The Rake strives in championing discreet luxury and does so by unearthing and celebrating our civilisation’s finest in the ephemeral realm of menswear. When it comes to craftsmanship — an integral component of our celebration — we tend to shine a light on the painstakingly slow process of handcrafting. Whether it’s a fine pair of shoes made from leather that’s sourced from Europe’s leading tanneries, or a bespoke double-breasted suit cut from cloth so sublime that there can be no room for a sacrilegious error in measurement. I think that we can all agree that there’s nothing more luxurious than an item of clothing, or an accessory, that has been crafted through skilled and experienced hands. Yet on the other hand, there’s another kind of craftsmanship, which despite not being a traditional process that dates back hundreds of years, is still extremely precise, well-thought and made from materials of utmost levels.
“Just because something is manufactured, doesn't mean that there’s not a huge amount of care, attention to detail and handwork that goes into it,” Alice Walsh, Creative Director and owner of accessories label Alice Made This, explains. The London-based accessory brand’s line of goods, which range from; cufflinks, lapel pins, shirt studs, tie bars, bracelets and more, all incorporate a number of different processes and techniques. Made in both traditional and innovative ways, they’re produced in a number of factories across the UK, most of which are family owned. Who said that you had to be one or the other? No one. So, by utilising Britain’s world-class high-tech industrial techniques and innovation, paired with its lauded history of exceptional levels traditional craftsmanship, Alice Made This has thus found its niche. It is a stunning example of a brand who can do both, and I’m not surprised when she informs me that Mr Porter snapped up their debut collection two days into launch in 2012.
Alice Made This was born from a simple need of cufflinks for Alice's other half, Ed, who is also her business partner, for their wedding day. Alice, who comes from a furniture and lighting design background, developed a business plan and began to draw up initial designs. It was apparent to her that “no one had done anything quite avant-garde, super fresh or different in the cufflink industry,” and as they say, the rest is history. Her first cufflink collection, called Aerospace, has a very refined and clean looking aesthetic that’s crafted in a precision turning process from copper, steel and brass. The cufflinks go through stages of being turned on an automatic (but man-controlled) lathe which allows intricate details and patterns to be embossed onto the metal. It’s rather unusual, as this technique is often found in large industrial processes to help build parts of planes. She says the goal with this process was to educate her customers: “When people heard the word manufacturing they would think of something was just a mass produced piece and I think that part of my remit for founding Alice Made This is to explain to people that that’s not necessarily the case.” Her first collection was a very personal experience, and is exemplified by her products’ names which are after those close to her in her life, such as Alexander, Oliver and Jasper.