When we talk about clothes we’re often talking about design: shape, color, materials, details. But how do all these elements come together? And how do they interact with commercial questions? I sat down with Dav Sehra, founder of new British outerwear label Acre and Row, to talk about his design process and the challenges and joys of taking an idea from outline sketch to finished garment.
If you hadn’t heard about Scottish watchmaker AnOrdain before, you might have been introduced by their collaboration with The Armoury, offering a co-branded version of their Model 1, a 38mm time-only model with heat-blued hands and a striking, glassy dial.
AnOrdain’s dials are made in Glasgow from vitreous enamel, using a process called Grand Feu: a slow, high-temperature fabrication that melts multiple layers of powdered minerals onto a metal base. The completed dial is smooth and almost organic in form, yet uniquely shaped during the layering and heating. The charm of the Model 1 is in the slightly imperfect enamel dial, which is part and parcel of being handmade, says Mark Cho, The Armoury’s co-founder.
Like so many other parts of previously normal life, the work of craftspeople has been disrupted and displaced by the current epidemic. Factories and workshops have been closed, like the stores which sell their finished products.
Yet individual makers have persevered where they can. Continuing to exercise the skills that have taken years to sharpen. And we’ve seen the return to a mode of production common before industrialisation: individual, artisanal craft in the home.