Mood: Creativity

Sunset, Shadows & Sea Mist

 

It’s hard to not be inspired living in Byron Bay, the beauty that exists in this little town is overwhelming. Its beaches, the landscape, creative and talented people, it’s no wonder thousands of people flock to this area year after year… Magical things just seem to happen here.

Here at Republic of You headquarters, ideas have been flowing in abundance. Feeling inspired, we dreamed up a luxurious washed-up beach shoot to showcase some of our favourite designs. With the help of some very talented people, our dreams quickly became reality.

We called upon Byron Bay’s ‘it girl’ when it comes to fashion shoots, self-confessed ocean dwelling, free spirited gypsy photographer Carly Brown. We also struck some serious gold in selecting our model for the shoot. Bulgarian born, first-time model and super babe Niki Gelagotis, blew us away with the ease at which she graciously rolled around in the sand looking glamorous.

On a near perfect Autumn afternoon, we trekked to a secret location where long stretches of white sandy beaches abounded. That afternoon we dined out on a delicious sunset, shadows and sea-mist.

This is the magic we created… We just couldn’t wait to share it with you! x

Our shoot featured the following items you can purchase from on our website:

Dreaming of an Island Lifestyle

Seems we’ve been in a blue lagoon kinda mood of late…. So we created a new range of gorgeous island castaway blue lagoon inspired pieces…

 

Icarus Rises Again

Inspired by Greek Mythology and the story of Icarus, this one-off collectors pieces titled ‘Icarus Rising’ features ethically sourced Golden Tip Pheasant feathers from the United Kingdom, cowry shells from East Timor, brass beading and chain with knotted cotton and hand-cut kangaroo hide leather tassel detail. – AUD $519

Introducing our NEW Africana inspired neckpiece titled ‘Zulu Woman’ – AUD $299
(Available in blue, black, brown, yellow, red and natural.)
 Each neckpiece is individually handcrafted in our Byron Bay studio, and features hand-cut kangaroo hide leather tassels, cowry shells from East Timor and ghungaroo bell beads from the Banjara People of Northern India.
email sales@republicofyou.com.au for all enquiries

Elaborate and Beautiful

 

‘The High Priestess’
AUD $639 | SOLD
Features:
Old handmade coptic cross pendant from Ethiopia.
Old decorative cylinder beads and silver alloy Ghungaroo bell beads from the nomadic Banjara Tribe of Northern India.
Miniature skull beads intricately hand carved from buffalo horn, using a 300-year-old design passed down through generations of a family of carvers.
Cowry shell clusters from East Timor.
Wooden beading with knotted cotton and a kangaroo hide leather tie.

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‘Siren of the Sea’
AUD $549
Features:
Old decorative Indian coin pendant dated 1984.
Old ghungroo bell beads and cylinder beads from the nomadic Banjara Tribe of Northern India.
Old ostrich eggshell disk beads from Kenya, Africa.
Fish vertebrae trade beads from Gambia, Africa.
Cowry shell clusters from East Timor.
Knotted hemp string with kangaroo hide leather tie.

For further information email sales@republicofyou.com.au

Mantiques. Antiques for Men.

We create unique, meaningful and exclusive one-off pieces of wearable art by collecting a vast array of vintage, antique and collectible items from across the globe. Individually handcrafted in our Byron Bay studio, we breathe new life into these forgotten relics by giving each piece its own unique title and an accompanying story listing the features incorporated within each piece.
‘The Diver and the Deep Blue Sea’
AUD $579 | SOLD
Features:
Vintage nautical iron anchor pendant from Australia.
Solid brass cowy shell pendants.
Old keys from India.
Small skull beads intricately carved by hand from deer antler, using a 300-year-old design passed down through generations of a family of carvers.
Brass beading with knotted kangaroo hide leather detail.
‘Desert Wanderer’
AUD $479
Features:
Old key from India.
Old silver alloy coin pendant dated from 1985 to 1986, from the nomadic Banjara Tribe of Northern India (see history below).
Old snake vertebrae bone beads from the Sub-Saharan region, West Africa (see history below).
Knotted and wrapped kangaroo hide leather detail.

