One of my favourites to share with you from Young British Designers has to be east London’s very own Paradise Row. I met handbag designer Nika Diamond-Krendel when she launched her first East London inspired collection just under two years ago now (see the interview & factory visit here!) and after loving her first collection, I am absolutely bowled away by her second, Empathy…
The metalware faces are so well designed & executed that they really resonate with the beholder – I was so drawn to the exquisitely dignified best-seller Sorrow bag, a Matisse inspired design. Nika told me: “Sorrow is covered in the arts extensively because it is tied in with unrequited love. I think it is an important emotion to feel to be empathetic as a person – if you ignore it, it comes back worse later. It’s a deeper emotion than sadness as it enables you to move on once you feel it.” The rest of the Empathy collection comprises Awe, Joy, Hope, Love and Sorrow and are all equally compelling!
How I Styled Sorrow
With a longer strapped bag, I like to wear a coat long enough for the bag to rest against comfortably, and thought camel would make the perfect backdrop to the petroleum blue leather of the bag – a pretty print shirt, favourite jeans and mega-size trainers (yes, these are the Ash ones in white, obsessed!) make up an easy get-about-town look for me. I’m actually just round the corner from lovely little Bethnal Green cafe E2 Common where they do the perfect oat latte and banana bread! I had just collected a lovely little vintage seahorse charm from one of my favourite East London jewellers Bear Brooksbank.
Like the first collection, the quality of the bag is outstanding, with excellent hardware fittings and a slim pocket inside and out. There’s also something incredible tactile about the bag, running your hands over the metalwork and circular shape is wonderfully soothing. A minimal sleek design but such statement at the same time, which is a wonderful combination – a real standout memorable piece!
Bag | Paradise Row
Coat | John Lewis & Partners
Shirt | Anonyme
Jeans | Re/Done
Shoes | Ash
Seahorse necklace | Bear Brooksbank
Silver compass necklace | Bianca x Stylonylon
Gold coins necklace | Lucy Williams x Missoma
*A creative project with Young British Designers, this post contains items gifted for review & affiliate links