The Best Stuff
- colour lover
- Contributed Stories
- creative business
- creative hq
- emerging designer
- fly the coop
- for the home
- Gift Ideas
- graphic design
- guest blogger
- interior design
- make up
- new zealand
- product design
- REAL WORLD
- sponsored post
- store front
- student work
- studio home
- Studio Home Interview
Category Archives: Studio Home Interview
I am really pleased to bring you this bright light from the jewellery corner of our down under industry!
To me, Nina Gordon gleams with that kiwi girl, can-do attitude, which, I like to think sets us apart a little on the world stage. Her love of jewellery is founded in a love of working with her hands, something that was fostered by time spent with her Dad in his car wrecking yard….I’m not kidding. She is as gritty and cool as she sounds, and I think her shiny, strong aesthetic flows easily through every range she produces for her brand; FLASH .
As wearer of a FLASH ring myself, I can vouch for the everyday ease that comes with Nina’s style. My only problem is how long my wish list is!
I hope you all enjoy the interview below !
Nina, you share on your site that you began working with metal with your Dad at just 15.
What was it that appealed to you and what has been your path to end up designing for your own brand?
I’m really close with my family and they have had a massive influence on me being creative. I use to do metal work with my dad at a young age as he had a car wrecking yard. My after school job was pulling switches and gauges out of old cars on stacks – we have even built a car together (it’s my pride and joy #bogan). I wanted to become a mechanic like my Dad but my Mum got me into jewellery instead – she has the best collection and has always inspired me.
We both enrolled in jewellery night courses and my interest bloomed. Nelson is like a mecca for amazing jewellers and I have had many amazing teachers, I then became the regular at the studio enrolling in the course just to use the equipment. The thing I love about working with metal is you get instant results (lol It’s safe to say I have little patience!).
It wasn’t until I was in Wellington and was over my job as a coffee roaster, that I decided to follow my creative side and randomly applied for a job at a metal design firm. Working in the metal industry was interesting…hahaha.
I was the only female and all the men were 20 – 30 years my senior, the technology was all from the 70s (and the safety standards lol). I was just insanly lucky that the GM really liked me and I became his sidekick, he taight me so much about casting, plating and metal….. I don’t think I would ever do it again, but I’m so happy I did, as this is how Flash started.
Flash was a bit an accident, one day when on the factory floor I had brought along some of my silver rings as there were a few spaces available in a mould, so we casted them, plated them and Bam. Flash was born.
I gave these rings to all of my friends and word spread, so I decided to create a whole collection and the rest is history. It’s been a really organic, fun journey.
Given the chance to hang out with any of your design and style heroes – who would be on your list to invite to drinks?
Wow great question, I have a large verity of design /style heroes that I love. From the costume jewellery era Paloma Picasso and Yves Saint Laurent – I’m obsessed with the design from the 80s!
Style wise, Carmen Hamilton from Chronicles of Her and Yasmin Suteja are at the top of my list. Also, I would invite some of my Wellington and Melbourne girlfriends, they are all very independent about there style and fashion- I love that they give zero f*cks.
That’s the most inspiring thing to me.
You’ve recently relocated from Wellington to Byron Bay via Melbourne? What was behind your move and how is it all going?!
Yes that’s right – we’ve been moving around a bit, I left Wellington for Melbourne and spend a few years in the city and now we have relocated to Byron – It was just such a great opportunity as my partner Rich received a job transfer.
I am really enjoying it here, it reminds me of where I grew up and being beside the beach and outdoors is more ‘me’. I am more inspired, productive and just have more headspace which is amazing!
I personally know the exhilarating ride that is self employment – the unrivalled satisfaction in a WIN and the tired feeling of another wall being put up. What advice or wisdom could you share with us that you have learnt to be true on your own ride?
Hahah being self employed definitely has its highs and lows. (Especially when you are bank rolling it yourself lol).
I think the thing I could share, is to make decisions and take calculated risks. For a period I stalled because the ‘conditions’ were not right.. I was like waiting.. but for what, I was unsure. Making decisions is hard, But opportunities don’t wait – I’ve definitely learnt this the hard way.
Also, do things for yourself, it feels really good and people can see thought things that aren’t genuine.
