Everything is A-ok

So much happening lately, no time to blog as usual.

Madeline arrived safe and sound from the USA, she is awesome.
We have inducted her in to the Dead & Buried gang – she has her own key – and we have been making shoes, heading out to galleries and openings and she has been off interviewing Melbourne fashion people. Hello to anyone from Virginia reading this, we will be sending her back with a bag full of goodies from Dani’s desk and at least one pair of hand made shoes.

The shop is now 90% done, just a few details to iron out and then we fill it up with stock and open the doors around the first week of July. YESSSSSSSS.

Shoes are in all sorts of stages of completion, no photos because I keep leaving the damn camera at home. Will take some soon.

We still need another studio member… ^^^^^^^ KNOW ANYONE GOOD? TELL THEM TO CALL US.

Back with photos and shoes and photos and jokes later in the week.

ps. I’m on Pinterest now posting pics of girls, shoes and art. Look me up >  Steven Phillips.

Mini update

It’s monday morning and I really should be out of the house already, but a bit of overthinking-planning-excitement-nervousness insomnia set in last night, so after 3 episodes of Project Runway at 2am I finally fell asleep.

Here’s where we’re at this week, in case anyone is interested….

– I have painted a mega bright coloured mural on the blank wall of our shop space, and with a little more fluro paint and some gold leaf it will be ready to dazzle ye eyes upon your next visit.

– We’ve reshuffled the shop fittings (well, I did all day yesterday) and we’re now almost ready to fill up the shelves with stock.

– The mural has given me some renewed enthusiasm for setting up our online store, as it sets up a clear difference between the old-world look of the workshop (and the look of this workshop section of our website) and the new, white and bright colours look of the retail space. So expect another revamp to the look of this site in the next few weeks to tie EVERYTHING together.

– Audrey is making some great progress on her shoes, and she is also about to work on some electronic-musical-instrument integrated shoes for Bern’s final year collection, so that should be fun to see develop.

– Madeline arrives today from the USA, so we’ll get to work on some Desert Boots and as many other interesting things as I can think of to show her

– I have too many ideas for shoes and am trying to focus and get one thing done  at a time for once… we’ll see how that goes. It has also been noted that shoe making photos is why a lot of people come here, so I better pick up the pace on the shoe making posts and stop promising they’re ‘coming soon’.

– Dani is working on new designs, homewares and pondering the idea of setting up another brand / diffusion line for those fans who can’t always afford her 100% silver and gold work. More on that soon.

– Emily has CRAZY GOOD scarves arriving in the studio lately. Made in Melbourne, fluro and neutrals, eye-meltingly bright. You’ll see em in our shop after her launch in a few weeks.

– We still need another jeweller / maker in the house, so pass the word on, there’s a lonely desk that needs some attention…. make it yours! ^^^^

– We’re also working on an idea for the store / workshop that might necessitate us going BACK TO NEW YORK! Yessssss, that is always a good thing.

Oh and I’m reading Sun Tzu’s “The art of war” and am learning little nuggets of battle plan wisdom all over the place that I hope to apply to this overwhelmingly long and complicated plan that Dani and I are in the midst of.
5 year plans seem like a good idea until you’re 2 years into them and are all “fuck off, I have 3 more years to go? I should have aimed lower”.

So, prepare your armies kids, we’re coming to take over the world (or just for a pop in and a cup of tea, depending on who you are)

Helllloooooo

Why hello there idea-for-bags-that-will-catch-the-eye-of-people-on-the-street, now I know how to get some free advertising out of something as simple as a bag – MAKE THEM STUPID BIG.

image stolen from http://stylesstandards.tumblr.com/ where it appears the coolest cats in Melbourne are on show.

ps. the title of this post should be read out loud, like this :

Site Updates

Hey gang, just letting you know that I’ve been tinkering with the site layout and it seems that adding “Artists” to our site = them also showing up in the RSS feed, so just ignore any weird crapola that comes through over the next week or so. It’s allllll under control (James, don’t stress, and stop rolling your eyes, I have it sorted now. haha)

Shop renovations start this week! Woooo! Opening night here we come!!

Things to note

1. Dani and I have BOTH HAD THE FLU all week and productivity dropped to pretty much zero for the entire week. So, not making excuses or anything, but that sucked.

2. I finally got my ass back in to gear yesterday and made a new silicon mould of an insole I formed from Veg Tan and lacquered… then today I made my first plastic insole / shankboard replacement. It seems to have worked, but I might need some firmer plastic or some sort of shank / spine in there. Will investigate further asap, whilst trying to minimise how many times I have to make $40 silicon moulds as practice runs.

2b. I have photos of this process for you all, but I left the flippin’ camera cable at the studio, so no pics for tonight. Daaaaang. Tomorrow?

3. I also managed to get my first super-super-low-resolution 3D scan happening! Woop. Using a laser-leveller, a crap webcam (new HD one from eBay on it’s way), some acetate, a texta (no printer here, had to trace things off the computer screen – that’s how low-tech it can get around here) and that David3D software I mentioned earlier I got this bit of crap to show up on the screen. Nothing useful, but a good “proof of concept”.

4. Dani thinks I have been saying “proof of concept” too much lately. Perhaps she is right.

5. I picked up the final 5 pairs of lasts this week in amongst my sickness, so I now have a full size run of 3.5″ heeled lasts. One less excuse off the list!

