February 2018

Brazil And Back

Dallas and Carlos Dallas and Carlos Dallas and Carlos Text: Caroline Clements Images: Dallas and Carlos

If you think there’s something fishy about Dallas and Carlos, you’re right. Lucky for these two beach babes, the kind of fish they are pedaling is a little more glamourous than the average fishmonger, at least it looks that way. Caroline Clements talks to the accessorising ladies of Dallas and Carlos about eco-friendly fish skin from Brazil coupled with golden bling, and why Kanye West is so influential.

Dallas and Carlos is an accessories label by Katherine Etheridge and Jess Constance. They are old friends from school, and after reuniting beachside in Brazil early in 2009 they began Dallas and Carlos as a way of extending their crazy Brazillian lifestyle. Though it doesn’t sound like there was ever a dull moment anyway – before their meeting in South America, Etheridge was working as an interior designer in Sydney, Constance was a fashion stylist in New York.

The name Dallas and Carlos comes from when they were living in a small island in the south of Brazil called Florianopolis. They were living in the middle of town on the island in two separate apartments. “In Brazil, apartments are given names. I was living in a block called DALLAS and Jess was in a block up the road called CARLOS. Every morning we would chat and she would ask, ‘what’s happening in Dallas?’ and I would ask ‘what’s happening in Carlos?’, and that’s how the name was born.”

Dallas and Carlos seem to be talking it all in, and are highly receptive of their surrounds. “Our staple pieces are influenced by stuff we see on the street, hear in a song, a dance move we see in a club, or a image on a street sign post. Then we try to interpret what we see and turn it into wearable accessories.” This includes traveling, people, street culture, music, postmen, and old TV shows and films. This season was designed in Miami so was all about neon lights, fluro 80s and 90s clothing, wristbands, MC Hammer, Cuba and Kanye West. Which leads me to my next thought, what is so influential about Kanye West?  “Our first weekend in Miami we were part of Urban Fashion Week where over 350,000 ‘urbanistas’ come to South Beach to get their ‘urban’ on – it was insane. Our apartment was fitted with sound proof insulators to use for this weekend so that the bass wouldn’t bring glass shattering to the floor. Kanye feautured highly over the weekend and his songs became part of the Miami beach soundtrack for 2009.”

Dallas and Carlos are currently based in the Victorian beachside town of Sorrento, and upon meeting Etheridge my immediate impression is that she is one of those people you just know was born with a beachy swagger. “We dont go a week without finding oursleves next to water.” And like the good business woman that she is, she is decked out in Dallas and Carlos, and lots of it. “We mostly wear our jewellery but love to layer in old vintage unique pieces or the odd piece by another designer or artist. We prefer to see how jewellery can be grouped and layered together, rather than individual pieces,” she adds. 

The SS10 collection has recently been released, and materials include pieces made of 24-carot gold plating, rope, Italian nappa horse mane hair and fish leather. The fish leather comes from a company in Brazil that uses the process of tanning by-product animal skins. That is, they only work with the skins of animals that are first and foremost consumed as food. The tanning of these skins is basically a recycling process, as they would otherwise be discarded. Through this process, the skins are transformed into leathers that have a soft, malleable and resistant surface. “The company we get our skins from have formed part of the e-institute in Brazil – the first organisation that works with environmentally friendly and sustainable materials – we are really happy to be involved with them.”

Dallas and Carlos

Next story: The Blackmail’s Books – Best Reads of 2010