Some siblings tend to instinctively rebel against each other, propelling themselves into completely opposite professional spheres. Other siblings, it seems, are natural creative partners who work so well together that it seems an insult to the universe not to.
Alana and Annabelle Kingston are two of these genetically kindred spirits: sisters, housemates and now business partners, having launched their label Paradise Structures late last year. Working out of their Footscray studio in Melbourne, the sisters are producing anything from ceramics to jewellery, silk dresses and bags – pretty much anything they feel like at the time.
The pair discovered the potential of their partnership when they collaborated together for Annabelle’s grad show at the Victorian College of the Arts, after which they decided to give it a crack and go into business together in late 2012. Their first project was to produce a shopfront installation for Monk House Design in August this year. With contorted, lumpy ceramic vases dotted around the store and drawstring bags enveloping hanging plants, the installation was a little glimpse into the unusual creative minds of these sisters.
Their cotton tote bags, drawstring backpacks and loose silk dresses feature three different sets of prints including lurid triangles, mountain scenes with oceanic colour schemes and even miniature replications of their own ceramic vases. The hand-painted, contorted rock candy necklace promises to be a ‘lucky dip’ of colours, reflecting the whimsical nature of their design and production process. Alana says that their designs are intended to be “fun and multifunctional”, which might explain the handy pocket at the front of the indoor gardener’s dress, or the multi-vase indoor gardener backpacks that double as a vase or a backpack.
Channelling both the kindergarten art room and a Martian landscape, Paradise Structures is dreamy, seemingly random and irresistibly likeable. It seems like there’s not much structure in place at all, and that’s really the charm.
Paradise Structure’s designs are available at their online store.