Bill Amberg ‘Functional Luxury’ exhibition

Leather accessories have always fascinated me. Whether it’s the luxurious feel of soft leather or the immaculate finish of a polished structured piece, I’m always amazed by what designers can do with this versatile material.

Working at London College of Fashion has given me an insight into the processes and techniques that can be employed, and students on the BA (Hons) Cordwainers Fashion Bags and Accessories course never cease to amaze me with their creativity in applying these skills. Once of the projects they have been working on recently is ‘Functional Luxury’ Design Project in collaboration with luxury leather goods designer Bill Amberg.

The finalists with Bill AmbergThe finalists not only came up with some stunning designs, but they chose some unusual products to work on too. Much as I love bags, I think the topiary shears and picnic bag are excellent choices for luxury leather products! If you’re interested in seeing the designs up close and personal, selected works from the project will be exhibited at the Queen’s Park Design District during the London Design Festival. Here’s an excerpt from the press release, which gives a bit more information about the project and the finalists (see left, with Bill Amberg):

The project asked students to respond to the brief of ‘Functional Luxury’. The students explored, researched and developed products inspired by the Bill Amberg brand. Students interrogated Bill Amberg’s use of leather and other materials and investigated craft skills such as weaving, plaiting, strapping, tying, bonding with some rediscovering a traditional technique or finding a new technological innovation. Six finalists were chosen from the project and their work will be shown in Bill Amberg’s Studio on 20th September. The six finalists and their work are:

  • Louise De Groote – Topiary shears and case
  • Ayobami Oyefeso – Pyramid shaped bag
  • Sola Dong – Futuristic cigar box inspired by Fritz Lang’s Metropolis
  • Jasmine Taylor – Chesterfield studded picnic bag
  • Reike Kamasaki – Stingray and beaded watch pouch
  • Sachan Popo Williams – Serviette and coaster table top container

The finalists’ work is available to view on Saturday 20th September 2014 from 11am-6pm at the Bill Amberg Studio, 2 Lonsdale Road, London NW6 6RD.

Images by Lindsey Riley, Course Leader for BA (Hons) Fashion Bags & Accessories: Design and Innovation at London College of Fashion.