Diary of a fashion week novice, the skinny

In February, I was invited to be a part of International Fashion Showcase 2014, London Fashion Week AW14, with Clairely Upcycled jewellery.  My first big involvement with REAL FASHION!  catwalks and all.

The Jamaican showcase  of the International Fashion Showcase, organized by JBDC,  called Threadbare  was kicked off with a fashion show which was hosted by the Jamaican High Commissioner,  Her Excellency Mrs. Aloun Ndombet-Assamba.

8gModel from backstage, getting ready.

The static showcase, called Threadbare, held at Dover street, under Wolf and Badger shop, started on 13 Feb.  Here, our designs were exhibited in a specially curated show by 360 Degrees.

On the Friday, Marc Hare gave an inspiring talk to a gathering eager to hear him.

MARC HARESANYO DIGITAL CAMERASANYO DIGITAL CAMERAMarc Hare, shoe designer, seen here with Her Excellency Mrs. Aloun Ndombet-Assamba.

The big highlight of Saturday, was the visit to the Savoy, where Wolf and Badger held their fashion event.  It was an impressive venue for sure!

20140215_165627Foyer of the Savoy.

Sunday was a busy day.  The morning was a tour of the Freemason Hall, given  by Fashion Scout.  Wow!, sooooo beautiful.

24Ceiling detail at the Freemason Hall

Back at Dover Street, we had a visit from two fashionistas – Claire Sulmers  and  Susan Bender.  They shared some of their experiences.

2High Commissioner here with Susan and Claire.

Back to The Strand (where several countries had their showcase) – to congratulate Estonia for winning the International Fashion Showcase.


Then there was a talk on PR and the benefits of having a good PR company, given by BLOW PR, followed by a visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum.  Again, a very inspiring tour.P1050359

Beautiful light feature in the front hall of the V & A

Followed by a quick interview on Arise TV news

20140217_163444Interview with Abenah Gonzalez conducted by Jayson Mansaray

…and then over to visit the talented designer/couturier Clariscia Gill, who shared such funny stories of when she first started, as well as some insightful inspiration.

That evening ended with a dinner at the home of the High Commissioner, who graciously opened her residence to us all.

20140217_203608Dinner with the High Commissioner

At our showcase, we were visited by Avis Charles, who gave us pointers and share her expertise with us.

P1050441These days were filled with many, many impressions, and experiences that will impact me for a long time.

London – a wonderful city!

And now for thank-you’s:
The Jamaican team’s participation was made possible by a grant from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) and supported by the Jamaica Tourist Board. Other Sponsors included The British Council, The British Fashion Council, 360 Degrees, Quintessentially Art and British Airways.
The JBDC’s very important role in getting us there, the work before, during, and after was/is invaluable.  The Jamaican High Commissioner’s support will always be remembered.

Thanks also to Antonio who assisted me with various jobs, and helped make getting around London that much smoother, and David Rivett for his photos (some of which are to follow),  and his support.

More details, soon come…

Collection CSR

csrHere I go again, mixing materials with something unexpected – (recycled) pieces of acrylic with leather, rope, cord! This CLAIRELY upcycled jewellery collection is called CSR – so named because of the materials used to create this collection with UPCYCLED ACRYLIC. The pieces of acrylic are upcycled through careful and meticulous planning, from the waste of the production of my Claire de Lune Chandeliers.
This collection is inspired by the unexpected invitation to participate as a member of the designer delegation chosen to represent Jamaica at LONDON FASHION WEEK Feb 2014. The collection represents a tapestry threaded together with colorful Cords, Strings and Ropes, it will be shown at the International Fashon Showcase, Thread Bare, a fashion show taking place at a reception at the Jamaica High Commission.
Leather string wrap bracelets with upcycled acrylic tell stories – You and Me, Hearts, and other stories – these bracelets are called Stories Strung.
Colorful ropes lend themselves to all kinds of combinations, the upcycled acrylic, they complete a striking neck piece.
Cotton cords, finger crocheted make the basis for wonderful choker pieces adorned with upcycled acrylic, ready to adorn and dress up any T-shirt.
My work swings between semi-mass-produced and one-of-a-kind, trendy, timeless, and fashionable items. The jewelry and practical products I make are FUNKTIONAL (fun, funky and functional). (See www.accent.dk)  A key consideration in my work is that I am very conscientious about the quality of materials I use and the attentions to detail. I am also very insistent on responsible disposal of whatever waste I cannot use in production.
I create contemporary acrylic jewellery that reflects my influences, inspiration and identity. Through this collection CSR, I am inspired by the qualities that rope, cord, and string bring to my collections.
CLAIRELY upcycled jewellery has been featured in ELLE, Alt for Damerne magazine, (DK), several design blogs, and several times in the Observer (JA).
“Value things not for what they are worth, but for what they represent and thus worth to you” – unknown

You wanna come, don’t you? You are invited!

