Mame Huku’s latest collection of bags, garments and accessories includes vintage Japanese silk brocades that have taken over half a century to become part of this beautiful collection by artist, Ann Edwards.
Ann delivers edited collections of original vintage Japanese kimonos, bags, fans and unique brooches. Each piece is a one-off work of art, ethically sourced and hand-crafted in London.
Debuting at Top Drawer at Olympia London (15-17 January 2023/stand 260), the launch follows award success for prior collections, including winning Made in Britain’s Handbag of the Year and Accessory of the Year awards in 2017.
At the heart of the brand are the exquisite handbags. Precious brocades woven in 1950’s Kyoto combine with new silks and contemporary artist-made jewels for the ultimate in repurposed luxury. Beautiful clutch and cross-body evening bags are heirlooms in the making, echoing the Japanese tradition of storing Kimonos in cedarwood chests to pass down to future generations.
Mame Huku’s collection includes short kimonos called ‘Haoris’ in ornate silk with hand-painted and embroidered detail. Beautifully versatile, each item is a one-off that can be worn over jeans or a dress as a stylish alternative to a cardigan or jacket, or more formally at evening occasions.
The brand is also introducing a new velvet range using cross-dyed velvet from Britain’s last remaining velvet mill, which is based in Huddersfield, Yorkshire. The silk is woven with two colours across the warp and weft and then hand-crushed in the mill. The contrasting colours create an iridescent effect which glimmers in the light.
Available in six colourways for S/S and A/W, ranging from vibrant citron to dazzling blue, Mame Huku’s glamorous velvet opera stoles are edged with real amethyst beads to promote serenity and attract good luck. Japanese tie bags in matching velvet are spacious and ingeniously designed. Growing more beautiful with use, the bags’ simple ‘wear anywhere’ form can be enhanced by adding one of MameHuku’s vintage Japanese brooches, chosen by Ann for their beauty as a miniature piece of sculpture.
Japanese fans are also a passion of Ann’s and she has been collecting these practical works of art for decades. With over eighty in the collection, each one is a spectacular masterpiece.
Ann says: “Vintage is the NEW NEW! I love vintage textiles and the whole idea of repurposing luxury, breathing new life and purpose into forgotten objects. This has been the philosophy of my latest collection. Why are we making new things when the world has lots of beautiful objects looking to be treasured?
“I have collected vintage Japanese textiles for many years. The kimonos I collect have been cherished possessions and now they are looking for new homes. The Japanese Sensufans I have collected come from Kyoto, the home of artisan fan making. Mame Huku fans are mostly 30 years old, as new, beautifully painted or screen printed with fascinating designs.
“If these were paintings in a frame they would be regarded as valuable art objects. I think the fact that these are women’s objects, used to keep us cool while looking fabulous, has made them overlooked by the art world. These are art, but art that keeps you cool because you are cool if you appreciate the aesthetics of them. I want to share them with the world.
“Similarly with my collection of brooches. Each brooch I find is a small sculpture, probably sparkly and ready for its new adventures. Pin a vintage brooch on your jacket and everyone will admire it and ask you where you got it.”