What I learnt from Nina:
Perhaps it IS this simple?
That love of a material or process might actually
be the pathway to a career with passion.
Explore more of the FLASH world here:
I loved looking through the campaign imagery for Kip & Co’s AW’17 collection – as it, once again, reminded me that this is a brand to be bent around any personality.
Below you will see some disco-ey glitz followed by some decadent “at home time” (if only all our homes were as gorgeous…) plus kids of all ages mingling with popcorn duvets and
crazy donut sheets. My head would have blown off had I been able to snuggle into something so vibrant and cool in my youth!
Their designs can explode in vibrancy as they are layered, or when singled out, can seamlessly slide into any type of home. Seriously – it’s actually a bit of a wonder?
The Kip Queens – Hayley Pannekoeke, Kate Heppell and Alex van der Sluys have been at this game for a while now. They entered a market bare of personality and have reigned from above, even during some years where it felt like everyone was jumping on their bandwagon. And what they HAVE proven is that there is one mighty big well of ideas that together they have fed, and season after season of fresh products, pattern and design proves that.
With one eye on the USA and the other on their families and homes, this team continue to be an inspiring brand and business growing from our own corner of the world.
Hayley, Kate and Alex took time to answer some nosy questions I had for them. Its a great read!
From left: Alex van der Sluys, Kate Heppell and Hayley Pannekoecke.
Sometimes I try to remember what homes were like pre the Kip + Co led revolution of attitude packed bedlinen. There was nothing…. then there was YOU!
Can you share with use what each of you were doing prior to the 2012 launch?
HAYLEY : Prior to our launch in 2012 … (apart from drinking cups of tea and plotting to role out colourful bedding world wide), I was busy having babies (3) and running an organic grocery store and cafe outside of Melbourne with my sister Kate. I studied as a Naturopath during University and had spent many hours working in-store, helping people with their health needs. I loved it so much I opened my own store (with Kate). This was our first business together!
In my spare time (huh!) my husband (James a builder) and I were busy building and renovating our first few homes on the Victorian coast. I have always loved interior design, colour, home bits and fashion so enjoyed every minute decking out our own places.
KATE: For the 2 years prior to Kip & Co, I worked as the business manager of Melbourne fashion label Obus. For the 5 years before that, I owned a health food store and yoga studio with Hayley. Both feel like a lifetime ago, as since starting Kip&Co I have also had 2 bugs and another on the way.
ALEX: In 2012 I was busily working away in communications in Melbourne, having recently had a career change after slogging it out as a lawyer for a while.
I was keen for a creative outlet from corporate life, and the idea of starting a business with two of your best mates seemed like the most sensible plan in the world!
For those out there keen to live beyond a white duvet, your collections offer the chance to reflect our personalities in our own spaces.
Aside from Kip + Co. product; what are your most treasured items at home that really ping your heart strings!
HAYLEY: James and I recently completed another home on the coast, in which we plan to stay! We have gathered bits and pieces over the years and really created a place we can live amongst our favourite things.
My bathroom has pink and lilac sandstone, pink Moroccan floor tiles and French gold taps… I love it! A couple of my favourite things include a quirky painting of a bird I purchased in Williamsburg a couple of years back. I carried it back, frame and all in my cabin luggage and it looks even more vintage now than it did before…
I have a bit of a thing for Morocco and the treasures I bought home many years ago – they are dotted around our home and draw me back to some really amazing times in my 20’s with friends and family.
KATE: I have a bunch of art that my husband and I purchased together in the first 5 years of our relationship. It was all we wanted to spend our money on. We got a Minnie Pwerle, which will forever be one of our most prized possessions and two Rhys Lee paintings which I will never ever get tired of.
Hayley and I also own matching Buddha lamps that were our parents and even though mine was completely smashed accidentally by one of our kids and has now been painstakingly re-glued together (badly), it will forever sit in our home as one of my most unique and cool treasures.
ALEX: I’ve just been moving into my place post renovations this weekend and it has been so fun to unwrap all these little treasures from different periods in my life.
