If there’s one thing better than nice clothes, it’s nice clothes combined with alcohol. Hello, ABSOLUT Vodka’s new collaboration with emerging British designer Kitty Joseph.
Big-brand collaborations can be pretty cynical, but ABSOLUT has impeccable form. 2011’s ABSOLUT Mode video celebrated 25 years of creative campaigns involving Marc Jacobs, Helmut Newton, John Galliano and many, more more – this particular brand has a well-deserved reputation for investing in the industry and unearthing new talent.
So why is Royal College of Art MA Textile graduate Kitty Joseph next in the pantheon? “I think that they saw my work with colour and print and saw a crossover,” explains Joseph, who alongside her design work acts as a colour consultant and trend predictor for international brands and agencies. “I was flattered and honoured and feel it’s a fantastic endorsement.:
The ‘Cobalt Collection’, inspired by the new limited edition bottle ‘ABSOLUT Originality’, is a”distinctive but wearable” three-piece capsule and accessories collection, and the result – showcased in a short film staring musician Njena Reddd Foxxx modelling her track ‘Water Colours’ – is genuinely mesmeric .
PHOENIX particularly loves Flow, below, where the cobalt flows from the shoulders down the side of the body, creating a sensual and insouciant current of movement. Joseph agrees: “I also feel that when Njena moves in it she mirrors the calligraphy inspired print of the garment with her body so poetically.”
Joseph perfected her own process for the collection, hand painting dyes onto soaking wet paper before printing them onto the fabric. “I also had Njena’s track flowing through my head”, she explains, “As we had to work quickly, my thoughts had a clarity and sureness that I don’t always have with longer deadlines.” All accompanying accessories – including rings, earrings, bangles and even dip-dyed glasses – are branded with the signature cobalt flash.
This limited edition collaboration also features four million one-of-a-kind bottles, each one containing a drop of cobalt blue infused into the molten glass. They’re intended to represent the beauty of the artisan and the unique, just like Joseph’s designs. “For me it’s a statement about the unbeatable, original quality of a hand made process,” she explains. “I think it’s refreshing to recognise advances in digital technology, and to use them as tools without them overpowering the creative process.”
Words Leonie Benaiah