10 Jun 2015

New luxury scarf designers on the block . . .

BOLD colours and gutsy prints are set to adorn the necks of people the world over as new luxury scarf brand Heidi and Hallbery looks to knock Hermés off the silk scarf top spot.

Having launched their first designs last week on heidiandhallbery.com, I caught up with the couple behind the brand — Heidi Pridham and Nick Hallbery — to learn more about the products and their hopes for the future.

The duo met at University, Heidi studying printed textiles and Nick studying graphic design and advertising (however, they confess to having spent most of their time drinking snakebite in a pub called the Antelope).
Having her own printed scarves had been on Heidi's agenda for a while and with the help of Nick's experience working for an advertising agency, it made for the perfect team.
'I think with being a print designer, it's only natural to start looking at objects around your flat and think "wouldn't it be cool if I put a print on that cup, lampshade or toaster",' said Heidi. 'I had always loved wearing scarves — because they hide a multitude of sins — so it kind of went hand in hand.
'For a few years while I was working in-house for a studio, I would try different techniques and play with what I wanted this brand to look like, whether it be crazy geometrics, print mixing, screen print or digital and it would always come back to flowers. I bloody love them!'
She said she played around a lot with painting and drawing, as well as many attempts with different fabrics, sizes and sewing techniques and was often asking Nick for his opinion, from which he became more and more involved. 
'He works for an ad agency called Mother. They're an amazing agency, hungry for new ideas and insistent on making the next coolest thing in culture. Not only that, he meets a lot of people which is great when it comes to making things happen. I suggested we do it together as he has a massive drive and confidence I knew I needed and luckily he agreed, as the brand definitely wouldn't have the gutsy, elegant image without him.'
The first collection centres around Heidi's love of flowers and tropical prints. The four designs in the collection are bold and vibrant, something that Heidi and Hallbery wanted people to be 'blown out of their seats' by.

'You Can Call Me Didi'
Heidi said they gave each scarf its own name and wanted them to feel like they were writing lyrics for 80s pop songs.
She said: 'In fact, if you hold each scarf close to your ear, you can hear Donna Summer or Chaka Khan singing the lyrics.'

'You Can Be My Cherry Pie'

This is the first painted design Heidi did, but the last to be finished. She said it took so many attempts to get the colours right and the name suited the cherry tones well.

'You Can Wrap Your Palms Around Me'

Heidi said: 'This was the first print I finished of the group. The idea came from a vintage scarf I had bought. I loved the big boldness of it.'

'Hold Me Close Squeeze Me Tight'

This was the quickest of the designs Heidi had done. She said she knew she wanted something small scale and really liked mirrored prints, so as soon as she had painted the design, it was a matter of cleaning up the image on Photoshop and it was done.

The scarves are all printed on light crepe de chine, with hand-rolled hems, so they feel really luxurious and are all made in the UK. 
'We've made them as big as possible so you can wrap yourself up in them,' Heidi said.
The measurements are approximately 130cm by 130cm but may vary very slightly due to them being hemmed by hand, due to the fabric moving when its being printed or the roll size.
Heidi said: 'Having Heidi and Hallbery out there is so exciting! It's just the start really — there are a million places we can take it and I am sure we will.
'It's nice working for your own brand and taking it in any direction you want. A day in the life of us is simply thinking "What's the coolest thing we can think of? Shall we do it? Oh, yeah ok!"
'For the future we would love to start doing some collaborations and get our prints on some really interesting products. But for now we are working on growing our brand and wrapping more lovely necks in some exciting silk prints. We are currently working on our next collection which will still have that gutsy feel but will be more snug for the winter months.'

The silk scarves retail at £138 and the collection can be found at heidiandhallbery.com

Next stop, Liberty . . .

Manths xx

3 Jun 2015


H&M has been a high street favourite among teens and adults for its affordable clothing mix of fashion and work wear for many years now, but more recently it has upped the stakes and is becoming known for its high fashion designer collaborations — a bit of couture for the average woman.
Since 2004, the company has collaborated with well-known greats such as Karl Lagerfeld, Beyonce, Versace, Alexander Wang and Stella McCartney to name just a few. The pieces created through these collaborations have flown off the shelves at record speeds thanks to their designer name tags but bargain prices.
And this year is set to be no different, as H&M bosses have revealed its latest collaboration will be with Balmain Paris.

Due to hit stores on November 5, the collection has been headed by Balmain designer and many models' best friend Olivier Rousteing.
About the collaboration, Olivier said: 'I want to talk to my generation; this is my main aim as a designer.  H&M allows me the unique possibility of bringing everyone into the world of Balmain, get a piece of the dream and create a global #HMBalmaination — a movement of togetherness, fueled on a hashtag.
'The collaboration felt extremely natural to me. H&M is a brand that everybody connects to. It calls for unity and I am all for it.'

Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative advisor at H&M, said: 'We are excited to have Balmain as our guest designer at H&M and create a truly involving experience for everybody. With its mix of couture spirit and street wear attitude, Balmain owns a unique style, at once opulent and direct, sensual and energetic.  It is also closely linked to the show business and music worlds, which adds another element of surprise.'

Olivier let the cat out of the bag about the collaboration on the red carpet at the recent Billboard Music Awards, with a little help from his friends Kendell Jenner and Jourdan Dunn who were wearing the first pieces from the collection.

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