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Perfect Pieces Jewellery - May 2012

Until Wednesday the 23rd May 2012 Perfect Pieces Jewellery ( 3 Theatre Place, Maling Road Canterbury VIC (03) 9888 6945) will be showcasing a lovely selection of Dames & Divas shoes, handbags and accessories.

Pop in and say hi to Vanessa and try on a pair of Kimono & Organic Denim Wedges and view our lovely new range of Kimono Resin Bangles and Bracelets.

All Dames & Divas pieces are limited edition and one of a kind so pop in today to take a look!

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Dames & Divas Birthday Celebrations!

To help celebrate our third birthday, upload a picture of yourself wearing any piece of Dames & Divas to our Facebook page (or email sales@damesanddivas.com.au and we can upload for you!) by Wednesday the 18th April and our favourite/s will receive a Dames & Divas party bag!

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy Birthday to Dames & Divas!

To celebrate our 3rd birthday we are starting our birthday week with free standard postage on all products online at www.damesanddivas.com.au until the 22nd April!
(shipping with be removed in your Paypal cart).
 
Stay tuned to our Facebook page for a week full of birthday celebrations and some fabulous give aways!
 
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Dames & Divas HQ!

We have been incredibly busy at Dames & Divas headquarters the past few months!

Here is a little summary of what we have been up to!

·         Attended Bowerbird Bazaar (Adelaide), Piccadilly Market (Geelong) and Style After Dark (South Melbourne).

·         Launched two new collections – Veisha Autumn/Winter 2012 (vintage silk kimono shoes and accessories) and by the piece (recycled resin jewellery).

·         The lovely Storia in Guildford (WA) has become our exclusive Perth stockist.

·         Completed a number of custom bridal shoes for some lovely brides to be.

·         Worked with our stockists to create ranges especially for them.

We have also been working on a fabulous new website and have lots of plans in motion including a special surprise to celebrate our 3rd birthday!

Phew! Lots more to report so please stay tuned!!

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Dames & Divas Shoe Sizing

Shoe sizing has been an interesting journey in our business!

We started with ‘Australian sizing’ e.g. 6,7,8,9,10 but this became confusing with our international customers so we revised to European sizing in 2010. Late last year we also decided to expand our lasts so we can now offer our customers size 35 through to size 46 (custom made).

There is no Australian or international shoe sizing standard and every shoe label tends to follow their own sizing guidelines.

Then it comes down to the length and width of the customers’ feet.

Did you know - it’s rare that two feet are exactly the same; one of them is often larger than the other.

Some customers have almost a whole size difference between their left and right feet.

Then there are arches, toes (some peoples toes are longer than others and the big toe is not always the longest toe!) bunions, narrow widths, wider widths etc etc

We ask our customers what shoe size they normally wear and then double check their measurements against our sizing chart (by taking their longest toe to heel measurement and their width). 

 

At the present time we only have one width last per size so we are unable to widen our shoes however we do find that if a customer has a wider foot, one or two sizes up (from what they normally wear) fit nicely.

All Dames and Divas shoes are lined in suede which is not only beautiful and soft but also gives perfectly to the shape of your feet.

As Dames & Divas shoes have never been tried on before they will be a little stiff to begin with but even after the first wear, they will start giving and mould to the shape of your feet.

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Dames & Divas Kimono Selection

Dames & Divas Kimono selection is based on condition, colour, size, supply & demand, interest and mystery.

Dames & Divas products’ are handcrafted from vintage silk kimonos; all of which are at least 20 years old. The older the kimono the more likely that some areas may have been damaged over time. Slight markings add to the character and personality of the piece; however severe damage will not translate well to final pieces.

Childrens’ kimonos (in particular girls) are often the most colourful. Gorgeous hues, busy patterns and interesting subjects are the Dames & Divas trademark which are at their best in these fabulous kimonos. However, childrens’ kimonos are also the smallest, which means only 2+ metres of 17-30cm width silk can be obtained per kimono. Every pair of Dames & Divas Wedges uses 1 metre of fabric, so the smaller the kimono the more limited the range.

Adult kimonos tend to be more subdued however Furisodes (traditionally worn by unmarried women) are often bright and beautiful. Adult kimonos produce anywhere from 4-9 metres of silk depending on their size.

It is always exciting unpicking a kimono as you never know what you are going to find hiding beneath the intrinsic layers. Sometimes a section is un-picked to discover it was mended with a brilliant piece of kimono much more beautiful than the kimono itself. These pieces are never wasted, instead used in the creation of Dames & Divas accessories such as rings and hair accessories.

