13 October, 2012

XXXX: Botanical Motifs

As a small token of appreciation for all those who have supported my work over the years, I decided to somewhat enhance the swing tags for HANDMADE VII -Possibly my last collection for a while, now. Some may remember that I usually make and fill in each garment's tag with details such as title, garment type, date of completion, fiber composition and treatment information. Plus, a woodcut print limited to each collection.

For this collection, I delved further into watercoloured botanical drawings. Each tag will feature individually rendered watercolour motifs. There are two types in fact, that I created. One is an olive wreath encircling tea roses and lisianthus, with tea-stained detail. The other is a wandering jew encircling blue cornflowers and pale hydrangeas, with subtle red wine staining work. I hope that they may be appreciated for both their aesthetic appeal, as well as the layers of meaning.

P.S. - The red wine and tea ring stains on the back of each card needn't be excused; they were completely intentional.

Thank you.


28 July, 2012

XXXIX: A Closer Look at Handmade VII

The following images display a few of the limited hand knitted pieces which were produced for Winter/Spring 2012. The collection is now all in store at Miss Crabb. 

For these selected few, I have decided to share some writing; delving into the conception of ideas and the processes of creation.

Date of Completion : 30.03.2012

This Creme sweater is one from a short series of garments that were initially attributed with sets of unique linear formulae; resulting in levels of apparent wefts, warps and cables. The idea was to create an ephemeral grid within the confined space of a garment. Each surface has an overall textuality achieved through randomness. It is now forgotten and potentially never to be replicated. 

Fibers Used:
Virgin Wool
Cellulose Rayon

"Tincture I"
Date of Completion : 15.06.2012

A looseness in the patterned textuality is apparent here; complying with the inherent texture and tonality of natural treatment. The rarities here lie also with the treatment of the fibers used to produce this sleeveless tunic piece. The wool has been hand-felted into thick yarn, from raw form. The colour was achieved through the process of firstly cultivating one's own organic beetroot crop, harvesting it and then creating a concentrate through a series of experiments. This resulted in wool that was hand dyed in extremely limited batches. The lower half of the garment consists of bespoke hand-felted raw tussah silk, spun with organic tussah ribbon for reinforcement.

Fibers Used:
Pure Wool
Tussah Silk

"Le Flagon"
Date of Completion : 10.04.2012

The sweater above is from the same series of abstracted surfaces. Here, having derived it's randomly cabled and 'weaving' pattern from yet a different linear formula. The clashing double-plyed yarn colours were a retrospective look at my earlier collections, "Handmade I" and "Handmade II." 

Fibers Used:

"Generation IV"
Date of Completion : 06.05.2012

"Generation V"
Date of Completion : 18.05.2012

A series of short-sleeved jumpers that explored the juxtapositions of colour and texture. 
Resulting in variations of abstracted and fragmented surfaces. 

An assortment of Fibers were used:

"These Days"
Date of Completion : 24.01.2012 

This multiple paneled top was another exploration of shape and texture. 
It consists of felted wool yarn that was naturally hand-dyed in separate, limited batches over time.

Treatments include:
Darjeeling Tea
Beetroot and Camellia Blossom
Green Tea and Olive Leaf Extract
Charcoal and Magnesium Sulphate

.   .   .

For more information regarding such work, feel free to post questions 
or simply come by Miss Crabb on a Sunday. Thank you.

Photography Credit: Leilani Heather


24 May, 2012

XXXVIII: Winter 2012

HANDMADE VII : Coming Soon.

.   .   .

Even in centuries which appear to us as the most monstrous and foolish, 
the immortal appetite for beauty has always found satisfaction. 

-Charles Baudelaire.

.   .   .

.   .   .


28 March, 2012


I've been dropping in some very special archive and past season pieces to the SALE at Miss Crabb. 30-50% off.
As you can see, these are the last final days of it; so be sure to drop by and pick up 
something that you'll potentially wear forever.

Also: The last day of SALE is on the 1st of April, which just so happens to be a Sunday. 
This means that I'll be serving tea and some baking -See you there?


26 March, 2012

XXXVI: Recipe I : Salted Lavender and Rosemary Shortbread

As many of you may know by now, I've been hosting tea and baked refreshments every Sunday at Miss Crabb, as a wonderful way to treat and enjoy the company of our customers. This little tradition has been going strong for two months, and I now feel as though I've been repeatedly asked to share some of the recipes -and why the hell not? A lot of them are traditional variations and mild inventions of my own, especially this little favourite -So here goes:

Salted Lavender and Rosemary Shortbread


250g Unsalted Butter, softened
1/2 Cup Icing Sugar
1/2 Cup Raw Sugar
1 Cup Cornflour
2 Cups Standard Flour
12 Lavender Heads -only the top blossoms (no leaves) 
4 Tablespoons of Rosemary Leaves 
4-5 Tablespoons of Salt -I like to use pink Rock Salt (both, powdered and crushed)

. . . . . . . . .

Preheat Oven at 150°C

Cream the butter and icing sugar together gradually until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add 2 tablespoons of powdered salt and all the raw sugar in. Continue folding and mixing.