We commissioned a huge Fred Fowler painting for our living room that makes me swoon. I’ve also got a bunch of paper mache painted pots that my boyfriend and I found in India last year in the huge ramshackle shop in Jodhpur that I love. And there is a sweet little initial chest that was my great grandfather’s medicine box when he was a doctor.
Honestly I could go on forever!
What I love is that everything has a memory, its pretty much all pieces we’ve collected on beautiful holidays or gifts from great friends and family.
Who or what is popping up on your radar at the moment?
HAYLEY: Ok! A random bunch of my loves at the moment and things that are always on my radar …
We have been busy planning our launch in the US so my radar has been way over the Atlantic for the past 6 months. Some cool US brands and designers have come our way and one of those I am loving is The Jungalow … the creative outlet for plant loving interior designer Justina Blakeney. This woman is a style powerhouse and has an aesthetic that Aussies adore.
Also in love with boutique Aussie sunglass label; Pared. My eyes have been shaded in their original cool colours and designs for the past couple of Summers. I love the cool simplicity of the brand but also their lack of fear around using colour… right up our alley! I love throwing on a pair of sunnies to suit the way I am feeling or what I am wearing.
I love vintage clothes markets and finding sparkly treasures and cool old jackets
I am also a real foodie in a simple, nonchalant kind of way. I was in Mykonos last year and my absolute favourite restaurant had no electricity and cooked everything on the fire … no fuss and real tastes are my thing.
I love getting out and about on my days in Melbourne and finding new places to eat and drink. I am a huge oyster fan so always looking for the freshest shucked plate of oysters too!
KATE: I’m always loving Gucci! Haaa! But closer to home I love Lucy Folk for jewels and sunnies, Third Drawer Down and Takeawei for ceramics and cool homewares and Obus for clothing – always. And I am taking a breather from art, so nothing even on my radar there.
I’m planning a trip to Europe in July, my first time in many many moons, am thinking of exploring Mallorca (hoping to stay at Cap Rocat) and Corsica which sound very exotic and the perfect break from Melbourne’s brutal winter. I am also chatting with my architect; McManus Lew and builders Ardlie Projects about another exciting build hopefully in the next year down on the Mornington Peninsula.
So many designers choose to work alone (and prefer it that way!)
What is it about the dynamic between the three of you that is rewarding and are there ever times when it gets difficult/awkward/tricky?
HAYLEY: Never! We are really great mates and each bring something different to the table in terms of design but also skills in managing a business and keeping things fresh and exciting at Kip. We all really love what we do and enjoy our time together, especially when we get to travel together.
KATE: In a surprising way, this trio never gets old for us. I think it is because we all have such respect for each others style, experience and work ethic – so even though we don’t always agree with one another on every design or project, I know “if she likes it, even though I don’t, it must be cool/smart/a good idea”.
I’m kinda laughing at this comment, but I think it really is what keeps us all pretty mellow on everything we do. We intrinsically trust each other. And the most rewarding bit about this trio (and in fact the web of amazing people around us) is that we have our best friends alongside to enjoy this adventure with us.
ALEX: It’s really worked amazing well, we all bring different skills and experience but our common bond is that we are all creative souls and respect and love each other.
Plus we are all very hilarious so end up in hysterics most of the time.
What I learnt from Hayley, Kate and Alex:
“There is an unrivaled power in a cohesive team. It is something to strive for!
And just as I suspected – humour is the best glue”
Alice Berry’s invitation to her exhibition ‘Wonderland’ really made me sit up and pay attention!
Over the years I have watched as Alice grew a wholesale print empire that got the nod from many as a shining example of a young creative “doin it for herself”!
Her work was fun, graphic and light hearted – a total winner for the card and print shelves of boutique design stores across the country. (You may have seen or even own an Alice Berry Llama?)
So when the beautiful painted abstract invitation arrived I did a massive double take!!! It was unrecognisable to me as her work – and on further investigation, I had missed a lot more than a progression in style when it came to this savvy young woman.
The interview below has been done quickly to make sure we can get the word up and out about her show open for just TWO days this weekend! But Alice has undertaken it with such raw honesty that I highly urge you to share this among any friends who have experienced a struggle against anxiety. As someone who has been there myself – I found Alice’s story and words below to be enlightening and reassuring.
