House of Quinn

be free, be yourself, be equal

Contemporary Craft

Julius ArthurComment

As a maker or craftsmen (person) the world of contemporary craft is a diverse and wonderful industry. Traditionally spanning wood, metal, fibre, glass and ceramic the nu maker in the modern age is looking to diversify and broaden the horizons of contemporary crafts.

A melting pot of traditional techniques and new wave approaches to making. We are discovering a new world for the crafts industry, a world away from chintz bunting. 

The hand made provides quality, luxury and an appeal that only handmade can provide. This mixed with the new vanguard of makers means that finding individuality in your surrounding and the objects you choose to live your life around, and with have become once again an interesting proposition for the homemakers amongst us.  

We have put together a short list of the best in contemporary craft events, showcasing the world of contemporary craft and great design. 

DIY Art Market 

"DIYAM started as a pop-up art fair the summer of 2014 in Hackney, London, and has quickly grown to a bi-monthly event, at multiple venues, that has to date, showcased over 500 artists, and independent publishers.

DIYAM functions as an affordable space for a diverse group of artists, designers, collectives, and publishers, to exhibit/sell their artwork, engage with the public, and share experiences, opportunities."

Find out more here / DIY Art Market

DIY Art Market Instagram 

DIY Art Market Instagram 

London Craft Week

"London Craft Week takes up residence in the capital early each May. This annual event showcases the very best international and British creativity and craftsmanship through a ‘beyond luxury’ journey-of-discovery."

Find out more here / London Craft Week 

Our house | A home for All - Selfridges 

"Drawing on the creative spirit of The New Craftsmen and its makers, ‘A Home For All’ is themed around a series of domestic rituals – Rest, Gather, Play and Cleanse.

Whether making sourdough bread around the table or slumbering in haystacks – craft, atmosphere and materiality combine with physical activity, encouraging a sense of community, discussion, play and imagination."

Find out more here / A Home For All

Berlin trip

Julius ArthurComment

Last month I went on a little trip to visit on of my favourite people in what is becoming one of my favourite cities, Berlin. 

For a long time now, Berlin has become an artist and creative get away with many people making the move and getting stuck into the Berlin way of life. 

Every time I visit I understand more and more the magnetic attraction to the city. It pulls you in and you feel like you can be yourself and experience and absorb everything about it, from amazing nightlife to food and the people. Small independent business's really making a name for themselves. It is an exciting place to be. Most have probably visited, but if not I really recommend going, getting off the beaten path and enjoying the less touristy side of the city. 

One of my recommendations and new favourite Berlin hotspots is Hallesches Haus. Tucked away in Tempelhofer, Hallesches Haus General Store & lunchroom is buzzing. My friend Jen introduced me to this place on my visit and it was perfect. 


A beautiful open space, highlighted with a plethora of botanical accents against a tranquil, muted colour pallet, Hallesches Haus offers one of the best brunch and lunch menus in the city. Simple but beautifully tasty food provided by local purveyors. Seasonal and Organic is the main agenda here and it is done so well. Independent coffee provided by Blaue Bohnen Coffee Roasters as well as a selection of light bites, pastries and drinks. 


But that is not all, It keeps on giving. Host to not only the lunchrooms, Hallesches Haus is also a general store. A trend which originates from the costs of California, they provide a one-stop shop for your home, clothing and beauty needs. A curated selection of products that add that extra special note to your day, that little treat that sometimes just makes life a little easier and puts a smile on your face. 


You can find more about Hallesches Haus below in the links. 

Photo from Hallesches Haus Instagram

New Brighton Stockist

Julius ArthurComment
Image from Tidy Street General Store Instagram

Image from Tidy Street General Store Instagram

We are proud to be able to say that as of January we now have HoQ Quilts stocked at Tidy Street General Store in Brighton. 

You can find the amazing shop at 102 Gloucester Road, Brighton, BN1 4AP. 

