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Oyster chats to Stolen Girlfriends Club about their new jewellery collection.
The words 'quirky', 'grungy' and 'refined' don't often find themselves wedged together in a sentence, but it is the precise melange of these three qualities that has turned fashion label Stolen Girlfriends Club into one of the most exciting brands to come out of New Zealand in recent years. The design trio behind the label are Marc Moore, Luke Harwood and Dan Gosling, and they have recently turned their eccentric brand of cool to jewellery design with their collection Heavy Metal.
Moore says that crafting jewellery is worlds away from designing a seasonal apparel collection. "I think that when we design jewellery, it needs to be a lot more timeless than the fashion. Fashion is trend driven and lasts a season or two, but the jewellery needs to last forever. Some of our first ever pieces that we made five years ago still sell really well today."
The themes behind Heavy Metal are simultaneously as idiosyncratic and charming as any Stolen Girlfriends Club collection. "Lots of chunky sterling silver everyday objects, like guitar picks, picture frames, balloons, bow ties, concrete blocks, bird cages and even an Eiffel Tower." With all this whimsy, one could be forgiven for thinking this was a collection for those melancholic girly-girls among us, but the pieces have been imbued with a liberal dosage of the dark eccentricity and clever word plays typical of any Stolen Girlfriends Club collection. A tiny Eiffel Tower pendant is adorned with a plate that reads, "Your French won't save you now!". A cinder block charm is ominously engraved with the word "Mental" ('mental block', geddit?). "I think our jewellery has a tougher edge to it, so you won't find goody-two-shoes wearing our stuff," Marc says.
For a collection tinged with such cheeky defiance, it's interesting to note that the premise behind Heavy Metal is quite a sentimental one. "The collection is very androgynous. The original idea was for girls and guys to be able to share their jewellery with each other. Romance is a big part of it," Marc says.
Stolen Girlfriends Club has been an underground star favourite for a while now, with cool kids like Daisy Lowe, Juliette Lewis and Kate Bosworth all rocking the label's offbeat brand of grungy refinement. But with an almost cliched Antipodean nonchalance, Marc insists the trio don't court celebrity attention. "We don't actively pursue celebs to wear our stuff. Maybe we're just shy? Seems a little naff to be honest. But if we hear someone really loves our stuff and we love their work, then there is an organic relationship that is formed on mutual respect." Typically, though, Marc would like to dress people that match the brand's clothes- chic and pretty, but with an undone edge. "Jamie Bochert and Michael Pitt would be way cool to have wearing our stuff. I saw Jamie in Paris and she was so amazing in real life! Irina Lazareanu, too. She has great natural style."
Of course, one doesn't need to pursue the It Crowd when the It Crowd is pursuing you. Fire-haired girl of the moment Florence Welch is a Stolen Girlfriends Club enthusiast through and through. The designers and Florence got together on her recent tour, which saw her snapping up a swag of her favourite pieces, and giving Stolen Girlfriends Club a shout out at her concert. "She was such an amazing person, we were all blown away," Marc says. What happened next was a major coup for the label. "I bumped into Florence and her stylist at Paris Fashion Week. We ended up partying at Cafe de Flore and got talking about doing a customised capsule collection for her to rock on tour." Stolen Girlfriends Club - coming to a stage near you.
What's next for Stolen Girlfriends Club? As well as launching Heavy Metal, the boys are working on a classic denim line to compliment their more trend-driven seasonal offerings. "We've always done well with our fashion denim, which is more edgy and conceptual. The new denim collection will stand independent of the fashion line. It will consist of three key shapes for girls and two key shapes for guys." They're also collaborating on a project with wine brand Kim Crawford and looking to expand beyond these southern shores. "We're looking at collaborating with some super talented peeps in the UK for our next campaign to generate some hype."
However, the trio are reserving most of their enthusiasm for small pleasures. What are they most excited about? "A new office! We've outgrown our little bat cave since moving here three years ago."
Stolen Girlfriends Club have risen from obscurity to dizzying success since 2005. Although they are one of the most exciting labels on the New Zealand fashion scene at the moment, Moore remains down to earth about his calling. "End of the day, we are making clothes, not saving the world, so we really need to entertain." In that case, let the show go on!
The launch of Heavy Metal saw a crowd of Sydney's style set celebrating the label's new jewellery collection. Click on the thumbnails to view in gallery mode!
Words by Lillian McKnight.
Photography: Wesley Nel