Wondering what I am on about?? Read on!
I am always struck with a smile when I see an Alice Berry “llama” series print on the wall. I mean they are seriously everywhere!
That very clean, light hearted style has been very much an identifying factor in your public work to date…which is why I got such a delighted surprise to see this amazing, painted abstract work from you with the launch of Wonderland!
It would be great to learn a little about your artistic pathway to date?
Haha thanks! Those llamas are a good time. #SpiritAnimalOnLand.
I’ve actually always painted throughout my life so far. I used to take lessons with another NZ artist; Hayley Brown when I was a kid and she took me under her wing a little in my primary years. I didn’t do art or design at high school as my intention was to become a town planner!! I did my first abstract when I was 12 that was in a shared exhibition. One more when I was 16, then 22. So it’s been a bit sporadic!!
After a year at Uni, in the first stages of a town planning career, I though “F**k this, I’m out”. So I quit Uni and had no idea what I was doing. I applied for a Graphic Design course 3 weeks before it started and got in (thank goodness) which is how I became a designer. It’s also where my love of vector became apparent and I developed my illustration style.
After that I tried finding a design job which took 18 months and moving to Auckland without a job or flat! That’s when Alice Berry Design began and my own creative outlet got its groove on! I’ve focused a lot on illustration over the past 5 or 6 years which is cool but got back into painting last year as a way of relaxing. Abstract just seemed to come naturally to me. I love the mixing of colours and not having the pressure to make something look exact. Painting this way allows me to express myself and still have a design eye on for the overall look.
In the release supporting your exhibition “Wonderland”, you very openly spoke of your personal experience with anxiety.
“After struggling through a solid year or two of intense anxiety, Alice has come through the other side and decided to put herself out there with a collection of her abstract paintings – WONDERLAND.
This collection expresses Alice’s feelings and experiences. Some have been painted over up to 6 times until the feeling is right. This collection celebrates individuality and colourfulness within ourselves. You will see paint on the frames. This represents being outside the box.”
Can you share with us how the process of painting, forming a collection and then putting it all out there in the public eye has helped you ?
Yeah, so, basically anxiety has been a thing for me for a long, long time without really realising it. I faced a lot of bullying in my school years and had no confidence to stand up against that. Losing special people over the years and doing things alone all freaked me out but I didn’t know why and maybe thought it was normal. Then at 20 I had my first full-on anxiety attack. I had no idea what was happening to me and I felt like I was never going to recover and that this was how I was going to die. To put it plainly, it was fucking scary.
Then the same thing happened again the next year, and the next year and then I realised I probably needed some help… after which I found out I was experiencing extreme anxiety. Although I got help and felt fine, it would still come back from time to time.
About 18 months ago I basically had an emotional breakdown and just could not go on like this any longer. It’s a pretty hard time to look back on really. It was about a year or two in the making and just hit me like a ton of bricks – I felt stopped in my tracks with no escape. Luckily I have great family, friends and doctor that all supported me through those times when I couldn’t be alone, stop crying, too scared to drive or too tired to stay awake for a whole day from the exhaustion of anxiety.
I kept being asked ‘Why haven’t you got any new work out yet ?’ and ‘What’s taking so long?’
My feeling was, “I can barely make it through a day right now, so the idea of being creative is really not happening” – obviously I didn’t say that though.. haha. I think people need to understand that we can’t always be ‘on’ and creating non-stop. It definitely can’t be forced or it just ends up crap.
First up, I did the 100 Days Project and started small by just drawing one thing a day. That got me slowly back in the mood for creating which led me to play with abstract patterns and design a sock for release later this year.
Then it just felt like it was time to hit the paints again. Got paints. Got brushes. Got an easel and away I went. I was playing and experimenting with colour and texture while trying to communicate a feeling at the same time. It wanted it to feel positive but real. You will see there is always a hint of a darker colour in the paintings which represents the realness of feeling low, but it is being taken over by light, colour and fun.
The reality is, you will always have ups and downs, just hopefully in less extreme way.
