It’s been just a while since we launched OXYMORON, yet we got asked many times how we came up with the concept and what’s the creative process behind our man and woman lines of silk and ceramic accessories.
In this post, we’ll share the main steps of our journey and some of the biggest challenges and discoveries that we had along the way.
As you can imagine everything starts with a vision. Our vision was to explore the intersections between fashion and interior design. Passionate about the evolution of architecture and interior design from classic to contemporary, we set out to bring this very same concept into the fashion domain.
To accomplish such a design challenge, we focused on formalwear classic accessories that never really changed or adapted to today’s culture.
Bow ties and collars were the very first things that popped up our mind.
We didn’t want to be trivial or irrelevant so we started brainstorming and researching some of the most compelling materials used in architecture and interior design.
At first we fell in love with marbles, but we then discovered that the properties of such a metamorphic rock were difficult to manipulate to make it wearable. We then came across corian and ceramics. Compared to ceramics, corian is a much more contemporary material that made its entrance on the interior design scene in the late ‘60s. Ceramics though remains one of the most authentic plastic materials available to humans and the evolution it ‘d been undertaking in the last decades very well reflected our vision.
Proud of the artistic reputation of our hometown - Napoli (IT) – we decided to entrust our people for completing this project. We visited almost every ceramic workshop and lab on the coastline between Vietri and Napoli and learned a number of things we had to account for in the design process. So we started designing shapes, colour palettes and motives.
The first shapes coming to life were the ceramic bow tie and cufflinks for men and the collar and ribbon necklace for women. After developing 3D models and prototypes we took them to the ceramic artists we met in Italy and asked them to reproduce the shapes and start testing out colours… Eventually we had to go through several rounds of production and come up with a number of new techniques to make the objects extraordinary light and optimise patterns and colours definition.
In the creative process we also realised that much more was possible if we had combined ceramics with a more traditional fashion textile. To stay relevant with our vision and keep our accessories as sustainable and animal-free as possible we selected silk as secondary material and started to design our range of ties, headbands, turbans and sevigne bows.
Silk was also the much-researched bridge to fashion that we initially envisioned. It was the mean through which we coud have pushed forward without the arrogance of destroying guidelines that master designers dictated in the past.
We worked with some of the industry leading silk suppliers to select and produce a range of minimalist colours and patterns reflecting the contemporary twist we wanted to give our accessories.
Aware that the multi-disciplinary approach to design added an extra layer of complexity to the manufacturing process we decided to keep it simple and work with tailors and seamstresses in Napoli. Napoli has a strong reputation on the sartorial panorama… from tailoring boutiques like Sartoria Napoletana to local workshops holding manufacturing collaborations with the likes of Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana. We knew that Napoli was one of the few places where we could find tie makers with a deep knowledge and brilliant execution of the destinguished 7-fold techniques – a tie folding technique dating back to our granpas and always regarded as supreme for the otherwise unreachable soft and seamless look.
Pulling tailors and ceramic artists all together, we went through a number of trial and error prototypes to understand the implications of the two materials combined and visulise shapes, sizes, colour contrasts, stiching points, needles and closing mechanisms.
Enventually, during the process we also realised that with a little tweak to the design of the closing mechanism the ties and bowties could have turned modular, hence, enabling easier customisation through the switch and swap of different styles of silk and ceramic knots.
By now it would be clear why we named our collection OXYMORON. Oxymoron is a powerful concept bridging two diametral worlds. And essentially, that was our design challange too... we brought an ancient material into an industry where it was actually new and combined it with one of the most traditional fashion textile to create a modern re-interpratation of classic accessories.
The final collection comprises of two lines: The man line consists of ceramic bow ties, cufflinks and modular silk and ceramic neckties. The woman line showcases ceramic necklaces and silk and ceramic headbands, turbans and sevigne bows.
The OXYMORON collection was born to be a creative mean of expression for the next ethically aware generations and all those men and women about town who want to use aesthetics to express their diversity and fashion to make a statement.
All accessories are available in a range of minimalist colours on our e-commerce site or can be made to order to accomodate your styling needs.
If you liked this post and value our creative process, please share it on your social channels and help us spread the word. In occasion of London Fashion Week Men (8-12th June) we and other menswear designer brands will be sharing more about our creative process in an interview sponsored and conducted by Tommy Lee – an international fashion blogger and professional influencer based in London.
Stay tuned on our channels.