BLOOM (VERB). TO PRODUCE OR YIELD BLOSSOMS. TO FLOURISH OR THRIVE.
Sans Beast turned 2 years old in March this year. For a niche, vegan handbag business that is still a bud, COVID19 has been a bruising that has taken a toll. No sooner were those birthday candles blown out, than we exited the building + retreated to our respective homes for the new normal in work life. I can’t say I have full clarity of hindsight yet – maybe in future years, this will become evident – but for now, I am (and our team are), focused on the spirit of a new series, and nurturing the connection we have with each other + our community...even if that's via virtual channels.
A friend shared an article with me recently that speaks to the ‘surge capacity’ of humans – our ability to deal with small spates of intense stress + change. Historically, when we’re greeted with acutely stressful situations, that threaten our short term survival, we metaphorically armour up + determine what we need to do, to survive + thrive. The article goes on to say that we’re not living in a surge situation in 2020. Instead, it’s become a constant state of insecurity + in many cases, fear + loss, that have kept many of us in a state of inertia, confusion, lethargy and/or universal sadness. I suspect that Google searches for ‘how to build resilience’ have increased, as we all attempt to tap into what is required to get our modern lives galvanised + able to weather regular storms. This Lucy Hone TED talk is a great one to listen to if you’re still searching.
So, about that resilience for Sans Beast: it's been a work in progress. Working on the photographic shoot for a new collection is one of the most rewarding aspects of the creative journey for me. I enjoy the gathering of inspiration, the building of a narrative, pulling a team together + mapping out what we’re going to create + how it will all come together. I love being on set, collaborating with a team + seeing imagery come to life. We may have been in a State of Emergency, but rain was not going to fall on our parade – we got busy doing reccie’s + getting organised.
Then the COVID19 hotspots occurred. No problem I thought, we’ll move the date of the shoot, forget the regional location, head to a studio. Concept #2 was dreamed up + new plans were made. Got excited again. Then a full lockdown for Melbourne hit (again) + all bets were off, as all suburbs had to shut up shop. Enter, concept #3 – move the shoot to Sydney + lean into asking people for support.
I sent a ‘please help’ message to stylist Kirsty Barros + she jumped into action. Introducing us to photographer Sarah Adamson, hair / makeup artist Cherry Cheung + scouting locations - Kirsty was integral in pulling this shoot together. Fronting the lens for the shoot, is the beautiful (+ incredible dancer) Crystal Russell.
"I’M A STYLIST, ART DIRECTOR + A DESIGNER BUT BASICALLY I GET TO PLAY DRESS UPS MOST DAYS....INSPIRATION STEMS FROM ANYWHERE + EVERYWHERE. NATURE, THE FUTURE, ART, CINEMA, VINTAGE, CRAFT, MUSIC."
- KIRSTY BARROS, STYLIST
I can’t say it was easy not being there – yet the team did everything in their power to connect us to the day, sending shots as they went (and making us jealous of their ability to be on location, on what looked to be a perfect Sydney day).
"I GET INSPIRATION FROM EVERYWHERE - PEOPLE, MOVIES, GRAPHIC DESIGN, MAGAZINES, LIGHT + COLOUR."
- SARAH ADAMSON, PHOTOGRAPHER
"I AM AN ARTIST THAT USE FACES AS MY CANVAS...I BELIEVE IN ALIENS + I WOULD LOVE TO MEET THEM." - CHERRY CHEUNG, HAIR + MAKEUP ARTIST
Please, jump on to our IG stories to learn more about the talented crew that were in front of + behind the scenes of our shoot.
"I'M A MODEL + A DANCER...I'M INSPIRED BY THE IDEA THAT NO MATTER HOW BAD SOMETHING IS, IT CAN BE CREATED + TRANSFORMED INTO SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL + HEALING, THROUGH ART." - CRYSTAL RUSSELL, MODEL + DANCER
Series 06 has turned out a little smaller + slightly different to what we first imagined. It’s had various monikers, as we've navigated our way through these past months. Given all that the world is going through right now, in the hope of bringing some optimism into the light, we landed on a name that wasn’t even a proverbial twinkle in the creative eye 4 months ago. It feels appropriate based on our mood right now.
We’re still here + we’re determined to nourish this bud of a brand. Welcome to Series 06, Beast Bloom.
As always, thanks for being here with us.
Cathryn Wills, Founder