Natural selection


[slideshow_deploy id=’8197′] 

An emerging talent on the accessory scene, Nathalie Trad takes inspiration from nature’s complex forms and the ever-infolding possibilities within them, comprising of sinuous outlines, deconstructed geometric shapes and earth tones, which she then incorporates into her collection.

Born in Beirut and raised in Dubai, Nathalie developed what she describes as “a strong penchant for asymmetric designs”, which form the basis of her line. She earned a BA from Paris’ ESMOD International in Fashion and Accessories Design and subsequently landed a coveted internship at the house of Yves Saint Laurent. In 2008, with a vision of one day launching her own label, Nathalie travelled to New York where she gained a BBA in Design and Management from Parsons.

Nathalie decided, while in New York, to work at an emerging label in contrast to her previous internship in Paris, and headed to Proenza Schouler. By gaining experience there, she was able to discover for herself the workings of a smaller business and the daily challenges it faced. She was also able to focus on her passion of designing accessories while working closely alongside the Proenza Schouler accessories designer, creating shoes, handbags and jewellery.

While in New York, Nathalie was browsing in The Strand Bookstore, synonymous for rare and out-of-print books, where she came across Albertus Seba’s book of illustrations, Cabinet of Natural Curiosities. Nathalie was immediately drawn to the rich kaleidoscope of colours and patterns.

Inspiration for the collection has also been drawn from an extended trip throughout South East Asia, visiting Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.  This experience fuelled her fascination with natural shapes and materials, such as mother of pearl, exotic woods resin and stones, all of which feature prominently in her designs.

Returning to Dubai, Nathalie set about creating a collection of geometric chiselled clutches, concentrating on creating textures with contrasting materials that she had discovered on her travels.

Nathalie identifies her customer as women who have an understanding of the language of art and design. Not necessarily looking for trends, these women are more interested in adding special pieces to their wardrobe and keeping them. Rather like a piece of art, which these certainly are.

by Amanda Bernstein

The collection is available from Joseph in-store and on-line  at Avenue32 from February