Minimalism

LAUNCHING: Sustainable leather-alternative tote bags (Piñatex) by Enoch Ho

We’re launching our tote bags in an all-new material: Piñatex®, a sustainable leather alternative, made with pineapple leaf fibres.

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Why Piñatex®

Ever since the launch of our tote bags, plenty of people have asked whether we would be doing leather versions. To be honest, whilst we do want to create a version of these bags in a more durable and luxurious material, we wanted to look for more sustainable alternatives to leather. In our research we came across several options, but when we discovered Piñatex® we immediately resonated with the material, and fell in love with the many different ways that makes it sustainable.

Photo by Jacob Maentz, courtesy of Ananas Anam

Photo by Jacob Maentz, courtesy of Ananas Anam

Ways that Piñatex® is sustainable

1. Agricultural by-product

According to Ananas Anam, the company that produces Piñatex®, there is approximately 13 million tonnes of waste created annually from global pineapple agriculture. As a natural by-product, pineapple leaves require no extra land, water or other resources to produce, and it helps farmers deal with what would’ve been a large amount of waste.

Photo by Jacob Maentz, courtesy of Ananas Anam

Photo by Jacob Maentz, courtesy of Ananas Anam

2. Additional income for farmers

Whilst farmers make a humble living growing and selling pineapples, harvesting and processing the leaf fibres offer them an extra income during low-seasons, making Piñatex® an economically sustainable product.

Photo by Jacob Maentz, courtesy of Ananas Anam

Photo by Jacob Maentz, courtesy of Ananas Anam

3. Biomass

After extracting fibres from pineapple leaves, what’s leftover is considered biomass. The biomass can then be used as a natural fertiliser and returned into farmlands, helping farmers save costs and minimising agricultural waste.

4. Leather Alternative

Piñatex® offers consumers an eco-friendly, vegan and sustainable alternative to leather. Ananas Anam founder Dr. Carmen Hijosa had worked in the leather industry for many years, and after witnessing the environmental damages of leather production in a work trip to the Philippines, she began looking for ways to create an alternative material. With the help of locals, she was led to piña, a fine fibre extracted from the leaves of pineapples that Filipinos have traditionally spun and woven into textiles.

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Photo courtesy of Ananas Anam

Photo courtesy of Ananas Anam

From the pineapple leaf fibres, Dr. Hijosa developed a non-woven material that would serve as the base of Piñatex®, which is a durable and strong material not dissimilar to leather, and at the same time breathable, light and flexible. The process of harvesting pineapple leaf fibres to forming the non-woven material is done entirely in the Philippines, and it is then shipped to Europe for the final treatments of colouring, applying a coating and textures to mimic a leather-like surface. The end result is a material that is luxurious and great eco-friendly alternative to animal leather.

To learn more about Piñatex®, visit their website here.

Photo courtesy of Ananas Anam

Photo courtesy of Ananas Anam

OUR TOTES

Since discovering Piñatex® through our research, we resonated strongly with its goal of sustainability, and wanted to become a part of this revolution in bringing more sustainable and environmentally friendly materials into the market.

To find out more about each style, click on the link or images.

NOTCH Bag in Piñatex® (Charcoal)

Dimensions: 13.5” x 18”

DIAGONAL Bag in Piñatex® (Charcoal)

Dimensions: 13.5” x 18”

U Bag in Piñatex® (Charcoal)

Dimensions: 15” x 25.5”

NOTE: All Piñatex® styles are Made-To-Order only, projected lead-time is 2-3 weeks, based on material availability. For enquiries, please contact us at sales@berayah.com.

Photoblog: Museum of Fine Arts (Boston) by Enoch Ho

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Any day you get to see Rothko is a good day.

We managed to catch the Mark Rothko: Reflections exhibition at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, entering through the Seeking Stillness exhibition consisting of other contemporary minimal artworks.

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Back to Rothko. This was a particularly interesting exhibition, as it showed Rothko's work from various time periods of his career, and gave context to his style journey until he arrived at the iconic coloured blocks.

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As Rothko developed into his eventual settled style of blocks of deep, complex hues, he described his abstract style as "the elimination of all obstacles between the painter and the idea and between the idea and the observer". By removing all elements that could lead to external references, Rothko's paintings manages to isolate and engage the viewers' emotions by submerging them into an enveloped experience of colours.

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Ultimately, like many abstract expressionist artists, his work invites the observer to give meaning to the art, and for what it's worth, your interpretation and experience as the viewer is as important as anyone else's. That is the precious equality that can be found in Rothko's art, along with his contemporaries of the field.

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People often describe standing in front of a Rothko painting as a religious experience. If you're presented with the opportunity to see a Rothko piece, we highly recommend spending some time, submerging into the experience and engaging with the dynamics between the art and one's internal being.

Designing a Minimal and Meaningful Wedding Dress by Enoch Ho

Kaki and San

Kaki and San

When Berayah first began, we didn't set out to make wedding dresses. but slowly we have seen an increase in requests, and often times people want to know the process so we thought we'd share a bit about the process of creating a custom wedding dress.


1. Consultation Meeting

It is important to get to know the person wearing the dress, after all it is their big day. A wedding is a big deal, it's a celebration of the couple's individuality and their unity, so often times when brides-to-be want a custom dress, it's because they want something that not only fits their BODY uniquely, but moreover something that fits their PERSON uniquely.

Image Source: Pixabay

Image Source: Pixabay

So during the consultation meeting, we try to get to know the bride-to-be. From aesthetics they identify with, things that have special meaning to their relationship, to lifestyle choices and hobbies, every piece of information help us understand who the bride is, what they're about and how to best represent them on their big day.

Practically, we will try to get a good understanding of what the bride's body type is, what type of clothes most flatters her, what features she wants to accentuate and what she wants to discreetly draw attention away from.

