Zatchels and Jacky Tsai Collaboration

Wonderfully tactile: Lava Metallic Range

 I had a pretty busy day down in London on Thursday this week, what with various meetings and exhibition launches and whatnot, but before all of that began, I managed to make time to nip down to W1 and get a sneaky preview of the latest range Zatchels are producing with Chinese graphic artist, Jacky Tsai.

Jacky was a fascinating guy to talk to. He aims to blend classic Chinese (and other) motifs with Pop Art colours and techniques. This is how he has created the bold visual style that he is famous for – you may have already seen the floral skull that he produced for Alexander McQueen.

He works in a range of media, telling me that he enjoys using a range of media to keep himself inspired and to keep challenging himself. He has used a range of historic Chinese techniques as well as modern print techniques and digital graphic work, for example, but he said that the key thing in his work are the vibrant colours. Looking at his portfolio, this examination of colour truly seems to be the root from which all of his work flows.

Jacky and his new Limited Edition range

And it is no different with the new collection that he has designed in conjunction with Zatchels.
The range of three satchels and saddlebags has bold designs, eye catching colours and a wonderful iridescence which apparently is achieved by the ingeniuous method of the designs being printed on to silver leather, giving an additional dimension to the way the pieces catch the light. 

The skull print is given from multiple angles, all carefully selected by Tsai to fit perfectly with the shape of the bag, respecting the fastenings and curved edges. The petrol print, for my taste, is the real fashionista special, with an amazing iridescent quality from a distance that then merges into the brightly coloured detail of traditional Chinese designs, the figures and trees being similar to those you would see on screens, fabric or wall hangings. Finally there is the virus print, which is possibly my favourite (although I loved all three!) – but sadly this is the one that looks least impressive in photo reproduction. The almost neon virus forms are random and unbalanced and that clever technique of printing on silver really shines here, literally. This gives a gorgeous, luxurious texture to the print that I have really not seen elsewhere.

Mini Satchels

If you just have to get your hands on these pieces, they will be on sale from Zatchels from the end of October 2013 at £85 for the saddle bag and a choice of 13″ or 14″ satchels for £165 or £180 respectively.

Zatchels were also showcasing their other new ranges, including bright pastel duffel bags, made in an extremely fine, soft leather. They are reminiscient of the small duffel bags that were SO popular during the mid 90s, but the design has been refined and made considerably more high end. I think they will be a great summer accessory for SS14.

I also had a little looksee at the mini satchels, hopping on the coming trend for micro bags, as well as the fun and colourful Carnival Collection which will be available from the Westfield London boutique at the end of October 13.

Finally there were more metallics, other Zatchels brand merchandise such as luggage tags and ipad covers and the ‘high end’ quilted collection, for ladies who want an expensive handbag that is actually a satchel!! Their new ranges show a good deal of creative thinking as well as demonstrating that once again Zatchels have their fingers on the pulse of the way design trends are moving at the moment.

And a quick shout out to their sponsors – my Burts Bees lipbalm from the goody bag is aleady a staple in my bag when I’m out and about and having the delicious bubble tea from Milk Tea and Pearl took me right back to being in Singapore – it’s such a cutesy, Asian style of trend that I had not foreseen someone bringing these sweet little bubble drinks successfully over to the UK – but clearly I was wrong!


Bestselling author and freelance drinks writer. Champion of pubs and breweries. Occasional printmaker.

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