Discover Just Add Style
Posted on May 12 2020
There is no doubt that the COVID-19 has caused a lot of disruption in the retail sector. With Oasis and Warehouse announcing their closure recently and the future of Debenhams stores all over the country hanging in the balance, the impact on small businesses like ours will extend beyond the foreseeable future. It is therefore with an immense pride that we have developed new partnerships borne out of the necessity to evolve and support each other through this pandemic so we can continue to give you, our clients the style experience you deserve.
I am excited to introduce you to award winning fashion illustrator Emma Cowlam and talented graphic designer Lisa Kew, co-founders of Just Add Style, a luxury silk label based in London which is now an integral part of our CURATED COLLECTION. Each scarf is lovingly printed onto 100% silk twill and features hand rolled edges for complete sophistication.
Em is one of fashion illustration’s rising stars in sartorial figurative art. A graduate of Chelsea Art School in London and the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, her career was launched with a sell-out collection of original fashion illustrations at London’s iconic V&A museum. She has gone on to collaborate with major international fashion magazines including Elle and Glamour, as well as a myriad of luxury brands such as Radley and Liberty of London. Her work hangs in private art collections worldwide. Lisa is an accomplished branding expert and graphic designer whose extensive client list includes start-ups and established brands across many business sectors. Together, they share a passion for silk scarves and the vision for their collaboration is to create contemporary pieces of luxury silk that can be worn and treasured forever. They launched last year with the beautifully illustrated silk square collection LONDON FASHION for AW19. Each silk piece unites Em and Lisa’s worlds of fashion illustration, textiles, and graphic design to produce elegant yet understated scarves which exude confidence – just like the women who wear them.
Inspired by fashion and style on the streets of London, this beautiful silk square features original illustrations by Emma, framed by an orange coral and leopard print border.
The LONDON FASHION silk scarf design began with original one-of-a-kind ink drawings by Em which Lisa carefully translated into a digital textile world, editing and refining the design until the fashion illustrations were re-imagined as a complete print which tells its own story and embodies the urban glamour and signature spirit of Just Add Style and the women who wear them.
LONDON FASHION has been received well by the press with the design featuring as an Editor's Pick in the Sunday Mail YOU Magazine.
MADE WITH CARE
Keeping close to timeless silk traditions, Just Add Style scarves are made in Shengzhou, a city south of Shanghai, where silk production began more than 5,000 years ago. Shengzhou has in recent years become the global leader in the production of neckwear, eliminating half of Como's trade and thus overtaking Italy of its former status as the world's prominent maker of silk neckties. Shengzhou’s rich history in silk production combined with its new world-leader status in silk manufacturing allows Em and Lisa to have complete trust in the production process.
The manufacturing process starts with digital illustrations printed onto silk fabric. Silk is the ultimate luxury filament occurring in nature. Once the silk is printed and cut, the edges of each scarf are individually hand rolled by the highly skilled hand finishing team with generations of expertise and unparalleled know-how, creating the most sophisticated of silk squares. Contemporary design, traditional production and fine craftsmanship are the cornerstones of Just Add Style.
Back in London, Em and Lisa will package each scarf with care in a black gift box which is hand-tied with a luxury grey grosgrain ribbon and signature tag.
Passionate about supporting and encouraging women to thrive, Em and Lisa pledge to donate £5 of every online Just Add Style scarf sale to Smart Works, a UK charity which helps empower women to succeed in the world of employment. Smart Works provides high quality interview clothes and interview training to unemployed women in need. They harness the power of clothes and confidence to allow a woman to be her best at a crucial moment in her life, giving her the self-belief and the practical tools required to succeed at interview and transform her life for the better.
So how did this incredibly talented and inspirational duo meet? It’s a long story! Em and Lisa have been firm friends since meeting at a swimming pool in 2007. Back then Em was studying textile design at Chelsea Art School in London and gathering a wealth of creative industry experience through freelance work whilst Lisa was heading up her own successful design agency which continues to thrive. Their bond developed during daily post-swim conversations centered in art, design, style, and life in general. With Em seeking career advice and some life guidance, Lisa took her under her creative wing and mentored her professionally and personally through the highs (and not-so-highs) of her twenties and her life in London and New York. As Em’s fashion illustration career flourished, their mentor-mentee relationship progressed into a thriving friendship.
Their lightbulb moment came in December 2018, when they decided to establish a collaborative studio dedicated to designing the sophisticated and stylish womenswear accessories they wanted in their lives. The Just Add Style story had just begun.
We are looking forward to Em and Lisa’s second design, FASHION HOUNDS. It is a fashion homage to a certain film. The beautiful silk squares feature original dalmatian illustrations by Emma, framed by a mono print border. This design has already been sampled and is now ready for a full print run. You can pre-order a piece now and just add style to your summer wardrobe! In the mean time, why not follow them on Instagram and stay up-to-date with their style journey?