You may not think you recognise the name Janet Collin but when I explain that she was the creative force behind some of Mulberry's most famous handbags and has previously worked with such high profile labels as Louis Vuitton, Banana Republic and Matthew Williamson you'll probably get excited!
Now, following many years of working for other people, Collin has decided to launch her own label and website where you can buy her designs. We caught up with Collin to find out about her latest collection and her influences.
- What was your inspiration behind this collection?
My original inspirations were from the medieval mythical legend of the Unicorns. In the middle ages the horn of the unicorn was the most valuable possession a king or queen could possess. It supposedly protected the owner from murder, evil and poison. However, the untamed unicorn could only be caught by the seductive aroma of a virgin.
To read more about her influences and see pieces from the collection read more
What I loved was the fact that the myth had a darker, masculine side as well as a very feminine side. Some of the bags for Autumn/Winter 08 focus on working across the body like armour; shoulder bagsthat offer protective as well as being functional.The purity of these tales is visible through combinations of smooth calf leather, cream and silver patent finishes, feminine shapes with delicate pleats and frames. The colour palette for the season is highlighted by the elements of the Unicorn reflecting innocence and strength contrasting with a harder edge of conventional royal navy, burgundy and racing green brought to a new decadence with drummed calf leathers and croc print textures.
I want my designs to push boundaries, to amuse and to add some happiness to the wearer’s day. I like my designs to surprise; one bag has been designed with an additional handle inviting the wearer to wear it how they choose. My aim is to push people’s conceptions of what a handbag can and should be; functional, practical and playful.
- What is your favorite piece from your Autumn/Winter 08 collection?
I have a couple; the first one is the Rosa. This is a small evening bag in mixed leathers including patent. It’s very luxurious and sophisticated. The second favourite is Lindisfarne in the croc stamp. It holds all my essentials; laptop, camera, sketchbook etc. We had the leather washed so it is super soft and relaxed. The shoulder strap comes in handy as I always overfill my bags so they become very very heavy!
- Tell me about the fabrics you used?
I handpick all my own leathers and fabric in Italy. The Italians are amazing and I love meeting all the artisans and seeing their incredible craftmanship. All our leathers are calf leather, treated to expose their best characteristics, being it extra soft, natural or shiny. I love mixing leathers and fabrics in unexpected combinations. The Barbara bag is made from 100% virgin wool with patent leather pockets and details. It looks stunning.
Stay tuned for the next part of the interview coming soon.