Company of Strangers: Just the strangers you want to meet!
So, we’ve always been told never to speak to strangers, but after we stumbled across Company of Strangers here at The Upcoming, we think it would be acceptable on this one occasion! Formed in 2008 by Sara Aspinall, Company of Strangers is a New Zealand-based fashion label full of everything we love. Alongside her two members of staff, Sara and the team work collaboratively, organising and designing four collections every season to provide us with a truly delightful and unique display of overseas fashion.
After leaving a New Zealand fashion house for a career in photography, Sara panicked, realising it really wasn’t for her. She started making jewellery from objects that she found and put them on chains, as well as making oversized bags from vintage leather jackets. After a few stores contacted her for orders, Company of Strangers was born and has been getting bigger and better with every collection.
The clothes that are featured in the Company of Strangers pieces are designed for being comfortable and having fun. When the girls have ideas for their collections, they ensure they are making for a variety of people and reinforce that their clothing is exciting to wear.
Taking art as their main source of inspiration, the girls ensure that their clothes are full of personality and colour. Sara wanted to make sure that the garments they create are playful and stress free. As a result of this a lot of the clothes have multiple wearing purposes. Dresses have additional buttoning to be worn as tops and can be twisted around the body for different styles. Silks, cottons and wools are apparent throughout the collections, all complementing the use of a vibrant colour palette.
Other sources of inspiration come from people on the street to found objects. Music plays a huge part of their design process too. Every season, the girls begin the mainline range by taking an artist or musician that inspires them. The winter 2012 collection, Numero Sept, was based upon the colour palette of Jean Debuffet. Summer 12/13 has taken a collection of people that visited the Hotel Chelsea in New York. These include Lou Reed, Patti Smith and Leonard Cohen. In addition to all of this, the girls also collaborate with Anne Mieke Ytsma for a jewellery range, giving all of the Company of Strangers pieces the perfect accessory fix.
The girls have just launched a new label called Strangelove that is aimed at a more accessible audience. The focus of the label is price point orientated, but hasn’t lost that exclusive New Zealand touch that makes it special. Clothing in its current collection is based around the female icon Blondie. Couldn’t get much better, right?
Get your dose of New Zealand fashion here.
Photos: Corutesy of Company of Strangers