Opened in 2016, Florence Dixon has put together an exciting new shop with an emphasis on modern craft. A curated selection of homewares, clothing and accessories. Tidy Street General store is a great destination for those looking for something unique, well made and individual for either your home or to wear. 

Find out more here


What's new for 2017

Julius ArthurComment

Well, we are getting knees deep into January 2017 now and we kicked off the year to a good start. 

As you know. House of Quinn has been slowly but surely expanding. We have taken on some new local makers into the store, we are looking to work with some amazing people in the coming months and we are also excited about some new products that will be dropping as the season progresses. 

But overall 2017 is going to be a year of motivation, moving forward and trying new things. We have set ourselves some goals and plugged in some time to really getting going with the creative ideas that have been buzzing around the studio. 

These are my three top goals for 2017 - 

  • Make and create more
  • Visit new places and discover new things
  • Enjoy life to the full 

As each month goes on I will keep updating you guys with what is going on, plans, developments, products and new blog posts. But I also really want to know what you guys are up too, so do drop us a line and let us know if you have any exciting plans, ideas for the shop or for the blog. Products you would like to see, or ideas for collaborations. 

We love hearing from the followers, readers and customers so do say hello! 



House of Quinn x Merlin & Ellis - Brighton Stockist

Julius ArthurComment
Ellis Collins - Store Owner at Merlin & Ellis 

Ellis Collins - Store Owner at Merlin & Ellis 

Brighton is a wonderful city to live and work in. I find myself coming across new things and new places to visit all the time. Merlin & Ellis is a one of those places and once you have found it you will not be letting go of it. 

Located at 9 Manchester Street, in Brighton's Queer district. Merlin & Ellis sits in a small side street running down to the sea front. The outside of the store is festooned with potted plants and colourful flowers. 

Ellis Collins has been a Sussex resident for most of his life, after moving away from London. His store is a haven for the wonderful and creative community in the city. With no end of visitors, Merlin & Ellis is not only a clothes store, but host to a small queer book shop as well as locally sourced and produced beauty products, art work and homeware. 

Flanked on either side of the store and filling every available space are rare and vintage designer pieces. Collaged together with local artists and designers, every where you look there is something to catch your eye. 


I met Ellis in the store a few weeks back, his beautiful dogs sat at our feet patiently as we spoke about the city and the shop. House of Quinn is all about working together and to collaborate to create new and interesting outcomes. 

Fashion and the way we shop sometimes get lost in the constant hum of the digital age. We don't go out and find things, make discoveries and try new things. But House of Quinn believes, as a brand that this is so important. Creating destinations, collaborations and exciting opportunities in the way we dress and how we go about it. 

Independence in style, as well as independence a a creator, designer and retailer. Merlin & Ellis shares in this ethos. 

I am really proud to say that we now stock exclusive lines, and individually crafted garments and accessories at Merlin & Ellis. 

Each item has been hand made in the studio. Put together from concept to final piece and every single item thought through and considered. 


It has been finished inside with a shoulder lining and bound inside seams. 


House of Quinn Shirt Jacket

Exclusive one off piece for Merlin & Ellis. 

Hand made in the Studio, the Shirt Jacket is inspired by traditional Japanese shapes merged with simple workwear. 

This item is a one off piece, made from a cotton canvas, and hand painted. 


House of Quinn Shirt Jacket 

This version of the shirt jacket combines renewed traditional dutch textiles, with cotton patches to create a graphic, quilt like collage across the garments. 

Easy to wear, and adds a contrasting layer to your brighten up your outfit.  


Exclusive to Merlin & Ellis Brighton and available in store. 

For all enquires please contact House of Quinn at 

Merlin & Ellis  - 9 Manchester St, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 1T

Let us know if you enjoyed this post by giving us a "like" below or follow us on Facebook to get more updates from House of Quinn. 

House of Quinn's top style picks

Julius ArthurComment

I am always trawling through the word wide web for personal style ideas, inspiration and new finds. HoQ has put together a collection of fashion and lifestyle influencers that I always go to for some good ideas and great content. I wanted to share these great people with you, so I have picked 5 from my list of wonderful people to know. 


