Fascinated by how unexpected shapes can be transformed into functional accessories, Laurel Consuelo Broughton launched Welcome Companions in 2011. Her debut Mr. Knife, Miss Fork collection was well received by fashion hounds and intellectuals alike, inspired by Rene Crevel's surrealist novel, "Babylon". Broughton's newest concept once again presents aesthetically strong pieces with a decidedly non-serious sense of fun. The 12-piece "Part-Time Picnic" collection was inspired by the beloved summer pastime. "I liked the idea of a group of accessories that would in a playful way allow the spirit of the picnic to be with you at all times," Broughton explains.
The Part-time Picnic silhouettes come from paring down recognizable objects to their most minimal aspect and presenting them in a pleasingly simple way. A sleek and functional shoulder bag is a piece of toast—paired with, of course, a striking yellow pat of butter in the form of a clutch. Other oddly sweet pieces include the lips pouch, a bright red, kid leather kiss, and the hard-case strawberry bag. For the designer, simplicity is key. "I've tried to make them with the least amount of hardware possible so they really are just about the shapes and the colors," she says.
LA-based Welcome Companions makes everything locally, working very closely with a skilled leather craftsman who, because he was originally a sculptor, "doesn't flinch when I bring him crazy shapes and concepts," Broughton says. The Part-Time Picnic collection is available from their website with prices ranging from $16 for a deck of cards to $720 for the Toast shoulder bag.
Images courtesy of Kimberly Genevieve