Continue Reading →

A Vintage Christmas

Yep, its that time of year again where I gather all the old books once belonging to my Grandparents and Great Grandparents and create a cool little vintage style tree for our studio… So simple, so easy and such a nice way to bring family together who are gone but never forgotten.

 

 

Latest Works of Wearable Art

We have been busy bee’s in the Republic studio, creating a stunning new range of exclusive one-off designer pieces for the festive season… This collection we have focused on neutral tones and striking black and cream pieces adorned with antique silver-alloy tribal features.

For further information on pricing please email sales@republicofyou.com.au

Darkness Prevails

Our latest one-off neckpieces are inspired by a dark and and moody mystical realm. With key features from Ethiopia and the nomadic Banjara Tribe of Northern India, we have used masses of kangaroo hide leather that has been knotted and wrapped to give a truly unique aesthetic.

These pieces are available exclusively at Island Luxe and Island Luxe Tribe in the beautiful Byron Bay region.

Island Luxe Tribe
1/11 Marvell Street
Byron Bay, NSW, Australia 2481
phone +61 02 6680 9600
tribe@islandluxe.com.au
Island Luxe
62 Byron Street
Bangalow, NSW, Australia 2479
phone +61 02 6687 1605
email info@islandluxe.com.au

They Once Roamed ‘Wild & Free’

Our buffalo skull neckpiece has been intricately carved by hand from naturally shed deer antler. It was designed to honor and respect the majestic and fearless beast that once roamed plentiful, wild and free on the vast plains of North America.

Considered a life-force for Native American people and a gift from the Great Spirit, this sacred and symbolic animal represents: wisdom, patience, prosperity, gratitude, abundance, strength, stability, consistency and blessing.

The buffalo teaches us to remain well grounded, find strength to carry on our path, to be in harmony with Mother Earth and to connect with the sacredness of life.

 

HISTORICAL IMAGE REFERENCE:
No. 1 - Two hunters inspect their kill circa 1903.
No. 2 - Native American tribesmen, circa 1907.
No. 3 - Men pose with a mountain of buffalo skulls, circa mid-1870s.
No. 4 - Wright's buffalo hide yard, Dodge City, Kansas, circa 1878.
No. 5 - Moose Jaw, circa 1870s, a pile of bison bones waiting to be loaded onto a train for distribution.

GENERAL HISTORY:

Buffalo, also referred to as bison, once ruled the North American plains from Canada down to Mexico and reigned supreme over their territory. They were believed to have been the biggest population of large wild mammals anywhere on Earth numbering a staggering estimated 50 million before European settlers arrived. Awestruck witnesses reported seeing ‘seas of black’, and feeling the ground trembling beneath their feet with the beat of literally millions of pounding hooves.

Where they once roamed wild and free, the landscape of the West dramatically changed when they were tragically hunted to near extinction during the 19th century. By the mid 1880s these majestic beasts were reduced to only few hundred, and it is estimated an astonishing 7.5 million buffalo were killed in a two year period from 1872 to 1874 alone, thus bringing an end to an important era in American history. Continue Reading →

Feeling Blue

Our latest little collection 'Feeling Blue' is available exclusively at Elements I Love in Surry Hills, Sydney.

‘Cry Me A Blue River’ AUD $399 – Features: Old silver alloy pendant with coloured glass inlay,  ghungroo bell beads and cylinder beads from the nomadic Banjara Tribe of Northern India. Miniature glass beading detail on knotted hemp string and a kangaroo hide leather tie.

‘Moody Blues’ AUD $399 – Features: Old silver alloy coin pendants dated from 1984 to 1985,  ghungroo bell beads and cylinder beads from the nomadic Banjara Tribe of Northern India. Miniature glass beading detail on knotted hemp string and a kangaroo hide leather tie.

Continue Reading →

Unique Leather Finger Wear

We are super proud to present to you a unique collaboration between designers Buffalo Girl and Republic of You. We figure two artisans are better than one, so together we designed a gorgeous range of hand-cut, hand-stamped and hand-dyed leather rings handcrafted in the Buffalo Girl studio in Byron Bay, Australia. Using beautiful European leather designed to soften over time, these simple designs are standout pieces with three of the four designs depicting traditional Native American Indian symbols.

