Excited to see a suite of new design - and the opening of a new studio - from NZ's Homebase Collections...
Leanne Culy, designer, outside the new showroom.
Don't you just want to go visit? Yeah you do - and you can, at 5 Balquhidder Road, Napier. The showroom is open Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 till 4... or by appointment. Weep not, dear not-in-Napier child, there's also an online store.
This shy little guy isn't new, but they've popped him on a cushion.
Sideboard - you rikey?
Sammy here is a nostalgic Napier/NZ icon, and its only right that someone made him a star again. Way more awesome than the Four Square man.
Sammy on cushions, and Homebase Collections' new woodgrain fabric in use as curtains.
At the heart of Homebase Collections are their textiles.
New pinhole lightshades; and in situ.
The swan fabric (nod to Crown Lynn) isn't new but I just really like this photo.
New fabrics: triangular roses...
... and triangular parrots.
So much good to look at...
Love that Brian Culy Camelias print on the left wall there...
Another shot inside the new Homebase Collections studio.
I'm not scared to tell anyone that Workroom/Douglas + Bec are my very favourite NZ designers. So when I see an email from Bec telling me their new Douglas + Bec store at BLOC is finally open, I have to sort of immediately stop what I was doing (sorry, paying clients) and share.
I plan to go visit this week. See you there? I'll be the one touching the cabinetry inappropriately.
Ahem. I see you, hand-stamped drawstring bags.
Some people enjoy going to the movies or playing sports, I enjoy staring at shelving units with chunky copper fittings.
Oh, and if you haven't yet heard of BLOC, it's sort of like Disneyland for lovers of contemporary design. One, two, three levels of eeeeeeee-inducing lighting, furniture, homeware, stationery and more - Douglas + Bec bring their insanely good taste to join Bo Concept, Citta Design, Collected by Leeann Yare, Pencil Boutique, World Beauty and Cool Food in the space.
I snuck in to Timothy John's photoshoot at the Wayne Tait studio... because the Sidekick stool is about to about to be launched in a few new colourways (there's even a black on black), and with a new American Ash top. Fucking aye. I thought the cork top was rad, but I really really want one of these ones. There's even a larger Side Table size in the family now.
I'll let you know as soon as I do about stockists, and share some hot Wayne Tait-ed images with you when they're ready... but for now you can contact Timothy John direct to get yours.
The Holly Howe aesthetic is not for a shrinking violet. And Holly's herself is no pansy, singlehandledly creating and running a jewellery brand which is now stocked in boutiques around New Zealand and Australia. Let's have a chat to her, shall we? Yes!
How did you come to start the Holly Howe brand?
It's so crazy thinking back to how this all started. When you’re doing it and busy being busy you never really stop to reflect about how you got there, I would just say that it all just happened, that's how it feels anyway, but thinking about it, it has been a journey of ups and downs (mostly ups) LONG hours, hard work and perseverance. I studied at Otago Polytechnic and graduated in 2009 with a Degree in Product Design. Throughout my degree I never really knew what it was in particular that I wanted to end up doing, I just knew I wanted to design and make things but never really thought I would/could make a business for myself so early after graduating. It was at the start of 2010 it hit home that I wouldn't be returning to study and that freaked me out, I really didn't feel ready, it wasn't until the end of my 3rd year that I started to understand what it took to be a designer. It was then that I went back and did a few papers at Art School in Jewellery and Metalsmithing, it seemed like a subject that would sit really well with what I studied previously, I needed that extra time to experiment a little more and gain some confidence with creating things that would then be out on the market. Half way through that year I was approached by a fashion designer who owns a boutique in town (Dunedin) who asked if I would be interested in collaborating on a little collection for her store and that was it, fell in love with the project we were doing and thought, hey why not design my own and see how it goes. It’s now almost 2 years later, 3 collections down and 20 stockists throughout NZ and Aus later!
Walls and corners of Holly's studio
Pieces from the three Holly Howe collections
What's been the highlight of Holly Howe so far?
