After more than 30 years in the business, many Australians would recognise Dinosaur Designs’ textural, freeform resin pieces in a heartbeat.
Now, Dinosaur Designs is in London. Having just opened the debut European outpost two weeks ago, designer and co-founder Louise Olsen has found that her largely translucent products seem to take on a different character in its antipodean home.
“Britain has such a different light to Australia,” Olsen says over the phone from London. “Here the pieces seem to take on a completely new feel.”
A community of expats who live in the city welcome the influx of familiar Australian brands, however a strong British client base has been growing for decades.
Dinosaur Designs first appeared in London in a large exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1989, for which the founding duo, Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy, crafted a, “crazy mermaid beaded outfit” out of shells and seahorses. The 1980s also saw Australian artists such as Kylie Minogue and INXS take Dinosaur Designs pieces – quite literally – to the international stage, increasing awareness and demand for its bold designs. Dinosaur Designs' beautiful resin jewellery was also stocked at stores such as Liberty of London.
The pair launched their first international store in New York in 2002 (on the same block as the newly opened Australian designer boutique Broad Meadows).
The feelers are still out for what a British audience may demand. “It will be interesting to see what colours the British gravitate towards," says Olsen. “In New York, they love silver and neutrals.”
The London store sits among a collection of select, internationally renowned labels in front of the new Ham Yard Hotel. The eclectic group of shops ranges from an English tea store to a 1950s-style swimwear boutique.
The airy and light-filled Soho store is a little urban oasis for Australians overseas and seekers of quality design in London.
Dinosaur Designs London
35 Great Windmill Street
London W1D 7DT
+44 20 7287 2254