Native American Indians are deeply spiritual tribes people whose lives are dominated by rituals and beliefs which are closely connected to their sacred connection with nature. These beliefs are reflected in the various geometric symbols they use, and these symbols communicate their history, thoughts, ideas and dreams from generation to generation. The symbols are generally portrayals of celestial bodies, natural phenomena and animal designs, with the meaning for each varying greatly from one tribe to another and also across different tribal regions.

Some symbols convey immediately identifiable secret messages to other tribe members distinguishing particular clans, others are specific to individual families and passed down from one generation to another.  Other Native American symbols have more practical purposes such as recording important events, providing directions, acting as warning signs or indicating good hunting areas or areas designated for a specific purpose.

Native American geometric symbols are depicted on numerous objects such as their clothes, tepees, and horses just to name a few. An individual’s belongings are decorated with art and include symbols depicting achievements, acts of heroism, various spirit guides and notable events of his or her life. Continue Reading →

The Dark Side of the Lens

Possibly one of the most visually moving collaboration of videography combined with unpretentious poetic diaglogue I have ever had the pleasure of viewing. The Dark Side of the Lens by Mikey Smith is an intimate six minute portrayal of one mans undying passion for life, Mother Nature and his craft.

Winner – Best Cinematography, Rhode Island International Film Festival, 2011.
Winner – Action Sports Category, Vimeo awards 2012.
Winner – Best Cinematography, 5Point Film Festival 2011.
Winner – Grand Prize – Chamonix Film Festival 2011.
Winner – Best short – New York Surf Film Festival 2011.
Winner – Digital short of the Year, Surfer Poll.
Winner – Relentless Short Stories 2011.
Winner – Driven Creativity Award – Professional Category.
Winner – Amstel Surf Film Festibal, Peoples Choice Award.
Winner – Best short, Sheffield Adventure Film Festival.
Winner – Best International Short, Canadian Surf Film Festival.
Winner – Best Short, Waimea Ocean Film Festival.

Double Exposed

There is something of a whimsical and ethereal component to double exposed imagery, a dreamy quality which almost demands you stop and take a closer look.

With two images rolled into one, I can’t help feeling the force of those two images combined, making a greater impact telling two stories in one, and thus creatively having a stronger influence on the viewer.

Here are some of my current favourites… which ones make you stop and look, and ultimately think and feel more deeply?

Nurturing Creativity

Creativity takes shape in so many forms, its facets seem endless from painting to photography, cooking to jewellery design, floristry to music, hairdressing to writing, and architecture to landscaping. Creativity is something, which enriches the soul and brings purpose and meaning to our lives. Continue Reading →

Queen Bee of the Sea

We collect a vast array of vintage, antique and collectible items from across the globe. We breathe new life into forgotten relics from history creating unique and meaningful exclusive one-off pieces of wearable art.

Each piece individually handcrafted in our Byron Bay studio is given its own unique title and an accompanying story listing the features incorporated within the piece. This piece titled Queen Bee of the Sea, features:

  • Coral pendant from Australia.
  • Antique hand crafted ornate brass, and hand-cast trade beads from the Baule Tribe of the Ivory Coast, Africa (see history below).
  • Antique hand-cast brass beads from the Igbo Tribe of Nigeria, Africa (see history below).
  • Fish vertebrae trade beads from Gambia, Africa.
  • Antique brass beads handcrafted by the Yoruba Tribe of Nigeria, West Africa (see history below).
  • Shell clusters with brass and wooden beading on knotted hemp with an adjustable brass chain.
  • AUD $429
 
DIMENSIONS:
Length: 32.5cm
Width of coral pendant: 2cm
PLEASE NOTE:
Length is measured from the clasp at the back of neck to the end of the piece.
The piece is fastened at its longest point for this measurement.
Width is measured at the widest point of the main feature.
Due to the handcrafted nature of this product sizing may vary slightly from the dimensions listed.