BoyinBreton -

Michael offers a really great, simple and manageable edit of menswear and mens style. With an experienced background in design and fashion retail, Boy in Breton knows what his readers want. Boy In Breton covers all the best menswear basic across all platforms, male grooming, fashion and lifestyle. Showing key pieces for the season that are accessible and honest. Straight to the point content for a  good menswear fix. 

instagram / Facebook / Twitter


Cool Gear Cavalier -

Kosta Karakashyan is an all rounder in the creative journalistic world of men's fashion and lifestyle. Cool Gear Cavalier is a great mix of personal style features as well as personal commentary on Kosta personal world of dance and lifestyle. A diary of discovery, travel, grooming, art and style and a joy to read. 

Instagram / Facebook / Twitter 


Oliver Hooson - Instagram

Oliver Hooson's instagram is one of my personal favourites, I have set up all notification updates and google alerts on articles and posts from Oliver. An edited and considered approach to simple style statements, Oliver has put together a really wearable but also very modern look. I find the aesthetic really satisfying and a good place to begin if you are looking for an approachable "in" to men's style. Also lots of Brighton style inspiration, hot spots and tips. 


Luke Batchelor - The Interiors Lab

I am an absolute antique, market, car boot, thrift enthusiast. Borderline hoarder with an eclectic taste. So I try to reign it in by seeking out an edited eye. Luke Batchelor, a young Antiques and Interiors professional presents the most gorgeous interiors edit out there. He just knows style, from the opulent to minimal shaker influences. Luke is the man in the know. We strongly suggest getting your interior game strong, and any home can have style. from flat to mansion we all love to be surrounded by beautiful things. 


Alexis Foreman -  Style Memos

Alexis Foreman runs the Style Memos blog and is womenswear focused, but as a lifestyle influencer her aesthetic is flawless. Alexis approach to dressing is something that I really feel needs to cross over into menswear. With a wonderful edited collection of beautiful clothes and accessories Alexis's style is a mix of clean minimalisim and classic shapes with bold colours and a really good eye for colour blocking. Style memos is 100% one of the best style blogs out there and especially in the Local area of Brighton and Hove. 

May Day Celebrations in Brighton

Julius ArthurComment

Happy May! 

Over the Bank Holiday weekend, we fell in to May with an almighty crash, the weather was beautiful and spirits were high in Brighton. 

To bring in the May Day festivities the Morris Men of Brighton treated us to their annual Morris dance to celebrate the first sun of Summer. 

We went out and about to capture this wonderful tradition in the streets of Brighton. 

QUEER DEFIANCE - HoQ Collaborates with young Brighton creatives

Julius ArthurComment

Poetry Club is the brain child of Jason Barnes, hosted by the wonderful Marwood Coffee Shop on Ship street, Brighton. The event has been going strong since it’s conception and now in its fourth month, the event attracts a huge, diverse following of attendees.

It is a non-judgmental space to share and discuss the poetry tied to a monthly theme. Working with subjects such as mental health, protest or the musings of individual poets. 

This month Queer Defiance is the subject of Poetry Club and I was offered the chance to collaborate with the organiser and founder of the event Jason Barnes. 

House of Quinn managed to steal a few precious moments with Jason just before the event to ask him a bit more about Poetry Club and what Queer Defiance means to him. 

Q: How did you end up in Brighton?

A: I moved to brighton in 2011 to study a masters at Sussex uni. I Work in child protection social work since graduating. 

Q: What is Poetry Club?

A: Poetry club is for poetry lovers and doubters. It's most especially for those who thought (wrongly) that poetry was out of their grasp because they weren't intellectual or intelligent enough. The key aim of poetry club is to demonstrate that poetry speaks of our everyday struggles and is accessible to us as our love for lyrics. I was drawn to poetry by its power to unify people and movements. Poetry is a powerful vehicle for change and revolution.

