Thursday, February 16th 2017
We travel because we need to, because distance and difference are the secret tonic of creativity. When we get home, home is still the same. But something in our mind has been changed, and that changes everything.
When I look back on 2016, it was a year of foreign travel that spilled with moments that stirred my soul. The nature of a big project last year, (The LANE Man which launches soon!) took me to wildly unexpected places; inside Icelandic Glaciers, to Mayan Ruins and vibrant Mexican towns, a light drenched Californian desert, winter adventures in Wyoming, and road trips through the Swiss Alps. I drew so much from those experiences; the profound beauty of nature and it’s ability to dissolve life’s complexities, rambling conversations with strangers that moved me beyond words, the intoxicating beauty of tiny towns and their aged patina walls washed in pastel tints. I found magic in other people’s mundane, and poetry in human experiences. Travel fuelled me. I was allured by its vibrancy, in love with the way a constant sense of impermanency intensified the need to soak up every moment. I was addicted to the way new surroundings ignited all senses. That beautiful but dizzying world became my new norm for all of last year, and I was convinced there was nothing like travel that could stir the soul.
I found myself obsessed with dreaming up new adventures, excited by the sheer volume of places I’d not yet explored. My fleeting visits back home revolved only around work commitments I couldn’t avoid, I was there because I had to be, I loved the comfort of familiarity for a few days but my gypsy mind would always default back to old ways, a gaze locked on the horizon, fixated on what came next.
After a year of transience, I landed back in Australia in early January, slowly wrapping my head around needing to stay put for the next 4 months. On a sunrise swim that first morning at home in Sydney, the impact of all that travel hit me hard. The same landscape I’d taken in a hundred times on morning walks was richer in detail, the ocean had an iridescence I hadn’t paid attention to before, the sky was stained a shade of pink that didn’t seem real. I was suddenly viewing my familiar world through a completely new lens. The same romance I found in exploring new destinations, spilled from familiar surroundings. The difference was that this time I was present enough to notice.
I quickly realised that while my passport overflowed with reminders of life changing memories etched in my heart, it was never about the travel. The moments that seeped into my skin were a result of the mindset that travel demands. Travel and its experiences grounded in unfamiliarity, were the perfect alchemy for internal change. Travel taught me a lesson in the importance of presence; one that made me fall deeply in love with all of the little things that had always been right there in front of me.
As I started working on The Romance Issue, I couldn’t help but find an inextricable link between romance and presence. A belief that romance is hidden everywhere, revealed layer by layer in a myriad of forms when you’re open to seeing it. So rather than focus on romance as being something that’s reliant on another, this month is a celebration of romance that starts with ourselves. The challenge to focus. To look up. To draw on travel’s lessons and extract romance from our every day. To fixate on the detail and beauty of your immediate surroundings. As they are. In morning light that spills through windows, the simple beauty of fresh flowers, of tiny apartments filled with decadent scents, the experience of live music, the drama of torrential rain, conversations sparked with strangers that shift your headspace, the days that go "wrong" when fate intervenes to change your trajectory.
Romance is about making time for the things that fill us up in order to be present…getting up an hour early to jump in the ocean at sunrise, watching an old film, leaving your phone off for an entire Sunday to experience the simplicity of uninterrupted and uninfluenced thoughts, scribbling rambling thoughts that make sense to no one but you, creating space and time to just be, exactly as you are, exactly where you are. To realise that romance isn’t something we need to travel to the other side of the world for or work hard to feel, it isn’t always an epic love story, or an exotic overseas adventure, there’s something so profoundly beautiful about the romance thats interlaced with ordinary moments. And the infinite access you have, when you discover that it starts with yourself.
Bracelet: Cartier LOVE
Style Guide Artices:
Theme: Night Swim
Cakes: Eroded Surfaces
Jewelry: Hidden Stones
Bridesmaids: The Blush Edit
Sunday, February 5th 2017
What a way to kick off the new year! After a big first week back with The LANE girls, looking back at the wild year that was 2016, and planning out 2017 with content that inspires us, stirs us, and we know will push us even harder to create... we finished up with a fun afternoon out on the stunning Oscar II.
A surprise for the team, and a big welcome to the new creative girls that just joined us, we spent the afternoon drinking in views of Sydney Harbour, after a beautiful lunch and champagne on the water. It's definitely not all luxury yachts and languid lunches at The LANE... but after one of the biggest years of growth and change last year and an immense workload for this small but incredibly inspiring team of women I’m so grateful to work with, we could all use a champagne or 10!
