Kamali’s contemporary take on traditional craft techniques exemplify her belief in a sustainable approach to personalised luxury, which has been evident throughout her career. As a founding designer for Case Furniture her contemporary designs reflected the attention to precision detail found in Japanese arts, while her bespoke craft commissions are characterised by high levels of craftsmanship and intricate repetitive forms.
Following a period of personal upheaval in 2006, Kamali turned to the therapeutic craft practices of embroidery and created a vast patchwork blanket inspired by the Isabel Allende’s familial novel The House of the Spirits; seventy seven squares hand sewn in 100% wool fabric. Galvanized by the idea that “all her personal documents should be embroidered,” Kamali then sought to give a sense of permanency to the notes that people routinely scribble then discard. The development of her bespoke Last Will & Testament and Wedding Vows blankets has allowed her to further focus on the narrative aspect of craft that holds so much personal appeal.
Kamali’s debut cushion collection, currently available at SCP, follows a similar path, drawing upon her interest in Kamons; Japanese heraldic symbols which she became enthralled with whilst designing the interior of Brighton-based restaurant Oki-Nami in 1994.
The six intricate Mon designs of Chicken, Crane, Shrimp, Hexagon and Chrysanthemum (1 & 2) are machine embroidered on cotton, while two felt appliqued Snowflake designs complete the collection. Inspired by the hexagonal symmetry of this natural form that has intrigued scientists for millennia, Kamali has featured snowflakes in several of her designs over the years, including a panel on the original patchwork blanket that reignited her love affair with traditional craft processes.
The debut collection also includes a height chart and advent calendar, both developed from original prototypes that were handcrafted for Kamali’s young son, and a wedding vows runner.