 

THE HISTORY:
The Baule Tribe:
The Baule also known as Baoulé, are one of the largest ethnic groups of the Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) in Africa. They played a central role in twentieth-century history of their country having waged the longest war of resistance to French colonizatio

n of any West African people, whilst also managing to maintain their traditional beliefs and objects for longer than many other ethnic groups.

 

According to a legend, during the eighteenth century when Ashanti rose to power, the Baule led by Queen Pokou were forced to leave Ghana as it’s known today. Fleeing for their lives, they travelled west and arrived at the shores of the Comoe, a large river they were unable to cross. The tribe began to throw their most prized possessions into the river. The Queen realized their most valuable possession was her son, and in order to save the tribe she needed to sacrifice him to the river.

Continue Reading →

For the Love of Lace

Republic of You collects a vast array of vintage, antique and collectible items from across the globe. We breathe new life into forgotten relics from history creating unique and meaningful exclusive one-off pieces of wearable art.
Each piece individually handcrafted in our Byron Bay studio is given its own unique title and an accompanying story listing the features incorporated within the piece.

This piece titled For the Love of Lace, features:

  • Antique lace collar from the early 1900s.
  • Antique etched fob watch from London (not in working order).
  • WWII General Service tunic buttons from the United Kingdom.
  • Brass chain and miniature glass beads.
  • Antique silver alloy pendants from the Newari People of Kathmandu Valley, Nepal (see history below).
  • Antique hand-cast brass bead from the Igbo Tribe of Nigeria, Africa (see history below).
  • POA

DIMENSIONS:

Length: 35cm
Width: 32cm
Width of fob watch: 5cm
Width of buttons: 2cm
PLEASE NOTE:
Length is measured from the clasp at the back of neck to the end of the piece.
Width is measured at the widest point of the main feature.
Due to the handcrafted nature of this product sizing may vary slightly from the dimensions listed.

 

The Igbo Tribe:

The Igbo people, formerly known as ‘Ibo’ are one of the largest and most influential ethnic groups in Nigeria. They live mainly in the forested areas of southwest Nigeria, on both sides of the Niger River, and the Igbo number some ten million individuals. They are subdivided into thirty-three subgroups and are spread out among about two hundred villages scattered through thick forest and semi-fertile marshland.

The heads of families form the council of elders which shares its power with numerous secret societies. These societies exercise great political and social influence. They are hierarchical, with their members passing from one level to the next. There is strong social pressure toward individual distinction and men can move upward through successive grades by demonstrating their achievements and their generosity. Continue Reading →

Leatherwear

Key Notes & Essentials:

We like to think simplicity is one of the keys to sophistication, so we have designed this simple yet functional and uber stylish document wallet or computer sleeve to suit both men and women. Seamlessly handcrafted, with durable cowhide leather on both the inside and out, each wallet features a genuine vintage cloakroom tag from 1950s London, and an interior pocket lined with authentic antique sheet music (see history below).

 

I was inspired to create something beautiful using my late grandmother’s collection of antique sheet music. My grandmother’s passion was playing and teaching music… she played the piano and cello, and although I have no memory of her doing this, it was important for to me to create something which honoured one of her great loves in life. Continue Reading →

Alchemy of Art

al·che·my [al-kuh-mee] Magical power or process of transmuting a common substance, usually of little value, into a substance of great value.

Republic of You collects a vast array of vintage, antique and collectible items from across the globe. We breathe new life into forgotten relics from history creating unique and meaningful exclusive one-off pieces of wearable art.

We encourage individuality whilst at the same time celebrating history, art, fashion and creativity. Each piece individually handcrafted in our Byron Bay studio is given its own unique title and an accompanying story listing the features incorporated within the piece.

This piece titled The Alchemy of Art, features:

  • Old handmade silver alloy Kuchi rattle pendant and tribal ghungroo bell beads from the nomadic Banjara Tribe of Northern India (see history).
  • Vintage blue glass beads from Nepal.
  • Old metal skull mala beads from Tibet.
  • Cowry shell clusters from East Timor.
  • Old ostrich eggshell disk beads from Kenya (see history).
  • Knotted hemp with an adjustable brass chain.
  • AUD $389
DIMENSIONS:
Length: 38cm
Width of rattle pendant: 3cm
PLEASE NOTE:
Length is measured from the clasp at the back of neck to the end of the piece.
The piece is fastened at its longest point for this measurement.
Width is measured at the widest point of the main feature.
Due to the handcrafted nature of this product sizing may vary slightly from the dimensions listed.

