At home with Samantha Wills.

Tuesday, June 3rd 2014

New York can wear you down. Its pace is fast and its energy high. Its modern skyscrapers and glistening city lights, some might say worlds away from the laidback barefoot existence of life on Sydney’s eastern beachside suburbs; where the days are hot and the nights are hotter. Afternoons mean escaping work for a sunset swim and weekends that require nothing more than bare feet and a bikini are the best kind.

Enter the New York apartment of Samantha Wills, bona fide bohemian, global nomad and unquestionably one of Australia’s most successful jewellery designers, located in Manhattan’s trendy Meatpacking District and amidst the madness and mayhem you’ll feel the magically recognisable and overwhelmingly calming presence of an Australian soul. 

A 90’s playlist of Alanis Morissette and Jewel float through the loft style space and a barefoot Samantha, effortless in a simple black maxi and loose hair greets us. It is in that moment you see that Samantha and the SW brand might now be on the global stage (recently announcing they will be stocked through US luxury retailer Bloomingdales and that they are designing an exclusive range for Anthropologie), but the Australian soul of the brand remains unchanged. Like Samantha it’s cool, but approachable, warm and unassuming and effortless whist exuding just the right amount opulence; an aesthetic that has created an ardent following of global bohemians who want to channel this enchanting spirit.

While her New York apartment might be a long way from the golden sands and blue waters that saw the birth of the Samantha Wills label, a life of gypsy globetrotting and wanderlust that inspires the brand, has seen Samantha create a space completely reflective of this spirit. A glimpse into her wardrobe, which organically spills into her home workspace and you can see she is a bowerbird in the true sense of the word and embodies her brand in the most organic of ways. Mason jars spill with roses picked up on NYC weekend adventures, antique bell jars are filled with exotic perfumes, framed prints of Vogue covers, sketches from fellow Australian and friend illustrator Birdy and Me and emails from SW fans adorned the walls in soulful clusters, chunks of crystal casually lay on wooden coffee tables and sequin outfit options are thrown over an antique peacock chair. It’s the perfect mix of bohemian luxury and inspires the thought that ones space, both work and home, can say a lot about their loves and inspirations.

Imagine every piece of Samantha Wills jewellery ever created and adorned on global bohemian beauties over the brands history and if you fossil through Samantha’s personal jewellery collection it is likely you will find it. It is a treasure trove of the most special kind. Archived pieces spill out of jewellery boxes and are strung over mannequins, while chunks of stone, crystal and gems that form current works in progress lay on Samantha’s desk. There are iconic Bohemian Bardot rings in every imaginable hue, trays of burnished gold, antique silver and turquoise, boxes of bracelets and scraps of old pieces that have been pulled apart and reworked into new designs. You might also catch glimpses of the anticipated new bridal based collection which will infuse the brand’s signature style with burnished metals, natural stones and clear crystals, all designed for a bride with modern, romantic taste.

Whether it’s a shared love for the laidback lifestyle of the Australian coast or the meeting of a kindred gypsy spirit, we feel instantly at home in Samantha’s company and in her space. If you are a daring romantic, a bohemian spirit or gypsy globetrotter and are looking for accessories to tell your personal story you’ll feel at home in Samantha’s bohemian luxe costume jewellery.

Samantha Wills jewellery collection can be shopped online here

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Behind The Scenes. Stealing Beauty.

Tuesday, April 29th 2014

I love to think about the diversities, complexities and many layers of women and their personal style and sensibilities. For me, one is never completely romantic or completely edgy, often at times, a beautiful blend of a number of styles that tell their story.

For a bride often this story is revealed not only in the dress she chooses, but the way in which it is shot. Inspired by this thought, I wanted to use the effortlessly cool westside vibe of Chelsea and the Meat Packing District in New York to give dramatic bridal gowns a sense of insouciance. The boldness of decaying walls and urban backdrops juxtaposed with oversized dramatic bunches of long-stemmed flowers which are the epitome of effortless romance, show that these romantic dresses aren’t just for the girly bride. 

If you are opting for a big romantic dress, wear it with a real sense of carelessness. Bold backgrounds and textures, often urban and decaying, or oversized and dramatic, are the best way to shoot these dresses and will help bring an edge and nonchalant to your bridal album! 

See the full editorial 'Stealing Beauty' on The Guide.

Karissa x 

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Monique Lhuillier Bridal Spring 2015.

Tuesday, April 22nd 2014

There are designers and collections that simply just leave me breathless, not only for the ethereal beauty and dreamlike mood evoked by the dresses, but the dramatic detail that the collection holds and the extravagant show that brings it to life! These are the designers that stand out for me for their couture edge! 

Season-to-season Monique Lhuiller always manages to enchant me with her dreamy designs and I was beyond excited to attend Monique’s Spring Show at Cedar Lake in New York City, on behalf of The LANE.

Describing the collection as her ethereal daydream, the show and the collection was every bit that! A breathtaking presentation where models floated across a square catwalk before collectively presenting on a raised stage, reminiscent of a John Singer Sargent portrait, which was the inspiration behind the collection.

While I am often drawn to a sense of effortless beauty in simplicity, the dramatic collection still stood out as one of our favourites this season! While the dresses were elaborate, they were still very much soft and ethereal.

Capturing all the behind the scenes action and elaborate details of the gowns was definitely a highlight of the week. To see the precision and detail that brings together a breathtaking show really is incredible. Like me, you will be blown away by the intricate details and couture design work in the collection! My favourite, the elaborate illusion backs on a number of the gowns created with sheer Chantilly lace and the use of pearl button detailing.

Have a look at our full collection review on The Guide.

Taegan x 

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