Label love: Electronic Sheep
The moment temperatures dipped, I found myself rummaging around in my hat basket for my favourite beanie, black with the white graphic of a monumental 1930s office block. If you gauge the success of an accessory by how many people stare at you (in a good way), then yup, this was right up there. And snuggly: you’re not likely to see me out of my Electronic Sheep beanie this winter.
There are loads of brands that deserve more attention and Electronic Sheep is one of them. Founders Helen Delany and Brenda Ahern grew up next door to each other in Dublin, made outfits for Helen’s Yorkshire Terriers and then went to art school (Dublin’s National College of Art & Design) together.
Stints in the industry around the world followed (Central St Martins, Swarovski, the V&A) before the inevitable occurred and, in 1998, Electronic Sheep was born. From the get-go, this was something different. Hats, scarves and jumpers came scrawled in bonkers-bold hand-drawn cityscapes, thunderstorms and cherry blossoms, crazy stripes and crazier dots.
Every collection was a story. AW13, ’Typhoon Puppets’, for example, was inspired by meteorology. Kooky collages mixed up science and industry. A scarf, ‘Open 24 Hours’, showed a girl eating noodles in the rain.
‘We live in two different cities – Brenda in Dublin and me in London,’ Helen told Amelia’s Magazine last year. ‘Between us we have also lived and worked in New York, Munich and Rome. This is a major influence and we delve into our past subconsciously, as well as deliberately. It’s our own experiences giving us inspiration, and we also collect a lot of things, to the point of being hoarders. Whatever we feel most strongly about at the time of designing becomes the subject of the collection, but usually it’s been brewing-up for about a year.’
The hook for this season’s collection, ‘You Can’t Argue with Your Scrapbook’, are the bus tickets, biker stickers, old polaroids/photos to torn wallpaper and drinks labels Helen and Brenda have collected on travels and stuck in notebooks and planted onto shelves. It’s about memories and travel and time and lost moments caught in ephemera. The pieces are keepers. Get stuck in.