Monk House Design

SEB BROWN INSTALLATION

Monday April 07 2014

After a brief hiatus we are excited to announce that Seb Brown has returned to Monk House Design! Signaling his arrival Seb has filled our windows with an array of coloured paper shapes in soft pink, grey and blue. Drawing inspiration from everyday spaces, the raw angles and textures ever present in his work are reflexive of his interest in the materiality and nature of day-to-day life and the place jewellery holds within it.  

We talked to Seb about his jewellery, his travels and what the future holds... 

How do you define yourself? 

I define myself as an artist who makes jewellery. I am also very much interested in collage, drawing, sculpture and photography. I like the immediacy of jewellery and that it also has a use whether it is purely aesthetic or for a purpose (special occasion, wedding etc). I find it really interesting how people often place so much meaning on a piece of jewellery that they would never attach to a piece of clothing.

What inspires you and your jewellery pieces? 

As corny as it sounds my work is influenced by naturally occurring phenomena and the artfulness and chaos of growth. Bacteria, mould, rust, rocks, texture, dirt…

Do you now find your travelling lifestyle to influence what and how you make?

Not really, I find travelling to be very chaotic and spontaneous and my work is a base I can always return to. I find working in the studio to be very relaxing and grounding, whereas travel is so exciting, unexpected and often lonely. I never feel lonely if I have work to do.  

I'm constantly being influenced by everything all the time. Snippets of conversations, poles leaning against walls, piles of rubbish, smooth bumper bars, the tension and lightness of two shapes or textures accidentally interacting with each other. 

Your slab ring is your most popular piece, can you tell us about the process of designing and producing a piece like this and what you value in your designs? (i.e each piece being original)

I work quite fast, almost in a 'stream of consciousness' method. I sit down and play around with different kinds of wax to come up with something that is balanced. I often speak to other jewellery designers and they agree that sometimes they are defined by the first decent thing they make (i.e. my Slab ring) and will end up mimicking this design for the rest of their career. I love it when I get to meet the customer who is making a commission and chat and work out what they want. They become part of the design process.

My process is highly experimental and I often design or make something by accident.

I value the value someone else places on my work. I value the antithesis of mass-consumerism. I value being able to go into the studio and do what I love all day!

What is next for Seb Brown? Can you give us any hints?

Good question - I feel very much at home in Melbourne, yet I am moving to Europe to try and expand my market and have access to some new influences. I am constantly evolving my process and work so stay tuned for highly bedazzled rings and some coral and under the sea inspired work. I am also planning to get seriously into painting! 

PER-TIM INSTALLATION

Thursday December 05 2013

We were so chuffed to have launched PER-TIM's debut collection Club Bed with the amazing Mietta Coventry starring as our very own real life live-in model for 24 hours. 

We documented her bed-sit which highlights the PER-TIM concept of wearing the pieces in bed and outside without sacrificing comfort.

A huge thank you to Bernadette and Laura from PER-TIM and of course to Mietta.


Photos and video by Elise Wilken

PER-TIM

Tuesday November 26 2013

Monk House Design is ecstatic to introduce PER-TIM, a stunning new bedding and loungewear label by Melbourne fashion darlings, Bernadette Francis and Laura Albee Barton. Their debut collection titled Club Bed, a tongue-in-cheek homage to the heyday of Club Med, is being exhibited at Monk House Design which may be our most exciting installation yet. Key pieces from the collection are being introduced slowly during the course of the week to culminate in a live live-in installation this Friday as our shopgirl Mietta tucks herself into bed in our shop front window at 11am until Saturday morning, becoming the perfect real-life model for 24 hours.

We caught up with both Bernadette and Laura and asked them a few questions about PER-TIM.

What drove the two of you to begin PER-TIM? 
It happened very organically. We were hanging out at the beach this last summer and both had a bit of a laugh about how pathetic our beach towels were. We thought, why is it so impossible to find unique Australian made homewares and lifestyle products that aren't kitsch or crafty? Our first project was meant to be just manchester but seeing as Bern just completed her Honours in Fashion Design at RMIT and Albee has a long history of working for lots of different labels it made sense to extend the collection into loungewear too. We want PER-TIM to act as a means of engaging with practitioners across a broad range of fields each collection and culminate in a set of tangible lifestyle items and associated ephemera

In creating loungewear, sleepwear and daywear, can you explain the day in a life of a PER-TIM customer?
Sleep, work, play, repeat :)

Can you tell us about the choice in name?
PER/TIM is a scientific term, standing for PERIOD and TIMELESS. They are two genes which oscillate to regulate circadian rhythms in certain animals.

What role each of you plays in the business?
We design everything together however Bernadette has a stronger technical background having studied Fashion Design at RMIT. Albee's strength is in marketing and branding. Together we just work. We really couldn't do it without each other.

