Cléo Ferin Mercury: bold prints and vibrant colours

During our recent trip to New York, we visited the capsule trade show and I chanced upon the label Cléo Ferin Mercury. 100% Silk, hand finished and made in England, Cléo Ferin Mercury is a London based designer specializing in silk accessories such as scarves, bow ties and collars. The prints are bold and the colours vibrant. Her works are definitely fun and playful and adds a great splash of colour to any outfit.

Cléo launched her first collection of silk scarves in 2010 in a small number of selected boutiques including Tatty Devine in London and she emphasizes attention to detail and quality in her work. She subsequently extended her collection to include collars and bow ties, and now produces two collections a year. She has also worked on several collaborations including a camera for Lomography. Here are some looks from her AW13 collection.

Her work is stocked at several boutiques across the world including Colette in Paris, Victoria & Albert Museum and Labour of Love in London and Magenta in Hong Kong. Here’s a preview of her SS14 collection.

SS14 collar

SS14 scarf

SS14 scarf2


X Sybil
(All images from Cléo Ferin Mercury)

Black: the colour of sophistication

It’s never easy to find a gift for a guy, especially a gift that is sleek, modern and classic at the same time.  The only way to approach this complicated gift searching process is to go for brands that are well, modern and classic, like Dunhill.

I’ve been looking for a gift for some time now.  The one criterion I have is that it must be entirely black.  That’s when I found this cufflinks.  They are not just any cufflinks.  They are made out of jet stone, a stone that was formed approximately 182 million years ago during the Jurassic period.  How’s that for timeless?  Dunhill managed to incorporate them into a modern and sleek design that is so simple and versatile. Yes, it’s probably more than what we’re used to paying for a pair of cufflinks but I bet they’ll last you another few hundred of years. Hell, a stone like that probably belongs in a museum.

black tie black jet stone cufflinks

Another option is this all black pen that features an innovative lacquer finish containing genuine crushed black diamonds and meteorite stone.  It’s also limited edition. I want it for myself.

limited edition sentryman meteorite rollerball pen

It’s too bad that they don’t have an all black lighter.  A close match would be this iconic Rollagas lighter with black lacquer, a timeless classic piece.  My grandfather had a similar one.  I like that the logo has been moved from the front of the lighter to the roller itself, the design looks cleaner that way.

black lacquer rollagas lighter

Finally, to top it all off, Dunhill’s range of leather collection includes a functional overnight bag that is all black of course.  A unique graphic carbon fibre print is applied to black leather, ensuring that the bag is durable with a high degree of resistance to scratch and water.

chassis small holdall

Available at Dunhill, shopping for men just got easier.

X Sybil

(Images from Dunhill)

Urban Safari: Natsumi Ivaraki

At the recent Hello Shibuya event, we chanced upon URBAN SAFARI, an accessory label which features handmade animals. It may look like advanced handicraft to some but if you look closer, the work is amazingly delicate and realistic.  I’m not animal lover but I was very impressed.

I think nothing expresses the spirit of the label better than the poem by its creator.

Crowned lemur

I want to be like them:

their lively body, their beautiful curves,

their defying eyes, their cool figures.


I want to live like they do: with such unflattering,

unperturbed, unyielding and lofty mind.


Do they also have the moment:

when they are likely to be suffocated by depression


which can never be spoken or likely to be oppressed

with jealousy or hostility?


It may be that they’ve torn it all up

and been making their way with their eyes set forward.


“I want to be strong like they are.”


I will live strongly with wildness,

which makes them colorful, on myself: wearing wildness.

ZebraLechweNumbatSpotted cuscusLion

Way cute. I’ll definitely be tempted to get one when I come across them again.

x Sybil

(Images from URBAN SAFARI)

Increasing Value: Lauren Vanessa Tickle


$32.00 Brooch, US Currency, Silver, Latex, and Monofilament, 2012

It’s not the first time an artist is working with money, more specifically currency notes but it is the most wearable I’ve seen thus far.  Lauren Vanessa Tickle has created a series of jewellery using currency notes craved out so beautifully, the reason is earrings, necklaces and brooches that are unexpectedly feminine and delicate.

Tickle explains, “I force wearers and observers to reflect on the concept of adornment in our society. One of the most conscious actions humans undertake is the decision of what to wear or not. My work takes underlying materialism and makes it explicit, imploring evaluation from all sides in each social context.”


