I seem to love using Machine-A in Berwick Street, as my go to shop recommendation for photoshoots where supposedly, I play the role as 'knowledgeable' Londoner, doing a 'good' job of showing and telling people where to shop.  So for a Japanese magazine a few weeks ago, I once again, turned to Machine-A for a good ransacking and once again, found ANOTHER label that I hadn't heard of.  I would say I'm fairly up to speed with graduates but somehow Machine-A gets the ones that slip through my radar and fortunately make them available to the public at large.  For the aforementioned photoshop, I tried on a beautiful hand dyed lambskin leather jacket that had been embellished with glass beads and draped with a panel of pleated grey chiffon to offset the leather.  Lusssssshhhh….. sadly in the heated bother of the photoshop, I failed to take down the name.

Fortunately, the designer Manuela Duck Dack (yes, you'd think I would have remembered a name like that…) emailed me to ask me to take a gander at her website.  A graduate of Middlesex uni, Manuela took a year out in her course to go to New York and work at Alexander Wang where she got stuck into the various projects.  After that she came back to complete her graduate collection from which the jacket is from.  Based on ritual tribal scarring and marking of the skin, her fascination with different cultures' ideals of beauty was the initial inspiration.  This then translated into a contrast of 'masculine' or 'hard' materials like leather and metallic elements with more feminine fabrics.  In addition, Manuela builds a collection from an initial layer of lingerie and uses that as her foundation.  It of course pleases me that she'll be doing more lingerie/swimwear-inspired pieces of work in her next collection.  She'll be getting more pieces into Machine-A, variations of pieces from her graduate collection so there'll be black suede and leather versions of that beautiful jacket I tried on as well as long-line silk bras in nude, grey, black leather and suede.  Another visit to the Machine of Amazing designers is required of course to feel this all up but it's all sounding good in my palette books and if the leather jackets are as well-finished as the one I tried on (2nd pic down on the left if you need a piccy reference…) then I'm sure there'll be other people in the store feeling it up too…

The graduate collection…

Mani Collection1

The pre-collection… yes, even graduates do them now…

Christina_smith_14_1DE456D9-24E8-5EC4-4F8B778378ACC97F
Christina_smith_16_1DE56B29-24E8-5EC4-4F7D8B5DBBB26916
Christina_smith11-1
Christina_smith13-1
(All photography by Christina Smith)

Manuela will also be working on a series of body jewellery, designed to be worn 'under' sheer pieces (not over as I'd imagine…) as well as being layered and worked into layers of chiffon, a theme she will continue for her next collection.  Her blog is probably the best place to go for collection updates given that she's always got a cacophony of imagery and photoshoots with her prolific amount of work (she has a pre-collection and a menswear collection that's going into Machine-A too!) going up there… 

Mani Inspiration

**EDIT** Ok, so my eyesight is severely poor…. I misread Dack to be Duck – and I have no idea why.  Oh right, i know why – it's because I'm straining my eyes to see what is on the screen because my contact lenses are the wrong prescription.  Write this blogger off and condemn her to the blind house.  It's a good thing I can touch type… amended and corrected…

Comments (12)

  1. Abbey says:

    I love the pictures and the post. :)

  2. E says:

    i think it’s Manuela Dack and not Duck

  3. susie_bubble says:

    E: Oh my god, my contact lens prescription is so OFF… for some reason, I really read it as Duck and not Dack… that’s very very scary… ok… logging off now… must go see an optician asap…

  4. Valerie says:

    i enjoyed reading your post and the pictures are soo amazing
    http://simple-et-chic.blogspot.com/

  5. Slounge says:

    Dack is so stylish! thank you to let me know her

  6. Clairey says:

    Oh my belly aches with longing for a piece. Gawwwwwd so gorgeous! http://bloggamonsta.blogspot.com/

  7. loved this sheepskin coat, the shape is beautiful and it looks great on the model. So would love to own one
    elena
    http://elenavasilieva.blogspot.com/

  8. Valentine says:

    Very interesting thanks!
    I like the mood…
    http://valentineavoh.blogspot.com
    -the diary of a fashion stylist-

  9. Susan says:

    WoW…I like the Black & White versions…simply cool…and she’s very pretty ;)

  10. Joy D. says:

    Haha, a very good post as usual.

  11. I like the dresses. Oh so stylish. Nice post.

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