Q: How did you come around to starting Poetry Club and why?

A: I was scared to start poetry club because I was worried that it would be perceived as something snooty or stuffy. However, the club has taken on a life of its own because people have connected with the themes we've covered such as protest, oppression , mental health and queer rights.

Q: This month’s subject is Queer Defiance. What does Queer Defiance mean to you?

A: Queer defiance to me is saying proudly at family functions, 'No I don't have a girlfriend because I'm gay.' Queer defiance to me is holding hands with the person I love without worrying that it might make our heteronormative society uncomfortable or ill-at-ease.Queer defiance is celebrating being gay, not trying to blend in or be something that I'm not.

The subject of Queer defiance is something that is close to my heart. The importance of equal rights for everyone and not only the Queer community. I really wanted to take this opportunity to get involved in an event that is a celebration and reflection on the actions and activist of the queer community. Through history and up to the present day, we are still fighting. 


In celebration of this, and in collaboration with Poetry Club Brighton, I have created a series of recreation, equal rights banners from historical and recent pride and queer rights events from all over the world. In remembrance and solidarity, to reflect and look forward. To insight and remind people that we are still fighting. That people are being prosecuted, victimised and abused. Misunderstood, unheard and pushed to the side lines. We stand up, we fight and we are proud. 

The series of eleven banners and posters by no means covers the huge numbers of amazing people, protests and historical activism. But hopefully the body of work will be on going. Created from recycled and reused materials. The banners are a visual display of taking the time to listen and to get involved in anyway we can. 

If you want to know more about Poetry Club, or pop down and attend you can find the facebook group here or have a look at the Queer Definace poetry event here.

You can also find out more about Marwood Coffee Shop here:

HoQ : Brighton Festival 2016

Julius ArthurComment

It's here. The Brighton Festival line up has been announced for 2016, 50th year of the amazing Brighton Festival. Guest Curated by cultural figures throughout art, literature, dance and renowned for brilliant and exciting events through out the city. 

This year the festival is curated by guest director Laurie Anderson, one of America's creative pioneers. 

We have put together our top picks for this years Brighton Festival. Must see events and amazing free shows throughout the city. 

Laura Mvula

Monday 23rd May 8pm - Brighton Theater

One of the most distinctive musical talents to come out of the UK in recent years, Laura Mvula is a one-woman symphony, whose classical training flourishes in songwriting that fuses orchestral soul with poetic lyricism.

Blackouts: Twilight of the Idols

Monday 16th May 2pm - Brighton Done Studio Theatre 

In Blackouts: Twilight of the Idols ‘Drag fabulist’ Dickie Beau conjures the spirits of celebrated Hollywood icons, leading audiences on a bewitching adventure as he channels the ghosts of his childhood idols.
Copyright of Paul Blakemore 

Copyright of Paul Blakemore 


Sat 7 – Sun 29 May, 12pm – 7pm - Fabrica Gallery - FREE 

Luminary is a series of beautiful LED light-drawings at locations across the city by respected British artist Ron Haselden. They range in scale from the monumental, presented as a walk-through installation at Fabrica, to the intimate, shining out from homes in several of the city’s neighbourhoods.

Clairière Urbaine

Sat 21 May, 3pm & 6pm - Lavender Street, Kemptown - FREE

Beth Orton

Fri 27 & Sat 28 May, 8pm - Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts

Beth Orton returns to the UK for two shows at Brighton Festival premiering highly anticipated new material exploring her electronic roots. Orton has been one of the country’s most unique and beguiling voices in contemporary music for the past two decades. On her debut LP Trailer Park, Orton pioneered the synthesis of electronic beats and acoustic songwriting.


Sat 28 & Sun 29 May - The Level - FREE
12pm – 7.45pm Durational performance
7.45pm The Closing

Overnight, a strange portal emerges in Brighton: a mysterious form has burst through the ground and an opening is visible at the top. Slowly, displaced people begin to emerge. Where do they go now? How do we respond to them?