Screen shot 2014-02-07 at 12.14.20LONDON FASHION WEEK is next week, from 13-18 February 2014.

Our award-winning upcycled jewellery line – CLAIRELY – is off to London, with Accent products in tow.

The IFS 2014 is an initiative of the British council and the British Fashion Council in parallel with London Fashion Week.

The Thread BareShowcase where CLAIRELY UPCYCLED JEWELLERY will be part of a fashion show at a reception featuring Jamaican designers, is sponsored by the Jamaica Tourist Board, the Tourism Enhancement Fund with support from British Airways. The Jamaican High Commission is the host for the opening reception and fashion show. Organized by JBDC.

You are invited to visit us at The Gallery, 32 Dover Street, London W1S 4NE, where we will be from 10Am til 6PM , 13 February through 18 February, this showcase will be open to the public.

See you there.

London Fashion Week debut – green and fast.

Seven years ago, a fashion event  for me meant donning my own designed jewellery and going to a party during Copenhagen Fashion Week, with my friends, and I, all wearing my upcycled bracelets, earrings, rings and necklaces – CLAIRELY upcycled jewellery.
But later this month, February, I am making my debut at London Fashion Week and now it’s for real. I will be one of five designers of Jamaican heritage chosen to participate in among other activities, – the International Fashion showcase 2014, an initiative by the British Council and the British Fashion council now in its third year.
Although I spend quite a bit of my time as a lighting designer, designing jewellery has always been close to my heart.  This particular jewellery line, CLAIRELY upcycled jewellery, started in 2007, from a desire to use the waste material of the Chandeliers I design in acrylic. Currently I am making the jewellery in my basement studio and living room table, and am aware that a successful show can have a very positive effect on my business.  Fingers crossed.

The Jamaican showcase entitled THREAD BARE, will be just that. On a shoe string
budget and with little time I will present my pieces at DOVER STREET GALLERY, on Dover Street. The Gallery is in the heart of Mayfair, at 32 Dover Street, London W1S 4NE.
Also, along with four other designers representing Jamaica, I will have my pieces walking the catwalk in the International Fashion Showcase, a live fashion show at the Jamaica High Commission.
I am proud to say that my pieces have been worn by

Chicago jazz singer Dee Alexander,

3aand gifted to the Ghanaian ambassador to DK.

Tanqueray_Gin_Palace105My lamps have hung on TV programs like Germany Has Got Talent, twice, London’s Gin Palace, and in Copenhagen at various private functions, as well as hanging in several private homes across Europe and America.

Unlike other designers who have teams of event planners to pencil in schedules months
ahead, assist with planning and organization,  this time, it is a solo gig. With only three weeks to put on my show pieces together and to be ready.   Make NO mistake, I WILL be ready.

Sneak preview:


Things that are forever – Stars and stripes and diamondz

After a long period of not being especially creative, on account of overloading on  administrative assignments,  I burst out, burst forth.
This new collection sees the addition of a new material to my repetoire of upcycled jewellery – the material – coconut shell (from my home country).
After spending three months at home in Jamaica with my aging parents, and not being close to my source of acrylic (back in Denmark),  my fingers itched to be working.  I made some lamp bases of reclaimed wood (from my mother’s yard), starting with Ackee tree wood.  Then moved onto coconut as I watched the shell often being thrown out after the preparation of some of our meals.  So I thought this an excellent opportunity to further cement that Denmark-Jamaica bridge I am building.mahoeplus(Ackee wood bases.  From my mom’s garden)

As I am still be-dazzled by prisms,  rough-cut diamond shapes, facets, I designed some jewellery and had the shapes cut by a local craftsman.  I took the coconut shell pieces back to Denmark, and almost immediately set about making the pieces I had in my head, but as I played with the pieces, other designs presented themselves. Some of these shapes gave way to pieces I designed  in acrylic.