 

The Banjara Tribe:

The Banjara People are a collective of nomadic gypsy tribes from Northern India. They are said to be the descendants of the Roma gypsies of Europe who migrated to India through the rugged mountains of Afghanistan and finally settled in Rajasthan.

Originally the Banjaras were bullock transport carriers and builders of great monuments. For centuries they efficiently moved their enormous caravans through the vast roadless tracks of India guaranteeing safe conduct for grain, salt and messages. Due to the nomadic nature of their culture, they traditionally ‘wore’ their wealth creating a unique aesthetic, colorful dress and spectacular jewelry quite unlike any other tribe. Continue Reading →

She Sold Her Soul to Rock n Roll

We collect a vast array of vintage, antique and collectible items from across the globe. We breathe new life into forgotten relics from history creating unique and meaningful exclusive one-off pieces of wearable art.

This piece titled ‘She Sold Her Soul to Rock n Roll’, features:

  • Antique pectoral crucifix with wooden inlay, circa 1930s.
  • Old Indian silver alloy coin pendants from Nepal, undated.
  • Skull beads intricately hand carved from buffalo horn, using a 300-year-old design passed down through generations of a family of carvers.
  • Old cylinder beads from the nomadic Banjara Tribe of Northern India (see history below).
  • Antique barrel key from India.
  • Knotted kangaroo hide leather.
  • AUD $549
 

DIMENSIONS:
Length: 56cm
Width of crucifix: 5cm

PLEASE NOTE:
Length is measured from the back of neck to the end of the piece.
Width is measured at the widest point of the main feature.
Due to the handcrafted nature of this product sizing may vary slightly from the dimensions listed.

 

The Banjara Tribe:
The Banjara People are a collective of nomadic gypsy tribes from Northern India. They are said to be the descendants of the Roma gypsies of Europe who migrated to India through the rugged mountains of Afghanistan and finally settled in Rajasthan.
Originally the Banjaras were bullock transport carriers and builders of great monuments. For centuries they efficiently moved their enormous caravans through the vast roadless tracks of India guaranteeing safe conduct for grain, salt and messages.
Due to the nomadic nature of their culture, they traditionally ‘wore’ their wealth creating a unique aesthetic, colorful dress and spectacular jewelry quite unlike any other tribe. Continue Reading →

Simplicity is the Key

I was inspired to create something beautiful using my late grandmother’s collection of antique sheet music. My grandmother’s passion was playing and teaching music… she played the piano and cello, and although I have no memory of her doing this, it was important for to me to create something which honoured one of her great loves in life.

Not long after my mother was born, her marriage to my grandfather broke down. They decided to end their marriage, something which was quite rare in her day.

Such a decision meant she had no choice but to go back and live with her parents. In order to support her only child, my mother, she made the decision to give up her love for music and work as a secretary at the local school in Brisbane where she remained for the entirety of her working life.

So this simple little wallet has a story and a significance much greater than what meets the eye. The lining of each purse has come from my wonderful grandmother’s collection of her much loved sheet music.

Continue Reading →

Seek and You Shall Find

This exclusive one-off piece titled ‘Seek and You Shall Find’, features:

  • Antique glass Apothecary medicine bottle with small map of Paris enclosed, circa 1920s.
  • Pastel blue religious icon, and vintage enamel pectoral crucifix from Rome.
  • Antique hand-cast ‘bug’ beads from the Igbo Tribe of Africa (see history below).
  • Cowry shell clusters from East Timor.
  • Brass and miniature glass beading with knotted hemp detail on an adjustable brass chain.
  • AUD $439

Continue Reading →

The Secrets of Savannah

Republic of You collects a vast array of vintage, antique and collectible items from across the globe. We breathe new life into forgotten relics from history creating unique and meaningful exclusive one-off pieces of wearable art.  We encourage individuality whilst at the same time celebrating history, art, fashion and creativity.

