Sometimes design can feel quite technical, even industrial in a sense.

You fabricate a drawing into a sculptural form. You worry about material execution. There are logistics on so many levels and being very small it's not like I have a design team to bounce off.

Um, I am the design team.

Creatively, it can be a bit lonely choosing between dove blue and slate grey in an airport lounge using a coaster to draw on and a sample book to choose and maybe a coin to flip because, at this stage, it’s my call. That’s the beauty and austerity of luxury design on a micro-scale.

Imagine then, the bliss of meeting upcoming independent designers from all over the world at a very rare and original event dedicated to small houses just like mine.

In May I was chosen to participate in ORIGIN, PASSION AND BELIEFS (www.originfair.com) in Vicenza and, in design terms, it was sort of like being asked to play Glastonbury.

Through my involvement with the independent fashion website www.notjustalabel.co.uk I was invited to be part of the fantastic creative circus, pretty much in the middle of a field in Vicenza, Italy and also given the chance to meet unusual manufacturers and adventurous buyers.

Over four days, presenting ROCK MUSE (see my next blog) I found a flock of new designers I loved. Make yourself a pot of Kusmi Jasmin tea and check out these new talents:

Williams Handmade - Sarah Williams also did her Masters at the same school of fashion in London as me. Her bags are amazing!


NOM*D from New Zealand. Margie from New Zealand has been in the industry for more than 20 years, kiwi style is so esoteric.


And kooky ear cuffs from Rachel Entwistle Jewellery from London


When I got back from this event (it's a bit too cool to be described as a conventional trade show) friends asked me to explain it. In some ways ORIGIN, PASSION and BELIEFS was like a Biennale because of the very tight agent grade curatorial edit and because of the very global selection. Clothes designed by an Isreali in Morocco that looked like Comme de Garcon and an African fable or Jewels honed from rat spines. Yeah, I know….Are the things you can’t get in a department store. Yet.

Fashion is driven by trends, but behind the trend is always the idea. The crazy out of nowhere just gotta have it concept. So, I don't lose sleep wondering why I have a sudden urge for perforated mint green leather peep toe mid heels…You just have to trust it.

Meeting one hundred liked minded souls truly backed this up and I want to say a big  GRAZIA to the organisers of this incredible event. It was an honour and a privilege.