Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Me by Amma Gyan

Me by Amma Gyan: Jewellery you won't find Anywhere Else

Amma Gyan, a very talented Londoner with a burgeoning jewellery business has very generously agreed to an interview with Cendrillon. We met at a late summer party event in Canterbury's chic and adorable dress shop Armoire and here is the result. Her jewellery is exceptional, it being made of moulded leather and embellished here and there with the odd crystal or pearl - simply sumptuous!

Where did you learn to craft leather goods?

Making leather bags was something I mastered over time,. I would often go into local manufacturers with unfinished work, looking for tips and tricks. You'll be surprised how helpful total strangers can be. I did have trained skill I learnt how to cut patterns for women's wear at the London College of fashion, I then adapted this knowledge to bags. As for molding leather, this was a moment of spontaneity. I wanted to learn how to do this for some time, so one day I took myself off to the beautiful town of Tetbury to be trained by MacGregor and Michael.

What made you want to start a business?

That's a very good question, having been in this business for a while now, I often ask myself the same thing. It's one of the hardest things I think anyone can ever decide to do, however I really do believe it's also one of the most satisfying. I had an ambition to be a designer but I had never really been a fan of the mainstream fashion industry, so I decided to start a brand of my own that focused on style and craft, rather than just trend and pace.

How long have you been working with leather and when did you start making jewellery? Why did you choose leather?

I've been working with leather from the beginning, all that changed was the type and quantity that I now work with. Initially I used to use small pieces to add detail, then the detail grew into whole bags. The jewellery began only a couple of years ago. Sometimes as a designer you need to find new mediums to express yourself. I wanted to move away from the practicality of bags and just make things of beauty, I felt I could do this with jewellery.

What inspires you?

Nature mostly and people. I love characters whether I've encountered them or read about them. I like to imagine what they would do, or what they'd be wearing. I'm also heavily motived by emotion, feeling strong and confidence is very important to me. Having said this, sometimes my inspiration is totally spontaneous, well at least it feels that way.

How do you create the jewellery and mould the leather?

Now that would be telling; it's a technique made popular during the Victorian times, based on wet leather molding. The trick is in the molds, the tools and the leather you use. That's all I'm saying. (smile)

A lot of your creations contain ivy leaves. Is there a specific reason for this?

Yes, to me the Ivy leaf represented everything that I was trying to achieve at the time. The freedom in it's movement, the varieties seemed like changing moods and the resilience was something that I felt a kin to. It seemed like the natural object use to express my new found skill.

Do you have a vision for this brand? If so, what is it?

The vision is simple, the brand is named 'Me' the strap line is 'wear me, be you' that pretty much sums it up. Me is about expression, you don't need to be flamboyant to express yourself, but you need to be confident. That's what the brands about, doing things your way not the mainstream way.

Will you be having anymore upcoming events?

Events are the way forward for me, it's how I like to promote my designs. It gives me a chance to meet the people that are genuinely interested in my 'Me', it's also a great way to understand what people want and to meet interesting characters and feel inspired. I'm always looking for inspiration.

Do you have a shop?

I have a Pop Up boutique in an independent shop called Beautiful Interiors, Walthamstow, E17. You may not know it but you should, it's great. Penny Fielding who owns it is one of the most interesting people I've ever met, she also has an amazing ability to draw like minded people there. The shops recently been nominated for Best Independent Store in Britain, which is fantastic. My boutique is open every Saturday from 11.00-18.00. Most of my designs are available to purchase however some are made to order. Otherwise you can purchase items from Me on line at

Is this a home-run business or a part-time hobby?

This is very much a home run, full time business, it' sort of my life now, when people say their business is their baby, I really understand because it needs constant attention to make it grow, there's always something to do and you never have enough time, cliché but true.

Which designs sell the most?

Without a doubt the Little Lady bag. Every colour I design it in sells well. I've been told it's all about the size and feel of the bag. I have to admit, it's what I use and have done for the past 3 years.

Do you have a favourite product?

I have a couple, the Lilly bag and my Lapelle© I love making the Lilly bag, seeing it come together makes me feel like I'm drawing with leather, it's just fun. The Lapelle© is a design thatI'm extremely proud of, I created it as a an alternative to a scarf. It's the most directional piece I've ever made. It's very simple but quite a statement. Customers still tell me about the positive comments they receive and how they love the uniqueness.

