I would like to present Riina O new product: luxury leather stickers.
The leather stickers (or patches if you prefer) with intricate cut-out pattern promote the DIY and aim to add a personal touch to existing items. It can be anything from a notebook, leather bag or phone cover to leather boots or perhaps even a slightly tired leather jacket that needs “livening up”.
Have a look at our gallery for ideas of how to use them:
We have one sticker to give away across our social media channels. To enter the draw, Like our FB page and share the image on your timeline with tag #riinao.
The winner will be randomly selected and announced on the 5th of April.
As today is officially the first day of Spring(even though it doesn´t really feel like it yet), lets have a look at Riina O new Spring/Summer collection and lift the veil of what was the main source of inspiration for this one.
The collection´s design started off at a nice English rose garden, but pretty soon it took on a life of its own, turning into something that reminded of underwater jungle. Lush teal and forest green shades are sparkled up with luminous beading. Intricately laser cut gloves have taken on jewelry approach, having rich bead and sequin embroidery embellishments.
This season we introduce some new products: elaborate design chunky leather bracelets, adorned with cut out ornaments and some bearing semiprecious stones.
Black leather bracelet is bejeweled with an iridescent Moonstone, while forest green bracelet has an Amethyst on.
The theme was further explored within the collection editorial shoot concept. This season Riina O girl is an enchanting forest nymph, peeking shyly from behind the ivy, with glitter rain levitating in the air.
I recently had an amazing opportunity to visit Dents gloves factory in Warminster, Somerset and take a peek at the glorious gloves collection of their museum.
The display ranged from the most extraordinary and special gloves in the world to a wide selection of fashionable gloves of different eras, tracing back several hundred years.
The most honorable one was the royally embroidered Queen Elisabeth II Coronation glove, from 1953. Remarkably, the glove is made just for one hand and was barely worn at the ceremony. Being so special it is kept in a special sealed display cabinet with personal temperature management system.
Among most extraordinary gloves were the tiniest ones, of just 2-3cm in length – named the world´s smallest hand knitted gloves. The smalles leather gloves were not much bigger and meticulously hand stitched.
In Medieval times glove´s fingers were made to look extra long by extending the gussets way into the gloves, as extremely long fingers were considered elegant in early 17th century.
My personal favourites were the hand painted Victorian era gloves, 1880-1900.
Up to early Victorian days gloves were often made to individual requirements of ladies of fashion. Not just size wise, but also also design wise. The selection of points, crests and embroideries were made from specimens exhibited in glove shops.
There were even some sequence embroidered gloves from those times.
Last month I was in Paris at the Premiere Vision show. It is a huge fabric and leather trade fair where the newest innovations can be spotted and main trends predicted. I would like to share some tips and trend forecasting in leather for accessories, of what I saw.
Leather these days is about texture and feel, not so much just the look.
For Autumn/Winter 2016/17 a lot of hairy ponyskin(calf) leather could be seen on offer, in a multitude of colours and textures – some even laser cut.
Riina O have used hairy ponyskin with lasercut elements in our latest Autumn/Winter collection – be it the soft side details and furry buttons of Victoria gloves or all over lasercut Miroslava gloves.
Another curious textured type of leather on the show, presented by quite a few innovative tanneries, were the dazzling sequence- and bead-embroidered skins.
As Riina O newest Spring/Summer collection is yet to be revealed, I can only share under secrecy that this is something we are working with at the moment. Coming soon…
Every year I am amazed how much leather innovations have developed since last season, sometimes in rather unexpected ways. But hush now, can´t say more at the moment – some of these innovations might just appear in our next collections!
I have been asked to tell a bit more about the background of Riina O and how it all started.
I was born and raised in the outskirts of Europe, a small country, with distinctive identity, called Estonia, in its beautiful capital Tallinn – a place very dear to me!
When I was 17 years old I got this vision of shoes with a wide strap twirling up the leg. This idea possessed me so that I just had to find a way to make them. I contacted local footwear factory, who were quite amused about a teenager coming to them with such request, but very helpful, and with a bit of their help made a pair of strappy sandals. Then it was settled – I had to become a shoe designer!
I went on to do a degree in leather art and accessories design at Estonian Academy of Arts. As part of the course i was also introduced to glove design. During my studies I was working 4 years as an apprentice at an orthopedic footwear workshop, with a chance to learn bespoke footwear making and realize all my crazy ideas under my experimental label of Õun Design.
After graduation I moved to London to do an internship with footwear designer Caroline Groves and later with a leather accessory designer Una Burke. Following year I started working with local designers, which lead to creating my new brand Riina O.
Why did I decide to start a new label? Õun Design was experimental and avant garde, while Riina O has a much more refined and feminine visual language. Besides, turned out nobody could really pronounce the name properly outside Estonia.
Back when my foremost interest was footwear design, this seemed like the right material to work with. I have got to know this natural material´s character, advantages and the possibilities it offers. Controversially I have been vegetarian for almost a decade, while working with leather. I see it as a way to “reincarnate” the animal skin as a bag, pair of shoes or gloves and in a way give it “a new life”.
While bespoke footwear making requires a whole workshop and several machines, hand making leather gloves can be done almost anywhere. I remember one summer working on a deadline for glove order while travelling across Europe – hand stitching on the train and in coffee shops.
Also there was a gap in the market in London for luxury hand made leather gloves as it is a very time consuming and almost extinct trade with just a handful of skilled people left. This lead me to work with several high end fashion designers in London and abroad as a glove maker, with hand stitched gloves appearing in their catwalk shows.
It is important for me to keep the glove making tradition going, combing the old craft with modern technological advantages. Based in London, we are trying to keep the production local, sourcing leathers from within Europe.
