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A Mixed Bag at YKK


Austrian designer Isabel Helf debuts her collection at YKK London Showroom…

Isabel Helf, Austrian accessories and product designer has unveiled the “Framework” collection at the YKK London Showroom, featuring six handbags that combine furniture, product and fashion design. The collection will be on display until the 6th April.

Combining the curiosity in human characteristics and behavioural trends with a passion for woodworking, Helf’s ‘Framework’ pieces are further inspired by Gestalt psychology, a movement founded by Austrian Max Wertheimer focusing on the variety of human perceptions.

Helf commented: “Subconsciously, we choose what we want to perceive, and this only happens if something captures our attention and we think it’s important.”

Helf creates multifunctional pieces that relate to customers on a psychological level. Bags in ‘Framework’ have been designed with already integrated storage possibilities so that the handbags can be stored anywhere, not just in their specified places at home. Each bag features YKK snap fasteners, with YKK zippers used for pockets on the inside.

In both the Statusbag and Standbag pieces, the bags are the main focus of attention with visual accents around them. The Statusbag is on a rack, and the bag can either be worn with it, or used as portable storage. The Standbag also has a built in stand function which acts as a protective and integrated storage area for the bag. The Boundingbag is inspired by the Gestalt figure ground principle, where the more a figure differs from its surroundings in form or colour, the more attention and memorability it gets.

Helf’s creative inspiration for the Casingbag was the simplicity theory, where simple structure and symmetry support the ability to concentrate on essential points. The wooden box acts as a house and permanent storage for the bag. For the Basebag, Helf draws on Gestalt’s theory of consciousness, where objects with special, eye-catching characteristics are noticed, including the base of the bag.

Based in Vienna, Helf launched her own label in 2015 after completing her Master’s degree at London College of Fashion. In the same year, she won the Accessories Award in the YKK International Talent Support competition. Helf said “Working with the YKK team since 2015 has taught me that fastenings can be used in so many more ways than you would initially expect.” For additional information visit isabelhelf.com

YKK London Showroom is a unique resource for designers, students and customers, based in the heart of Shoreditch at 154 Commercial Street, for more information about the showroom, visit: www.ykklondonshowroom.com

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