Heavenly Homes: Laura Harwood of Fat Lama Vintage

Today I'm welcoming you to the home of Laura Harwood, owner of the Etsy store Fat Lama Vintage. Her home is an eclectic mix of tribal and cultural influences, a cocoon of warm and inviting textiles stretching from traditional kilim rugs and cushions from the Near East, to shimmering hand-crafted tapestries made by the women of Rajasthan. Mixed in with the soft ambiance of stacked books, lit candles and glowing crystals. This home is ultimately what I hope to achieve when I'm a real deal grown-up. A home that is comfortable, teetering book piles lining the walls, colours and prints clashing brilliantly, and a dog or three running at my ankles. That's the dream. 

069 - Draw Your Swords

Wearing: Vintage palazzo pants c/o ETTE Clothing, Urban Outfitters halter top, Edge huarache sandals, Banjara clutch from Glebe Markets, Assorted jewellery from MAC designs, Eastern Soul, Inspired Tribe, India & Vintage

We're officially a week into the final chapter of 2014. A chaotic atmosphere begins to build within these remaining few weeks, Christmas sends people into a frenzy and the New Year is looming over everyone's shoulders. My mental evaluation of the year has begun, and I find I'm weighing the positives against the negatives, assessing my achievements and my failures. The older I become, the faster time seems to fly, and the more I feel like I am a bystander in my own little life. Blink, and before you know it a week has passed in a blur of monotonous days, and my own inability to make a change within my life. Although the last year has been a learning curve in self-development and growth, I currently feel like me life is on halt due to indecisiveness and fear.
These moments of reflection have left me with a sense of detachment - a detachment that deepens with the onslaught of the festive season and brings along it's own wave of melancholia. The melancholia that engulfs my mind is always an internal observation of my own views of society. But that my friends, is a discussion for another time. 

068 - Silver Tongue Hill

Wearing: Snakeskin kimono c/o OOTO Clothing, Assorted jewellery from India, Eastern Soul & Inspired Tribe, Everything else is vintage

Today I'm featuring my interview with the owner of OOTO Clothing, as mentioned in my first post featuring another of OOTO Clothing's kimonos. Corrie is a creative, down to earth and nomadic soul, maintaining a constant sense of adventure and imagination whilst also producing ethical clothes for eclectic individuals. Glancing upon her visual diary of her travels through India, I became reminiscent of my own trip earlier this year, and I instantly knew that I'd be a dickhead for not collaborating with and helping out someone as cool as her. So here are some questions I shot to Corrie, and her responses. I hope you all enjoy this little insight! (P.S On the 12th of November OOTO Clothing are having a 24 hour flash sale. Taking 40% off everything with the code 'WILDSALE'. So go check out their stock, and hit up their Instagram for more details!)
  1. How and when was OOTO Clothing created?
    I was feeling extremely restricted in the normal day-to-day of London life, s in 2012 I set out on a nomadic adventure to feel inspired again. I was away for two years, travelling through Asia, India, Indonesia and Australia. During that time I was inspired by all of the fabrics, bold prints and colours, this pushed me to create my own collection that reflected my current lifestyle.
  2. Are than any specific ethics or beliefs that you wish to reflect through OOTO?
    I believe in uniqueness and think there shouldn't be a uniform in the way people dress, it's an expression and it’s about looking different - don't be afraid to try something new and out of the ordinary to your normal style. I also believe in supporting small home factories and having a great relationship with them, this helps me and helps them in growing their business and supporting their local communities.
  3. What was your biggest influence and inspiration for OOTO Clothing? Did you have any greater intentions/purposes for your designs when you created OOTO Clothing?
    Travelling and meeting so many free-spirited people encouraged me to really go for what I wanted and made me feel like anything is possible. Having said that, I am a realist and know that hard work is needed to make my ideas and dreams happen. My brand stands for ‘Out of the ordinary’ and is for the hard workers, grafters of society, a girl who enjoys social and creative activities mid-week but runs wild at the weekend, getting the most out of life. The versatility of most of my pieces enables the OOTO girl to incorporate them into the many sides of her personality and lifestyle; I try to do this by making every piece extremely comfortable and easy to wear. The idea is that OOTO Clothing isn’t just for festivals, but can also be worn over a pair of jeans or thrown on to brighten up your work outfit. It’s about looking out of the ordinary from average outfits you see in dull working environments.
  4. India seems to have played a large role in the aesthetics of OOTO, and within your own style - what inspired you to travel to India in the first place? And what has India and its culture taught you personally?
    India is one of my favourite countries in the world…well so far anyway! I went there because I’m very interested in the Hindu religion and the vibrancy of Indian culture. I went with some close girlfriends and as soon as we got there we were surrounded by the smell and the craziness of it… I knew I was going to love it! After spending 2 days exploring around Delhi we headed to Rajasthan, the main place for gypsy culture in India. It was amazing! We spent a few nights with some gypsy dancers in the camps, eating chapattis and learning how to snake dance. It was a magical experience and I realised that India was definitely a place I would love to incorporate into my business. This gave me the push to find a textile village that could create my products and one I was able to build a life long relationship with. I suppose being in & experiencing Indian culture first-hand, has taught me to be less selfish and it doesn't cost a lot, if anything, to give, whether it be money or time.