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Carry On with Carianne Moore

Following on from the milliner and accessory designer's debut collection, Moore presents "Lunar Nights" for S/S 10.

Carianne Moore and design partner Mike Harding discovered their mutual love of all things Sci-Fi, natural sciences and the importance of craftsmanship back in 2006 and since then they have launched Carianne Moore, fusing millinery, handbags and jewellery. For S/S 10 Moore and Harding have conjured up unique pieces of jewellery that have been inspired by 1920s' science fiction and fictional stories of life beyond the stars. Using contrasting textures of 'Dragonscale' and printed stingray leather in colours like yellow, malachite green and bright blue, components are placed in strong geometric shapes to create heavyweight statement pieces. Extra care is taken on the finishing to combine traditional techniques and futuristic designs ensuring wearers will want to wear these pieces on their own imaginary lunar nights.
Dazed Digital: What is this science fiction that you spun up for the collection and where did it come from?
Carianne Moore: Mike and I took inspiration for this season’s collection from Jim Henson’s ‘The Dark Crystal’ which we are obsessed with, and a Sci-fi short story called Metamorphosis written by Franz Kafka in the 1920’s. In ‘The Dark Crystal’ the bird like Skeksis characters as well as the conceptual art by Brian Froud for the film are what inspired the jewellery collection. He is similar to us in the way he takes his ideas from nature and mythology. In Kafka’s Metamorphosis, a man wakes up as a dung beetle one morning and has to deal with all the troubles this change has caused. Insects played a big part of the 1920’s Art Nouveau movement and we created a beetle illustration which is laser cut out of wood on one of our handbags, the Arum. We combine all this Sci-fi imagery with organic Art Nouveau jewellery shapes.

DD: How do you manage to extend your design across millinery, jewellery and handbags?
Carianne Moore: I studied ceramics before deciding to go into fashion and when creating my couture millinery I hand-carve foam or mould out of clay my sculptural block shapes. Then I block and spray glue onto the millinery material and pull it over the shape which is then left to dry. Once the material is taken off it holds its shape and wire is hand-sewn around the edges for extra strength. The shape is then decorated with materials such as feathers, Swarovski crystals, custom made wooden fittings, mother of pearl shell or leather which is laser cut or hand smocked. All of these techniques and materials are the same used on the jewellery.
The handbags have been designed using some of the same leather smocking techniques combined with custom made wooden fittings some of which are lasered and inlayed with dyed mother of pearl shell. The handbags are all made in Italy by top artisans while we hand-make all the millinery and jewellery here in London.
We believe it’s essential to maintain at least some knowledge of traditional techniques balanced alongside new technologies.  

DD: What different roles do Carianne and Mike play in the design process?
Carianne Moore: We both create mood boards and decide on the themes of the collections whilst bouncing ideas off each other. I am more technical while Mike is good with colour and stopping me from over designing.  I experiment with different techniques which we then both incorporate into the designs.
I have a degree in Millinery and leather-goods with over ten years experience and I am now passing my technical skills onto Mike and with his background in hairdressing, which is also very sculptural it has come naturally to him.

DD: Where do you see yourself in S/S 20 (as in, in ten years time)?
Carianne Moore: We see ourselves internationally established doing women’s wear and accessories. Living by the ocean with a family and using any influence we have promoting ecotourism and animal conservation around the world.