These are the HoQ top picks for Brighton Festival 2016. Brighton Fringe will also be happening at the same time and many wonderful free and paid events will be taking place across the city. We 100% recomend you get involved and check it out. 

We will also be posting any updated, things we have seen, more recomendations and any exciting events that we thing you might like. 


HoQ : Artist - Jean-Michel Basquiat

Julius ArthurComment

I think I feel the same as many do about Jean-Michel Basquiat. 

An amazing person and such a sad moment in art, with the death of such a young creative. Echoing the ongoing and ever present struggle with creativity and consummerism. 

Jean-Michel Basquiat died at the age of 27 after a very fast move to the top of his game. Such a beautiful talent.  Jean-Michel is our HoQ artist of the month. 

You can watch "The Radiant Child" below, a full length documentary on Jean-Michel and his work. Also the film "Basquiat" featuring David Bowie. 

HoQ: Loves

Julius ArthurComment

These incredible ceramics created with music, were made possible by designer and innovator Oliver Van Herpt. 

The concept concieved by combining a digital ceramic printer and a speaker. The sounds and tones causing vibrations to the equirment, which in turn produced  detailed patterns inflicted upon the clay. 

The final outcomes are beautifully intricate ceramic objects. 

Images from 

HoQ: Fashions Future

Julius ArthurComment

We are about to go through an historic change in the fashion system. Cracks are forming and designers and fashion houses are trying to fix them before the walls come down. 

But is it for the better good, or is the industry panicking. Over the last few years the conversation about fashion and its old ways has been masticated by the fashion pack, chewed around and never swallowed. Until designers started saying "no more."

the leaders of the pack slowly bowed out as large houses put strain on creative minds. In the last few days the face of fashion shifted. Tectonic plates under the once glorious and lush fashion kingdom have awoken and slowly and surely the proverbial fashion planes are shifting and colliding. Uncertainty poring through the gaps and people running for hills. 

Burberry, Tom Ford and one of the most influential houses of the moment, Vetements have announced in the last few weeks that they will be showing mens and women's collections together. 

Burberry have announced they will be showcasing seasonless collections and that they also want to make the collections available to buy directly after the show, online and in store. 

In Burberrys case they are going to rename the shows to "February" and "September".

We want it now, the world has cried out, we cannot wait. The excitement of the shows dimmed by the time the collections reach the store six months after a presentation.  

In Vetements case, they want to show mens and womens in January and June. - Vetements - Vetements

Each house applying different rules and process that they feel will best work for them and their customers in these digital times. 

The BoF reported yesterday, 

"So, our view is that, going forward, there will not necessarily be a single operating model that the entire industry employs, but rather a variety of ways in which designers will address the question of how to connect and transact with consumers in the digital age. We could go from one way of doing business, to multiple ways, each catering to the different strategies, end customers and business goals of a given brand."  - Business of Fashion

 Why does this effect us, you might be asking yourself. 

Fashion is a hungry beast, one that is all consuming and leaves a nasty mess in its trail. Hurricane Mode, sucking up anything in its path. You might feel like you're in the land of Oz, but in actual fact you just have concussion and all that remains are those red bottomed Louboutins stuck to your feet. 

Canzas is looking like the safe place again. But can the fashion industry get back there? 

Production of collections will have to happen before a single customer/buyer has seen them. Predictions made on how well the sales of items no one has even had time to look at or consider. The impact on manufacture and consumption methods changing again. 

You will have the products at the time you want them, and then you can wear them for six months before you buy something new, which I do think is a good thing. We need to appreciate fashion more. 

But What does this mean for the menswear shows that have been so influential over the years. Merged with womens, does this mean the excitement and drive for innovation in menswear will be diluted? Are we moving to a more genderless fashion system?

Is this a progressive move to better how we interact and consume fashion? Or is this a desperate power struggle by houses looking to keep their place on the top spot? Time will tell. 