Much of the inspiration has come from V-shapes around me.


The collection mainly has stripes/ chevron pieces that stand alone, some in two’s and others in three’s.  Assembled like the stripes in the army – corporal, sargent, general, etc.
The stars (shapes cut from a production of wedding favors I did for my daughter’s wedding)  (this was the only shape I could get cut out from the hourglass sides).

As usual, contrasts – warm coconut with cooler silver chain.DSC06696DSC06712IMG_4612starearhoop

Castles and homes, our third time. See you there?


(Did you happen to notice that our mirror Chandelier is featured on the posters for the event?)

Wednesday 5 June – Sunday 9 June, 2013.  All days from 10-18.


Screen shot 2013-05-29 at 20.39.54Bente Bitton and I have been preparing for this show for a long time, it seems, and now we are ready for you!

Screen shot 2013-05-29 at 20.45.09Bente Bitton is from Denmark. Her modular rings have been nominated “Brand new Copenhagen” in 2010 at an international jewellery and watch trade fair.

I met Bente through one of my friends that had met Bente’s boyfriend, and who both thought we two should meet. Yes, I know, it WAS meant to be. And it was!
We met, and ever since, have been great sparring partners.
We both work in laser-cut acrylic, and that is our (starting) common denominator. The more we meet, the more we find other things that we have in common.Bente makes these fantastic modular rings that has parts in silver and colored acrylic that you can change as you like.
If you don’t already have a ring, come and try one, and see how easy it is to assemble and change to suit your wardrobe or your mood.

We will have the full range of award-winning DECOR and JEWLLERY, so come and see our new collection, and signature chandeliers as well as our other products.

We look forward to seeing you here – at Stand E-145
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Silver, clairely, for jewellery

Clairely Upcycled Jewellery pick ups the prominent Silver A’ Design Award

Como, Italy, February 12, 2013 /DESIGNPRWIRE/

A’ Award and Competitions are proud to see that the project Clairely Upcycled Jewellery by Claire Requa wins the noteable Silver A’ Design Award at Jewelry, Eyewear and Watch Design Competition

Jewelry, Eyewear and Watch Design Competition Silver A’ Design Award Prizewinner

A’ Award and Competitions are proud to inform that the project Clairely Upcycled Jewellery by Claire Requa has been acknowledged with the noteable Silver A’ Design Award at Jewelry, Eyewear and Watch Design Competition elected as the winner by the esteemed arbiters of the A’ Design Awards & Competitions among thousands of participants.

Insights on Clairely Upcycled Jewellery

Claire Requa, the creative mind behind the winning design Clairely Upcycled Jewellery demonstrates “Beautiful, clear, upcycled jewellery, designed out of a need to use the waste material from the production of Claire de Lune Chandelier. This line has developed into a considerable number of collections – all telling stories, all representing very personal glimpses into the philosophies of the designer. Transparency is a vital part of the designers own philosopy, and this is reflected her by the choice of acrylic used. Apart from the mirror acrylic used, which itself reflects light, the material is always transparent, color or clear. CD packaging reinforces the concepts of repurposing. ” To learn more visit: http://www.adesignaward.com/design.php?ID=26032


The Silver A’ Design Award

The Silver A’ Design Award is a prestigious award given to top 5% percentile designs that has exhibited an exemplary level of perfection in design. The designs are judged by a panel of three different jury which is composed of Academic, Professional and Focus Group Members. The designs are evaluated with score normalization to remove any biases and are voted on aspects such as functionality, ergonomics, engineering, presentation, innovation, usability, fun details, technology, and any other specific points that could be considered, each of these points are further weighted for different jury groups.


