Style is a state of mind.
This is Vera Black – a part Maori, part Australian musician who I met in London on Portobello Road back in November last year. I’ve been meaning to write a post about her and her work for some time, but I’ve been stuck for words to describe her gorgeous spirit.
She’s a musician first, but also an entrepreneur with a sense of style that makes you want to chew on your hair with guilty delight. The feather head-piece in the pic below is one of many of Vera’s unique bohemian accessories that I have spent a good part of my “leisure money” on.
Originally conceived as props for her performances they quickly became a must-have for her audience, and in 2010 she launched her label Vera Black Designs that has gained exposure among fashion stylists, actors and models the world over.
Isabel Lucas, actress
Claire McCarthy, writer/director
Dougie Poynter, musician McFly
Vera Black, herself
Each feather is ethically sourced, and many of the wild bird feathers are moulted and collected by her and her mother in Australia before being hand-woven with leather strings, clever grips and semi-precious stones to create lustrous ornaments for your hair…
…Or dangle as key chains on your ripped-jean shorts:
Vera’s musician husband, Luke’ s leg…
There are so many ways to wear each unisex piece… I’ve taken to clipping the hair pieces off mesh and chiffon scarves, handbags, wound tight around my wrist, or just clipped into wet hair or onto the ties of my bikini top to tickle my skin while sipping on fresh coconut water on the beach.
The delicate and charming beauty of layered feathers, cut and crafted into new combinations, beats the shimmer of traditional jewellery and adds a light-weight, natural, carefree slant to an outfit.
Vera describes the pieces as art rather than accessories, reminiscent of her tribal roots that express a sense of identity and spirit that collaborates with nature. Allowing you to accessorise without it looking contrived, they bring a welcome softness to the hard-edged metallic jewellery that dominates London’s streets and workplaces today.
Bracelets and cloth “armies” range from £10 to £45 and hair pieces sell between £35 to a pricier £75 a pop, depending on size of feather and types of stones. You can visit her online shop at http://www.verablack.com where she also offers gift boxes – the perfect treat for Valentine’s day, a birthday, or as a late Christmas present.
Message in a bottle necklace, for him (£45.-) Made from laser cut copper tubing, brass fittings and a glass tube filled with crystal quartz pieces for clean energy. Braided faux suede necklace with wooden beading.
Vera also has a stall on Saturday mornings on Portobello Road Market and trades the next day at Sunday UpMarket at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane. She can also tailor a piece with your birthstone or preferred colour scheme upon request.
I have my eye on her dainty pastel Dream Catchers as my next indulgence:
Ocean Blue Dream Catcher (£65.-) using real Turquoise beading mixed with Swarovski Crystal. Feathers are from Silver Tail Pheasant and White Peacock.
Vera Black is a STYLOBATER because she’s a woman who doesn’t just wear beautiful things, but lives her aesthetic. Listen to her haunting voice here, and look her up on YouTube:
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