Posted on February 16, 2015
Hatched from the mind of Rebecca Dracup and designed by the hands of Angela Parker, Rana offers a range of ethically made office wear (although I reckon that skirt pictured would be pretty amazing on any day really!).
When Rebecca graduated from uni and started working as a sustainability engineer, she did what we all do and went out in search of a new office-worthy wardrobe. What she found was a hole in the market, a lack of shops and designers selling workwear which was openly ethically and/or sustainably produced. Not to be deterred, she began contacting companies to see if she could at least find out if they could provide her with information regarding the source of their clothing but was met with unclear answers or, in some cases, unreassuring silence. And when most of us would probably throw our hands up in the air and give up, Rebecca decided that this was just not good enough – and she dreamed up her own company.
Enter fashion graduate, Angie, the designer with the know-how and eye to create the fashionable yet socially-conscious clothing range. They met up for the first time less than a year ago and made Rana Clothing come to life.
Rana takes its name from the Rana Plaza, a building in Bangladesh that housed thousands of garment workers that make clothing for what is termed the “fast fashion” industry, that is, where most of our clothing comes from at present. This poorly maintained complex collapsed in 2013, killing more than a thousand workers and injuring thousands more. Spurred on by this image and as a reminder of the unjustly poor conditions many individuals work under, Angie travelled to Sri Lanka in search of fabrics and suitable makers.
After many weeks of exploring, questioning and site-visiting, Angie found a number of local craftspeople who welcomed Rana Clothing’s support and fit the mould in terms of transparency and providing gainful employment to workers in a safe and comfortable environment. Excitingly, Rana’s first collection will showcase garments made from locally made handloom materials (a traditional artisan technique!) by a small garment company just out of Colombo, Maya Dress Designers.
Think this is an admirable achievement? Angie and Rebecca have also connected with a number of local Sri Lankan designers whose clothing they will sell alongside Rana’s collections, one of whom creatively uses the excess fabric from larger companies’ projects that would normally go completely to waste. Also, next in the pipeline is sourcing organically farmed cotton which may see Angie travelling to India to get to the heart of its production. If this is the way things are going, I’m so excited to see what is in store and will wholeheartedly get behind these guys.
Rana Clothing have just launched their crowdfunding campaign here. Environmentally and socially conscious shopping? Designers that care and know who make their garments? This is where we’re heading people, let’s make it the requisite and the everyday, not the exception.
Photos courtesy of Rana Clothing by Daniel Hunt
Special shout out to Juanita’s Wine & Tapas Bar for providing such a lovely backdrop for the models
Posted on December 10, 2014
Many of you may know that one day in the near (or more likely far) future we dream of renovating our own beloved California bungalow, so we’re always on the lookout for fresh new ideas of how to do it right. We’d love to do something that adds clean, light-filled and modern open spaces to our home which we adore but has some spaces that are admittedly pokey. So rather than stalking homes vicariously over Pinterest or Instagram, Open House Perth gave us the opportunity to walk through and experience a real life innovative renovation.
This home, by Mountford Architects, is a great example of a creative marriage of old and new. By adding a corridor to the side of the existing home, the space is opened up without having to bash and crash through old existing walls. We both also really love the way that the corridor not only is a functional component, but is also a personal gallery of sorts for the family that lives there.
The best part of this home? It could be yours! It is still for sale at present but chances are it won’t be for long.
Paddington St Residence, by Mountford Architects
Posted on December 5, 2014
Now it’s no secret that Darlings Supper Club received some rather scathing reviews when they first opened earlier this year, particularly regarding the food. But rather than run and cry in the corner, they took this feedback as constructive criticism, hired some brand new muscle in the kitchen, and have recently jumped back up with a revamped menu. The theme is still Asian fusion and the 6pm to 3am opening times mean you can get your dumplings and sake cocktails way into the night.
The fit-out is undeniably dark and sexy, and has quite a cosy but cool small bar feel. It looks so good that I can’t even remember what used to be here on this Lake Street stretch before, and I kinda don’t even care! There are lists upon lists of sakes, spirits, wines, beers and cocktails and they even do a mean teh tarik for those looking for a non-alcoholic beverage.
So let’s be honest here. It’s very difficult to please an Asian person with fusion Asian food. Aaaaand…I think they do it pretty well. There is certainly immense attention to detail paid to every dish that we saw come out and, rather than trying to copy well-known Asian dishes, new flavours are explored and fresh, local ingredients are utilised, helping the dishes taste fresh and interesting to the palate. Personal favourites? The Rottnest scallops with coriander pistou and most definitely the beef cheek with red cabbage marmalade, braised to sticky, fall-aparty perfection.
I didn’t manage to try any dumplings at this visit, and I major in dumplings, just ask my mum. That, my dears, will be a punishingly difficult test to pass. But with completely untraditional fillings offered such as triple peppered kangaroo or sticky pork with tamarind, I think I just might be returning to this cool and rejuvenated corner of Northbridge for a midnight snack and tipple.
Posted on December 1, 2014
I’ve long been an ardent admirer of the marvellously and perfectly undone floral arrangements created by Rebecca from Fox & Rabbit. I’ve even had the pleasure of attending one of her workshops and seeing her in full flight. Like many wondrously creative people, she seems to ponder for a little while, then after finding that sparkle of inspiration, makes a few quick deft movements, maybe a couple of little revisions, then steps back to reveal a work of sheer delight, equal parts beauty, wildness and artful precision. Talents like these are few and far between.