Shirleen, Image courtesy of    Lauhaus Photography    and    Timeless Events Design

Shirleen, Image courtesy of Lauhaus Photography and Timeless Events Design

2. Design

After the initial consultation meeting, we go into the design stage. We generally try to come up with a variety of designs that include different silhouettes, details and style concepts. We research and develop ideas based on the bride's preferences, and if possible come up with ideas that have symbolic meaning to the couple. When we have an initial set of designs (usually between 10-15 ideas), we present them to the bride in our first review meeting. At this point, the main goal is to work with the bride and narrow down to 2-3 workable designs, seeing which silhouettes and details the bride favours. We highlight elements that the bride likes from different designs, so we can proceed to the 2nd stage of design with a bit more focus, and can build on existing ideas that the bride identifies with.

Julia, image courtesy of    Jack Lui Photography

Julia, image courtesy of Jack Lui Photography

A 2nd review meeting then takes place, this time with fewer but more focused designs. The bride will be able to see more developed ideas, and can visualise how different elements previously selected come together into a full look. The goal of this meeting is to further narrow down the designs into 1-2 looks according to the bride's liking, so that we can develop the final design. This is also the stage where we will discuss fabric options, as we now will have a better idea on what the final dress will look like, and what materials will work best to achieve the look.

The final design stage involves fine-tuning the design and provide minor variances. It is normal that the bride will have trouble deciding between final options, so we try to be as flexible as possible and this stage is to offer a visualisation of these variances.

3. Toile & Fitting

Toiling is the process of creating a mock-up garment for the purpose of fitting. It is generally created in a cheaper fabric with less finished construction, but will give important indication on how the final garment will sit on the bride. We will have a fitting session with the bride, and at this stage the shape and feel of the final dress should be more apparent. We will make necessary fit adjustments to the pattern, but also check with the bride about things such as length of dress, sleeves, width of openings and such.

This stage usually takes place around 2-3 months prior to the wedding date.

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4. Making of the dress and final fitting

After fitting the toile and making pattern adjustments, we proceed into making the final garment. This process generally takes several weeks, and after we complete the majority of the dress, we meet the bride for a final fitting, usually about 3 weeks prior to the wedding day. Here we make sure the dress fits the bride perfectly, and make any final alterations necessary before the final delivery. To our experience, almost all brides lose weight as their big day approaches, so it is not uncommon for the toile and the final dress to fit differently, and we factor in this fitting/alteration specifically for this reason.

The entire process can take up to 6 months, and every step along the way we make sure the bride is well-involved, ensuring that their wedding dress is not a designer's isolated creation, but that they are every-bit part of the design and creation, making it something that is uniquely theirs.

5. Minimalism and Meaning

As a brand, our aesthetics are minimal, so in creating wedding dresses we try to adhere to our principals, whilst respecting the input from our brides. That generally means geometric and elongating seam lines, relatively simple elegant silhouettes and clean finishings. We employ different techniques, such as creating angled back openings and pointed armholes in order to create subtle but visually slimming lines.

When possible, we also try to use various details to embed symbolic meanings into our designs, such as a marble lining signifying an inner strength, overlapping panels signifying the coming together of two people, or a waist knot that signifies the unifying marriage.

Caleb and Shiren, image courtesy of    Lauhaus Photography

Caleb and Shiren, image courtesy of Lauhaus Photography

Shiren, image courtesy of    Lauhaus Photography

Shiren, image courtesy of Lauhaus Photography

Jason and Shirleen, Image courtesy of    Lauhaus Photography    and    Timeless Events Design

Jason and Shirleen, Image courtesy of Lauhaus Photography and Timeless Events Design

Shirleen, Image courtesy of    Lauhaus Photography    and    Timeless Events Design

Shirleen, Image courtesy of Lauhaus Photography and Timeless Events Design

Michael and Julia, image courtesy of    Jack Lui Photography

Michael and Julia, image courtesy of Jack Lui Photography

Kaki and San

Kaki and San

And that's it! As previously mentioned, we never set out to make wedding dresses, so this has been a learning process and an interesting journey for us too. We want to sincerely thank the brides that have decided to put their trust in us, giving us the privilege of taking part in their memorable day.

For any custom inquiries, feel free to contact us at sales@berayah.com.

Photoblog: The Tabernacle by Enoch Ho

We found a beautifully minimal space in Shenzhen called The Tabernacle (帐幕), located on an industrial site in the Shekou (蛇口) area.

Image by Enoch Ho

The Tabernacle is a prayer and worship space built by local Christian architects, open 24/7 for the general public as a shelter for the soul. After passing through wooden doors, you enter a quiet foyer space equipped with a couch and a bookshelf, with a narrow entrance to the tabernacle space to the left.

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Between grey concrete, white walls and wooden furnishings, the Tabernacle is clean, minimal and naturally lit. The space is separated into the large main tabernacle area, and a smaller narrow space divided by vertical wooden blinds, which is equipped with musical instruments. To the front of the room is a small stage, and at the far corner is a glass door that lets in natural light.

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The space is open 24/7 free of charge for the general public, and is tended at all times by a caretaker. As you visit, please be reminded to respect the sanctity of the space, mute all your sounding devices and limit any conversation to 30 seconds or less. Photography is allowed but please exercise your discretion in consideration of others.

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Below is a video of The Tabernacle made by Chinese society and culture website Yitiao:

Video by 一条 YIT

Address:

帐幕-深圳市南山区蛇口TCL研发工业园D栋

Block D, TCL Industrial Park, 9 Gongye 6th Road, Shekou District, Shenzhen (English address roughly translated)

Baidu Map Link: https://j.map.baidu.com/oaSmO