After working at Alexander McQueen, Swiss designer, London based Arlette Ess decided to start her own accessories label. She creates prints and products that stand out because of their intellectual elegance. Like the scarf you see above, a beautiful piece called ‘sleeping dogs’, that reminded me somehow of Escher’s paintings. So when I learned a bit more about the history behind the print, I wasn’t surprised to know that Ess is inspired by the works of Jung and the idea of a collective cultural identity. Particularly this design is inspired and influenced by various experiences and mythologies.
The actual drawings are derived from very different dogs: street dogs encountered on travels, beloved pets of friends, or unknown darlings on the web. But all the dog drawings have a bit of their own identity, never intended to be a mere copy of an animal I met or saw on a picture. Dogs enjoy a rich mythological history. The dog has long been viewed as a liaison between the physical and non-physical dimensions. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Celts and Aztecs all have prescribed the dog as a sacred guardian of the Otherworlds.
Besides this powerful association with death and transition, as a symbol the dog often stands for loyalty, friendship, guardianship, protection and communication.
Arlette Ess aims with her designs to dress you with a cherish adornment. An accessory is a very personal object, she says, to which we can relate to with our own experiences and dreams. Emotion and reason are intertwined in her designs.
The scarfs themself are stunning, in amazing silk quality, made with lots of attention to detail in the UK. After talking to her last weekend, I left wanting to know more about those dreams and ‘emotional landscapes’, something that often happens when you talk to someone that is passionate about what they do. More of her designs can be found on her website.
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