Not all fashion business can work to this format, many younger new designers do not have the funds or investment to cope with the turn around that fashion feels that it needs. I think that innovation within the fashion system should come from the bottom up, like many design talent does today. It is the role of new designers to rework the system and speak to the people, they are the influencers of today, the voices that make a difference to a generation. 

HoQ : Re:new

Julius ArthurComment
Re new.jpg


Representing conscious design, with a modern approach. Simple Style statements that each have a story. 

Our latest project from House of Quinn, Re:new;  explores the relationship between wearer and garment. It’s about getting deep down into our wants and needs and realising that style, taste and dressing is a personal exploration. We need to relinquish the heavy hand of fashion from suppressing our actual personalities. It beguiles us into consuming clothes and spitting them out rather than having a personal tie and results in copious amounts of waste.


Fashions spins so fast that we don't have the time to digest it and work out what we like. The next big thing comes round so quickly that I am not even sure what I miss in-between. There is no appreciation, no soul. If you sprint for longer than your body will allow you will inevitably become exhausted and burn out faster or over exert yourself and cause an injury. Fashion is running so fast it can’t even feel the pain in its legs, and when it realises it will be too late. I believe if it keeps running at this speed, it will be broken for life.


Re:new aims to showcase and represent a different approach. One that is about buying for long lasting love. Much like your favourite poem, album or book. These things will stay with your forever, you will always be reminded of them and love them in some way.


Re:new stands for regarding the new, a conversation about newness and from that conversation a renewed energy in how we think about fashion.


As a young fashion graduate, the emphasis was on creating a final collection. The antithesis for all fashion students and I think one of the main reasons I wanted to do the course in the beginning, even if I never made a fashion collection again.


Creating a collection at graduate level is a bizarre undertaking. You are trying to find your voice, showcase what you are all about in a transformative and fast paced industry, as well as trying to not be forgotten in the blink of your worst moment. Each year thousands of fashion graduates pour their heart, soul and finances into clothes that end up never being seen ever again. Stored in boxes or disposed of. Hours of hard work forgotten about.


I am also one of those people. My collector/hoarder mentality won’t let me throw anything away, so my collection of silk gowns has been sat in various closets and cupboards over the years as a homage to the time spent at university.


Well, no more I say. As a cleansing ritual and process of letting go, I want to transform and reinvented the collection. Turning elegant and dramatic gowns, into beautiful and luxurious wearable clothes that can be enjoyed, used and cherished.

You can see the full graduate project on my portfolio page here

The original inspiration for this collection was based around the construction of taxidermy. Looking at how the form of animals were created before applying the skin or pelt. The construction techniques used to create animal forms, the study of mammal and bird anatomy and how building taxidermy related to fashion. Wearing a skin and what went on beneath the outer layer.


It was a really great project to get lost in, but I have equally loved transforming it into items that I know would look just as amazing. The prints spring back to life it there renewed form, emphasising the drama and muted colours within the silk. 

Working with the original images, I cut them up and pasted them back together to create different print placements and arrangements. Using the beautiful lines and colours to readdress the use of the material. 


I worked with local maker Lindsey Newton, who works in Horsham, Sussex. From her home studio, she created each individual top and has reworked the silk into a beautiful garment for the House of Quinn.  

Not only was the print created with collaged elements, the garment construction was another level of collage. Building up the printed panels, coming together to add new dimensions to the print. 

The silk feels amazing against the skin drapes and moves with the body. The updated textiles have served the design well and this modern but simple approach to revisiting and renewing  textiles has been very satisfying all round.


The new top will hit the store this week. Limited edition prints, so we don’t have many. Unique and recycled simplicity. 

We created a short video of the garment to best show the movement and fit of new Anatomic Silk T-shirt, and you can watch it below or find us on Vimeo. 


