Wednesday, May 13th 2015
STYLE GUIDE ISSUE 5 / IN SEARCH OF
"We are torn between the nostalgia for the familiar, and an urge for the foreign and strange. As often as not, we are homesick most for the places we have never known." - Carson McCullers
Sometimes you're pulled in a direction, inexplicably, against rationality. An instinctual sense of searching for, of chasing something. A feeling. An emotion. An experience, pulling so strong it becomes impossible to ignore. A kind of calling, a desire to explore and discover, to pursue that passion and follow that dream.
We're intrigued this month by the personal search for what makes our hearts beat faster. That constant quest for answers and the luminous, life-changing realisation that there are none…not with a sense of finality anyway, of ever being 'done', or having life all figured out. Instead of beginnings and endings, there are middles…and that's where the magic tends to hide. Because life is forever evolving, all around us, changing when we're not watching, unfolding, shapeshifting, and revealing itself in layers we could never anticipate.
We're embracing the deeply refreshing and honest mindset that there is always more to discover, and more to learn (and that the more we learn, the less we know), we're seeking things that challenge our personal comfort zones and everyday perceptions, the knowledge that we don't ever have to settle (figuratively, symbolically, geographically), that life will reveal it's plan unexpectedly, beautifully and in ways we could never have imagined, if we listen and follow our hearts.
Inspired by a sense of wanderlust and curiosity, for our latest Style Guide Issue we found ourselves (serendipitously) in Barcelona, a city that proved to embody everything we went searching for, a kind of cosmic synchronicity at play. In this vibrant city where nothing is quite as it seems, a city with an unspoken invitation to explore deeper, to look that little bit harder, to unearth its hidden secrets and discover its many layers…our imaginations were set alight. Musing over the state of flux we felt here, a shifting energy we couldn't quite place, we soon learned that others feel it too…its local name, Seny Rauxa - describing Barcelona's constant pull between calm sensibility, rationality and a creativity and craziness.
In search this Month of individuals who inspire us with a re-imagining of their craft, of turning tradition on its head, we look to jewelry designers creating daring alternatives to a traditional ring, and the florists whose sculptural play with flowers is more akin to that of an artist. We look at a new wave of lace to sweep bridal and ready to wear collections, refreshing in its contemporary take on femininity. And informed by our sense of wanderlust, our search for the extraordinary hidden spaces around the globe we're excited by caves and the surreal, reception like no other experience they afford.
Just as 'a mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions', we hope to inspire you this May with a sense of exploration, of seeking adventure and experiences outside of comfort zones, embracing change, headed in search of dreams…
Theme: In Search of Alchemy
Jewelry: Artful Settings
Receptions: Unexpected Spaces - Caves
Bridal: Summer Lace
Flowers: Sculptural Styling
Tuesday, May 12th 2015
Having been completely wowed once already by the Houghton 2016 Bridal collection revealed at New York Bridal week what felt like only days earlier, it was surreal experiencing it a second time (having followed it across the Atlantic to Spain), in a new setting, a different city and with dramatically different casting, for Barcelona Bridal Week.
With a different take on hair and makeup, new girls (& guys) as well as a stunning array of new gowns (unveiled exclusively here), we couldn't help but notice the parallel between how a different show, and how different real brides (who although choose the same gown as many others), each embody something completely unique, in a different setting, on a different day. A beautiful reflection really of 'the Houghton' girl, being in fact many, many girls.
And many different guys. After much Barcelona street-style research, and having decided that European men seem in possession of an inherent DNA for chic style, for carrying off potentially tricky fashion (think head to toe single colour outfits), there was a certain swagger and effortlessness to the way these men wore these clothes. Making a silk floral shirt look as relatable as a white cotton option, but infinitely more interesting. And white suits? Naturally. Much like the way designers sometimes pick unique locations in which to reveal (& lend context to) their 'cruise' collections, these pieces could not have found a better home than Barcelona. Everything about this collection, in this city, just felt so right.
With a more natural, gypset take on hair and makeup for their European tribe, a look that seemed to only highlight and enhance just how effortlessly each of these pieces will translate for real brides, it lent a cohesive, supernatural beauty to the entire collection. The perfectly tousled "don't care" hair, the beyond luminous skin and that quintessential Houghton energy, and attitude - it all brought to life, backstage and down the runway, a show that felt both beautifully familiar yet just as unexpected and fresh as the first time around.
See full Houghton NYC Barcelona Bridal Week show coverage, highlighting the menswear pieces and exclusive gown additions on The LANE Style Guide.
Photography: Karissa Fanning / The LANE
Sunday, May 3rd 2015
Having sourced from afar the light filled NYC loft of our dreams, a space with views over the entire city, a space so brilliantly white and bright we knew a mess of botanical debris, stems and petals would look just as amazing on the glossy floors (where it would inevitably end up) as it would on tables….we began planning (from the other side of the world) for a workshop to take place, sensibly, almost in the middle of Spring Bridal Week! But what a week, and what a workshop it was...
Once landed we scoured the city for the perfect details…a mix of authentic weathered furniture, industrial accents mixed with delicate glassware, tabletop textures of muslin and hand tinted silks, the patina of tarnished metals and patterned papers, inky scrawl and deckled edges…a styling odyssey of raw botanical layers, awaiting only the flowers themselves.
Add to the mix a catering brief for food that looked to have grown on plates and blossomed in glasses, a floral brief as wild and carefree as the talented lady who would later lead the workshop, and a colour palette of subtle Spring tints paired with unexpected foliage, a chaotic mess of petals, branches and curling tendrils.
On the day we sipped a pre-party cocktail (or two) while we styled and set up tables, gathered thoughts on speeches and secured silky bags (housing sensory gifts) fashioned into giant blossoms. We counted down the minutes in anticipation of the workshop to come, and the meeting of our likeminded friends, inspiring women we had been stalking on instagram and waiting for a moment just such as this to meet, to gather with, to collaborate over something tactile, talking, sharing, creating together.