Accessories are a girl’s best friend. It’s a fact that a well-chosen bag or scarf can transform a basic look into a signature style that speaks volumes about you. Which presented rather a problem for London-based designer, Rebecca Desnos, who believed her personal style should set her apart from mass-produced fashion trends. “More and more people, like me, are craving things that have been made by hand, where traces the maker and the process can be found.”
Her newly launched collection of scarves and clutches made from naturally dyed textiles reveals the unique rewards of embracing an environmentally friendly and cruelty free lifestyle.
“The bamboo fabric I use for the scarves is a beautiful and cruelty-free alternative to silk for people like me, who choose not to wear animal-derived fibers. It has the luster of silk and drapes wonderfully.”
Hand dyed in London by Desnos using skin-friendly natural plant dyes, the geometrically patterned scarves are dyed using the Japanese technique of Shibori. Encouraged by the stunning depth of color she achieved by using plant extracts, Desnos quickly learned to embrace the small variations in color and tone that the plant dyes produce.
“When I started to develop the designs for the scarves I discovered that working with natural dyes and hand processes could be quite unpredictable. At the beginning I’d draw an idea on paper, test it out, and if it didn’t come out as I’d hoped, I was quite disappointed, said Desnos. “I soon realized that the processes and the materials needed to inform the design from the very beginning. The inspiration behind the final set of designs was the idea of slightly “imperfect” geometry, patterns that are natural and intriguing to look at. Each scarf is ever-so-slightly different and beautiful in its own right.”
The essential organic cotton clutches were developed to complement the geometric patterned scarves. The weave of the fair-trade handloomed cotton was highlighted by the natural dyes which settle into the slubs creating a beautiful texture and variegated color.
“I’ve searched many times for simple one-color bags but to no avail, says Desnos. “I like my bags to be minimal and not take over the entire outfit, so I kept this in mind when designing these. They are beautiful enough to accessorize a wedding outfit, but simple enough to use everyday.”