Model - Jack Nugent 

Photography - Julius Arthur





HoQ : Loves

Julius ArthurComment

One of my main obsessions is ceramics, I cant get enough of beautifully made, new or old pottery. I prefer interesting stoneware and hand thrown over bone china, but as an art form it can be amazing. 

Very envious of ceramicist and potters. I attended a small event last month, hosted by PopUp Brighton . Where I came across Libby Ballard's work. 

A recent ceramics graduate from the University of Brighton. What I like about Libby's collections is the simplicity and feel of the work. The ceramics she makes are good solid and worthy items that are going to do the job, but also just bring a bit of life into everyday objects. 

Libby Ballard ceramics

I purchased one of her rings bowls or small bowls to start off with, but I would quite like a whole set of beautiful mugs. 

Libby Ballard mugs

Libby's ceramics are going to stand the test of time. Classic colours and beautiful shapes, great additions to my collection. 

Shop /

HoQ: Journey

DesignJulius ArthurComment

We have been doing a lot of work on House of Quinn. Developing a brand that feels more in-tune with today's modern outlook on fashion and a brand that has some personal resonance in its ethos. 

As customers, followers and readers of the House of Quinn and this blog,  the brands journey has been very public. Fashion brands  today mainly come at you with a very finished and definite message. But you have watched us evolve and have come on that journey with us. 

I hope that in doing so, it has maybe given some insight into what goes into creating collections, and garments and building a strong brand message. showing you a more personal side to HoQ. 

We want the brand to have a message, stand for something really important, but also to have some fun. We want the garments to be as beautiful and well made as they can possible be and we also want you as the customer, to be able to have some fun with the collections. 

Thank you for staying with us, showing your support and giving us your feedback. We are excited for the new chapters for House of Quinn. 


HoQ: Sentimental Value

Julius ArthurComment

How important are your clothes to you? 

Clothing and fashion, before the times of Primark and H&M, were items that lasted. Clothing was looked after, mended, passed down, recycled. Clothing was more integrated into peoples lives and was more than just a statement of personal taste, status or trend. 

The value to clothing needs to be realised. Even in modern society, fast fashion is created by people striving to make a life for themselves. In some cases giving up their life just to make money to support another life. All because you want a cheap T-shirt. 

That T-shirt has its own sentimental story, but the sentiment attached is a sad one. 

We want to change that don't we? 

The idea of sentiment is being explored by Emily Spivack, a writer and fashion historian. She is the creator of the Smithsonian fashion blog Threaded. A blog devoted to Sartorial content, fashion history and cultural effects of fashion. 

Emily's recent project "Sentimental Value" is an archive of clothing that has been accumulated purely on its sentimental merit. 

Emily's interest in the story's behind clothing sparked when she came across a very detailed tale behind a dress that someone was selling on Ebay. An item of clothing that came with its own history and account of where it was worn and what happened while wearing it, quite literally added to the description of the items listing. 

The story in its self was more captivating than the actual garment. Emily delved deep into the world of ebay listings to uproot some of the most detailed, personal and emotional stories connected to an array of clothing. From evening wear to the running shoes. Mundane and every day items that suddenly had a completely different appeal to them. 

Authentic Whitney Houston Handmade Snakeskin Dress, worn by Whitney

PROVENANCE Lot 322 of Whitney Houston”s court-ordered debt auction on January 9, 2007, in Irvington, New Jersey

Own a piece of history with this authentic long-sleeve floor-length dress is of a casino online golden color with allover snakeskin print. High neck with zipper closure at back. No size or label present as it was custom tailored for Whitney. She had a 24″ waist 35″ Hips.

The collections and obsession with these stories began online, and Emily has put together the "Sentimental Value" online archive, that shows all the items she has come across on her exploration of the popular listings website. 

Emily moved on from digitally archiving these finds, to wondering what the outcome would be if she started physically collecting these items. She now owns around 70 pieces sourced directly from Ebay and similar sites. 

The Philadelphia Art Alliance  worked with Emily in 2013 to put together an exhibition of the collection. showcasing each individual story and the connections that every garment had with its old owners, and the interactions it now has with its new owner and the public viewing it. 