What would you say is the philosophy behind your label?
To produce interesting, playful, quality items; whether it be manchester, a beach towel or your favourite coffee mug. We aim to work with a diverse range of collaborators each collection and to continue to explore new design avenues.

Can you tell us a bit about this collection and installation in store? 
Collection one in entitled 'Club Bed'. It's our tongue-in-cheek reference to Club Med. The range and print designs reference the  'tacky luxury' of the 80's all inclusive resorts. The interiors, the pool and the nightlife have all been explored visually through print thanks to some talented creatives, Tristan Ceddia of Never Now and Jordan Dolheguy of Totem.

Our installation is a beautiful four-poster bed, created by Mathew Adey of House of Vnholy. The clean white lines of the bed reference our scientific name PER-TIM. Monk House shopgirl Mietta will be doing a Yoko Ono-esque 'bed-sit' from 11am Friday 29th for a full 24 hours where shoppers and walkers-by can see her immersed in the full PER-TIM experience; eating 'Club Bed' inspired food and reading PER-TIM inspired literature. We are all asleep for a quarter of our lives and we seek to make the transition from awake to asleep easier.

What exciting projects do have planned for the future?
We are launching Collection One at Goodtime Studios on December 7th. There will be an installation by Mathew Adey, photographic work by Phebe Schmidt, a film by Sally Tabart and a few more tricks up our sleeve!

WITU

Tuesday November 12 2013

 
The talented duo Natalie Turnbull and Elise Wilken from Witu have just taken to our front window to create an explosion of neoprene accessories to celebrate their newest products, pot plant puffs & circle clutches. Adding to their already extensive collection titled Wituland, Turnbull and Wilken never cease to amaze!

What drove the two of you to begin Witu and how long has the label been operating?
We established Witu around two years ago now out of a desire to create female accessories that filled the gap in the market for utilitarian pieces with a fashion focus. After sampling and making pieces that we intended to be for ourselves, we found that others - friends, family and eventually people we didn’t know wanted them too and so we thought we would give it a go at starting a label. 

What would you say is the ethos behind your label?
Simple designs and functionality lie at the heart of all of our designs. The simple design allows the pieces to be accessible to a diverse range of people.

Can you tell us a bit about this collection and installation in store?
Our current collection Wituland features a range of new shapes and a refined colour palette. It is based around the idea of survival in it's different shapes and forms, so includes pieces like our overnighter duffle bag that’s essential for long weekends, the circle zip clutch perfect for dancing. Each piece is designed around a need or want of ours to survive different circumstances.

What exciting projects do have planned for the future?
We are working on ideas for our next collection at the moment, which we hope will be really exciting. We’re also taking part in The Design Files Open House which is new and fresh for us, and hopefully will introduce our label to a new range of people too. Besides from that, we are looking forward to summer and learning to cook new things, going to yoga classes and hanging out with our friends. Do those count as projects? We hope so!


Photos by Elise Wilken

FIXXED X ELIZABETH NEWMAN

Sunday November 10 2013

 

We're delighted to have a beautiful window display featuring the amazing, and longtime MHD fav, ffiXXed, highlighting their collaboration with Melbourne artist Elizabeth Newman.

We quickly asked Fi Lau and Kain Picken from ffiXXed about their collaboration with Lizzy, plans for the future and a little bit more about the label...

What drove the two of you to begin ffixxed and how long has the label been operating?
We started working together as a way to integrate different aspects of out creative, personal and economic lives and ffiXXed became the framework  for doing this. We first started working together as ffiXXed in the beginning of 2008 and started the label at the end of  2009.

What would you say is the ethos behind ffixxed?
To use creativity and analysis to respond to, and develop new ideas, for contemporary living and working.

What initiated your collaboration with Elizabeth Newman? Were there any ideas or criteria for the collaboration?
We have known and been fans of Lizzy’s work for sometime. She approached us with an image and the idea of making a garment together. There was no set criteria for it, the first dress was shown at Lizzy’s book launch at Neon Parc. Later we decided to make it into a small edition.

Can you tell us a bit about this collection and collaboration?
The image is something Lizzy found from an old dance catalogue. The image is quite striking and speaks about the body movement in space etc.  We developed a layout, repeating the image in different sizes and printed it onto silk. We then developed an idea about the shape and style of the dress, it’ quite classic. The pleats in the dress distort the image in a really interesting way, playing on the movement captured in the image.

What exciting projects do have planned for the future?
The big thing for us at the moment is The International Woolmark prize. We’re now producing a collection to be shown at Milan Fashion week at the end of  February. We also have another collaboration with Lizzy in the works.


Photos by Elise Wilken