There is a special turning point in every mother-daughter relationship where teenage dramas and dilemmas are replaced by a strong bond that surpasses all friendships. When this personal relationship turns into a working one, it is often testing… yet always fruitful!
When I first saw the Louella Odié collection, I immediately knew that the designer loved the outdoors and most of all, loved Hong Kong! Hand sketches and prints of the cityscape, boats, sails and fish adorned the totes and scarves in light blue, red and grey shades resulting in a wearable and light-hearted accessories range.
The artist behind these cross-cultural pieces is Karen Mead, a trained print-maker with a BA in Fine Art. Her style and designs pay homage to her childhood and experiences in Asia, while the practical nature of her totes ensure that you are ready for a wander down city streets or to set sail aboard a junk. Her daughter Lauren, an avid trail runner and sailor, is the marketing mastermind behind the launch, ensuring that Louella Odié is a relevant brand with a price point that slots in nicely between the extreme highs and lows of the Hong Kong fashion marketplace.
Karen has clearly passed down her good genes and love of fashion and art to Lauren, who spearheaded the marketing launch for Jack Wills in Hong Kong (check out her Sassy That Girl interview here!). The duo finish off each others’ sentences and have an optimistic air about them… in fact they even look alike with their blonde sun-kissed hair and long limbs!
So what are the standout pieces? This men’s Shark Silk Pocket Square ($300) that doubles as a shark-emblazoned twilly or hair scarf is a delight, and some of the more structured sacs ensure that formal occasions are not forgotten. This Skyline Hand Bag ($1950) even doubles as a map… just in case you get lost amidst the lofty skyscrapers that surround us!
My personal favorite is the aptly named Sailing Boat Bag ($1250), a tote that is sure to become a ‘go-to bag’ with its faux vachetta details and nautical navy prints. The convenient pockets make sure you’ll never be rooting around for your keys and it is sure to be an item that will get better with age.
My favourite factor about this new brand is that it is completely organic, and is a real representation of the designer and the lifestyle Karen leads. Who would have thought that a love of nature and the fantastic outdoors Hong Kong lifestyle would lead to a fashion label?! It just shows that inspiration is everywhere… you just have to look!
Louella Odié is available to buy online at www.louellaodie.com