The cool and cult accessories line Kendall Jenner and Karl Lagerfeld are currently carrying around

Charlotte Stockdale and Katie Lyall’s very-2018 accessories have arrived in Australia, and they’re the perfect mix of humour and serious style nous.

Katie Lyall is excited about the newest piece she’s created with Charlotte Stockdale for their accessories label Chaos, if only she could find it. “Mine’s actually been stolen by Kendall Jenner, but Charlotte still managed to keep hers,” Lyall says over the phone from a balmy London summer evening. They’re talking about a gold-plated charm in the shape of a just-opened bottle cap that dangles elegantly from a zip chain that could be attached to keys or a phone. “It has saved our lives more times than it’s probably sensible to share,” says Lyall. “It’s to open up sparkling water,” intercedes Stockdale. You can practically hear the wink down the phone.

It’s this brand of irreverence that has marked their shared styling career, shared because, upon meeting in 1999, while Stockdale worked at British Vogue, they stuck side by side, working at Garage magazine and becoming Chaos Fashion, a creative consultancy. “I don’t know any styling duos,” considers Lyall. “It’s designer duos or photography duos, but no-one’s really decided to do it. There were some people who were a bit confused by it, but it didn’t really matter.”

That could be because their visual signature is so identifiable: pops of colour, mixed textures and fabrics with clever styling tweaks that seep into a subconscious then metamorphose suddenly into a need-it-now desire that has graced the pages of Vogue, i-D and their own magazine, Chaos 69. “You have a cotton shirt, and then you have a fashion skirt. It will be nice with a matt nylon trainer or matt crocodile boots,” Stockdale explains before surmising, “something shiny goes with something matt.”

Their Chaos label, coming to Australia for the first time when they land at David Jones this month, is a distillation of their visual handwriting. Phone cases in crayon brights were their starting point. “We were working a lot, and we didn’t want to put our phones down when we were doing fittings, styling clothes, whatever, and we would lose them,” recounts Stockdale. “We ended up tying ribbon to our Blackberrys at the time, and hanging them around our neck.” An early prototype was a zipper. “It was cheap and hokey, but kind of fun.” Requests from family and friends followed, which gave them the confidence to launch with a functional desirable product.

Design – jumbo cherries, letters and eight-balls in lush chenille embroidery that Lyall describes “delicious” – is balanced with functionality, hence the hand straps on the back of ‘hug’ cases, the supple deerskin perfected to wrap the corners and protect the phone. “They want to be able to hang their phone around their neck,” says Stockdale of customers. “They want to be able to find it in their bag, because they can see the zip, or catch their phone when they drop it.”

Likely you’ve noticed them already on Instagram. A lucky by-product of creating personalised phone cases, the campaigns basically shoot themselves, starring the selfies of the Hadid sisters, Marc Jacobs, Victoria Beckham, Edie Campbell, Adwoa Aboah and Karl Lagerfeld. They’ve worked with Lagerfeld, a long-time collaborator and mentor, alongside Silvia Venturini Fendi, consulting for 10 years at Fendi, and both have informed their appreciation for technical knowledge and luxurious finishes – the zips are now silver- or gold-plated.

“When you work with people like Silvia and Karl, you have to really not be listening to not come away with quite a lot of knowledge,” Stockdale says. “They haven’t grown scared. They are willing to fail, which is the biggest thing; they’re fearless.”

Working as a duo has been another propellant. “In times when you’re doubting what you are doing, the other person says: ‘No, don’t worry, it’s all on the right track,’” says Stockdale. “It’s like being on an airplane and there’s turbulence and you’re scared, but if there’s someone who is more scared than you, somehow that makes you less scared.” Lyall adds: “It allows you to have more freedom and control at the same time.”

They’ve added charms, lanyards, luggage tags and the occasional piece of ready-to-wear while they focus more and more on personalisation, a trend they’re predicting will get ever stronger. “Why would you not, if you can have something, just for you?” says Lyall. Perhaps a monogram on that bottle opener then, in case another Jenner should chance upon it.


Must Read: Designers Are Using Fashion to Get out the Vote, Influencers Are Becoming Investors

Designers are using fashion to get out the vote
“This election cycle, getting out the vote is not just a talking, or lobbying, point,” writes Vanessa Friedman for The New York Times. “It’s a product category.” As we gear up for the midterm elections, designers are selling everything from cotton T-shirts to cashmere sweaters emblazoned with statements urging us to head to the polls. With thoughts from Prabal Gurung and Tory Burch, Friedman explains how this new wave of political fashion is using “clothes as an overt expression of values to be worn all the time, anywhere.” {The New York Times}

Influencers are becoming investors in droves
A growing number of fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands are looking beyond Silicon Valley to the world of social media to raise funding. These up-and-coming brands are handing over stakes in their companies to digital influencers – like Leandra Medine and Arielle Charnas – in exchange for a small cash investment. In turn, the brands receive long-term commitments from well-known backers who provide everything from industry contacts to enthusiastic promotion on Instagram. And if the brand takes off, early backers can find themselves sitting on stakes worth millions of dollars. {Business of Fashion}

Chanel announces upcoming collaboration with Pharrell Williams
Pharrell Williams is furthering his longstanding relationship with Chanel by designing a ready-to-wear and accessories capsule collection for the brand’s Spring 2019 season. Previously, Williams served as a campaign star, runway model, composer and sneaker collaborator for the French fashion house. Details of the range are still scarce, but Chanel revealed that the collection will debut exclusively on Mar. 29 at its new Seoul flagship, followed by select Chanel boutiques around the world from April 4. {Fashionista inbox}

ShopStyle will roll out new features to help influencers beat the algorithm
ShopStyle, which is comprised of both an influencer network and a social search engine, will roll out three new features aimed at helping influencers combat algorithm changes by monetizing even more content. Set to debut on Nov. 14, the features will allow influencers to embed shoppable links within their YouTube videos and give shoppers the option to be notified when a product from an influencer’s page in their favorites goes on sale. ShopStyle will also add “trend pages” that will highlight original influencer content. {WWD}

Milk Makeup and Wu-Tang collaborated on lipsticks
Milk Makeup announced its first-ever collaboration on Thursday, a range of Wu-Tang x Milk Makeup lip colors that includes eight shades designed to “honor Wu-Tang and Milk Makeup’s shared origins in storied New York culture and knowledge,” according to a release. “We wanted our first collaboration to be with a seminal icon who moves between culture and music and helped shape a generation,” said Milk Founder Mazdack Rassi. {Fashionista inbox}

How fast fashion affects mental health
Fast fashion not only takes a heavy toll on the environment; it also has serious effects on your brain, mental health and overall well-being. This is because, in the past, most people outgrew their overspending habits as their maturing personal style priced them out of such options. But thanks to the rise of fast fashion, people of all ages are seeing shopping as a more accessible way to cope with their feelings around anxiety and depression. {Well+Good}

Travis Scott stars in Saint Laurent’s Spring 2019 campaign
Travis Scott stars in Saint Laurent‘s Spring 2019 campaign wearing some statement pieces from the label’s menswear range, including a sequined jacket. The ad, which was shot by David Sims, maintains the French luxury house’s iconic black and white visual codes and sexy rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic. {Fashionista inbox}

Travis Scott for Saint Laurent Spring 2019. Photo: David Sims


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