HANDMADE WITH HEART
â€˜All art is autobiographical; the pearl is the oysterâ€™s autobiography.â€™ Itâ€™s as though this Federico Fellini quote was custom-made for Hobartâ€™s Oyster and Pearl, a studio filled with beautiful, limited-edition, womenâ€™s threads and accessories designed and produced by local creative Louise Whiting. A lover of design since she was a wee thing, thereâ€™s a little bit of her in every piece. Concealed up a rickety flight of stairs on Liverpool Street, Louiseâ€™s studio space is an elegant warren, complete with salvaged treasures, arty sculptures and nostalgic touches. If youâ€™re lucky, youâ€™ll encounter her in the throes of the creative process, madly sketching, drafting or sewing up a new piece on her trusty Bernina sewing machine. Being a bit of a hunter gatherer, Louise is always on the lookout for materials to incorporate into or inspire her contemporary and bold creations. Her work often takes her overseas to places like Vietnam and Hong Kong in search of textiles to use. Colour dominates her spring/summer range but black is where itâ€™s at for autumn/winter (Louise is originally from Melbourne, after all, plus Tasmaniaâ€™s crows inspire her).Pleats are another favourite, and chunky jewellery too. The shopping vibe here is ultra casual, so donâ€™t expect perked-up service or an annoying in-your-face sales pitch. What you can expect, however, is a chic studio thatâ€™s a work of art in itself, a place where fashion is handmade with heart. Come read Louiseâ€™s story.