About A’ Design Award and Competitions

A’Design Award and Competitions, aims to highlight the excellent qualifications of best designs, design concepts and design oriented products. A’ Design Award and Competitions are organized and awarded annually and internationally in multiple categories to reach a wide, design-oriented audience. Learn more: http://www.whatisadesignaward.com

Relevant Website

More info could be found at http://www.adesignaward.com/design.php?ID=26032Released by DESIGNPRWIRE at 2013-02-12 06:21:22

Contact Details for This Press Release
NAME   : Julie Thomas
ADDRESS: A' Design Award, OMC Design Studios SRL, Via Rodari 9, 22100, Como, Italy.
EMAIL  : press@adesignaward.com
PHONE  : +39 031 4491953
FAX    : +39 031 4491918
High-Resolution Images:
Design Details: · Click here to view detailed description page for Clairely Upcycled Jewellery

Designers’ Profile: · Click here to view profile of Claire Requa

Interview with the Designer: · Read the interview with designer Claire Requa for design Clairely Upcycled Jewellery here.

Lucky Dozen

Something special – and lucky about this dozen – 2012!!!

I could feel it coming already from December last year, and when I heard it was the Chinese year of the Dragon – that sealed it for me.

So, apart from dragons, other symbols of good fortune include horse shoes, and horses, and these are also part of my latest collection – the dozen.

An important thing happening in the dozen,  is Jamaica will hold its 50th year of Independence celebrations, so to be a part of that, even though I am far away –
I have done some pieces to mark this monumentous time.

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It has just been recently that I have realized have a special connection to the number 56.

I was born in ’56. One of my favorite vehicles is a ’56 Ford truck that my friend in Pasadena lovingly brought back to life.   The number of our house is 56.  And I will be 56 this year.

It’s a very special year, with many  “round” events.  Two of my girlfriends turn 50 this year, three other good friends turn 40, Jamaica is celebrating 50 years of independence, the Olympics are on this year in London, it will be 10 years since my son died, 50 years since my biological mother passed, 60 years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, 40 years of Queen Margrethe of Denmark.

It is the Chinese year of the dragon.  (You KNOW I had to have a dragon necklace in my new upcycled jewellery collection which I call LUCKY DOZEN.)

It’s truly a special year!

In celebrating 56, I am going to hold a series of sales for the rest of the year on Etsy.

On the 5th and 6th of the every month, all products will be entitled to 11% off.

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The wrap up details of how I solved packaging for my jewellery

The challenge of suitable packaging

I needed a complete packaging solution for the Clairely upcycled jewellery.  Preparations for my exhibition at the National Gallery of Denmark, museum shop in Copenhagen pushed me to make the final decision. So I set to and struggled over yet another weekend, scrambling around my studio for inspiration, trying to find something that would satisfy my many packaging criteria; one of them being that the packaging should already exist in some form, so I would not need to produce even more new packaging material, and another criteria that it should mail easily.

But first off, the MAIN issue was how to make the display for the museum shop.  I am always thrown into a tizzy when I have to design an new display – whether it be at a trade show, market, or in this case at the museum shop.

It was a serious challenge to make a beautiful display to complement  the grand and distinguished surroundings,  AND solve a long-standing issue with me – the packaging of Clairely upcycled jewellery.
[Jaws music playing here – da da,  da dah, dadadadadah].

Another criteria was the convenience factor, for the museum shop staff.
Having had three shops myself, where I also sold other people’s products, I know how irritating it can be to have to fiddle with complicated product packaging behind the counter which delayed customers.  And as a critical consumer myself, I am aware of, and delighted by how  products are presented when I am purchasing .
For example, I love a product packed in something that makes me smile, makes me think.  Like I love having food presented in such a visually pleasing way that it takes me several minutes before I eat it.  I bathe in the sheer joy of looking at it.  It’s just a seduction of my senses.

After much research to try and find the things I needed, and NOT finding them, my Jamaican ingenuity came shining through once more…I found a solution that I not only am happy with, but rather pleased with, as well.

Photo:  David Rivett

I am thrilled to have found a packaging solution from a product that is being phased out – the good old CD case. A  product that I can repurpose, squeeze one more use before they hit the crusher.
I love their transparency. Again, an important part of my own philosopy.
I not only borrowed from the music industry, I borrowed from the medical industry as well.  The product blurb, included in the CD case is on a piece of thin paper folded up in the packaging (just like when you buy pharmaceuticals) but visible through the plastic. If I were a shop/boutique owner, I think I would appreciate the ease of finding products for my customers by just checking the spine of the CD case.  Don’t think it can be any easier.

Thank you Lali of Adgreen for polishing the label idea.  This just seals it.  And it is sealed!