As the paintings were happening I just decided that it was time to put it out there. Share the anxiety and the creative in me. It’s the real me and I want to try and embrace it. A few of my family and friends are going through similar times, so I also felt stronger to let it out. The process of painting also helps me to be calm and not overthink life! They come together with lots of layers and textures created with the paints. A lot of these have about 4 paintings layered underneath as I would keep painting over until I felt it looked like the feeling I had – if that makes any sense.
I called the collection WONDERLAND as a play on Alice in Wonderland. I feel like her falling down the rabbit hole is my experience with anxiety- falling into what seems like an unexplained world, then turning that around into something positive. It’s pretty nerve-wracking but I’m proud of myself for making it happen and most people are really supportive. Some have definitely called it bull shit but I am stronger now to push forward against the haters. Haters gon’ hate after all.
Hopefully you guys will enjoy my artwork and have a good time if you come along! And to be real, anxiety is still part of my life, probably always will be, but you just gotta keep working on it and look after yourself.
A shout out to John Kirwan and his work for mental illness. I met him at a rowing regatta about a year ago he was so kind and inspiring. What he does is pretty amazing.
Who out there do you hold a creative flame for? Share with us some of your favourite people/brands who inspire you in their work, attitudes or practice.
Citta – I also worked here for a bit and the girls are the best.
Gorman – the BEST prints ever.
Margaret Petchell – I love a good bird painting and hers are the brilliant!
Jen Sievers – the way she creates is pretty amazing and I love all the colour and the vibes
Timo Design – from my home town and his work is fun, quirky and awesome.
Alice Berry – Photo by Will Morgan
What I learnt from Alice Berry:
“Outlets (whether they be creative or not) are important for
distraction, building courage, value, purpose and confidence.
Sharing, while scary, creates perspective and
everytime will show you that you are not alone in your experience.”
‘WONDERLAND’ – ALICE BERRY IN ABSTRACT
Friday 12 May 2017 – 6-8pm drinks + nibbles
Saturday 13 May 2017 – 10am-3pm
@ Thievery Studio – Level 2, 203 K’rd, Auckland
Online store (any available originals and limited edition prints will be listed here next week!)
I first got to know Billie Culy when she was helping with her parents Homebase Collections pop up in Auckland in 2013. I was captured by the close, creative aesthetic shared by the family as a whole, so often with the nature at its root. To this very day I am inspired to indulge the very fluid, beautiful way that they celebrate it – not only their art but their homes!
The work shared below is a continuation of Billie’s exploration of using flowers, foliage, sets, vessels and a painters eye to capture the essence of a person, a place or a moment in time. ‘Gild’ is showing now at Hawkes Bay’s; Parlour Projects until the 20th of May but for those that can’t make it I took some time to quiz this young artist on her inspirations, her process, her love of living away from the big smoke plus some Hawkes Bay highlights for weekend interlopers!
As a young creative you chose to swim against the flow of many, and moved from the city back to the regions. What was the pull to return home and share a little about your life in Hawkes Bay.
I think my main motivation to leave Auckland was just to give myself room to breath, I only lived up there for four years but I think it’s easy to get stuck in a space you feel comfortable and in a job you don’t mind but that stagnant feeling creeps in – you feel like you aren’t going anywhere, and maybe the urge to create is fading. So a complete change of environment was what we decided was needed!
Strangely enough, we actually had an opportunity to learn beekeeping with a local keeper in Hawke’s Bay so that was all we needed to motivate us to pack up and head back down there to live the dream.
It was a complete contrast to what we were doing in Auckland, study, work, city life. Literally the day after we arrived in Napier we were in a honey processing room, scraping the wax off honey frames and spinning it out, then out to help tend to Beagle’s hives. It was so fascinating – I can’t remember learning so much in such a short period of time in my whole life.
I’m obviously now not a beekeeper but I think it was something that really shocked me back into the creative zone. For some reason – it sparked something in me! Learning about bees and how their life cycle works and how they play such a huge role in the survival of our environment, it gives you a completely different perspective on life and I found it really inspiring.
It made me fall in love with Hawkes Bay again.
It’s so beautiful here, the landscape is so diverse. I live in Haumoana, a little community by a wild stony beach. It’s a quiet place but that’s what I love about it here, you can escape.