This cache of stockings was the first purchase Spivack made on the basis of its back-story. 

a lot of vintage stockings, supposedly hidden in a barn where they had been used in pornographic films.

“I was looking for vintage high heels, and I came upon this vintage Playboy bunny outfit from the ’60s with the puff-ball tail and stockings, and these beautiful black high heels. They had all the costume elements, and also the woman’s original ID card and a photo of her wearing street clothes, just looking totally normal and completely anonymous. To find this costume that’s so loaded and also see this person who would put it on in the expressionless photo, all these things just clicked for me.”
Emily Spivcak for Collectors weekly 

the collection of found objects is fascinating. Not only does it tell a million stories, it also demonstrates the power of sentiment and time. Longevity and practicality of clothing. 

The exhibition had a catalogue that ran along side it and can be found here




HoQ: Raf Simons the collector

Julius ArthurComment

Fashion is transient, moving and developing. We have been exploring the concepts of slow fashion and as House of Quinn is a brand built on the merits and ethos of collecting. We look to Raf Simons as inspiration in terms of the collections we surround ourselves with. 

Today's focus on Raf's career is at the forefront of the industry and the popularity in Mr Simons has grown through the popularisation of his work through a new generation exploring his influence as seen on modern music icons. 

As you know, Raf's career has been built on the merger between fashion and music. looking at how the youth cultures interacted with fashion, and how it fed back into the intrinsic way in which its listeners and followers created their own styles. Edited the styles they were given and created new uniforms. 

Photo for the Danny Sangra interview with Raf Simons

Photo for the Danny Sangra interview with Raf Simons

But ultimately this whole Raf world was built from the inherent nature of the collector inside Raf. Coming from a furniture background, inspired by form and function, aesthetic and time. The whole Raf "movement" stems from a critical eye on personal taste. 

Raf's personal collections are what I am truly interested in, the fashion that comes from the designer is what stems from merging his influences. Being surrounded by beautiful objects, that question space and also negative space is what he sees. 

Raf's home in Antwerp is a shrine to the creative output you see on the catwalks. Art and collecting for Raf seem like a personal commodity, utilised in order to step away from fashion. To appreciate what is not fashion and what has not been created by himself.

Image from the wall street journal

Image from the wall street journal

At House of Quinn we are about collections, putting the influences of what we love into design and we are conscious of that story. Placing ourselves within spaces adorned with personal objects that mean something to us. As I mentioned before slow fashion should take on this theory, if we collect what we absolutely love, we put more energy into obtaining it, keep hold of it for longer and find ways of integrating it into our everyday. A way of escaping, and holding on to your personalities. 

Raf's home is beautifully curated, filled with a wonderful selection of modern art, mid century design and furniture. The collection moves through the house, displaying objects in a way that brings them together but gives them the space they deserve. 

Collections of items from Margot Rugs, Evan Holloway Sculptures, a Ron Arad Chair. 

Sterling Ruby Ceramics are dotted around the house, monoliths to the creative forces that Raf keeps around him and works with from time to time. His personal surroundings informing his creative relationships and vice versa. 

Sterling Ruby ceramic sculptures

Sterling Ruby ceramic sculptures

Sterling Ruby ceramic sculptures 

Sterling Ruby ceramic sculptures 

I love Raf as a person, in interviews and in the recent documentary "Dior and I" he is a beautiful person, full of soul but with a humble and grounded approach to his life and design. 

His emotional connection to objects is what I find truly inspiring when it comes to making connections to this designer. I think that looking at the things we have around us says so much about a person, and is in a way so much more interesting. I think one of Raf's biggest successes is that you want to know more about him. He is intriguing and adored, but I would love to watch more interviews and read more articles about the people behind the design, instead of the design itself. 

Picasso Ceramics 

Picasso Ceramics 

Sterling Ruby Ceramics 

Sterling Ruby Ceramics