Friday, August 26, 2011


Pyramid lake, AB

 I have not had many vacations in Summertime. Last year I traveled home in July, and those of you who have families overseas, know, that such travel is not the most relaxing kind.

I also have not toured much in Canada, since I came here six years ago.  This year was a good time to address both of those points, so this August a summer vacation took place, along with my first venture out of the province of BC.

I spent a very outdoorsy week in the neighbouring Alberta's Rocky Mountains... That means, stunning mountain scenery, Western towns and feel (no, I will not be "westernizing" my FW 2011 - no warnings there); very dry air (not appreciated by my dry skin), daily wildlife sightings, ever-changing mountain weather, night frost, a wind storm and a sense of being thrown into a world, entirely different from a place I call home... The Wild West lies just eight hours to the East....

The following shots are taken in Banff and Jasper, Alberta during the 7 day whirlwind...

Vacant office...

Black bears... and....

... soccer moms on the highway...


August snow.... (I've done some hill climbing..)

I like to think of myself as a friendly person...

...some critters agree with that...

If you climb a high ridge for hours, might as well have fun doing it!

Amazing, localized rainstorm!

FYI - that's not me doing the climbing!
August iceberg...

 So, these are just a few of countless picturesque moments of my rare break during the summer....  I am back in the beautiful BC now, and ready to dive in the preparations for... well, the winter Holiday season...
Hope, everyone is enjoying their summer -

***all photos by Pete W. Dickson***
Posted by Jolanta

Friday, August 5, 2011

What I managed to salvage for Fall - and beyond

My material sourcing trips are unpredictable. Using discarded leather to make the bags, means I have no way of knowing in advance, what will land on the table.

Leather I source is end-of-the-roll, odd-lots and rejects by furniture and garment makers. Anything they think is either "too small", has brand marks (which, most USA grown leather does), is damaged, pre-cut or just orphaned for other reasons will end up in liquidation stock.  So, each time there are different kinds of leather for rescue... Sometimes it suits my work, and sometimes it, well, does not.

Also, recently, I began scouring business listings for closures, changes in orientation or material overstock. I started collecting unwanted leather and denim clothing from friends, to keep that out of the landfill too... Anything I can salvage, I will try my best to do so.

One leather hunt of mine delivered more than I could hope for. I headed to my trusted "orphaned" leather supplier looking for anything colourful, pliable and different - for Spring! What I found was... materials, that inspired my FW 2011; along with some great Summer finds...

Spanish Moss, Cigar, Antique Brown and Syrah
I scooped up pretty much everything. All the hides, hurt, rejected and unwanted by their original owners were piled up into boxes and sent to their new home, Jola V. Designs studio...

Here they are - proudly salvaged!

Antique Brown, Syrah and Oakwood: re-purposed cowhide
Antique Brown, Cigar, Birch and Nude: re-purposed cowhide
Beautiful earth tones
There is a great selection of orphaned, unwanted  - and perfect - leather out there... I am glad to give it a home and a purpose. My FW 2011 will continue in the traditional fashion of re-purposing...


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Adios to Virga...

Virga bag

A few weeks ago I have announced the end of production of my second, Pre-Fall 2010 Coming Of Age collection.Virga was a late addition to the bunch, making it's debut just about a year ago.

I sketched it on my flight back from visiting home last summer. The country features, that I have introduced in Virga's stronger and larger predecessor, Jaki Tote, have been played up and softened in the new style. Also, Virga was my break-through in craftsmanship, as I finally found way to make that smooth, wavy semi-raw edge crown, I dreamed to do on my bags... Making of Virga played a critical role in building my skills and creating detailing for the new upcoming styles.

The response to my newest creation was stunning - seemed as buyers really understood the benefit of the adjustable strap, which can switch a bag from a Tote to a Messenger by one simple pull. Also, the pockets, light weight leathers and vibrant colours. Thanks to all the attention at the trade-shows, and  wonder-works of my retailers, the one year old style became the second best seller of Coming Of Age, finding it's way to runway, wedding gifts, and store shelves.

Virga in our LookBook

It's enlarged, TCB version also proved to be a sell-out.

Virga TCB

Now, I only have one single Virga left in my inventory - and some are still available at Favourite Gifts, Blushing Boutique and Forsya.

The stock production of Virga has now ceased - but I will gladly whip up a custom one upon request.

Posted by Jolanta