Having the space to make work and make a mess is so important so I’m lucky to have a great studio at home. It’s also so great to be near my parents, we have been able to help out a lot with things they work on at Balquhidder and it’s just really fun to bounce ideas of them in a way I could never do when I was living in Auckland.
Flowers and foliage are enjoying a well deserved time in the limelight at the moment with artists, gardeners and stylists a like! This is something that makes me VERY happy!
However your work has always stood out and above for me – the sets, the light, the vessels and the super layered and interesting combinations you put together are captivating.
Can you share with us your thoughts and process behind your photographic work?
I think it all starts with my complete admiration for the beauty of plants and flowers. Firstly, I wanted to capture their form at a certain time of the year, almost freezing a moment in time. I have always loved to collect foliage growing around me – I find certain plants remind me so much of a particular time or place. For example, Haumoana has such distinctive plants that grow along it’s coastline and I love the idea of capturing the essence of this our community in a single flower arrangement.
I use plants that evoke a feeling of nostalgia, sometimes it will be that they remind me of a favourite painting, my mum or town or someone’s garden I have a connection to. My arrangements are always a little playful and I like to let them do their thing. Sometimes something will droop, or fall off but these are the little moments I love to capture.
The vessels I use have such an importance too. I like that each one comes from a different era and this plays a role in how you view the work. I want people to have a moment where the image feels as though it’s from another time.
Colour is a huge part of my work. I think I see colour before any thing else, its very intuitive for me and I feel that’s why I see my works more as a painting. With my current exhibition I really played with the idea of my process being similar to the way you would put together a painting, using layers of texture in my backdrops and combining the two mediums of photography and painting. This time I also shot with medium format film for my current exhibition at Parlour (Projects), which was a completely different process for me.
You have been bought up in a family of prolific artists – some of my all time favourites actually!
What values, advice, work ethic and processes can you pin point specifically learning from them and how does this affect your own creative work?
I have had such an interesting life growing up with my parents doing what they do**, they are so diverse in their talents, and I think that taught me that creativity doesn’t just come in one form, you can express it in any form you feel like in any part of your life.
Everything they do has an element of creative expression and it’s something I so admire and really believe it can make you a better artist. The more you do the better you become. Being around them my whole life while they work – whether that be directing, photographing, painting or cooking even, I have learnt and still do learn so much. They have definitely shown me that an artists life is not always easy. I think to being creative can also mean you are quite sensitive (well for me anyway) so it’s a constant learning curve! Even just learning to believe in what you are doing, and to actually trust yourself, is a process I’m still getting my head around!
I consider myself so lucky to have mum and dad – my life mentors!
** Brian and Leanne Culy are well respected creative professionals across art direction, production, photography, film, design and painting/drawing. Their design, art and photography work falls under Homebase Collections. You can read more of their story in a previous interview of ours at their BEAUTIFUL Napier Home; Balquhidder House.
We all have those people that we love to check in with for inspiration and motivation!! Whose work do you follow and what attracts you to them?
For floral inspiration I always check in with Doctor Lisa Cooper on insta.
Her arrangements are so strong and so powerful! Flowers don’t always have to be pretty.
Food is life and my favourite food people at the moment are Organic Ash and The Next Meal. They are just always doing something different and interesting AND they share things that I actually want to make!
I follow so many galleries and artists on Instagram – it’s so great because living in Hawkes Bay you can easily feel a little out of touch from the art world, that’s something I miss the most about Auckland. It’s not quite the same as seeing in person but it’s better than nothing!
Michael Lett is always a good time! One of my favourite NZ artists; Gavin Hurley has the best gram! Also loving Kirstin Carlin’s paintings at the moment. I could just keep going…..
Sometimes the radio is my best friend and is constantly on in my house. I actually find it really inspiring and motivating! I always check in every week with Kim Hill, Arts On Sunday and Music 101 – the best of Radio NZ!
We have ONE weekend to spend in Hawkes Bay.
Where and what would be on your hitlist?!
Wow where to begin!
Ok – Saturday we would go to the crazy markets on the Napier waterfront. I like this market because it’s a little bit of second hand, bit of tacky crafty stuff, food and veg. There are always interesting people there andit’s a little different from the classic Farmers Market in Hawkes Bay.
