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Dion Horstmans, Artist
Dion began his creative work in another medium entirely, transitioning from early drawings to three dimensional work in pursuit of the idea of space and volume. Now with a deeply intuitive understanding of this art form, he describes his practice as both “hyper focused” and “in constant flux.”
“Keeping it simple, my sculptures are about force and power, movement and space. They’re about containing and creating a space that I can inhabit. In working with steel rods and round bars I’m able to use line to create a sense of movement and speed. I’m a ‘yes’ man, meaning I’ll say ‘yes, I can do that’, then I’ll work out how to do it. The word ‘creativity’ gets thrown around a lot…work is the thing that creates - this is a constant.”
Owing to the long hours in in his workshop and the gruelling nature of manipulating hot metal, his working uniform is centred on functionality, endurance and ultimately, protection from flying sparks. Luckily, our latest denim styles were up to the task as Dion got kitted out and set to work in his studio. “The denim wear felt so good on – I could really move in them and still be agile and quick in my work.”
“R.M.Williams always creates hard wearing, hardworking clothes.”
“ I have a fair few pieces in my wardrobe that I love and wear hard: the Craftsman Boot, a killer lambskin jacket that’s great for winter and my cream moleskins – I like them dirty, worn and used.”
Vivienne Wong, Maker/Designer
Maker/Designer Vivienne’s route to her current vocation was not a conventional one. Having spent 15 years as a dancer with the Australian Ballet Company, a call to the more tactile nature of furniture making eventually saw her change paths. On the surface, the two roles may seem vastly different, but Vivienne explains that the two share creative concepts: “I feel my background in ballet has greatly influenced my approach to crafting furniture – I have a keen understanding of how shapes interact and complement one another. This awareness shows in my creations, ensuring each piece strikes a fine balance between elegant design and functionality.”
“I’ve been very lucky to have worked with some very talented people, each with their own approach to design and problem solving and that has been invaluable. One of the biggest challenges for any furniture designer/maker is the balance between design and practical execution. I want to create beautiful, elegant designs but with sustainability in mind I also want to create pieces that will last and bringing those two elements together can be challenging.”
In the studio, Vivienne’s daily uniform is a far cry from her well-worn pointe shoes and now centres on a rotation of hardy wardrobe staples.
“When I’m in my workshop, I like to wear clothes that are not only durable but comfortable, too. I loved testing out the new R.M.Williams denim range in this environment – the jackets and pant styles worked particularly well.
“The designs are great and, from experience, it’s not always easy to find clothing that does the job in the workshop and still makes you feel like you’re wearing something nice, as these pieces do.”
Don West, Musician
“My style changes like the weather,” says Don West, who’s on-stage look is an extension of his musical persona. “I wear what makes me feel comfortable and confident when I perform. I’ll always be in awe of the outfits that Motown singers and Elvis Presley wore. I think an amazing outfit in an integral part of any performance.”
It’s these same legends that first inspired Don to explore his talents as a kid, having grown up listening to a rich variety of musical influences. “My older brother was the first to pick up my dad’s 1974 Fender acoustic and he introduced me to Elvis and the blues. There was a whole world of music to explore - what an adventure.”
“The biggest learning while honing my craft was finding my voice and direction. I have such a broad love of music that spans a bunch of genres, I always found it difficult to pick a lane to stick to and to write music that was true to myself and what I loved. It’s hard to not fall into the trap of writing for other people and what you think your audience and the market want. I’m at a stage where I’m writing music that I love and that I would listen to and that’s when you’re going to do your best work.”
A lover of denim, Don was a natural fit to showcase our new collection. “I’m a huge fan of denim – I wear it every day. Double denim is a standard look for me but I particularly loved layering up with the shirt for a triple denim look. Everyone should have a pair of RMs in their wardrobe, but if I could recommend a pair for those who don’t, it’s the Yearling Boot in black leather.”