At the moment footwear design has been put on hold, but hopefully to be taken up again one day. Before that though Riina O will be introducing other products of leather accessories, featuring already in our next collection for Spring/Summer 16.
The exhibition by such name at V&A explores the meaning of luxury. While in the past luxury was the privilege of a few from among royalty and nobles, in recent years the increase in prominence and growth of luxury brands has made it accessible for more people, while still keeping sharp contrast against the backdrop of social inequity. Here it has been attempted to find out what the term of luxury means to people today, as consumers and as individuals. It is not always just material objects and experiences that symbolise luxury, but it reaches further than that into imperceptible dimensions. Exceptional examples of contemporary design and craftsmanship are presented in the first room, while second room concentrates on conceptual projects which interrogate fundamental ideas of luxury, its production and future.
Luxury production represents an investment in time. This applies not only to the time spent making the object but also to the process perfecting the skills. Making luxury is not concerned with practical solutions but with the extraordinary, non-essential and exclusive.
There are over 100 objects on display. Some of my favorite ones:
“Fragile Future Concrete Chandelier” by Studio Drift – real dandelion seed heads were harvested before opening into “clocks” and individually applied to LED lights to make this chandelier.
“Space Travellers´ Watch” by renowned British watchmaker George Daniels – an entirely handcrafted mechanical timepiece.
Laser-cut haute couture dress by fashion designer Iris van Herpen.
“Bubble Bath” necklace by Nora Fok, made from more than 1000 hand-knitted nylon bubbles.
Luxury gold plated skimming stone with belt pouch by Dominic Wilcox – skimming stone is something you use just once as you throw it “away” skimming along water. Now if it´s made of gold, would you use it if you can only use it once? The designer explores the ideas of value and luxury associated with a humble pleasure. A found stone becomes exclusive, unique and precious but its ultimate purpose is to be thrown away in a special moment.
My good friends from Studio Ruuger are also represented at the exhibition with their hand crafted leather suitcase. The intricate pattern depicts “A Funeral of a Swallow”, consisting of over 1000 laser cut details, assembled on the 3D-printed case frame by hand over 300 working hours. This combines traditional leather craft skills with modern technology.
Luxury is a mixture of quality, comfort, exclusivity, high skilled craftsmanship in terms of an object, precision and long making hours. In times of rush and constant distraction, like the days we are living in(especially if you live in a big city), luxury can be something very simple – time. Funnily enough people who have it, don´t seem to appreciate it to full extent and it only becomes a luxury when you don´t have it. But isn´t it the same with most things. So perhaps the meaning of luxury is exclusivity and availability to the few.
Second part of the exhibition explored the future of luxury and what could be valued “tomorrow”, as perceptions of value are socially established and vary with time.
“Time for Yourself” by Marcin Rusak is a playful toolkit for misdirection, which features a watch with no dial and a compass that spins random coordinates, enabling to “get lost” and “take your time”.
“Hair Highway” by Studio Swine – while such rare materials as tortoiseshell, horn and exotic wood become more and more extinct with the growth of the population, there is one material which actually increases in these circumstances – it is human hair. Studio Swine use a combination of hair and bio-resin to create highly decorative medium for furniture and accessories.
What is Luxury? provokes thinking and debate through fictional scenarios that consider issues like privacy, resources and access that could determine future ideas of luxury. American artist Gabriel Barcia-Colombo’s DNA Vending Machine contains pre-packaged DNA samples and invites visitors to consider our increasing access to biotechnology and how privacy and ownership of one’s own DNA may become a luxury in the future.
What the exhibition did not cover though is the luxury of human conditions, such as youthfulness and health. While youth has been utterly commercialised in our society by cosmetics and plastic surgery industries, health is nothing we normally view as a luxury as long as we have it, but can be a severely desired extravagance for those who suffer from illnesses. Going further, even salutary food has turned into a luxury of some sort, with just processed “plastic” meals available cheaply for poorer segment of the population and organic food higher priced. Philosophically speaking, good life as such is a luxury, but then again not all people with good life conditions can appreciate it appropriately. Hence, happiness is the luxury, that if acquired can keep you above all materialistic and even some physical needs. But as for happiness, i believe, it is everyone´s personal choice to be or not to be. And by this luxury is accessible to everyone if they want it.
At the end of the exhibition there is the board with a question: What is your luxury? And this is the question I leave you with today. Please comment if you like!
Hermés takes Londoners for a walk to their Paris Wonderland, an exhibition called “Wanderland” at Saatchi gallery. The exhibition explores the concept of “Flânerie” – urban wandering and observing, revelling in the unexpected ,exploring the street settings and oddities of city life. As the name of Hermés company has derived from the eponymous Greek god Hermes – the messenger, who is all about travelling and wandering around.
You are lead through the dream world of joy and fantasy, with a Paris landscape as its backdrop. The exhibition is livened up by numerous interactive installations in various media, created by a diverse selection of artists, and witty solutions that make you part of the setting, letting you interact with the environment and brings a smile to your face. For example passages through wardrobe doors, syrreal(but fully functional) walking canes, amusing boutique windows. In one room you are able to walk on the upside-down reflections of other people, video projected on the floor. By stepping on the projections´ heads it is possible to hear their inner thoughts. Another room welcomes you to the café of forgotten items with miniature videos displayed inside the bottles and glasses. The graffity-adorned room has a painted Birkin bag by the wall, the covered passage looks so very Parisian and as the “night comes” in one of the rooms, you can peek into the windows to discover the secret world behind – a magic room where strange things come to pass when the inhabitant is not there.
Objects on display have been gathered from the Hermés archive and mixed with the brand´s contemporary collections. Items range from bags, walking sticks, travelling cases and gloves to small leather accessories and jewellery.
You can´t help but to leave smiling. I will surely go back for more!