Meanwhile, boil some water in a small saucepan to very lightly blanche the lavender heads and rosemary. After blanching, strain them and leave to dry on a towel (alternatively for five-to-ten minutes on a tray by an open oven or fireplace). Once they are relatively dry, chop the lavender heads to make the petals and seeds separate and crumble. Simply separate the single rosemary leaves -Get rid of all twigs.

Sift the cornflour and flour together in a separate bowl and then gradually mix in with the sweetened butter mixture. As you are doing this, the dough should begin to take shape -Move it all to a lightly floured board and begin kneading. Start sprinkling the rosemary leaves and chopped lavender over the dough as you knead. Make sure that it is all very well distributed.

You'll know when the dough is ready by the soft, yet malleable consistency. Flatten the dough and roll it out to an even 3cm thickness (or slightly less if you find that flat and slightly crunchy shortbread is in order). Begin cutting them in any desired shapes of cookie cutter -Ridged circles are my preferred option.

Distribute them all on a baking paper-lined tray and prick each shortbread lightly with a skewer or fork. You may then lightly sprinkle the remaining salt (or more) over them all -for this part, I prefer crushed organic pink Himalayan mineral salt. After that, you simply put them in the oven to bake at 150°C for 30 minutes or until pale golden.

Once they are ready and out of the oven, you let them cool on a rack, make a cup of Lady Grey tea and contact Areez to let him know how it all went.

. . . . . . . . . 

03 March, 2012

XXXV: Styled: Foliage

An editorial that I styled and art directed earlier this year, with Rouse Magazine photographer Benjamin Walls. 
It features a selection of womenswear from Zambesi and Miss Crabb (including Penny Sage and one of my own pieces), menswear from Zambesi, my wardrobe archives; with two fragrance notes and jewellery by Zora Boyd from Wunderkammer.

Foliage, flowers and general shrubbery from various gardens and Ponsonby flower shops. Enjoy.

Also: Thank you to the patient people at French Revolver Studio.


XXXIV: Press: Rouse Magazine

Images from an editorial which features pieces from HANDMADE VI. 
The first two images are of a jumper made entirely of recycled sari silk with black overdye,
while the third image features a hand knitted singlet of organic bamboo ribbon.

Styled by Sana Gerrand and Photographed by Benjamin Walls.


07 February, 2012

XXXIII: Press: Fixy

A new gem has been bestowed upon Aucklanders, to make our lives just that little bit more special. Emma Foley has recently launched Fixy to be an online luxury hair and beauty booking service -however, it appears to be so much more than just that.

Here's a little glimpse at an interview feature that I did for them on male grooming:

Fixy will no doubt grow to entertain and entice future readers and followers -So stay tuned, book in and enjoy

Portrait Image Credit (left): Benjamin Walls


05 February, 2012

XXXII: Previously Styled & Co-Directed: Les Femmes Damnées

Here are some images from an editorial that I styled and co-directed with Oliver Rose 
over a year ago. The shoot was a project that began as a series of experiments with draped cloth, 
light and nostalgia. Once again, it predominantly displays a selection 
from my personal wardrobe and archives. 

A recurring theme in my work, its title was derived from a Baudelaire poem in Les Fleurs du Mal

To view in it's entirety with clothing compositional credits, visit Rouse Magazine

Thanks to:

Photography by Oliver Rose
Hair by Matt Benns @ Stephen Marr
Makeup by Meggie Mapper @ MAC
Models: Elena Zubielevitch and Elly Sekikawa @ RED 11


XXXI: Previously Styled Work: Boys

Here are images from an editorial that I styled for Rouse Magazine last year:

The garments were predominantly from my wardrobe collection archives. So help me, it keeps on growing.

Photography by Benjamin Walls
Makeup and Hair by Katherine Rogers
Models: William @ Clyne; Jake and Matt @ Nova


02 February, 2012

XXX: Tea

Here's to a sweet new weekly tradition that we're starting at Miss Crabb:

Weekdays can get rather grim -that is why they invented the weekend
As of this week, I will be hosting a relaxed little day of tea, refreshments and shopping bliss every Sunday.

Feel free to drop by for a cup, a slice, a chat and myriad other wonderful things that Sundays have to offer-
From 11am 'till 4pm at Miss Crabb, 41 Ponsonby Road.


07 January, 2012

XXIX: This Week: Reconvene Natural Dyeing

After a season of dyeing almost every yarn with natural dyes, to a season with bespoke tussah, pre-dyed bamboo ribbon yarns and the debut of limited woven garments (current collection HANDMADE VI, with MANMADE I) -I have finally decided to reconvene my exploration of naturally dyeing yarn. This will be a project that may or may not succeed in being a part of a future collection. At this point, its all fun and games (and a terribly unruly kitchen)

I've also introduced a new, potentially limiting obstacle: the natural substances I'll be dyeing with this week will be ones grown in my very own backyard. 100% organically grown plants, vegetables, roots, herbs and blossoms.

To begin with, I'm going to continue dyeing with garden beetroot and camellia blossoms, using organic black salt as a natural mordent. Here's a little peek at some test-dyeing that was done a couple of months ago:

Apologies for the poor quality of the images. However I find no shame in admitting that they were hurriedly taken by an iPhone. 

Stay tuned