Then we would have to go to Hapi for food, can’t put in words how good the food makes you feel!
Would have to go for a walk up through the Redwoods to Te Mata peak, the BEST way to see Hawkes Bay.
Possibly dinner at Bistronomy, very special food!
Maybe a bit of shopping in Hastings. The Little Red Book Shop is a real gem, and then La Petite chocolate shop is amazing, they make everything there – it’s so beautiful!
The Hastings City Gallery is really great, always something really good on. We would also stop in at Parlour Projects across the road!
We’d end the weekend with fish and chips on Ocean Beach.
That was basically a food tour of HB!
What I learnt from Billie Culy:
Romance, beauty and nostalgia live in the smallest of details.
Take the time to recognise the little things that you attach memories, people and happiness to.
You can connect more closely with Billie Culy by:
Viewing her show here at Parlour Projects
Following her on Instagram
I’m so glad that I’ve moved onto to this Q+A format as it’s not just YOU gaining a deeper insight into the brands and work featured here!
At face value, I truly do love Fazeek; an Australian brand sporting punchy graphics but in tones that don’t blow your socks off. I love the fact that I could have a table cloth to go with my cushion or mix and match with reverse coloured napkins. The baskets are quirky and cool in their slightly muddy tones …totally up my ally.
But it has been the email conversations and answers to my questions below that has reallllly taught me about where Fazeek is coming from. The zigzagging journey of creative determination leading designer/stylist; Jackie Fazekas to step out from assisting others to pursuing her own brand and career is totally inspiring.
Can you tell us a little about the path that led you to design and run your own creative enterprise?
After over a decade working in the hospitality and fashion retail industry it felt like a pretty natural progression to fuse my love of design, colour and textiles with an insiders understanding of the practicalities and quality required from linens.
I worked as a design assistant (fashion) initially in Melbourne in the early 2000’s and moved to Berlin in 2004 where I continued to work for prominent, independent German design houses.
Having returned home to Melbourne and ready to “go out on my own” I started “made by name”, a jewellery and accessories label where I had the opportunity to explore 3D printing and also work with some of my favourite natural products; wood and leather.
I had such an incredibly collaborative time working within fashion, but I soon realised that what I wanted creatively,… needed to be a bit dirtier 😉 I didn’t even know how much I missed being elbows deep in paint and gunk until fashion felt all too clean.
Both my grandmothers were creatives. My paternal Grandmother was a fashion designer, and post World War 2 moved to Australia and became the head designer of Bromley. My maternal Grandma was multi-disciplined artist, her tapestries although not my personal taste were incredibly inspiring.
Around 2 years ago, to further hone my skills in interior design and styling I approached Simone Haag to see if I could assist her on shoots. From there I’ve worked with some incredible Australian interior stylists including Bree Leech, Heather Nette King and Tamara Maynes. I’ve been lucky to work with these successful, creative women I hold in such high esteem and have learnt a lot from watching their process from initial vision to the reality of the set build, to the finished product.
I feel, with Fazeek I’ve finally started to bring together all of my influences: past and present, knowledge and aesthetic values, particularly in the latest collection ‘Hold Up/Hands Off’.
You manage such a delicious balance between texture, graphic detail and a neutral palette. Does the overall vibe of the Fazeek collections reflect your personal style in your home?
Being a small business owner, my homes have been somewhat transient over recent years and I spend most of time in the studio. But my personal style is pretty apparent both in person and the spaces I enjoy being in. I love texture and have an equal appreciation for both organic and man made, “modernised” materials. I wear a lot of black, but always mix up it up texturally.
My favourite go to piece is my knee length black leather circle skirt – clean, classic and easy to build upon. I love simple but bold print in fashion and furnishings, you can’t go wrong with stripes. My original 1960’s scandanavian sideboard that I inherited from my late grandmother is still one of my favourite pieces and epitomises my approach to clean, simple, timeless shape and lines.
My new range resonates on a much more personal level: although all of my ranges have been my style, the ‘Holds Up/Hands Off’ collection is the truest reflection of my aesthetic thus far.
We are so lucky to be exposed to SO many sources of inspiration these days! What places or people do you check in with to get your brain whirring?