Lately, I’d also been hearing murmurings of a new letterpress company, Type Hype, and seen some great work around, such as at the Kinfolk gathering earlier in May this year. The independent little company is run by Daniel and specialises in bespoke wedding and personalised stationery, and now also sports a smattering of impressively cool greeting cards that say heartfelt things like, “Rain or shine I will love you” and “Hola muchacho”!
Now what’s even cooler is that Dan and Bec are actually married to each other and share a workspace in Leederville on the Oxford Street stretch! Imagine how creative their kids are gonna be! They’ll be all-singing, all-dancing, all-letterpressing! On Friday night, we had great fun celebrating their studio’s first birthday and got to meet Dan’s new (but over 100 year old) letterpress machine. Admittedly, they currently have a love-hate relationship after Dan’s arduous six month-long restoration of the machine, but there’s no denying she’s a real beauty.
Much love and best wishes to the cute-as pair! We’re watching with bated breath to see what you come up with next and know it will be truly splendid.
Posted on November 25, 2014
Music concerts and gigs have always been more my thing rather than theatre and dance, but I’ve always wanted a glimpse inside the glamorous yet dignified State Theatre Centre that opened in 2011 and spearheaded the wave of more innovative, daring and intentional public architecture in Perth. I remember thinking I’d never seen anything like it around young P-town, and could never resist dancing on all silly-like on the colourful lights near the main entrance (who else has pretended they were Tom Hanks from the movie BIG? Y’all own up now…).
I’ve always been inexplicably attracted to the warm shine of the suspended bronze tubes, set against and softened by the natural tones of Tasmanian blackwood panels. The perfect pairing of metal and timber is then drawn together by frames of austere black that offer an air of solemnity. I love how this structure inspires awe and delights the eye without losing its sense of purpose or dignity, or ever going “over the top”.
It’s no wonder that Kerry Hill Architects won the chance to build their incredible design over a group of 40 entrants from all over the world. The impressive and universally loved theatre centre is home to the 575 seat Heath Ledger Theatre, and also contains a number of smaller, flexible performance and rehearsal spaces. Two local theatre companies, Black Swan State Theatre Company and the Perth Theatre Company, are lucky enough to call this space theirs, with shows opening year round.
Find the list of performances here. I can’t wait to take a seat in the Heath Ledger Theatre someday soon.
Every Friday this November and December, RTRFM are taking over the Courtyard space and broadcasting their show live, followed by sets from some of Perth’s best music acts. Entry is free and there’s even a pop-up bar! What’s not to love?
Posted on November 20, 2014
I don’t know if it’s because I’m on a run of night shifts this week or because I’ve been at the end of some unduly hurtful words that have been going round my mind, like a broken record of negativity, but lately my heart has been longing for release and relief. Time has continued to pass since the time I lost a dear loved one, and it’s true when they say you go through hills and valleys on the road to healing.
Right now, I’m longing for sunshine, unconditional love, and hope.
Posted on November 18, 2014
The first destination we visited for Open House Perth was this amazingly well designed house by Mountford Architects. Located in a semi-industrial area of Maylands, this home maximises its space by utilising a simple, elegant design which allows cross ventilation and easy access to the garden. The widespread use of louvred windows allows light and breeze to permeate the house (and also form cool-looking rainbow reflections on the walls!). There is a single pitched roof over the home which causes hot air to rise to the top of the house, where it is vented through an open window, thereby cooling the house. In addition the house enhances its environmental credentials with solar panels and a grey water system for the garden (definitely something to think about for our place!).
The design of the garden worked in cohesion with the design of the house – a testament to the teamwork of the landscape gardener and architect. We both really liked the clean lines and the considered nature of this house, and the way that the productive garden was located so close. There were lots of good ideas to take away from this one!
Sussex St by Mountford Architects
Posted on November 14, 2014
Posted on November 10, 2014
We were like two kids in a candy shop, gleefully and excitedly buzzing around our great city during the two days over which Open House Perth was held. Over 70 places opened their doors and welcomed in the general public, allowing us access to magnificent vistas of the city, into the workspaces of local creatives, and into a number of architecturally-designed private residences. Venues ranged from brand-spanking new to heritage-listed, and all were interesting and inspiring in their own ways. We also learnt a fair bit about Perth’s history just by touring certain places such as the 108 St Georges Terrace (previously Bankwest Tower), Council House and Moana Chambers (a ballroom back in its heyday!).
We got 16 places ticked off our hit-list and, though there’ll be plenty more blog posts to come showcasing the great hidden and not-so-hidden spaces around Perth, here is our highlight reel.
Casa 31_4 Room House
View upwards on St Georges Terrace
Moana Chambers/Moana Coffee
108 St Georges Terrace
Another corner of Paddington St
Dapper Jack/Studio Bomba/On A Whim
108 St Georges Terrace lobby and view from 50th floor
Geyer Studios (Atlas Building)
State Theatre Centre
Posted on November 6, 2014
The other day we wandered down to the latest coffee-spot to spring up in our neighbourhood, Hylin. This place has one of those “instant-favourite” vibes about it which stems from the perfect fusion of deliberate design and great caffeine. The feel of the (small) converted warehouse space is open and airy, yet invitingly intimate. I love the lush greenery inside the shop and the gently swaying leaves outside through the large open window. And did I mention the hand lettered wall? I’m such a sucker for hand-lettering!
I’m told on good authority that there are further exciting plans for this cool joint so definitely keep your eyes peeled!
Hylin West Leederville / 178 Railway Pde, Perth / Open Mon-Sat 6.30am-3.00pm