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Inspired by process and materials: Hannah Williams x Eastpak.

To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of its iconic Padded Pak’r backpack, Eastpak commissioned 4 young fashion design talents to reimagine it. Expermenting with proportions, surfaces and materials, the designers have flexed their creative muscles on this enduring product, creating a collection of one-off showpieces that have been shot exclusively for THIRD. thiiirdmagazine.co.uk

HANNAH WILLIAMS specialises in the extremely innovative use of silicone and latex. She graduated with in 2013, winning the Womenswear & Innovation awards at Graduate Fashion Week that year, before completing an MA at the Royal College of Art.

Q: What was your inspiration?
A: The inspiration comes from my RCA MA collection, which was driven by process and how I could change the mundane routine of creating a fashion collection.

Q: Discuss the technical process and craftsmanship in producing the bag?
A: I work like a sculptor and use a variety of different mediums such as silicone, plaster and acrylic. Then I mould it to live models, cutting away and re-adding. The process is extremely bespoke and intimate. It is created by using different coloured silicone pigments and silicone itself. The marbling technique is applied by drawing through the silicone, creating a one-off piece.

Q: Who can you see carrying your bag?
A: [Contemporary American artist] Daniel Arsham

Q: Have you ever owned an Eastpak Pak’r?
A: I owned the Eastpak X Christopher Shannon, which I took everywhere. I loved the fun materials and trimmings.

Q: What do fashion, creativity and design mean for you?
A: Creativity is freedom and allows me to express my feelings though my work.

Q: Which themes do you find yourself returning to?
A: I always allow the material to become my theme. It’s a huge driving force behind my work and continues to inspire me.

Q: What are the most important things you learnt in college?
A: To always follow YOUR style and not be influenced by what others think. Trust your ideas and execute them to your standards!

Q: If you could head up one fashion label, which one would it be?
A: Marc Jacobs. He’s my favourite designer. His use of bold colours and quirky style continue to inspire me. His designs are young and fresh and always have a new look to them. I feel my work would complement his.

Q: What’s the next step for your career?
A: To keep creating and collaborating using my bespoke technique. I’m working on a few interior-based projects, creating marbled silicone wall coverings. I’m also creating a new ready-to-wear collection based from my technique!

Instagram: @hannahwilliamslondon

'A bag worthy of Anna Dello Russo, to mince around the cobbled streets of Milan with': Eastpak x Jay Briggs

‘A bag worthy of Anna Dello Russo’: Eastpak x Jay Briggs

London milliner and costume designer JAY BRIGGS’ fantastical work has been worn by Paloma Faith and Kylie Minogue. Crafted from creative detritus such as stuffed birds and vintage clocks, his hats are extravagant and highly romantic. For the past two years, he has designed all headwear for Selfridges’ Christmas windows.

Q: How did the collaboration with Eastpak come about?
A: I found out about the collaboration through a friend, who works as part of the PR process for Eastpak. He explained the brief, which gave me full creative freedom to do exactly what I wanted to with the bag I was given to customize. I’ve never created a bag before, so to have the chance to collaborate with a global brand was extremely exciting.

Q: What were your inspirations behind the final creation?
A: As a milliner and costume designer, I wanted my bag to reflect that aspect of myself while incorporating my aesthetic as a designer. The bag is based upon a pair of silver angel wings I wear on a pendant around my neck everyday. I always feel strange, like kind of lost and vulnerable when it’s not on my body, as I feel it invokes my guardian angel who guides me through everyday life. I wanted the bag to reflect the same feeling and emotion.

Q: Discuss the technical process in producing the bag?
A: Throughout the process of both designing and constructing the bag, I viewed it as I would a headpiece, using the same techniques and processes. I wanted to bring the bag to life, to give it a more sever, 3D, sculptural base so I created a buckrum and wire framework, using 15th century couturier techniques which dressmakers used to create corsets. Before the framework was placed inside the bag, I handstitched all the coque feathers to the bag, using various sizes to give the illusion of wings. To finish, I created a hand-made embellished lace crown to sit on top of the bag, drawing on my millinery skills. After all, who doesn’t want a princess bag?!

Q: Who can you see carrying your bag?
A: Before I even stitched the first feather to the bag, I knew I wanted to create a bag worthy of Anna Dello Russo, to mince around the cobbled streets of Milan with.

Q: What do fashion, creativity and design mean to you?
A: Above all, I believe it stands for fantasy, freedom and escapism. It should have the power to transport you to a different world, where everything you can imagine is real. What I love most about fashion is that it gives the wearer the power to be whoever they want to be and the confidence to go out and have world domination.

Q: Which themes do you find yourself returning to again and again?
A: As a massive bookworm, my inspiration mainly comes from something I’ve read. It could be the whole book, a simple quote or a character, which excites me to create my own version, with a dark fairy tale twist. The stories are mainly based upon the women/deities which history has forgotten. The women who live in the shadows, yet are the driving forces behind social changes within the world, using all their strength, power and ambition to get what they desire and dominate man. Witchcraft and magic always has threads within my work, as the their mystery and fantasy never fail to inspire me.

Q: What are the most important things you learnt in university?
A: Always believe in yourself, and trust your intuition and what you stand for. Let the passion for it consume you and light the fire within, because if you don’t believe in your own conviction, your creativity and art, then no one else will.

