Sunday, 13 January 2013

It all begins to fit together

Sunlit coblestones in East London
Neelam had been keen to do something on the theme of mosaics since she moved in with me. Her first planned project was to replace our boring cement doorstep with one coated in small tiles.  I was less enthusiastic about the scheme than she would have liked.  Her passion for mosaics found a new outlet when we started planning Look-in-the-Bag.

However, much as Neelam liked the idea of a line of accessories based on mosaics, somehow it didn't seem to offer enough scope for originality. I probably didn't help matters when I pointed to a checked scarf she was wearing and asked "What's the difference between that and a mosaic scarf?"

I have a talent for looking but not seeing. I suspect it's widespread (particularly amongst men). I can lose my keys and find them half a day later in the pocket I thought I had emptied. In the case of 'Look in the Bag' however, both Neelam and I were guilty of looking but not seeing. The name was a play on the word 'Look' - treating it as both a noun and a verb. We had been undervaluing the noun. As a result, on a Sunday morning, late in November 2011, Neelam sat up in bed and began frantically writing down ideas in her bedside notebook. Within a few minutes she had a long list of themes on which to base designs. The Tessellated Look will include mosaic-styled scarves and jewellery; but Neelam's list was the start of a long (and still growing) list of 'Looks'. To paraphrase her words, the ideas should combine quality and a touch of humour into a designer look.
"We should aim to own the word 'Look'", she said.
"What does that mean?" I asked.
"It's corporate language. When people use the word 'Look', I want them to think of us."
"You spent far too long in advertising."
She laughed.
"Why not be really ambitious?" I suggested. "We could aim to own the word 'In'. Or 'The'.  They're far more common than 'Look'."
She gave me a look that I would not wish to try marketing.

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