It was at this September's On/Off exhibition that our world collided with the extraordinary one inhabited by The Orphan's Arms. There was no hesitation as to what we reckoned to this new label. We loved it on first sight. We needed it on our site.
Joshua Wilks and Jay Shipley are the two dastardly minds behind this new brand. It was founded in the early summer of 2010 with the solid conscience to create a label that anchors itself uniquely within a context of English heritage and culture. The two set out to declare war on what they see as the absolute lack of creativity and originality behind casual labels currently for sale.
From ever so humble beginnings at East London's Brick Lane market The Orphan's Arms has experienced a fantastic response to their poignant and reactionary motif. It stands proud in stark juxtaposition to the modern face of faceless manufacture and as such is fast gathering an independently minded band of followers.
Joshua and Jay have gathered together an eclectic English collection of literary tradition, historical interest, singular wit and their own very personal teenage memories. From this cornucopia of delight they have created a set of utterly unique prints, each perfectly indicative to the English heritage style they set out to preserve.
This intellectual palette of The Orphan's Arms has evolved to a point where it now spans and contrasts vividly against the entire gamut of polite, and not so polite, English society.
And anyone who has a quietly seething hatred of the bland, the mundane, the meaningless can step up to be counted in The Orphan's Arms. The closer you look into the hand printed designs the more you appreciate what seems to be there isn't all that it seems, not at all. Oh so lovely floral flourishes have sardonic stings in the very midst of them: 'Keep Lovers Not Friends'. Sweetest words prettify elaborate swirls yet have the tiniest, deadliest guns lying at the very deepest, darkest heart of them.
The Orphan's Arms. Quintessentially English. Hand printed in East London. Not for the meek.