Each piece individually handcrafted in our Byron Bay studio is given its own unique title and an accompanying story listing the features incorporated within the piece.

This piece titled The Secrets of Savannah, features:

  • Authentic buffalo teeth from the United States.
  • Old Indian silver alloy coin pendants from Nepal dated from 1970 to 1973.
  • Antique hand crafted ornate brass and trade beads from the Baule Tribe of the Ivory Coast, Africa (see history below).
  • Brass beading and chain detail on knotted hemp with an adjustable brass chain.

The Baule Tribe, also known as Baoulé, are one of the largest ethnic groups of the Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) in Africa. They played a central role in twentieth-century history of their country having waged the longest war of resistance to French colonization of any West African people, whilst also managing to maintain their traditional beliefs and objects for longer than many other ethnic groups.

According to a legend, during the eighteenth century when Ashanti rose to power, the Baule led by Queen Pokou were forced to leave Ghana as it’s known today. Fleeing for their lives, they travelled west and arrived at the shores of the Comoe, a large river they were unable to cross. The tribe began to throw their most prized possessions into the river. The Queen realized their most valuable possession was her son, and in order to save the tribe she needed to sacrifice him to the river.

Continue Reading →

History of the Kitabe

We collect these incredible leather amulet scrolls also known as Kitabe’s, from Ethiopia and incorporate them into our one-off neckpieces.

Each Kitabe is individual, and worn for a man’s lifetime. Written for one particular person, the text is in Ethiopic (Ge’ez), a Semitic language that is no longer spoken, but is still used for liturgical and other religious purposes by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

The scrolls inside are occasionally paper, but are most often vellum, usually calfskin, prepared by a lengthy exposure in lime, scraped with a rounded knife and finally rubbed smooth with pumice stone. The vellum is often scored with a pin, and then written in black ink with titles and holy names often scribed in red. Although the subjects of these ‘bibles’ are always Christian, the actual content varies.

It is difficult to date these pieces, which were made as early as the fourteenth century and continued through until about 1850.

Latest Works

There is nothing more satisfying than sitting in the studio with a bunch of antique pieces collected from different corners of the globe, and allowing creativity to run through me.

I never really know how they will turn out… I don’t plan or sketch pieces before I make them, I just sit down and create. Here is the latest collection which has already been snapped up by Island Luxe… If any of these pieces interest you, you can contact those funky folk at Island Luxe direct:

Island Luxe Tribe
1/11 Marvell Street
Byron Bay, NSW, Australia 2481
phone +61 02 6680 9600
tribe@islandluxe.com.au
Island Luxe
62 Byron Street
Bangalow, NSW, Australia 2479
phone +61 02 6687 1605
email info@islandluxe.com.au

The French Connection

The French Connection is an exclusive one-off designer piece featuring:

  • Vintage equestrian buckle circa 1930.
  • Antique newspaper.
  • Antique ornate brass crucifix from Rome, circa 1950’s.
  • Old furniture cabinet key from France.
  • Cowry Shell from East Timor.
  • Vintage lace cutting from England.
  • Knotted, plaited and waxed cotton with brass beading.

‘… and then Shells Fell Like Raindrops’

One-off handcrafted piece featuring pendants from India, Ethiopia and East Timor.

	            
	            

The Life of Jia

The life of gorgeous Jia, our Blog Researcher at Republic of You, taken by her very talented sister Ming Nomchong Photography.

Peg It

Brilliant installation by Turkish artist Mehmet Ali Uysal.

Stephen King Age 14

In 1961 an aspiring young author aged just 14 wrote a submission letter in the hope his short story ‘The Killer’ would be published. It arrived at the offices of Spacemen Magazine. Unfortunately the magazine’s editor didn’t deem the tale worthy of inclusion at that point.

Ironically, 33 years later the editor changed his mind and finally decided to publish it in issue #202 of another of his magazines titled ‘Famous Monsters of Filmland.’ At that point, however, the story’s author, Mr Stephen King, was then aged 47 and already rather successful to say the very least.