MINAMO | Holly Ryan, Jeweller


MINAMO, the latest Fall/Winter '16 collection by jeweller Holly Ryan, was inspired greatly by her recent travels to Japan. Captured personally by their traditional practices and the ingrained notion of 'Wabi Sabi,' Ryan set out to create a collection that although greatly informed, was "...more about a feeling." There is an innate sense of reverence at the very core of this collection, a quiet respect for her influencers, nature and art, and a modesty of design; quiet subtleties at play in each piece: 

"The Wavee designs are created to mimic the water’s surface out at sea from the island of Naoshima, as well as the handcrafted Japanese ceramics from the area. Also in the collection are some directional pieces inspired by Constantin Brancusi’s Bird In space sculptures from the 1920’s in the form of statement single earrings, a long fine pendant and an egg shaped ring."

All of the above only to be further illustrated in Ryan's leather collaboration with fellow designer Harriet Sutherland, pieces in the collaboration include: neck collars, a scarf, a belt, collars and a hat. True to the philosophy of 'Wabi Sabi' this collection on a whole is "...modest and underplayed" filled with "...the kind of quiet, undeclared beauty that waits patiently to be discovered."


[ KARA TOWN ] Given the gravitas art has in your life, were you moved by any artists in particular when designing for 'MINAMO'?

[ HOLLY RYAN ] I designed the collection on a trip to the island of Naoshima in Japan last year. The museums and galleries there fascinated me, I was completely in awe of their calm and generous beauty. The Chichu Art Museum houses work by Walter de Maria, a room full of glistening gold painted timber against harsh cement which moved me beyond belief. Radiant stillness, a room bathed in natural light, simplistic and silent in nature yet architecturally complex at the same time. The only way to travel there is across the sea and this really resonated with me. I'm a water baby, the ocean is my home and I spent a lot of time just staring out at it when I was there which inspired the Wavee disc shapes which feature heavily throughout the collection. The artists, architects and ceramicists who informed this collection are Walter de Maria, Constantin Brancusi, TADAO ANDO, Lee Ufan, James Turrell and Taro Tabuchi. But if I am truly honest, this collection is much more about a feeling, perhaps it is a sense of gratitude or understanding of the simplistic beauty of nature and the world around me in all of its imperfection. Minamo 水面 which literally means "water's surface" is my answer to the Wabi Sabi philosophy, a poetry of nuances and subtleties that defy mere words.

[ KT ] The 'H X H Leather Collaboration' is one to behold. There is a wonderful interplay between both of your chosen mediums, metal and leather, both quite assertive in nature, yet together there is a distinct malleability in their union as the Wavee disc sits softly, yet proudly atop the body skimming leather. How did the collaboration with designer Harriet Sutherland come about? What was the creative process like?

[ HR ] Harriet and I have been good friends for years. After seeing her clothing collection on the runway at the QUT graduate showcase in 2014 I suggested we collaborate as our aesthetics and tastes had become so similar. It was an incredibly easy process. We had a few glasses of Rosé and a cheese platter and sketched together for a few hours. Harriet sourced the leathers and colours and I got to work manipulating the metal shapes. The outcome is one we are both very proud of and which we will both be wearing throughout the Autumn/Winter season and for years to come.

[ KT ] Given your well-informed influences, the collaborative leather pieces with Harriet, and your refined personal injections into MINAMO, who do you feel is your audience for this collection?

[ HR] The Minamo collection is for a woman or man who appreciates such things as contemporary sculpture, conceptual art, quality construction, simplicity, silence, finding beauty in imperfection and a calming, natural environment. Everything I am seeking in my life right now is what this collection personifies, so I think it will resonate with women and men who crave those same things.

WORDS | Kara Town / Holly Ryan
PHOTOGRAPHER | Timothy Lovett
HxH | Holly Ryan x Harriet Sutherland leather collaboration
STYLIST | Ricky James Flynn
HAIR & MAKEUP | Filomena Natoli
MODELS | Nicole Gregorczuk (Chic), Yifan Zhang (Priscillas), Lucy Blay (Chadwicks)