Wednesday, July 28, 2010

FrockQ: Philomena Kwok, Featherhead

The talented creator behind hair accessories label Featherhead gives us the rundown on her brand, her inspirations, and her feathers:

How long have you been designing for, and how did you get started in the industry?

I've been making and designing jewellery since I was fourteen! I first started out with my jewellery label, the purpose divine, making bespoke bridal jewellery and pieces in silver, resin and semiprecious stones. It was great fun, and I used to have a stall at Paddington Markets in Sydney.

Last year however, I started Featherhead - an accessories label making the sorts of things I actually wanted to wear. It was partly inspired by a trip to Japan where I spent a month gawping at the fearless and totally fab girls in Tokyo. The fashion may not have always been right for everyone but it was definitely FUN and the girls there must have had a blast getting dressed and accessorising every day. Experiencing things like that definitely washes into you. When I came home I started a millinery course to expand my skill set and try my hand using some different materials - the rest is Featherhead history.

What is it about feathers that inspires you to create your pieces?
I've always found feathers incredibly fascinating and used to collect them when I was tot. You never Ever find two the same, so even after working with them for so long I am still astounded at how beautiful and unique they are. Some are ethereal and wispy, others bold or irridescent with unbelievably vibrant colours, its hard not to be inspired by something so pretty and textural.

My favourite thing to do at the moment is to use gorgeous natural toned feathers and then add in a contrasting splash of colour with bright dyed feathers. It adds a edgy toughness without taking away from the natural beauty of the feathers.

Do you have a particularly favourite piece that you've created?
One of my recent favourites is a crazy shoulder piece I put together for a fashion parade raising awareness for the Aids Trust. Huge red ostrich epaulettes and dripping with heavy metal chains. I wish I could get away with wearing these every day! The piece had been put on a bit wrong in this photo but you get the idea. Too much fun!

How would you recommend wearing your feathered creations?
I'd recommend wearing a Featherhead piece to add a subtle edge to a toned down urban look. Either an unexpected splash of softness and colour with a cute feather hair clip, sweater dress and tights, or a textural edge with one the snakeskin lined cuffs or necklets, skinny jeans and boots.

What trends are you looking forward to rocking for Spring/Summer?
I cannot wait for warmer weather to wear my feather epaulettes pinned onto cute singlets and tanks (interesting shoulders are the best thing since skinny jeans)! And just enough sunshine to wear a cute tshirt dress, big wispy feather earrings and gumboots without tights underneath. I'm not ready to give up gumboots just yet!

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