Ahh what to pick, honestly everything and being able to work full time on my business is just amazing!
Something that really stands out would have to be my 2nd collaboration I did with New Zealand clothing label NYNE. I am stocked in their concept store, The White Room in Hamilton. A few months after having my label in their store they asked me if I would be interested in designing a few pieces to go with their SS12/13 collection, let’s be honest what emerging designer is going to turn down that amazing opportunity. It was such a great experience, I love working with other creative people and seeing where it can take you.
What's a typical day like for you?
Early morning workout and coffee first up! I am usually in my studio by 9am answering emails and doing all the paper work and organising of things with stockists and media, I do my own PR as well so there is a lot going on just with that side of things, with this side of the business I start my day with it and end the day with it so I can have the bulk of the day designing new work and making jewellery to go out to stores.
I try really hard to not work past 6pm or in weekends, of course when there is a new season collection due out its crazy and all of that goes out the window!
Get your hands dirty and make things
Holly's favourite rusty old tools - she uses them everyday.
Holly's poppa gave them to her dad, and he handed them down to Holly.
Vintage findings box mounted on the wall
Inspiration and sketches for upcoming pieces
When did you last get really creatively excited?
When my partner came back from a work trip to Barcelona, he bought me back an Ernst Haeckel book full of amazing etching plates and illustrations of micro-organisms. It was just the thing that inspired me for my latest collection and for the new one due out in a few months.
What are your dreams and schemes for 2013?
Woo already 2013 has been amazing. I have 2 collaborations with 2 of my stockists locked in for this year plus 2 of my own collections to design and produce so I am going to be a very busy girl. There are a few other exciting projects in the works too which at this stage I will keep quiet. For me, 2013 is about building my brand and focusing on producing collections that people love.
I also want to build on my Australian market, I have 4 stockists over there but I want to grow the brand a bit more and make a name for myself there too.
Valley ring and Stacker rings
Fractured Heart earrings, from the new Little By Little preview collection
Three Peaks pendant
Holly will be launching her new collection in March/April, so keep your peepers out for it. In the mean time, you can find stockists and stay up to date with Holly Howe here.
New Zealand-born, Australia-based Serenah takes photos of her dog buddies, Ralph and Simon... (and other people's pets too.) Have a lookee at her website, and she also posts lots of other photos on Facebook.
I could tell you all about the new Londontown collection from Citta, or you could watch the designers (Imogen, Emma, Amy and Carina) themselves tell you all about it - the 5 mini-collections or personalities they created within Londowntown, the New Zealanders they chose to represent each of them, and their own favourite pieces in the range.
And here's some faves...
Digging this pattern - The Heath, designed by Imogen Tunnicliffe.
The world needs more good duvet covers.
Also makes a sweet hut. Everyone loves a hut.
Lots'o great cushions in the new collection! These are my two bestest.
Purchasing singular bits of awesome crockery is a hobby of mine.
(Apologies for very dodgy photoshop on the top right corner - it had a big ugly graphic on it.)
They also have other great furniture and homeware, like these items:
ehmergehd Asplund desk.
Magazine Rack of the Year! (I have just held a small awards ceremony in my office for it, so it's totally official). Vega, by Denmark's Foxy Potato
Roxy Marj studied fashion in New York, but realised she was happiest when illustrating, and putting her illustrations on little goodies. These pics are my faves - especially those soft envelope wallets and her colour-in posters (I'd leave one black and white on my wall) - but she has loads more things in her shop. Ooh and great little video, too.
Brand and business card appreciation. (By Sydney's Toko design.)
Gordon Tait left school at 16 and went straight into the sheetmetal trade. He loved the work so much that after hours, he'd dabble in furniture making. When he lost his job in the early 90's, his bosses were kind enough to let him go with some machinery and a couple of small clients as a type of redundancy. He and wife Suzie (a textile designer) rented a factory in Fitzroy, Melbourne - living in the teeny flat above it - and Tait was born.