A gorgeous ivy leaf necklace in a beautiful burnt orange

You can buy any of Amma's gorgeous desingns at

Thanks guys and see you all soon!

xo Cendrillon

Thursday, November 25, 2010

LOVING (Better late than never!)

LOVING the 50’s trend this season. After the celebration of androgynity comes the manifestation of ultra-femininity. Just take a look at Louis Vuitton’s new ad campaign: it says, loud and clear, that big skirts – and boobs – are back! Or again, turn to the Prada on the catwalk: just look at those gorgeous stiletto pumps, so like their predecessors from sixty or so years ago, or the return of the ‘lady bag’ (take a look at Paul & Joe, Max Mara and Chloe for some beautifully structured specimens). Another little something to be on the look out for is long leather gloves. Come winter, I will be getting out my two antique pairs and pairing them with silver cuffs and bangles...

Perfect for luxurious black-tie Christmas parties and every shape and size, 50's style is a winner all round. Just imagine donning a full-skirted silk gown, wrapping yourself in a massive coat and traipsing through the falling snow to a house with yellow-lit windows...

Pair your frivolous frocks with classic pointy-toe stilettos (Prada and Louis Vuitton are THE places to look), a clutch or framed handbag, and some gorgeous gloves. Make-up wise, remember to keep it simple: cat-tails, red lips, neutral nails, and remember to back-brush into that oh-so-sixties beehive bun.

More posts coming very soon as the holiday season kicks off - see you soon everybody!

xo Cendrillon

P.S: For those Americans out there, happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Hi guys! how do we feel about a leopard print dress? all you need is a tan, and you have yourself a walk on the wild side, guaranteed!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

On the Agenda

This season, both London and Paris will be buzzing with things to see, places to go. Our guide to the ones simply not worth missing.

The Grace Kelly exhibition at the V&A (Tickets must be booked), until the 26th of September.
Murakami at Versailles, from the 14th of September to the 29th of December
Rudolf Noureev's Swan Lake at the Opera Bastille, from the 29th November to the 5th of January 2011.
The Printemps and Galerie Lafayette Christmas animated window displays
Christmas shopping in BHV
Iceskating on the Place de l'Hotel de Ville.

Enjoy your winter season (I know it's a bit early, but hey-dee-ho, the anticipation makes it mre fun)
Cendrillon xo

Friday, August 13, 2010

L'Ile sur La Sorgue

This year is the 89th bi-annual Ile sur La Sorgue antique fair. It is renowned for its exorbitant prices and swarming with American buyers, but ince my mother and I can never resist a good grunge, we set off, determined not to buy anything. However, things never work out as you plan, do they? We ended up buying a beautiful stack of monogrammed linen granite napkins, two linen shift dresses for my mother (actually one is cotton), and a 1920's silk nightgown for me (Pictures up soon, but the camera's screen came to an untimely end as i was cycling to Uzes on my vintage bike, lovingly fixed by my bike-wise brother). I love my nightgown, such a femmy colour. I am planning to cut off the bottom third or so, as there is some strange staining, so as to line the bodice, but keep the back, which is lace, unlined. I'll have to buy a peachy-coloured lace bra to wear underneath it. Then we have to find some more fine silk with which to line the remains of the dress, and I want to sew on fake buttons on the bodice, the small round pearl ones. I am very excited. Here are some pictures I took of the fair. This year it is on from the 12th to the 15th, so do go while you can.

My new dress!

Antique jam jars

Etched champagne glasses

Chocolate mould
Fake teeth anyone? Well, I guess there's something fo everyone, isn't there?
Enamel watch faces

Pink bucket

Mini salt and pepper sellers
This linen stall was displayed as an elegant dinner table (sort of), selling glasses, silverware, and dyed linen.
I love this shape of boot. unfortunately these were too narrow.

Spanish hair ornaments

Antique boots circa 1900

Silk and lace French knickers - imagine how comfy these must be!
Boutis quilts

Chinese slippers

Antique scooters!
Haberdasher's and linen stall

An almost-purchase: a 50's ball gown, on the knee, exactly my size. Instead I opted for the 1920's silk shift.
I'm still not exactly spot on about my antique clothing dating, but I have a strong hunch that this is in fact 18th century. Tell me if I'm wrong, but that narrow back seems to me tailored for a tiny corseted torso, and those side panels seem made to lie ver the characteristically French 18th century boxy skirts.

View of the canal