* Instagram – broad range from photographers to interior stylists.
* My incredible, supportive friends and colleagues to bounce new range ideas off.
* Having followed Julia Green across all platforms it’s amazing to have recently signed to Greenhouse Interiors.
* Pinterest for both storage and inspiration.
* Keeping tabs on a broad range of local and international designers allows me to see what’s already out there – as it’s so important Fazeek has it’s own unique point of view in what is often a saturated market place.
It’s incredible having SO much at our fingertips but also overwhelming and sometimes I have to stop myself getting sucked down the endless black hole of the internet!
A lot of your products centre around entertaining – table runners, napkins, table cloths, aprons etc.
What do you like to whip up for visitors at home?
Being of Hungarian/Austrian/Romanian decent there is nothing I love more than planning a delicious menu and having my mates over for a delicious feast-a-thon. Although I love Asian cuisine, if entertaining at home I tend to go to robust, European home cooking. Signature dishes that have been passed down generationally include Grandma’s Goulash (although my Mum will claim it’s hers!) and Austrian 7 hour roast duck – it’s worth every minute!
Other than feeling as at home in the kitchen as I do in the studio, obviously designing the table setting itself is part of the joy in bringing a group of inspiring people together to share a meal … and several glasses of wine!
I’m looking forward to an upcoming dinner party that will of course feature the linens from the new collection. Hmmm, what to cook?
What I learnt from Jackie Fazekas:
We should always seek to create opportunities for ourselves. This stuff doesn’t happen on its own….
Prioritise learning, collaboration and don’t fear trial and error.
Seek originality – listen to your personal aesthetic for the best results.
You can explore Fazeek to its fullest via:
Lola Wright is a young NZ photographer I have been gratuitously following on instagram for quite some time now. She takes me on her adventures around the country, across seas and on many occasions, “IN” seas!
As a total sucker for the romanticism of nature, I am an easy match for her art based and editorial work (she has a cool blog to explore too) which made sharing this preview of her exhibition a total no brainer.
“Aqua Frizzante” opens at Allpress Studio in Auckland this coming Monday – all details here – and runs until May 5. Pop in and meet the artist and view this work in person!
I feel like Lola’s photography very much engages us in “the moment”.
You know…lying on your back in the ocean at sunset looking past your own hand, peaking half out of water at your friends and the world on shore… it offers a very unique chance to “be” there. The tone and style of her imagery delivers the “magic” of that moment that I imagine to feel as if experiencing it myself.
So with this in mind I decided to ask our artist the thoughts that spring to mind when very simply posed with each sense…
Read on below.
Pictured above: Lola Wright
“Deep saturated golden light falling upon layers of sand dunes on Auckland’s West Coast. My favourite memories have come from running up & down sand dunes and along mirrored shorelines bathed in golden light. It never gets old standing on top of a dune with awesome people, in a huge vast space with no one in sight. Just watching that big ball of fire sink into the wild sea.”
“That almost quiet half hour before the sun is about to rise with the slight hum of the earth accompanied by Tui and cicada song. Sunrise is always a time of solitude for me. My mind is quiet and everything I see and hear is all that exists in that moment.”
“Neoprene, surf wax and salt air! Haha!
It always reminds me of summer, the ocean and my dude Jordan. Which are 3 of my favourite things. (#4 would be hot chips.)”
“That slight charcoal taste of fresh fish that’s been cooked on an open fire. It’s that satisfying bite into a piece of fish that you caught earlier that day, fried over an open fire, surrounded by my people (coupled with an ice cold Steinlager of course !).
Never quite complete without a little bit of accidental crunchy sand for extra flavour.”
“The deep, refreshing, silky sensation of the ocean as I tread water between shots. I love the feel of water and the visual textures it creates. Mum used to call me a little seal because I would spend hours swimming around as a kid. Not much has changed except now I do it with camera in hand!”
A journey expressing a love of water, light, movement & texture.
Allow yourself to sink into Lola’s Aqua Frizzante world.
At Allpress Studio, Auckland
O P E N I N G N I G H T
Monday 24th April 2017
6pm – 8pm
Some drinks & nibbles provided