Interviews: Teatum Jones

We are very excited to share with you our latest fashion discovery. While at London Fashion Week we’re always on the look out for something that looks fresh and innovative. In September last year, that came in the form of the wonderful Felicity Brown (read her interview here), and this February, we came across Teatum Jones. It was a new name to us, and is perhaps also to you, but there is a growing excitement around this brand- and we feel sure that this is a name that will be on the top if many fashion editors and buyers wish list in the season’s ahead.

Catherine Teatum met Rob Jones while they worked together at John Richmond, where they discovered a shared creative passion driven by an edgy and sometimes sinister blend of romance and tragedy. Both designers are engaged with the concept of fashion embracing a story, and the stories that are subtly expressed though their use of silhouette and pattern are just incredible and fascinating.

Having decided to launch their own label, Teatum and Jones spent several years researching and developing their concept for a contemporary, relevant, refined and chic womenswear brand. After being selected as a Fashion Fringe finalist in 2009, they launched their debut collection for SS’11.

VOGUE.com: “Teatum Jones….build their own fashion picture, the result being a clever and tight collection…with lots of hidden details…the sorts of details that make a jacket sit just right, or a dress perfect to pose in” – Jessica Bumpus

So, here are their fascinating answers to our interview questions…

Do you think that wearability is more important than creativity?

Above all else, concept comes first. Without the concept hinging everything together from the top, you do not have a brand. Then what follows is an understanding of the need to have a commercial balance. From this understanding you’re able to structure a collection that satisfies the need for both creativity and wearability.

How would you describe your fashion aesthetic?

Effortless chic, honing the perfect balance between masculine and feminine and structure and fluidity.

Care to share any fashion don’ts or disasters?

Don’t drink three bottles of champagne and wear 9” heels. That should give some clue as a previously witnessed fashion disaster.

Which comes first for you, personal style or trends?

Personal style. Trends are transient, real style enjoys longevity because it expresses the integrity of your core character.

What or who are your longest standing design influences?

The human mind. We draw our biggest inspiration from how we emotionally react to different situations, subjects and other human beings.

What is currently tempting you into making a purchase?

The new iPad….damn those apple people….such a sexy consumer driven brand.

What’s the best fashion advice that you’ve ever been given?

Trust your gut instinct.

Can you share with us your most fabulous fashion moment?

When we met Janice Dickenson at the Designers Party during London fashion Week…we spotted her on the stairs and called out her name, she turned around and slurred an obscenity at us….it was perfect. It was exactly the greeting we were hoping for. She is beyond fashion fabulous. She is just fantastic.

Who would you love to work with, past or present?

We would have loved to work with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert throughout their reign. What they did for British Culture, and the Arts was phenomenal and we still benefit from it today.

Paper and pencil or computer and mouse?

One cannot exist without the other. When it comes to cutting, you cannot beat the nuance and detail in a handcrafted pattern yet what we can create on the computer for our prints is utterly limitless.

I feel most creative when…

Listening to something like Philip Glass and wandering through an exhibition in central London that has just sparked something and your heart starts to beat faster knowing that you have stumbled cross your next hook.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Knowing that everyday you’re waking up, making your way into a studio you love and getting that little bit closer to achieving your ultimate dream.  We’re incredibly privileged to be able to do what we love. Not everyone has that choice so we try to never to take anything for granted.

Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones

Teatum Jones, AW'11 Collection

Teatum Jones, AW'11 Collection

Teatum Jones, AW'11 Collection

Teatum Jones, AW'11 Collection

Thanks so much to Rob and Catherine for the time that they gave us to create this brilliant interview. I cannot wait to see how their brand develops.

If you’d like to read more of our inspirational interviews, just click here. Enjoy!