$300.00 Necklace, US Currency, Silver, Latex, and Monofilament, 2011


$54.00 and $22.00 Brooches, US Currency, Silver, Latex, and Monofilament, 2012

Tickle graduated in 2009 with a Master’s degree in Fine Arts, Jewelry and Metalsmithing. She is also one of eight young contemporary jewelry artists chosen to exhibit work in PREZIOSA Young.  The PREZIOSA contemporary jewellery Young Exhibition was shown in Munchen, Germany in February and will be travelling to Legnica, Poland, for the Silver Festival in May to June 2013 before concluding in Firenze, from 21 June to 20 July 2013, at the Marino Marini Museum for Contemporary Arts.


Weighing $16.00 Earrings, US Currency, Latex, Silver, and Monofilament, 2012

I’m always fascinated with the conception of buying money with more money and Tickle’s artistic process is transparent.  You can buy the $16 earrings for $150.  Take it or leave it.

X Sybil

(Images from Lauren Vanessa Tickle)

Cami Gualta: Breathing life into car tyres

I just took a short trip to Europe.  Needless to say, Milan is a major fashion capital but beyond the usual luxury labels (i.e. Prada), I attempted to search for local talents and stumbled upon Cami Gualta in a cool concept shop, Shopping Lifts Spirit.

Cami Gualta, which means ‘creative room’, is founded by two young artisans, Maria Carmela and Gualtieri Lacerenza.  They met at the Academy of Fashion in Rome and found a common passion in handcraft work.  Their work revolves around eco-sustainability and the re-use of existing materials such as car tyres.  Using tyre as a material, the duo designed accessories such as necklaces, earrings and brooches which look like leaves, tulips, ginkgo biloba.

As tyres are typically associated with durability, the idea of converting something tough and hard into flowers is quite romantic and poetic.

x Sybil

(All images from Cami Gualta blog)

Secret Weapon: A kept secret no more

I was broke but I needed to get away so when my friend went on a work trip to Bangkok Thailand, I jumped on a cheap flight and was out of here in a heartbeat.  Literally, I had to put in an urgent request for my passport application.

Bangkok has changed quite a bit since my previous trip 3 years ago and I enjoyed catching up with the local fashion scene there; meeting new people and discovering new labels.  The designs are good and you sense that the people are always sincere so escaping to Bangkok proved to be just the break I needed.

One of the labels I stumbled upon was Secret Weapon.  Surprisingly it is established by a ballerina, dancer and choreographer.  Born and raised in Thailand, Cris Horwang started her professional training in classical ballet in Thailand and furthered her practice in UK and US.  Her love for leather goods and accessories pushed her to venture and expand into fashion.  Designed as statement pieces, the element of surprise is emphasized in the handbags she design and get this; the motto the label adheres to is “We dress to kill”.  Like so many Thai labels, the concept is fun and witty and that’s the spirit of Thai design I love.

Hand painted, exactly what a rich bitch would have asked for.

Raining silver bullets

Yes, that is a grenade hanging from the handbag.

Cleverly titled Reload, this clutch is the kind of statement piece the designer is famous for.

I will get my hands on one of these weapons soon and for the next few weeks, you will be sure that I’ll be thinking in Thai design mode.  Stay tuned for more emerging designers from Thailand.

x Sybil

(Images from Secret Weapon)

Una Burke: Luxe Leather Accessories

I always loved the concept of wearable art pieces and feel that little tinge of joy when I find someone else who thinks this way too.

Irish born designer now based in London, Una Burke, works with leather using traditional leather-working skills of leather panels and brass fittings. Her works includes pieces of sculptural belts, corsets, jewelry, handbags and abstract body pieces, worn by style icons such as Daphne Guinness, Rihanna and Lady Gaga.

Images from her graduate collection Re.Treat
“The potential for healing within boundaries of something that inhabits the body”.

Trans.Form Collection
“Where deformity is beauty”

Meta.Morph Collection
“Where negativity lies within positivity, as physical improvement encourages social debilitation”

“Where the soul would be protected and death would be cheated”

“Where nightmares of drowning contrast with daydreams of floating”


She sees her works as objects, open to interpretation.; pieces of wearable art rather than garments. Personally, I really love leather and I relate to her works.  In my opinion, she is  an artisan based on her amazing craftsmanship.

Truly someone to keep our eyes on.

X Alex

(All images from Una Burke)

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