Tatty Devine! Everything You Need To Know About This British Accessory Duo

Large Sugar Skull necklace and Frida necklace from Tatty Devine’s spring 2012 collection.
Photo: John William/Tatty Devine

I’m OBSESSED with accessories. Like possibly in an unhealthy way. And if there’s one label I come back to again and again (and proudly profess as my favorite *cough* dinosaur necklace *cough*), it’s London’s Tatty Devine. Launched in 1999, by friends and artistic duo Rosie Wolfenden and Harriet Vine, Tatty Devine makes bold accessories designed around a theme. What started as a few strips of leather turned into makeshift cuffs has blossomed into collections including everything from guitar pick pins and name necklaces to potato chip earrings and hats in the shape of watermelon slices. You guys, their stuff is GAHHHMAZING. Also, they’re totally a favorite of Jessie J and Girls’ Generation and are featured regularly in Teen Vogue. And on top of having two London shops and a new concept store in the super kewl Selfridges store (with someone laser cutting necklaces to order!), they sell all of their pieces online and ship worldwide. We spoke with Tatty’s Harriet Vine in London, and not only did she give us a peek into what went into making their spring 2012 collection, she gave us a sneak peek at their FALL 2012 collection inspired by spooky English gardens…

Tatty Devine Sugar Skull Necklace, Frida Brooch, Parakeet Earrings, Maracas Brooch, and Mexican Embroidery Bracelet
Photo: Courtesy of Tatty Devine

MTV Style: How did you and Rosie start Tatty Devine?
Harriet Vine: We didn’t even plan on having an accessory company! We just liked making stuff. We used to make stuff, go out, wear it, and ruin it. One night when I came home from the pub, I found 18 sacks of leather sample books on the street outside an old upholstery shop. I wrapped a bit of leather ’round my wrist and tied together with an old hair clip. Everyone was like, “I like your cuff, that’s so cool.” So Rosie and I cut the leather into strips and we sold them all at Camden Market. We didn’t have proper fastenings, so we just invented this arrowhead on one end and a slot on the other to hold it together, and we sold them. Rosie was wearing this hairband that she customized [one Friday], and this stylist came by and liked it. She was from Vogue, and by Monday morning we had to take our collection into the Vogue offices! We didn’t have a collection, so we made one that weekend.

What inspired the spring collection? It looks very Mexican-esque…
Yes, mostly the food and the smells but also the paper flowers [of Mexico]. I was really drawn to crepe paper flowers. All the colorful paper and piñatas… I tried to make a piñata but it didn’t turn out right. Also, sugar skulls and Frida [Kahlo]. She’s a cool lady isn’t she? We couldn’t not include her or the flowers in her hair. I’ve never wanted to do flowers, but it was really what tied the whole collection together.

Tatty Devine Large Melon Necklace, Parakeet Necklace, Corn on the Cob Necklace, and Blue Posie Ring.
Photo: Courtesy of Tatty Devine

How do you and Rosie create a collection together?
We start by looking at things at home and emailing each other. Like, “Oh, I quite fancy this.” And we go out to a lot of the same things so we get influenced by the same stuff, and then we get inspired and obsessed with the same stuff. It develops gradually and starts with conversation. It’s a dialogue between Rosie and me.

How do you show your collection and get it out there?
We show it at London Fashion Week. We have a stand and people can come and look. It used to be buyers, but now it’s press and bloggers. We show it in Paris, as well. It’s nice to have the seasons and helps give us a structure.

A look at Tatty Devine’s Fall 2012 collection.
Photo: John William/Tatty Devine

What does your fall 2012 collection look like?
There’s paisley—like a megatastic crystal action necklace. It’s taking ideas from textiles and recreating them, linking shapes together. There’s loads of English spooky garden action going on, too. It’s very musty. There are grapes, like opulent Caravaggio grapes that might be poisonous. I haven’t gotten over the flower thing. It’s gone from big Mexican paper flowers to poisonous plants and deadly night shade. It’s the first time we’re using semi-precious [stones], too. There’s agate, yellow jade, and the Perspex is heated and drooping like a flower.

Also, you have a book coming out, right?
Yes! We did a book and Penguin are going to publish it in the U.S. It’s called How to Make Jewellery, and it’s about how we started making jewelry. How to stick things onto things or what to expect if something snaps, or where to drill a hole… just all the things that are in my head about how to make [things] so they won’t break. And there are projects like covering a pair of sunglasses in crystals so you can still see through them and how make a marble into a necklace, that kind of thing.

The UK version of Tatty Devine’s new book, ’How to Make Jewellery’.
Photo: Courtesy of Tatty Devine

What advice would you give to other young people who might want to start their own DIY accessory line?
The most important thing is to be as original as you can. There’s always something you need to make.

A Tatty Devine necklace shot at London Fashion Week
Photo: Amelia’s Magazine’s Twitter feed

+ Shop the new Tatty Devine collection!

+ Check out Girls’ Generation wearing Tatty Devine!

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