To think we follow designers from as early as graduate collections to when they’re snapped up by big brands to pursue creative or artistic direction is slightly crazy. From the age of 21 onwards, we witness young talents emerge, develop and go onto do great things. Hannah Weiland founded her brand Shrimps in 2013. A purveyor of faux fur accessories, Weiland had a diploma in Surface Textile Design and a background in History of Art. To think she’s only been in the fashion conversation for three years is baffling. It feels like she’s been around forever.
“The Shrimps girl has grown up with me, so this season she’s wiser and a little darker,” the designer said. This statement echoed with the likes of Ashley Williams, Molly Goddard whose recent collections were packed with an added dose of maturity. Especially, in the case of Shrimps multigenerational fashion is an easily achievable goal. The prime example, an 18-year-old or an octogenarian could choose any piece from this collection and effortlessly pull it off.
Canadian artist Agnes Martin inspired the collection. Her checkerboard print-work was the element that Weiland drew on. Faux-fur stoles, jackets and dresses were printed in an amplified version of the Canadian’s abstract work. Art has forever been an important facet to the Shrimps label. Wetland’s quirky illustrations emblazoned accessories right from the beginning to now, and also on ready-to-wear pieces.
The inclusion of ready-to-wear has been instrumental in the development of Shrimps as a brand. Originally, the brand was exclusively faux-fur jackets and accessories. Years later, and the expansion to RTW not only opens many doors in terms of buyers, but shines a different light on Shrimps, one that portrays them to make smart business decisions. These are luxury items which can be mass-produced but it’s without commodifying them—they are much more than just a commodity.
London designers are careful. There’s a personable quality to them all, which ensures that they pay special attention to the customer. There’s a lifestyle attached to them, like I said in my Preen review the other day. Marques’Almeida have a great rapport with their customers, treating them as if they’re apart of the M’A gang. Shrimps has the ability to do this too, translating modern art references to a quirky yet practical shopper.