In an industry that shifts and changes faster than we can keep up with sometimes, it's rare to carve out moments to really stop and acknowledge how far you've come as a team, to look back at the challenges and successes you've worked through together, but more importantly to remember that in amongst the goal setting and crazy ambition, to enjoy the entire experience; the ups, the downs, the excitement, the stresses, the magic you're creating, and to celebrate it all. To let go from time to time, to be happy with right now without obsessing over what needs to be, and just enjoy all of the little moments in between, on the path to bigger goals. When I look back at everything we've achieved since launching The LANE 7 years ago, far beyond the bigger events, it's always the little moments between that lead there, which echo the loudest.
A big thank you to the amazing team at Oscar II for having us. For those considering an engagement party or wedding on the water (which after this afternoon, quickly became an idea we were obsessed with) we can't speak more highly of the beautiful Oscar II. Head over to their website for more details.
Photography: Samara Leung
Thursday, December 1st 2016
Falling in love with hand made pieces has big implications. It becomes an addiction. The profound beauty of imperfection and the story that each irregularity imbues becomes more alluring than the object itself. Tangible evidence of heart poured into someone’s work, little reminders to look beyond what’s in front of you and appreciate the art of creating, an infatuation inextricably linked with knowing the journey is far more important than the destination. And once you experience that beauty it’s almost impossible to get the same pleasure you might have once, out of a mass produced piece. The money you might save is incomparable to the value of an object handcrafted with soul, and the pleasure it brings every single time you experience it.
Such was the case when filling a New York City apartment recently. In a bit of a hurry to furnish a new apartment in between the madness of Bridal Week, an absolutely insane workload, visitors arriving to stay and a trip back to Australia booked, I think I filled and unfilled a shopping cart at West Elm three times knowing I just needed to get it done, but unable to bring myself to. An aesthetically obsessed crazy person yes, but to me standing there and witnessing the madness of consumerism, the disposability, the sheer volume and variety of just dinner plates alone, and the market right there engulfing it (along with the 30 varieties of everything else we didn't know we needed before we got there), was crazier. My addiction to handmade pieces meant mass produced goods have lost all appeal, to the point that I would rather zero plates, cups, knives and forks, until I found pieces I had my heart set on. Take out for the week it was (well lets be real it was going to be take out all week anyway, with fancy plates), until I could venture over to the Brooklyn studio of a ceramicist I had long been obsessed with after using her pieces in our Botanical Styling Workshop.
Stepping into Wynne’s studio was worth every moment of the wait. A beautifully lived in loft space, a creative chaos of beauty in every corner. Aged patina walls that held stories, paint stained brushes and clay covered tools that spoke volumes about the heart and soul poured into each piece over the years. I watched as Wynne magically spun ceramics before my eyes and proudly inscribed each piece. I was in awe of the art she created, but more so the passion behind a business that’s in no way scalable, and requires her hand on every single piece. A business that she at times struggled to keep afloat as the industry has shifted and changed with technology, but one she held together with a belief in her art form. It’s hard to place a value on that.
Pulling together a collection of organically shaped plateware in dreamy shades of charcoal that I knew would live in my home for years to come, I spoke to Wynne about her work, the historic studio she was just about to move from (which i had to shoot before she left!), and excitingly, the renewed love for and shift toward handmade pieces that she’s witnessing, which is keeping this craft alive…
My love of ceramics stems from… when I first saw a potters wheel demonstration at the age of 8. As far as I was concerned, the potter was a magician and I was completely captivated
I draw inspiration from… The Natural World; Plants, Geology and Atmospheric, Weather & Environmental Events.
I’ve created work for… Early on I sold to department stores (Barneys, Bendels, Bloomingdales etc.) I continue to sell to Individuals and Restaurants in the USA (Momofuku Ko, Casa Apicii, Gramercy Tavern, Contra etc.) , Canada (Eat Datsun, El Camino), and Japan (Path/Bistro Rjiura).
In a world of mass produced goods, my biggest challenge is… Balancing two sensibilities: the public’s desire for matching uniformity along side the desire for products that show evidence of being handmade.
Something that surprises me about my industry is… The Community which is consistently generous and full of talented individuals
Some of the changes i’ve witnessed in the décor /design industries and what consumers are drawn to are…Along side the rise of Digital Production and Mass Mechanization, is the need for the human touch. This and the Food Movement have opened the door for made by hand plateware - making it a hey day for potters.
If walls could talk in my studio, the stories it would tell are of… Food . Friends, and Family. Music, Politics, Perception and Artichokes. Maybe Baba Ganoush .
The thing that lights me up inside, and pushes me to create better work is… The idea of that special piece that works in color, form, and function. The one that is just right and sings.
My ultimate dream is… To share the idea that objects in space (from bowls to abstract works) are sculptures. To keep on making objects that are a pleasure to look at & to hold.