Style Melbourne

B-Spoke

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woman’s worst fashion fear is being caught in the same attire as another. B-Spoke takes on the challenge of achieving exclusivity when accessorising by offering customer hand made products tailored for the individual. Fashion designer and milliner Sarah Cranitch will take your vision from shape, colour and material to handcraft a unique piece suiting your signature style. See below our one on one interview with Sarah sharing her love for quality accessories and some tips for flawless race style at this years Spring Racing Style.

1. How did you enter the fashion market and what inspired you to produce millinery and accessories?

I have been in fashion for years and the key to any one standing out is personal style and individuality. If you have to wear a dress or jeans that is from a ‘high’ street outlet, that everyone else has access to or is the current trend, the only way to stand out and express your personality without saying a word is accessorise with either a hat, jewellery, bag or shoe in endless shapes, design, colour and material eg, a vintage sun hat, comfortable beanie, trendy fedora or sporty cap. Match your personality with in-your-face bling or understated, silver pendant on a simple chain, kitch cufflinks, or beaded bohemian bracelet. It’s the accessory that speaks a thousand words. So make your mark!

2. Your products are custom made in Australia – was this driven by customer demand for quality and exclusivity or something you are passionate about?

I am passionate to see the vision and flexibility of the person behind the product; both customer and supplier. There is so much talent in Australia, some identities more well-known than others. For example, working with Suzy O’Rourke, a well known and avante-garde milliner is like being Alice in Wonderland, anything is possible and she has been able to create such original, unique looks that synergise and marry a whole outfit like it was made with the other in mind. Her pieces are never seen as an add-on but a necessary accompaniment.

3. Can you tell us about your unique design process and why customers love B-Spoke?

It gives the customer a voice and the power to create instead of a common retail experience whereby sales staff may only have targets in mind. B-Spoke brings well researched expertise with the customer’s complete outfit and personal style in mind taking in to consideration what there lifestyle, career and personal thoughts are.

4. You’ve recently been nominated for a Telstra Business Women’s Award. Congratulations on your nomination! How did this come about?

The nomination is flattering and is based on the initiative to support australian artisans and trying to educate people that there is so much talent and that quality and custom made is like having an asset rather than something made from overseas perhaps in a factory and based on quantity rather than quality and that doesn’t fit perfectly. B-Spoke allows you to lead a trend and not follow based on your own ideas.

5. Do you produce your work in seasons (i.e. Summer/Spring etc) or do you theme it around events such as bridal expos and the racing?

I have only been in Melbourne for one year and am still in the process of brand awareness. The designs are mostly themed around events, eg, a high end fashion label event; colour is the key that matches a specific pattern in fabric. Burlesque event will want feathers, Vehicle brands (Mercedes) will want leather and personalised stitching.

6. Any trends you can share with us Melbournians for this Spring Carnival Season?

I don’t believe in trends, you can make most things work if the thought process has been put in. Tips are;

For the races, ensure there is consistency by having the same colour in the shoe, bag and hat as the body is pretty much broken up into three parts so a common accent colour must be seen in head (top), hips (torso) and feet (bottom) for balance so nothing looks neglected. Anything else looks like you may be going to a wedding. Don’t wear a hat that is larger than your head/face as it looks like it will capsize. The large IT bag look is gone. Think baguette size and refined. Don’t let the shoes wear you. Nothing worse than seeing a filly at the races holding a hat, an oversized bag and gripping oversized heeled shoes to remain vertical! If you are in control of your outfit, you’re in control of your life. Whether we like it or not, first impressions count.

6. Do you have a favourite piece from your collections? Was it for someone special and what makes it your favourite? (i.e. Intensive production process, the event etc).

A birthday gift to a musician, an oxidised stirling silver neck pendant in the shape of plectrum (guitar pick). His surname was Knight so much research was done at the library to find an ancient coin with a knight riding a horse in to battle which represented bravery. This was his first piece of jewellery and he never took it off as the story meant so much to him and was always a big talking point amongst viewers.

Also, a smokey-silver metallicy grey glamour sun hat that tilts upwards at the back was worn both at the races last year and at the beach!! The shape flopped down at the front and had a high back. Unusual design that deserves to be seen in most environments. The colour goes with anything strong, bold or black and was not designed around a trend therefore, will be an asset to many outfits for a long time.

Interview by Angela Fedele

Images courtesy label

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