Today, Tait is one of the most exciting furniture brands out of Australasia, with a stable of insanely cool products, all commissioned by partner designers and manufactured - from prototype to final product - in the Tait factory. aaaaaaaaaaai bloody love it.
I am obsessed with the Volley rocker - that expanded mesh, those wooden rockers, those colours...
Designed by Adam Goodrum for Tait.
Hi Gordon! Tell us the story of Tait… I started Tait as a solo venture in 1992. When Suzie joined Tait with our new baby, Lily, in tow a few years later, we had one offsider. As the business grew, we found ourselves having to wear many different hats and we had little time for designing...
We liked the model of European brand Cappelini, where the manufacturer engages the designers to design the product and the manufacturer makes and markets the product. This is how Tait engage external designers and this model has worked so well for everyone and become an integral part of bringing a new Tait product to market.
Good One stools, table and bench seat,
designed by NZ's Alastair Keating!
The buzz of working through from concept to prototypes, then brainstorming with the Tait team to how best put the product into production is just so satisfying.
Our first external designer was Justin Hutchinson, in 2008 he designed our best selling Jak+Jil product. In 2009 Ross Gardam designed Flint. In 2010 I was in New Zealand and came across Al Keating's Good One Stool. We now make this product under licence and have extended the range to include tables and bench seats. Then came Adam Goodrum, firstly he designed the Airliner range for us in 2010 and in 2012 the Volley range of tables and chairs.
What are you working on at the moment? Always working on new product! Some designs come together more easily than others but generally we aim to release a couple of new items each year, it’s what gets us up in the morning.
Keep an eye on our Breeze Sofa as we are adding to that range this year, amongst other things...
What has been the hands-down highlight of Tait so far?
Creating a product like Jak+Jil with designer, Justin Hutchinson then seeing it sell and sell and sell. It’s a thrill to have a product widely accepted by peers and the general public, then perform so well, people keep coming back for more.
Jak+Jil, designed by Justin Hutchinson
What was the last thing you saw/did or experienced that got you really creatively excited? Easy – the Anish Kapoor exhibition at the MCA in Sydney. We were incredibly excited when we heard it was coming to Australia and it certainly didn’t disappoint. In fact we need to go again!
Life goal: light up brand sign
Behind the scenes at the Tait factory. Thanks for the photos, Gordon!
Timothy John's new Sidekick collection is finally ready to order... so, order I did! I chose the white stool... EEEEEEEPCAN'T WAIT FOR IT TO ARRIVE.
Sidekicks were originally launched late last year with a hand-turned cork top (as a limited edition for Thanks stores). Their popularity drove designer Timothy John to develop the range further - there's now new colourways, Stools and Side Tables (should I have got a side table?), all with ash hardwood tops. That's tops.
(PS: Nice shoes, Timothy. Kudos on your footwear life choices.)
Every year on my design calendar (Ohhhhkay, you got me, just in my diary) I put a big highlighter circle around URBIS Design Day. It's the day you and your friends get driven around Auckland, showroom-hopping on a tour of the city's best design destinations. And it's happening next Saturday.
At each of the 10 stops, there's a different design installation - the result of a collaboration between creative minds (a designer paired with a furniture showroom, say).
Expect a full-on day of design and fun, music and colour, complimentary food (last year's highlights included bluff oysters, cook-it-yourself angus fillet, peach shaved ice, a candyfloss machine, mini noodle boxes... I could go on...) and drinkies. Did I mention you get driven from spot to spot?
Here's a video showing you some bits of last year
This year, the pairings are:
MINI + Switch
Hewlett Packard + Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design
Geyser + Design Assembly
ECC Lighting & Furniture + Tape Art NZ
BoConcept + Styled by You
Backhouse + Gather & Hunt
Paterson + Studio Frazerhurst
spazioCasa + Yvonne Bennetti
Youmans Capsules + Simon Devitt Photographer
Resene + Matter
Handy dandy map.
