Monday, 19 December 2011

So Last-Year: Colenimo

One of my many magazine subscriptions is to Frankie. The tag line for this Australian magazine reads 'Design/Art/Photography/Fashion/Travel/Music/Craft/Home/Life', so it's safe to say it covers pretty much everything I enjoy reading about. I've just finished their November/December issue which seemed extra inspiring, even in relation to their usual high standards. There's an embroidery craft piece from Donna at Spinster's Emporium I can't wait to try (and I've been trying to pick my favourite vintage fabric from their store), and also a glimpse at new-to-me label, Colenimo.

The collection is the work of Ava Nakagawa who studied in Tokyo but is now based in London. Her website states her aim is "timeless garments with an assured sense of personal style" - all very commendable. The Autumn/Winter 'Aviatrix' collection looks to a very assured group of women: female pilots of aviation's golden age.

Neat 1930s blouses and high waisted trousers sit alongside chunky knits and, of course, flying jackets. What I like the best is while some of the clothes look very period and can be styled up as such (as in the image above), other images re-use the items and make them look totally contemporary: the wearer can push the retro element as much or as little as they want to.

And, though with undeniably feminine aspects, this isn't a girlie collection, the clothes have got gumption. They didn't get to fly those planes simply by sitting around and looking pretty. The jumper below, for example, could have easily been taken straight off the back of a male pilot.

Prices seem to start at around £120 for jumpers, going up to £630 for the sheepskin flight jacket.

Inspiration for previous collections include an Edward Steichen photograph, the 1930s tap star Ruby Keeler and the English seaside holiday. Colenimo succeed in conjuring up images of wonderful people and places, as well as making beautiful clothes.


  1. Gorgeous!
    It's funny to see Spinster's Emporium getting so much press, I went to their launch back when i still lived in Nottingham where they're based (or were, I wouldn't know now). Good to see them doing well!

  2. Those clothes are making me hyperventilate. Amazing.


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