I love collaborating. I love collaborating with other artists and makers. And I especially love the projects we do with female artists and makers. It's exciting for me, it energizes the brand and my team, and we always seem to end up with something magical. No look at the women who make it all happen at CALLIDAE would be complete without introducing you to three of our favorite collaborators -- Courtney Bae, the amazing women behind Hand & Lock, and Andie Dinkin. We've shared with you below one of my favorite pieces of work from Courtney Bae. See more and read all about our incredible collaborators on the CALLIDAE blog. – HP, founder
London-based Courtney Jinsook Bae is a Korean American creative. Bae credits her longstanding exposure to the fashion industry's ever dynamic visual array as a source of vibrant inspiration to her fine arts practice. Her works are filled with fearless provocation and yet we are left feeling energized and excited. Bae’s handling of the human form challenges the traditional by celebrating a crude ugliness - Bae refers to her work as being, “just ugly enough to be beautiful”.
I first met Courtney after she created a set of exquisite watercolor illustrations for Corpus (the best natural deodorant and body products brand) in 2019. Since then, Courtney's work has graced CALLIDAE's website, social feed, and major campaigns. She created the look of our "Girls of Summer" and "#InMyHannah" campaigns, the creatures for our flamingo and scarab tee shirts, and the illustrations for our 2020 and 2022 Collections. For our 2020 California Collection, Courtney created nearly life-size watercolors to be used as backdrops for our campaign photo shoot. For our F/W '22 Collection, Courtney created a series of illustrations and animations of the face of the campaign as well as the animals that lent inspiration to the collection.
When we were in the last phase of creating of our new mobile store, I thought the interior was taking a turn for the too serious and wanted to "fun it up" a bit. We had chosen some beautiful sconces as part of the lighting plan and it struck me they could add a bit of whimsy and fun to the interiors if the shades were embroidered with the beautiful and playful illustrations Courtney had done for the 2022 Collection. So we called upon her once again, this time to create the artwork for the shades. Needless to say, Courtney understood perfectly the brief and the resulting artwork was exactly what was needed. Each sconce is unique and portrays a different member of our lovable animal family. They are exquisite and I've had to disappoint numerous visitors to the store who have wanted to buy them!
Hand & Lock
I've embroidered since I was a little girl. Nothing exciting or fancy -- cross-stitch on pillowcases, crewel work, and some needlepoint. I've always loved the meditative nature of stitching and, as I've gotten more involved in fashion and design, am always looking for ways to use embroidery in modern ways in our products, especially on our sweaters. It was during my first exploration of adding embroidery on our sweaters in 2018/2019 that I discovered Hand & Lock (no doubt during a late night fall into an Instagram hole).
Founded in 1767, Hand & Lock are London’s premier embroidery house providing embellishment services to the Royal Family, top European design houses, the Royal Armed Forces, Savile Row and members of the public. Sounds stuffy, I know, but their Instagram told a different story. And as I discovered when working with H&L, the place seemed to be run entirely by young women who shared my interest in making embroidery relevant while maintaining the highest standards of the craft. The original project, while yielding a beautiful product, wasn't logistically feasible and we put it aside.
During the pandemic, I wanted badly to take some interesting embroidery classes, both for inspiration and for the peace meditative stitching provides. Lucky for me, H&L had started to offer online embroidery classes and I immediately signed up for "Introduction to Goldwork." The classes are incredible (I'm about to start my fourth) -- each comes with a beautiful kit of the materials and, more importantly, the instructor is amazing. I strongly recommend taking a H&L class with Lucy Martin at your earliest opportunity. Not only did I enjoy the classes and learn a lot, but I was incredibly inspired to use embroidery for CALLIDAE. And, of course, when the idea for the embroidered sconces popped into my head, I turned immediately to the brilliant embroiderers at Hand & Lock who were more than willing and excited to take Courtney's scenes and embroider them on the shades for the sconces.
Andie Dinkin graduated with a BFA honors from Rhode Island School of Design in 2014. She is currently working in Los Angeles as a freelance artist. Collectors Include The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, University of Maine Museum, The New Yorker, Gigi’s Hollywood, DDG Partners, Studio Shamshiri, Project: ARTSpace, Stein Eriksen Residences, Vincenti Brentwood, Regent Properties, and The Standish, Brooklyn.
I first became acquainted with Andie's work around the time her work at Gigi's Hollywood (an elegant Los Angeles neighborhood bistro) was unveiled in late 2020. For Gigi's, she was commissioned to create an incredible mural, which covers the walls and ceiling of the restaurant with scenes of bacchanalia, celebration, food, wine, and love. Visiting Andie's Instagram feed transported me into the enchanting and beautiful worlds she creates -- worlds that combine classical themes with very modern sensibilities. I became obsessed with commissioning her to do a piece for CALLIDAE that could be turned into a fabric. After a bit of fan-girl chasing and a lot of waiting my turn, Andie agreed to take on the commission.
As much as I love collaborating, I dislike micromanaging -- especially with artists. If I commission an artist, it's because I love their work. So while we always discuss the project in a macro sense, I leave the direction and details up to them. That's how the magic happens. And so it was here -- when I opened the email with Andie's piece for us, I was entranced by the playfulness and humor of the beautiful fox hunting scene and knew it would be perfect for our sophisticated turtlenecks.