Sunday, 12 May 2013

Ali Mapletoft. AGE OF REASON.

Age of Reason is a UK accessories label making beautiful scarves, hats and cushions in Britain. As a label we pride ourselves on quality and integrity, creating wearable luxury with a playful, punk twist. Audacious prints and beautiful fabrics define our collections, which are stocked in some of the country's best boutiques.

Every fine accessory we produce is Made in England from natural fibres like pure silk, wool, chiffon and cotton velvet. We've scoured the country to source the finest materials, and only work with the very best UK based artisans who can meet our high standards. Each textile-based piece is hemmed and hand finished by a skilled seamstress in Yorkshire, while our hats are made in Sussex using traditional methods.

Designer Ali Mapletoft, a former London film-maker, creates unexpected imagery at her studio in Hove, using bold strokes of pen and ink on paper. Taking inspiration from literature, punk culture, and art, she applies a quintessentially British sense of humour to the creative process. Hidden motifs and surprises are Ali’s signatures. She often includes adventurous imagery like bondage clad Russian dolls in her scarf designs, and ensures that sections of the print can be revealed or concealed depending on the wearers mood. London plays an important role in the design process too with Ali spending days drawing in the British Museum and Royal Academy of Arts.

Age of Reason produces two fashion collections a year. In addition we add to our permanent collection seasonally, as well as producing special limited edition pieces. We create accessories for people who have come of age in their personal style, who love a statement piece and appreciate quality, versatility and longevity.

What I Wear: Silk scarf designer Ali Mapletoft on her very British style

We invited our liveliest Twitter followers into the studio, photographed them wearing their favourite garb and then grilled them on life, dreams and fashion. Ali Mapletoft, 33, is founder and designer at Age Of Reason, a luxury British silk scarf label.

Ali Mapletoft designs British silk scarves for luxury label Age Of Reason
What are you wearing?
 An Afghan gilet from I Gigi in Hove, silk chiffon Never Surrender scarf by Age Of Reason, Vivienne Westwood jersey dress, Beau Coops shoes, cuff by Mawi and bracelet from Union Jewellery and tights from Topshop. It’s a vintage clutch with Age Of Reason bow and the rings come from Rings Eclectic.

Describe your style…
 Bold and flamboyant. Very British but I try to temper it with a simple silhouette. I go for statement pieces that have a sense of fun and humour.

Any style mistakes?
 Loads. I lived in east London for ten years before moving to the coast and style mistakes were an occupational hazard. Most of mine involved early Hoxton haircuts.

How long does it take to get ready?
 It depends. Twenty minutes on a weekday, much longer if I’m going to an event.

What inspires you style wise?
 I love looking at the way people dressed historically, so the British Museum, V&A and National Gallery are great. I also like people-watching in cities such as London, Edinburgh and Paris.

Who inspired you personally?
When I started Age Of Reason, [Coco de Mer founder] Sam Roddick said something to me along the lines of: ‘Just get on with it.’ [Designer] Jonathan Saunders challenged the viability of my company manufacturing in England long term, which was actually great because it inspired me to make sure it really happened.

Do your friends dress the same as you?
 No! My friends are all very different.

Is there anything you’d like to change about your appearance?
 As mother to a little girl, I feel a duty not to contribute to the general body dissatisfaction around. I’m more comfortable with myself now than I’ve ever been but I’d like my own blow-dry stylist at all times.

Is there anything you’d change about your life?
 I’d like balancing business with family life to be easier. But who doesn’t want that?

Where do you shop?
 Matches, Liberty and Start London for clothes; Belstaff for boots and shoes; Union Jewellery in Brighton for accessories; French & English Confectioners for British bags and purses; Earl of Bedlam for T-shirts; and Coco de Mer for lingerie.

How do you shop?
 I shop for quality, longevity and versatility. I’d rather have a smaller number of incredible pieces than loads of average stuff. Even my Vivienne Westwood silk wedding dress was bought with the intention of being worn again. My friends are shocked when they see how few clothes I have.

If you could have been anything, what would that have been?
 The godmother of dubstep.

Tell us something no one knows about you.
 No way.

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