Friday, 23 April 2010

Into Africa via the Darkroom

Into Africa store event at the Darkroom

The Darkroom opened its doors on the characterful Lamb’s Conduit Street in Bloomsbury just late last year and since discovering it in early February I've popped in at every opportunity. The concept store comprises a curated mix of interior and fashion accessories alongside bi-monthly art and sculpture exhibitions. This summer, the Darkroom is going colourful with their latest in-store event, titled Into Africa. Kicking off in April, the showcase explores modernist interpretations of indigenous Africa textiles, jewellery and art. Designs include a limited edition range of laptop and pouch bags by Harris Elliott, a range of hats made from vibrant Africa cotton by Noel Stewart, limited edition prints from David David’s archive of bold geometric patterns, jewellery pieces by Florian, Corrie Williamson and Fred Butler using Brie Harrison prints, as well as a range of leather wallets in vibrant colours by menswear designer Kenneth MacKenzie of 6876.

As you all should know, the H by Harris line initially began with beautifully made laptop cases crafted in London from the softest leathers. The offering has since grown and developed in to a luxury luggage brand. For this season, he has teamed up with the store to create one off designs comprising laptop cases and pouch bags, each lined with bold African prints.

Butter wouldn't melt...

Fred Butler joined forces with Brie Harrison to develop a stunning and exclusive African print design for the Darkroom, masterfully crafted in to both neck and wrist accessories.

Fred Butler and Brie Harrison combine

Store owners Rhonda Drakeford and Lulu Roper-Calderbeck have handpicked a selection of designs and showpieces by various talented designers, which are displayed alongside pieces from Darkroom’s own collections. As I explored the store event temptation was staring blankly at me, from Lynn Cockburn's braided belts and key rings (more on that one day soon) to Anglo's weaved belts.

A bench that had me reaching for my wallet...

For the benefit of those of you who are unfamiliar with Anglo Leathercraft, it is a British brand and has found huge following in Japan, yet are little known in the UK. Their leather belts and bags are all made in England using the finest and most intricate leatherworking techniques. The ones seen here are ideal for the warmer months ahead.

A bowl of bow ties caught my eye

Just as I was leaving the event my eye caught sight of a bowl of colourful print bow ties and handkerchiefs. They reminded me of my temptation to give the styling of Casely-Hayford's SS10 presentation a try but before I cover my arms in eye catching hankersleeves I might just liven up the breast pocket of an old jacket with one of Darkroom's own brand printed pocket squares.

These would certainly liven up any jacket.


Jason said...

I love these African inspired prints, ideal for summer.

Michael said...

Definitely going to check this one out.


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