Team LBD meets Tatty Devine
Team LBD meets Tatty Devine
Rosie Wolfenden and Harriet Vine are the founders and design force behind cool jewellery brand Tatty Devine, now available to buy through Little Black Dress. Team LBD had the pleasure to catch up with them about their style, work life and fantasy nights out in a LBD... Tell us about you – how and why did you start Tatty Devine? We met at art school in London in 1996 where we were studying Painting. While we studied we worked together at the V&A restaurant, lived together in Brixton and ended up organising the end-of-year party together. All these things made us realise what a fantastic team we made and that we should do something together. After we graduated we set up a studio in my bedroom customising clothes, and making things. Previously Harriet had found bags of leather sample books outside a furnishing store. We decided to cut them up into wrist cuffs and sell them at Portabello market. It was really successful, we sold more and more as every week went by and got more experimental as time went by. Within three months we were selling to Whistles, Harvey Nichols and Urban Outfitters and we had our cuffs featured in Vogue. Where did the name come from? Partly from Harriet’s surname, “Vine”, we used to call her Miss Devine but also because it sounded like a real woman’s name. We knew it was right because the day we started using it, someone said “Oh yes, I’ve heard of you!” Describe a day in the life of Harriet and Rosie. We work from our Headquarters around the corner from our Brick Lane shop in London’s east end, and generally start the day at around nine o’clock. A lot happens from here including the designing, manufacturing, web design and fulfillment and distribution. We each look after different areas and our days can be quite varied. There are often meetings on and off site, which could be with companies such as Selfridges or with suppliers such as Swarovski. We try and spend as much time together going over ideas for jewellery as well as ideas for improving the business. We manufacture all our jewellery here and at our Kent workshop, so spend a lot of time overseeing production. We usually finish around six o’clock, although more often than not there are events, talks and meetings to attend in the evening too. What do you wear to work? We both have our own styles. I cycle to work which can be frustrating from an outfit perspective, the pencil skirts and high heels had to go when I bought my bike. Harriet tends to wear quite plain tops as she is always trying on jewellery to see how things sit and look. If she comes to work wearing a necklace it doesn't last long as she soon takes it off to try something else on. What famous fans do you have? Anyone you’d love to see wearing your designs? Over the years there have been some incredible people who have worn Tatty Devine. Bjork once came in our shop and bought a dinosaur necklace, Beth Ditto has worn several pieces as well as Karen O. Alexa Chung has popped in the shop to buy jewellery before as well as Katy Perry and Lana Del Ray. More recently Mary Portas has been wearing the Parakeet necklace and Ivy wreath necklace on her TV show. We also just sent a necklace to Lil’ Kim, which is pretty cool. We love to see powerful women wear Tatty Devine, and like to make jewellery for women who have something to say. What’s your favourite piece? Undoubtedly, the dinosaur necklace. Which pieces would you recommend wearing with a LBD and why? It depends what look you are going for but the Mexican Embroidery necklace would look great on a little black dress. Who is your favourite fashion designer and why? We have always admired Vivienne Westwood for her spirit and Elsa Schiaparelli for her surreal take on the everyday. Where do you get your inspiration from? From each other and from everything we absorb, whether it's somewhere we've visited or something we've read or something we've eaten. Do you own a LBD? What does it mean to you? Rosie: I have always had a LBD whether it is vintage, designer or high street. I wear them to parties when I want to feel smart, classic and chic. Harriet: Yes, I own lots! From a really casual oversized sweatshirt dress for running around in teamed with crazy legging, to a black satin, backless, gladiator style mini dress, which might come out for dancing on NYE. If it feels too glam, I dress it down with creepers and coloured tights. My favourite one is by Bernhard Willhelm, which is jersey and has a million ruffles. Who is your LBD style icon? Rosie: Audrey Hepburn (oh how predictable!) or Hollywood 50s actress Jean Seberg. Harriet: Chanel, Iris Apfel, PJ Harvey. What would be your perfect party night in your LBD? Most glamourous nights in a LBD start in a black cab. Maybe some drinks first at an opening of a new exhibition, then dinner with lovely people and delicious food at L'Ami Jean, in Paris. There would be an invite to a special night of music and exciting things where Pulp and Belle and Sebastian would be curating some of their favourite bands, and afterwards there would be dancing with all our friends at The Factory (Andy Warhol’s original New York studio) where Andy Warhol would be making a film of us (you did say it could be imaginary!). When we got bored of hanging out with Andy we would walk home along a beach on Praslin in the Seychelles and watch the sunrise over the Vallée de Mai. And lastly, what are your three favourite dresses from Little Black Dress? There are too many! Here's a few… Mary Katrantzou’s Babelona dress Cotton-gabardine dress by Yves Saint Laurent Wisteria printed silk-satin and silk-twill dress by Preen Shop Tatty Devine in Little Black Dress.