Q: If you could head up one fashion label now, which would it be?
A: Alexander McQueen. Although what Sarah is doing is ethereal and enchanting, I feel McQueen has lost the theatrical and performance element which used to transform the models into storybook characters, blurring the lines between what was real and what wasn’t. I don’t feel that the drama or the “don’t give a fuck” attitude is there anymore. But, then, saying that, I feel fashion as a whole has lost the attitude of “fantasy over function” and it’s turned into one big, stagnant commercial hub. It doesn’t have the escapism once owned by Gaultier, Galliano and Pugh and it’s really sad.

Q: What’s the next step for your career?
A: No one knows what the universe has in store for you. The goddess sent you a path and it’s your job to strut down it like Naomi Campbell on a 1990s Gianni Versace runway.

Twitter: @Jay_Briggz
Instagram: @jaybriggs12
Facebook: www.facebook.com/jaybriggsdesigner/

Designed to brignt stage presence to everyday life: Eastpak x Christian Cowan-Sanluis.

Designed to brignt stage presence to everyday life: Eastpak x Christian Cowan-Sanluis.

With work that references  Studio 54 and 1970s glam rock, British designer CHRISTIAN COWAN-SANLUIS already counts Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga as fans. For Gaga, he created the infamous ‘selfie’ hat. Eclectic, diverse, unrelentingly energetic, Cowan-Sanluis’ future is as bright has his hats.

Q: What were your inspirations behind your final creation?
A: I wanted to take a motif I use often and see how it worked on the bag. I’m mostly known for glitter so I thought it would be fun to use that, but then did appliqué gold flames and neoprene backing. Eastpak’s bags are so practical and useful; I wanted to contrast that with a flamboyant design.

Q: Discuss the technical process in producing the bags?
A: I took the bag apart, traced out all the pattern pieces and recreated the exact bag in super soft neoprene and glitter. I then did a laser cut appliquéd flame motif around the bag.

Q: Who can you see carrying your bag?
A: I’ve worked a great deal with musicians and performers, which usually consists of wild elaborate outfits and hats etc. For the bag I wanted to bring some of that stage presence to someone’s everyday life. A bit of glitter and their own pyrotechnics!

Q: Have you ever owned an Eastpak Pak’r?
A: I’ve always been a huge fan of Eastpak. I had a grey one I have used everywhere, from sandstorms at Burning man to mountain hikes in Ecuador and beyond. It’s seen a lot.

Q: What do fashion, creativity and design mean for you?
A: Fashion is a chance to have fun and creativity is the only thing that makes sense in this world.

Q: Which themes do you find yourself returning to?
A: I’m heavily inspired by pop culture. Growing up in the countryside, I found escapism through video games, TV, film, music and the internet. I always loved people who didn’t care what others thought. If it makes people feel great and smile, you’re doing the right thing. I bear that in mind when it comes to anything that I do.

Q: What are the most important things you learnt in college?
A: Time management!

Q: What’s next for your career?
A: Lots! I graduated four weeks ago and am moving to NYC in 2 days. Right now, I’m working on my upcoming collection in February which I’ll be releasing in NYC. The next step mainly is to get bigger and better!

Twitter: @ChristianCXMCS
Instagram: @CHRISTIANCOWAN
Facebook: www.facebook.com/christiancowansanluis/
Website: www.christiancowansanluis.com

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‘Inspired by Monet’s Water Lilies’: Eastpak x Ka Wa Key.

Another MA graduate from the prestigious RCA, menswear designer KA WA KEY blends tropes of East and West to explore the identity of Asian men. Complex, distressed textures in pastels over silhouettes inspired by traditional Asian designs blur and challenge boundaries. Key was a finalist at the H&M Design Award 2016 and showed his latest collection at LCM.

Q: What were your inspirations behind your final creation?
A: Monet’s paintings. They are so romantic and beautiful so I manipulated the Eastpak into a work of impressionism. The textures of the outer surface are modified to resemble the paint strokes of Monet’s Water Lilies.

Q: What technical processes did you use?
A: In my work, I hand create my own fabrics. For the Eastpak bag, I made the fabric with embroidery and transfer printing, and then used that fabric to replace the cut out parts of the original bag.

Q: Who can you see carrying your bag?
A: My artistic neighbours in Hackney

Q: Have you ever owned an Eastpak Pak’r?
A: Yes. I had a classic black backpack that my mum had bought it for me when I was little to carry things to swimming lessons.

Q: What do fashion, creativity and design mean for you?
A: They are the expression of my own identity.

Q: Which themes do you find yourself returning to again?
A: I always look at the boys in Ryan McGinley’s photography work when I design.

Q: What are the most important things you learnt in college?
A: Be true to myself and take risks.

Q: If you could head up one fashion label now, which one would it be?
A: Issey Miyake. I love the contemporary romanticism and innovation of their designs.

Q: What’s the next step for your career?
A: Building up my next collection and collaborations with various artists, choreographers and photographers.

Instagram: @kawakey
Website: http://kawakey.com/

SEE THE FULL SHOOT AT THIIIRDMAGAZINE.CO.UK

Photographer: Tom Andrew
Stylist: Rhona Ezuma
Make up: Lauren Reynolds
Nails: Megumi Natsumi
Hair: Natsumie Biko