Well it's finally official, the Desert Gypsy collection is out now and available online! Made in a bohemian luxe style, the collection features Gemstone Pouch Necklaces, Chevron Tribal Feather Earrings, Petite Dreamcatchers and Triangle Coin Pouches made using salvaged leather offcuts.
I thought I'd share the story and the inspiration behind the creation of this collection, which actually began some years ago during my travels to Egypt and South America.
My intention was to bring together my love of the exotic and ancient cultures with a newfound obsession for leather. I drew inspiration from the many far flung places I have visited (both on terra firma and those in my dreams), as well as designers such as Camila and LaLesso.
It was also important for me to know who I was creating for. Emerging from a landscape of blazing sun and blue sky, the Desert Gypsy girl was born – a traveler and an eco warrior, strong of mind and free in spirit.
Previously, I had spent four months backpacking solo through South America, carrying my belongings with me in one bag. This experience taught me such strength and independence, which were attributes I wanted the Desert Gypsy girl to have as well. And so I loved the idea of creating a tiny leather pouch to hold precious keepsakes that you can carry with you where ever you go. I also didn't have much room for souvenirs but what I did love buying were earrings! I have a pair from almost every country I visited as a reminder of my travels.
I also spent some time while I was staying with an indigenous tribe in Ecuador learning how to make string and beads from plants to create jewellery. On one of my last days in South America, I bought a fantastic six strand necklace made from rainforest beads, bone and other treasures. I was devasted when I couldn't bring it with me through customs and so I cut it up and salvaged what I could. When I got home I remade the necklace using the parts I had salvaged and others I had at home. I still have that necklace and it actually features in some of the shots from the Desert Gypsy photo shoot.
Using leather was a key element running through the entire collection. What attracted me to leather was firstly that it is a natural material, and it therefore felt more like getting back to the essence of what people once wore in ancient times. It also has many fantastic properties – it's light, strong, durable and flexible – all really practical attributes that any Desert Gypsy would value, over and above its aesthetic qualities. The final deciding factor was that I had a large supplier of salvaged offcuts in the form of Reverse Garbage, so sourcing materials would not be a problem.
I knew that the photo shoot had to embody the landscape from which our Desert Gypsy had emerged. But where to find a desert in the middle of Brisbane city? Luckily I remembered the fantastic desert scene at the Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens, which became our location for the entire shoot. A big thank you to my darling sister for being my Desert Gypsy, and braving the heat and the cactus spines!
I feel truly proud to be able to share with you my collection. While this journey may have come to an end, I feel a new path just beginning.