Sunday, March 23, 2014

Our (lively) Instagram feed

Ever since we started working with a new wholesale agency, we MUST discipline our work to adhere to their selling schedules, where Fall collections are re-presented in Spring, and the Spring collections hit the tradeshow floors in late Summer.

So, now, before our FW'14 is even released, we are probing ideas for... SS'15.
Yes, another Spring collection for this not-particularly-springy line..

Some early explorations of Bison leather for SS'15 are on our Instagram feed, http://instagram.com/jolavdesigns

New and simple

Making large cuts

New zipper satchel

Posted by Jolanta http://jolavdesigns.com

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The "What's in your bag?" question

Apparently, it is quite a movement!
What is inside our bags says a lot about us, our habits, priorities and lifestyles. And, because those details are private, they are also an object of curiosity. What hides inside a bag, and why?

Something about those contents have people admit, that they feel "lost" or "naked" without their bag, and forgetting even a small part of the contents at home, can really alter - or even spoil - one's day.

Eventually, folks started sharing their (edited) holdings of their bags, and soon, venues feeding these curiosities popped up everywhere from the Internet, to Print,- groups, forums, magazines and sole interviews, all dedicated to the "What's in your bag?" topic. It is becoming a type of a secondary 'selfie' - an edited, in many cases, prettied up insight in our private lifestyles. We're focusing on showcasing the cool items and things about us, while leaving out the grungy ones to remain unseen. We're showcasing a bit of 'our world' through a cool lens. What's more fun?

Also, many communities found these incredibly helpful, and began learning from each other, from packing, to problem solving. All thanks to the contents of their peers' bags...

Here are some of the curious venues:

Haute Handbags features a section of "What's in your bag?" and asks the readers to share, and prints the chosen selection

This photo community collects crowd-sourced photos of WIYB?

An online page, featuring pictures and mini-interviews with WIYB contributors:

And a humorous look at what's really in your bag? through the eyes of a cartoonist, showing the items, that usually get left out of the spotlight.

Top of the page: J's day bag:

the bag: JVD Marife tote
contents: "goodies I do not leave home without": wallet, amber mirror & note book given by mom, my biz cards, jvd pen, lipsticks, some leather samples & the trusted device which took this pic. #inMyBag #bags #secrets

Do you have a line-up of items, that make the life easier? -


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Early press for FW'14 - West Coast Style

West Coast Style is the first venue to feature a sneak-peek of our upcoming FW'14 Collection -- but, in the concept of the Spring season! 

In this interview with the Fashion Capsule agency, you will see a fab local apparel trend re-cap, and three looks from yours truly: Featherlight worn as a small clutch and two not-yet-released designs... Thanks, Sarah, and Fashion Capsule team.



Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Mood leathers: Recycled Garment

All last week was spent turning vintage leather jackets into fresh handbags of a certain best selling design. And, several new designs - cos that's the kind of year 2014 will be... exciting and somewhat overwhelming. 

Jackets are all so different and challenging. Not only they require a more in-depth design process, but the cutting can be tricky, with many original features actually playing against the pattern. Oftentimes jackets are incredibly soft and require to be stabilized on an interfacing, before they can become a bag with structure and strength.

And, the main task, is making our jacket-come-handbag beautiful. Over the couple of years that we have designed with vintage coats, I learned, that a complete result has to be more, than just a mediocre outcome of scissor and stitch work. It has to be a special interpretation of the source garment, a real second life given to the source garment, carrying its history and value.

I can never say no to working with a special vintage jacket, because they result can be nothing short of a rebirth-like experience.

More #MoodLeathers are on our Instagram feed.

Posted by Jolanta http://jolavdesigns.com

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Mood leathers: Select Rescued Upholstery

With the season gradually ramping up, to keep production interesting, each day we choose what to build based on mood and feeling. 

Unfinished shells of a few newbies

Select Rescued Upholstery is specialty leather found in odd lots, remnants and other rescues. All random colours and finishes. It has been our core source material since the very first season, because of its different properties and characteristics. I find it very educational to work with such a varied range of materials, as one hide is never like another, needing different kind of attention, and skill every time. 

The result is different each time, and that is what keeps things exciting.

our F/W2014 Collection will launch mid-Spring.

Posted by Jolanta http://jolavdesigns.com

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bison Leather - Real New Frontiers

Bison, source Wikipedia (via Google Images)

Bison leather is revered for its strength and durability. Saddlery, military gear and work aids are built from it more often, than other leathers. Perhaps because of its most common uses, it has been somewhat under-represented in the independent accessory community. It has been commonly associated with men’s’ goods, straps, steampunk or costume design. Women’s designers seem to stray away from the industrial nature of bison.
Distressed/ waxed upholstery grade. Source Buffalo Leather Store

Also, many finishes of the leather were not that visually different from any heavier cowhide, or other upholstery pieces. Oftentimes bison would be oil-treated, which is gorgeous, but really heavy; or finished and somewhat ordinary, resulting in just a heavier version of its more common upholstery cousins, rather than a unique, specialty material.

Seeking new looks and finishes for our upcoming Collection, I decided to finally re-visit a local family tannery I’ve been in touch for years. They specialize in BC sourced wild leathers, and, not being too impressed with bison (or other wild) pieces I’ve scouted elsewhere, I gave them a try, and was astonished by what I found.

Natural grain heavy garment. Pronounced grain is amazing...

What they have is truly special - a bare, full grained and pliable leather, of a wonderful natural, imperfect finish, that needs no enhancements from a designer. In fact, inspired by their leathers, I tuned down and minimalized my sketches to accommodate for what’s already so naturally amazing.
It is the leather itself, that dictates the design, and I am just there to serve it.

Fragments/ details of the upcoming styles

Fragments/ details of the upcoming styles

Those of you, who visited our booth this Holiday show season, got the first look at the early releases, and we are thrilled with your emotional reaction towards our completely locally sourced/ grown/designed and produced pieces of a high strength and aspiration.

Three locally tanned bison and elk handbag designs (alongside three new other styles and the Permanent Collection) will launch in early Fall 2014.

Posted by Jolanta http://jolavdesigns.com

Monday, January 27, 2014

And, now its 2014!

We're re-emerging from what was a long silence!

A large scale event was added to our what seemed to a be well-planned and anticipated Holiday season, and the entire team had to suddenly shift gears to accommodate. But we did  not give up our plans to create and build a brand new booth display, start rolling out new products little-by-little, and preserve energy at doing all that...

Well, the last goal was dropped - but it was the only one. Now, here we are in 2014, ready for new challenges and excitement.

JVD had a great Holiday show tour in Vancouver and Edmonton; had an early release of a few upcoming designs (the full new Collection is scheduled for this Fall - very thrilled!); joined a Vancouver based sales agency for independent and sustainable labels, and kicked off the first sale of the year (check out Tiny Sale).

Here is our fantastic looking booth display, first unveiled at Circle Craft art show in Vancouver.

Some of the new designs lined up at the front. More to come.

Posted by Jolanta http://jolavdesigns.com