Fancy has 2 double passes to give away, valued at $50 each
Just answer this question to enter:
Which designer or brand would YOU most like to collaborate with?
(Comment on this post to enter, winners drawn Monday18th).
Present & Correct have been one of my favouritefavourite brands for a few years now. Neal and Mark (Mark's from NZ!) are curators of the coolest stationery - including genuine vintage office ephemera like old Hello tags, plastic desk calendars, wall prints... These guys have seriously good taste.
Until a few months ago, Present & Correct only existed online. But the first Present & Correct store has just opened in London - photos below - and I wish I could dorothy my ankles together and go there right now. Let's do a Fancy field trip.
Anywhoodle, I had an email chatathon with Neal and asked him a few questions...
The new Present & Correct store in London
Who's behind Present & Correct?
It is mainly me, Neal Whittington and also Mark Smith (he's a Kiwi - from Waihi Beach) helps out a great deal with packing, workshopping, ideas and washing up when I'm feeling lazy.
How did Present & Correct come about?
The origin is really simple in that I just wanted to be able to make stationery and share stationery which I love and have collected. It is something i have always done and having worked in design agencies for 6 years I wanted to be doing it for myself all the time! It was an itch which I scratched.
The name came from my final project at college, which was a concept for a gift wrapping store. I bought the domain then and always had it in my mind that I would do something with it.
Present & Correct was a real dream, just to create something for myself which made me happy, as well as other people hopefully!
Shelves of delight
Your styling is spot on – do you have double lives as designers/in the creative industries?
We both work/worked in branding and studied graphic design so there is definitely a background and lots of years working for various clients. I guess we just like arranging things and showing off our work and other peoples in the nicest way possible. It gives everything personality and makes them even more precious, whilst also putting the objects into a context which can be missed with online stores.
Seriously good styling
I'm a freak for office sundries. What's your favourite item in the shop at the moment?
Im in love with the 1970s german stamp sets which we picked up in Berlin. A set of 16 wooden stamps, in solid colours, all of which print a single geometric shape. So simple and so attractive!
"In our mythical rubber stamp awards this vintage box set takes gold."
What brands/designers in the broader design world excite and inspire you lately?
There are so many people doing amazing things! We are both obsessed with Jaime Hayon and also Peter Nencini. Esther Stewart is making some really wonderful work inspired by packaging nets. Lo Siento, Hey& Happy are graphic design agencies who are producing really fun stuff. Omar Sosa does some lovely styling and of course Carl Kleiner who is genius. And finally Raw Color in the Netherlands are prolific in their colourful, witty products and graphics. I can't get enough of them. Oh and Karel Martens. Amazing!! I could go on forever and i am addicted to look for things on the internet. You will see on the P&C blog that I like a bit of mid century illustration/design - that provides an enormous amount of inspiration too. As well as every day ephemera like old labels, food wrappers and postal items.
I love a good recommendation – tell us something we should know about...
I love recommendations too! So here are a few books worth checking out: The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of A Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. It's brilliant. Also Own Label which showcase 1970s packaging from Sainsburys - it sounds dull but it is choc full of lovely graphics. Usefulness In Small Things is also a great celebration of good, everyday design from around the world.
And it is imperative that you all know about Mel & Kim and the back catalogue of Stock Aitken & Waterman.
Boyfriends are boring.
What's next for Present & Correct?
I always have a list of things I want to make and thats always pinned on the wall to spur me on.
I would love to finally do a newspaper this year, sharing ideas, fun cut outs and ephemera in printed format. A new pencil case in on the list and also some fun envelopes. The shop is an ongoing joy, online and the bricks and mortar. So it will be fun to do window displays and I am always seeking new products on trips. Another idea is a P&C breakfast cereal, in the shape of paperclips.
Present & Correct is like Willy Wonka's factory and I'm Augustus Gloop.