LONDON — Smythson has tapped the British illustrator and filmmaker Quentin Jones for a second collaboration in six months — and this time she’s turned her hand to the leather accessories themselves.
The Smythson Panama Collection With Quentin Jones features original illustrations — such as a winking cat, a dancing cat, an eye, ink blots and a heart shape. They pop up as patterns on totes, cross-body bags, passport covers, notebooks and diaries from Smythson’s Panama collection.
“I thought about my favorite examples of artists who work with pure lines,” said Jones of how she approached the project. “I looked at the ink work of Picasso, Miro, early [David] Hockney or Ben Nicholson, and then I thought about how I could apply these ideas to something you wear or carry — and this led me to the idea of creating patterns out of tiny pictures. It was a great project and really made me push my aesthetic in a new way.”
Jones added that the motifs emerged from “hundreds” of doodles and scribbles. “I prefer how my imagery looks when I don’t overthink it, and just work really quickly. Then when you choose the few things you like, they sort of get elevated or seem intentional in their style.”
The collection, done in combinations of white, black, dark red and Smythson’s signature Nile blue leather, also includes badges, key rings and diaries with the words Soho Saint and Soho Sinner embossed in what looks like dripping liquid gold on the front. Smythson will also offer gold embossing services at its New Bond Street store here that are based on the prints.
Last September, Jones created a series of collages based on famous fans of the Panama diary, such as Sigmund Freud, Dita Von Teese, Erdem Moralioglu and Katharine Hepburn. Each collage featured a letter of the alphabet that together spelled out “Smythson.”
Rory O’Hanlon, Smythson’s design director, said he and his team handed Jones existing Smythson designs “and had her take the collaboration a step further, putting more of her signature style onto it. She chose the color combinations and the prints, and we worked closely together to narrow her proposals down to what was technically doable.”
The limited-edition collection of 10 styles will bow at Colette in Paris on Monday, and remain exclusive to the French store for one week. Colette will also showcase Jones’ original Panama collages as part of its in-store display.
The collection will go on sale at Smythson on New Bond Street on March 17, and will be carried online at smythson.com on March 31. Prices range from $125 for the leather winking cat pin to $1,600 for the large classic tote, with Jones’ prints screen-printed on the inside.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast