Art of survival: back to basics for Boyscouts
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Zelda Beauchampet, founder of fashion accessory label The Boyscouts, originally studied industrial design before turning to jewellery: ‘I liked the medium, the fact you can design things that you an wear on your skin,’ she says. The Dutch designer’s fascination with the original British Boy Scout movement informs the philosophy of her Netherlands-based brand.
The can-do, practical attitude espoused by Scouts – girls now being as much part of the movement as boys – is reflected in Beauchampet’s tendency towards fuss-free outlines and wearable, affordable pieces. ‘Scouts provide inspiration for the stories behind our collections because what they do presents practical questions: how do they develop survival skills or learn to use basic tools, for instance?’
From left, Earring Rivet, €150; and Earring Rivet Cuff €50. Photography: Ester Grass
Past Boyscouts ranges are inspired by the adventure process and outdoor activities we associate with the Scouts movement: glinting silver and black charcoal are used as if reflecting the remains of a campfire, for instance, while the jewels themselves double up as a kind of trophy or achievement badge.
Beauchampet’s new ‘Building Character’ line, comprised of bracelets, rings, earrings and necklaces, draws on these inspirations, while always reflecting her own taste for simple forms and mixing the contemporary with the traditional. ‘I'm not the sort of designer or girl who likes decoration. Rather, I create pieces have a sense of urbanity mixed with adventure.’
Earring Trove €150; and Earring Garner €125. Photography: Ester Grass
‘Building Character’ is a progression from previous collections and considers the long-established ways that Scouts are taught varied methods of construction. ‘We have built a bridge between shapes we have already made to create new forms’. As such, the new pieces are focused on an interplay of lines cast in silver or gold plate.
All pieces are made in the studio by a small team working with fair-trade materials and local artisans. ‘They are not made by others but by us because we want them to be timeless. They are meant to last.’