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5 posts tagged prints

A Creator’s Portrait with Strathcona Founder Ryley O’Bryne

There is something wonderful about coming across a brand that takes you completely by surprise. Strathcona is such a brand. Based out of Vancouver, Strathcona specializes in ultra cool, fine stockings that feature photo collage style prints. With various prints from photo real citrus and flowers to watercolor-esque geometric shapes and star-strewn galaxies, these quirky stockings mirror designer and founder Ryley O’Bryne’s decidedly unique artistic point of view. Now boasting rave reviews and styling by several influential publishers including Vogue Italia, Bullett Magazine, Nylon Magazine, and Refinery 29, it is only a matter of time before Strathcona makes its way into wardrobes everywhere. Here, to kick start your newest obsession in hoisery (and firmly cement ours), Ms. O’Bryne answers our questions. 

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When did you first become interested in fashion?

If you ask my mother, there was never a time that I wasn’t interested in fashion. Even when I was a little kid, I wouldn’t let my mom dress me – I always had to do it myself.

What made you want to create printed stockings?

I become a little obsessed with the idea of printed socks a few years ago. I found that I was always looking for special and interesting socks, but I had such a hard time finding them anywhere. Whether it was on the internet or when I traveled – they didn’t seem to be around anywhere. I finally realized that if I was going to get what I wanted I was going to have to make them myself. And that’s when the R+D started.

Where do you find inspiration for your products?

Whenever I can’t find exactly what I want I think about whether I could make it myself. In terms of the prints themselves, everything inspires me. I will be inspired by obvious stuff like a trip to the museum. Or a beautiful lunch. A carpet. Youtube. One of the prints was a little painting I did while visiting a friend in Mexico – the colors and patterns of the tile work there inspired me.

What other creative projects are you involved in?

Film is my other passion. We are working on a music video for a friend’s band this month. But I work on a pretty wide array of projects. Before Strathcona, I worked as a creative art director so that got me involved in quite an assortment of projects. I still take on that type of work on occasion but I am having less and less time for it. Really, I just really love working and creating.

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How would you describe your personal style?

I would say fun and diverse. I don’t like having to be one thing or another. I want to wear wild colors and a bejeweled baseball hat one day and pajamas or all beige the next. I like being able to experiment with fashion. That’s what makes it interesting and enjoyable. That being said, we were talking about style the other day and decided the term “Casino Grandma” was pretty great…I definitely lean that way from time to time.

What is your favorite article of clothing?

A pair of extremely baggy sequin pants I got at a Halloween sale 4 or 5 years ago. If you have seen me “out” in the last 4 years, I have most likely been wearing those pants. They are quite literally my "party pants."

Which recent purchase are you most excited about?

I recently bought a very utilitarian army-green duffle bag from MEC (Canada’s version of REI). It has made my nomadic life a lot easier in recent times.

What is your favorite place in the world?

My parent’s home in Roberts Creek and Paris. Two of the most wonderful places I have lived.

Shop Strathcona. 

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Ready to start rocking a bolder pair of hoisery? Share your love in the comments. 

A Creator’s Portrait with Orla Kiely

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Irish designer Orla Kiely has accomplished a lot. On top of a successful line of clothing and handbags, the London-based designer has her hand in the creation of a number of other products including wallpaper, kitchenware, stationery, and furniture. However, she is best known for her youthful prints which have adorned everything from cars and buses to water bottles and even postage stamps. Not to mention that Kiely’s immense talent for creating these pretty prints and patterns has spawned a plethora of design collaborations with the likes of Uniqlo, Brita, and Citroën cars (to name a few). Here, the aptly titled “Queen of Prints” answers some of our questions. 

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When did you first realize that you wanted to be involved in fashion?

My life has always been focused on design, color and print. I have always liked the same thing and been true to my style but growing up I always found it hard to find clothes that I loved. I remember when I would find something it was like an event! I wanted to design fashion that I loved and just hoped that other people would too!

Where do you find inspiration?