 Image of Kimono Resin Rings

Selection is driven by supply and demand. Orange and red kimonos are the most sought after. Turquoise and aqua are also very difficult to find in good condition. Here is a picture of our favourite kimono ever! We have never been able to find a kimono this brilliant turquoise again.

Interesting patterns and subjects are important. Tsuru (crane) motifs are a personal favourite as the species are endangered and symbolise longevity and immortality. Floral motifs, Autumn scenes, shibori (tie-dye), embroidery and silver/gold embellishments also are high on the list.

Last but not least, mystery and allure come into play. Some kimonos just ‘speak’ to you. There’s so much history associated with every kimono, it creates mystery and intrigue about who may have worn it before.

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Veisha – The process

When we started Dames & Divas three years ago, our designs consisted of a Wedge and a Bangle Bag. We were already making jewellery in Australia so we set out quite naively expecting to find a multitude of willing and eager Australian manufactures to help us develop our vintage silk kimono shoes and bags right here on home soil.

Boy were we wrong! So many meetings, phone calls, emails and internet searches in to find  Australian made shoe and bag manufacturers.  All of our leads were unsuccessful.

Our business is niche, finicky and complex.  We don’t mass produce and the delicate kimono silks we use require special attention and expertise.

Dames & Divas accessories are not only unique in the fact that no two items are the same (it is impossible to even create a matching pair of shoes) but the technique itself is unique.  The art of covering shoes is a dying one.  It is a difficult process and requires trained and skilled shoe makers to work with the often delicate fabrics.

Shoes are priority and once the patterns are cut, all remnants are kept and made into bags, jewellery and hair accessories.

Not one item is made without a long thought process.  There is no cookie cutter approach to what we do and we are always learning and adapting new ways of working.

Dames & Divas products are complex and thoughtful.  There is the design element itself; every shoe and bag is designed in Melbourne and then prototyped.  Sometimes the prototypes don’t make the cut as they cannot tolerate being covered in delicate silk. Then once we are happy with the prototype we need to work out which kimono will work best on each design taking into consideration the seasons and meterage.

Kimonos are unstitched in Melbourne and damaged parts are removed.  The resulting silk is measured and then the process of working out which shoe design will represent the kimono best begins.  

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post on how we select our kimonos. 

Follow us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/DamesandDivas

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Dames & Divas

 

Dames and Divas is a boutique Australian shoe and accessory label specialising in creating beautiful limited edition designer accessories with a conscience.

The present collection - Veisha by Dames & Divas is handmade from vintage silk kimonos.

Kimonos are un-stitched, and crafted into shoes, bags, jewellery & hair accessories.

No two items are the same & limited numbers can be made per kimono making every piece truly unique & special.

It takes a metre of kimono silk to make one pair of Dames & Divas signature Wedges and with many kimonos having only 2-6 metres of usable fabric, every range is extremely limited.

Once the shoes are made, the remnants are kept and made into bags, jewellery and hair accessories.  Every piece of kimono is used to create a little piece of wearable art, even down to .8cm as can be seen in these Kimono Studs in Sterling Silver.

Dames & Divas believes in creating beautiful designer accessories with a conscience and will be exploring a number of new eco friendly mediums in 2012 including recycled resin, recycled sterling silver, organic denim, recycled denim and vintage fabrics.

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Shop Handmade Canberra

Shop Handmade Canberra is now twice the size and packed full with gorgeous designer wares in every corner, on every shelf and even hanging from the ceiling.

 

Some of the new Dames & Divas pieces available at Shop Handmade Canberra.

Shop Handmade Canberrais located on City Walk (just south of Akuna Street, Casino end, opposite Myer back door), Canberra City ACT 2600 t: 02 6156 3274 OPEN six days: Mon - Thu 9.30am to 5.00pm Fri - 9.30am to 6pm Saturday - 9.30am to 2.00pm!

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Kimono Coin Purses

Kimono Coin Purse by Veisha by Dames & Divas

These gorgeous silk coin purses are handcrafted from vintage silk kimono.

Every Dames and Divas Coin Purse is truly unique, beautiful and one of a kind. No two Kimono Coin Purses are the same and once sold out can never be repeated.

Dames and Divas is a boutique Australian shoe and accessory label specialising in creating beautiful limited edition silk accessories.

Veisha by Dames and Divas is a gorgeous collection of women’s’ Bags, bags, jewellery & hair accessories handcrafted from vintage silk kimonos from Japan. Kimonos are unstitched and transformed into beautiful pieces of wearable art. No two items are the same and limited numbers can be made per kimono making every piece truly unique & special.

Outer: Vintage silk kimono
Dimensions: 12x13cm