Friday, 2 March 2012

The Bunney and Derek Ridgers

Riding the design storm that is Menswear Day at London Fashion Week, crashing from show to presentation to installation, moments of calm are are there be treasured. For the last few seasons, the sight of Andrew Bunney calmly and confidently standing behind his cabinet of jewellery has continuously offered such a rare, welcome moment. The circus of fashion blurs in to the background when Bunney speaks. As Gary Warnett recently posted, he has a tendency to suck you in to his world, and what a world it is. As previously discussed on the pages of this blog, jewellery line Bunney was launched after its creator was drawn to the idea of coming up with something everybody or anybody could wear...even nervous wearers like myself. Bunney longed to create objects that look like something one may be used to yet recast in a new light with precious metals, becoming new, yet at the same time, familiar. Ultimately, he wanted to make something precious that anybody could use. 

Each carefully crafted objects celebrates the personal and the special. Alongside his cabinet of treasures, Bunney presented a selection of works by Derek Ridgers and a newspaper that celebrated the photographer's iconic work. The synergy between Bunney and Ridgers is obvious. Now, for those of you unfamiliar with his work, from the mid seventies through to the late eighties, Ridgers captured some of the most significant movements in British youth culture history by aiming his lens at often namely, always authentic individuals who made up those scenes. As Jason Jules notes in the introduction to his utterly absorbing conversation with the London based photographer, 'through his body of work, Ridgers captures the potential of expression through style, the potential of individuals to communicate powerful statements using the body - clothes, hair, tattoos, as the medium. It's a language that goes beyond fashion and beyond trend.' It is the same language that Bunney himself speaks fluently.

"These works are an important record of an ignored history, they are a record of how we looked, what we wore and how we work it. Derek has captured the non-famous, the ordinary, and no matter how sullen the face, the personality is there. In every photo we can see aspects of personal style and through these glimpses learn a little more too - this is what interests me most. Capturing how someone wanted to be different to their friends, in most cases not a grand statement, simply about a touch of personality or flair." Andrew Bunney on the work of Derek Ridgers

A selection of shots from the presentation and the newspaper.

Over the course of a few seasons, whilst seeking out the last bastions of British craftsmen and learning all about their trade, he has been quietly navigating an elegant and refined men's jewellery offering that have grabbed my attention and left me experimenting. In truth it is near nonsense to talk about the line in seasons because the considered design talents adds to his magpie's haven as and when the desire and opportunity arises. The latest additions include the Colette exclusive Je t’aime padlock and a set of Diamond Jubilee badges. Here's a closer look at a few of the pieces that caught my eye...

A selection of Bunney pieces shot at The Showroom Next Door.

'With my work I want to create products that are precious, sometimes things that aren't typically seen that way but pieces that can always endure. While I design with a use in mind, I would love to see people interpret or wear in ways that I have never thought of. UK style has often been about reappropriation, and I think what males people find that so exciting is that the wearer really dictates how something can be worn." Andrew Bunney on his eponymous line.

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