Most of my inspiration comes from the 1960’s and 70’s, the era of print and pattern. A lot of designs were inspired by contemporary art and architecture which is also something I have always loved. I have always said if I was not a fashion designer I would be an architect! I try to bring out the sense of energy and vitality that the 60’s and 70’s had.

Which aspect of design are you most passionate about?

My passion will always be for print. I design everything in house and simply love coming up with cute and original prints each season that are all exclusive to us. We have always been known for our colorful and bold prints and so I always try to design something that will excite and surprise our customers each season!

You are involved in a lot of projects. How do you stay balanced?

Each year we get involved in lots of different creative projects and collaborations and, however many we do, each one is always special and exciting. I am lucky enough to work with my Husband, Dermott, so this helps to keep my work life balanced and in control. We discuss everything together and living just a short stroll from the office means I am never far from everything. So, even when we are going though extremely busy periods, especially design deadlines, I can be home quickly. My home life is so important to me and being able to relax with my two boys and my dog Olive keeps my life in balance.

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Which recent purchase are you most excited about? 

I recently got a Raleigh bike in pillar box red with a gorgeous brown leather saddle and handle bars. It’s still a little chilly outside but I can’t wait to take it for a spin.

The holidays have finally come and gone. What was your favorite thing about this holiday season?

It’s the perfect time to spend with all my family and I got the chance to go back to Ireland and see everyone together. You can’t get better than that! But I also love the excitement and buzz in the air. Everyone is in high spirits and it’s a time to reflect on my life and everything I’ve achieved.

If you could have a super power, what would it be?

To be able to rewind time so we could all live in the 60’s!

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Is there an artist, designer, or musician that you would like to see featured? Tell us about them in the comments. 

Closet Insight with Ryo Miyamoto

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Our friend, thrift store expert and streetstyle blogger Ryo Miyamoto invited us to his home and closet. He told us about the best places for people spotting (and streetstyle photographer spotting), about his hip hop-style phase, and why everyone should collect prints.  

Describe your style with three words.
Ryo: I have three different styles. One is a mix of Japanese and European designers where I wear a lot of prints and cheerful colors. The second one is an all black more masculine style with long black skirts, polo necks and hats. And the third one I call a classical American style, but with fun details like interesting and colorful socks. 

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Currently obsessed with?
Ryo: Textile and texture. I really like nylon and embroidery. 

What did you wear at the age of 13?
Ryo: At 13 I was a super country boy, not cool at all, wearing T-shirts and shorts and sneakers. My mum bought all my clothes. But when I was 18 I looked totally different from now. I loved hiphop so I wore Addidas jerseys, Nike sneakers, baggy pants and pitch black sunglasses. Thinking back of it, those outfits were not cool. I’m from a tiny island. Fashion did not exist there. I watched 90’s hiphop on Youtube.  


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How many pairs of shoes do you own?
Ryo: 24. But right now I only use about 8 of them. 

Best place for people spotting?
Ryo: SoHo. I like to go to Meatpacking or Chelsea to see interesting people, but there is more traffic in SoHo so when I need to photograph people for my streetstyle blog I usually stay in SoHo. There are a lot of other streetstyle photographers there. Once there where six of us gathered in the same corner, all looking for fashionable people.

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What will you do in 10 years?
Ryo: I want to help both high end and young new designers to communicate their concept and philosophy. Be the man in the middle. 

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What would be your superpower?
Ryo: I want to fly so I can fly back to Japan or go to Paris or Europe anytime.  

What song would be the soundtrack to your life?
Ryo: Reflection Eternal by Nujabes

Why do you like prints so much?
Ryo: Prints always comes back in style and that’s why I collect a lot of vintage prints. It’s fun and playful. You won’t meet someone on a street wearing the same print.

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Three things you can’t live without?
Ryo: Friends, books, and silence. 

Favorite place in NYC? 
Ryo: I’m not going to lie. My favorite place is a bar called Blue and Gold where they serve cheap, cheap whiskey. One glass of whiskey is like 4 or 5 dollars! It’s incredible. 


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