 

So, this week I’m back at computer job, but I have a set list of tasks to get on with now. Namely, refine plastic insole, refine heel > insole attachment design, cast a set of matching left / right components and FINALLY make a damned pair of heels that I know I can replicate without having to involve a supplier who is likely to tell me they “don’t sell that particular product any more”.

There is a spark of excitement fizzing back in to life in me.
It’s been a while, but watching fashion shows, meeting some great people during fashion week, meeting fashion students and recent graduates who are full of ideas and initiative (giving me some hope for the future) and re-reading my McQueen books has me recharged.

We’re going to open our shop up again within a month, so that will mean a renewed focus on blogging, photos, and lots more making now that the post-christmas slump is over.
Oh, and of course seeing a studio full of people doing top notch work is always good!! This week, studio crew profiles, I promise.

Listening to : Pond – Beard, Wives, Denim.   Perth does it again.

 

 

Doing our part to keep things afloat

I recently found the article below via the Carreducker blog and thought it might be good to share with all our readers (and there are quite a few of you now!).

http://www.mydigitalfc.com/fashion-and-style/luxe-goes-crafty-193

For those of you that don’t have time to read it, the basic premise is that high end luxury brands (Louis Vuitton etc) have been pulled up for representing their brands as ‘craft’ and ‘handmade’ while the truth is they’re just pumping out mass produced machine made goods – granted, they are using high quality materials – but not in the ‘little old Italian man sews them together by hand’ way they imply in their ads.

This has lead to a renewed interest in associating ACTUAL hand crafted goods and labels with bigger brands, so that they can retain their heritage values. Sort of absorbing real makers and craftsmen to keep their street-cred.

Anyhoot, the article tells the rest of the story, but this is quite topical for Dani and I at the moment as we are preparing a thorough business plan and looking at sourcing funding / grants to get this all off the ground

Seems we’re on the opposite side of this issue, plenty of skills, no money – so it is good to read that our concerns that we might be too tiny a fish in the big commercial world of luxury goods are perhaps not that big a worry… if we stick to our guns and MAKE what we sell, and also keep our integrated show-and-tell style workshop it will help us stand apart from the not-really-handmade luxury brands that are losing their credibility to real (not Nouveau Riche trashy luxury addicts) traditional luxury customers.

That said, what we personally have in hand craft skills we lack in crucial admin and business skills, so we are now weighing up the idea of getting a 3rd person on board who has some room in their brain to plan and run this business. If you’re interested, let us know, we will probably put out an official ‘expressions of interest’ thing in the coming weeks.

Cheers!

 

Mr West! (mr west, mr west, mr west…)

Hey there,

For those of you not on Twitter (which we werent until 9pm last night) and those of you not on Facebook (congratulations for not wasting a million hours a week) we have MORE big news about Dani.

Seems yesterday afternoon none other than Mr Kanye West popped in to Alice Euphemia… had a browse… bought 3 items…. 2 of which were Dani’s necklaces!!

So, she is understandably pretty excited about it, not that she/we were crazy Yeezy fans, but it is nice to know that someone who hangs out at Paris Fashion Week liked her stuff enough to purchase it (with a fancy looking credit card from what we’ve heard)

High fives AGAIN to Dani M! wooo…

Press Time

So it seems the combination of hard work and generally being nice to people has resulted in a little burst of PR and interviews for Dani. She is notoriously shy when it comes to promoting herself and her work, so I’ll do the honours this time.

After a successful stall at the Sydney Finders Keepers market, she was asked to do an interview and today this lovely article has shown up on their blog :

http://www.thefinderskeepers.com/blog/2012/01/featured-designer-dani-m-designs/

Earlier in the week she was also featured on two French design blogs :

http://www.hum-gum.com/blog/2012/01/23/portrait-de-createur-dani-m-designs/

http://www.naomibar.com/article-portrait-de-createur-dani-m-designs-97649822.html

So, although we’ve had a slow start to the year in terms of production, things are ‘on the up’ in the publicity department it seems.

Lots more of this sort of stuff to come in 2012…….

Still here

I just noticed that it’s been 10 days almost since the last post, so I thought I’d just reassure everyone that we’re still here, still working, still internetttttting.

It’s been hot in Melbourne lately and our house doesn’t have air con, so Dani and I have been taking a little longer than planned to get back in to full enthusiasm mode for 2012. We have had some nice social occasions lately thought, so at least that’s a plus. We also have had some new studio pop-ins lately (Hi Laura) which has made us both happier about having our own little empire in the city again, it’s great when you get to meet people from all over the world just by chance.

I am plotting and planning how to get all the things done that I need to do by a self-imposed March deadline, so expect some serious craft work to go on in the next 2 months. Resin casting, leather work, making boxes, making shoes, making videos……. everything, all at once (that’s my motto).

Steve

Listening to : Big Sean – Finally Famous

ps. We have TUMBLR account now where we’re sneaking up our inspiration images from the last few years  > http://deadburied.tumblr.com/

Pop Up Launch – Tonight!

Hey Hey,

If you want to fight the crowds and try to have a look at our pop-up shop on it’s (belated) first day of trading, come by tonight at 6pm and say hi!

www.quickanddead.com  << all the info is there.