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Molly Younger's Latex Luggage

Studio Visit

We get a lot of press releases… but every once in a while a new tip-off comes our way and just BLOWS OUR MINDS. Case in point: Molly Younger’s new line of handmade natural latex luggage.

Sitting somewhere between art, sculpture and wearable fashion, each one-of-a-kind bag is carefully cast from plaster moulds in Molly’s Collingwood workshop. The same space will host the launch of the designer’s stunningly peculiar collection, this Thursday, March 22nd.

19th March, 2018

Inside the Collingwood workshop of designer and artist Molly Younger. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Molly’s new collection of natural latex luggage: ‘Range 1: Early Sculptural Forms’. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

The RMIT Fashion Design graduate’s unique process begins with carefully perfecting a plaster mould. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

The bags involve multiple coats of equal-parts-latex-paint mix….and patience! Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Artist and designer Molly Younger. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

In Molly’s casting process of reproduction, duplicates are achieved but vary every time, making each piece one-of-a-kind. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

‘Each bag is completely handmade, they are one-off pieces, holding traces of the maker,’ details Molly. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

New bags, garments, as well as one-off latex prints (wall-hanging) are in the works. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

The Bubbled Tote is the most covetable bag we’ve seen in forever! Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

‘I see my range of bags as a way of expressing my previously used techniques and materials into a functional, useable everyday item; this contrasted and was a natural progression to my more conceptual previous work,’ explains the designer. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

‘In my teens, clothing and music became my way of creatively expressing,’ tells Molly .Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Molly has worked with talented graphic designer Jacob Zinman-Jeanes on her branding, website and other aspects of visual merchandising. She is looking forward to seeing all elements of design around the range come together. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

‘I am looking forward to continuing creating, as I always do; exploring new techniques, forms, textures, colours,’ tells Molly. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Elle Murrell
Monday 19th March 2018

‘The bags are functional, wearable and can still be viewed as art, holding the techniques of sculptural practice.’  – Molly Younger.

Before you read on any further, perhaps consider popping on some background music. Now, to the mind-boggling bags…

Molly Younger is a brilliant, innovative artist and designer (plus she’s also playing bass on this track, if you’re listening). A talent that can turn her hand to virtually anything, Molly grew up tinkering and creating in Byron Bay, where her parents ran gallery/workshop Flying Goolie. She followed her brother to Melbourne, graduated from RMIT with a BA in fashion design, and cut her teeth at Materialbyproduct, before leaving to focus on her eponymous brand this year.

Molly started working with latex and paint back in 2011, though it might surprise you to know she has been exposed to the atypical material since childhood. ‘My Mum [Annie Younger] used to use latex casting to create her sculptures,’ she explains. ‘During this time, I became fascinated with the process of producing physical materials from liquid states, and experimenting with their possibilities.’

Her first fashion experiment resulted in a sleeveless coat, and later collections (shown at fashion weeks in Melbourne and London!) combined moulded latex with fabric. Four years later, Molly made her first bag. It marked a shift towards the design of more usable, everyday items.

Molly’s unique process begins with carefully perfecting a plaster mould – the form the bag will be cast from. Once the mould is made, she can use it endless times. ‘It is very labour-intensive, it’s manual work, involving multiple coats of equal-parts-latex-paint mix and patience,’ she tells. If that wasn’t amazing enough, there’s another artistic element to the designs too – several feature photographic prints by her brother, Jack Younger.

The designer has been testing her bags for several years now and admits she’s been pretty rough with them. ‘They actually hold considerable weight – all the straps are reinforced with embedded material, and if they get dirty, you can wipe or hand wash,’ she explains. ‘You just can’t leave them out in hard direct sunlight over long periods of time… and obviously carrying sharp objects could do damage!’

The new Range 1: Early Sculptural Forms consists of eight pieces – Bubbled Tote, Landscape Tote, Pot Bag, Lunch Bag, Landscape Shoulder Bag, Duffel Bag, Landscape Wallet Small and Landscape Wallet Large – available in seven colours. This line is the first purchasable work Molly has produced – we’re pretty sure these will be future collector’s items!

New bags, garments, as well as one-off latex prints (wall-hanging) are in the works for Molly Younger, follow her work at Mollyyounger.com.

Range 1: Early Sculptural Forms by Molly Younger
Launch March 22nd, from 6pm
54 Johnston Street
Collingwood, Victoria

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