Poepke Projects x Alex and Trahanas

November 2nd, 2018

 

For Poepke’s new edition of Poepke projects, we’re lucky to feature Alex and Trahanas, a lifestyle brand of treasures crafted by artisans and hand-picked from around the world. The duo’s first collection is informed by the outdoor living of the Mediterranean; think linen dresses to toast wine in, hand-made ceramics to eat olives from, and sculptural gold jewellery to glint in the setting sun. We talk to the designers behind the local label ahead of their arrival in store.

Alex and Trahanas is described as a lifestyle project. How did the project come together?

ALEX AND TRAHANAS was born out of a joint love for the Mediterranean way of living. Sun-filled terraces, seaside trattorias and tavernas; entertaining with delicious food, wine, surrounded by friends and family. Our lifestyle project is fuelled by the garments, accessories and entertaining pieces that enrich and create more of those experiences.

How did the two of you meet, and as a duo how does your relationship translate into your work?

We met in the world of magazines, (over 10 years ago) working for titles such as Vogue Australia, GQ, Vogue Living, Vogue Entertaining + Travel and delicious to name a few. We went our own ways and kept in contact via each other’s travel pics and upon reconnecting decided to create a lifestyle project, for the person who loves style, food, entertaining and travel – is full of life.

Your first collection ‘Aperitivo Hour’ has close ties with Puglia, tell us about your connection there?

Upon travelling to Puglia, we experienced the warmth of Italian hospitality and the quintessential Mediterranean Summer lifestyle. These experiences are at the heart of our project. On our travels, we discovered some beautiful ceramics, produced by artisans in a small village. We enjoyed the most delicious Italian meals and aperitivos with these ceramics. They brought fun, personality and life to the table, we instantly wanted to bring them home with us and give people the chance to experience a touch of Southern Italy in Australia. It was incredible to witness the creation of these pieces. The ceramicists sits on a timber stool with shutter doors that open to the cobbled streets and white painted village, whilst listening to opera and drinking espresso. Each piece is one of a kind, they are like little works of art. We have since been back to shoot our most recent linen collection ‘Apulian Summer’ in amongst the ancient olive groves. It is a truly inspiring and magical place.

The collection features Italian linen dresses made in Australia, and hand painted ceramics. Why these pieces in particular?

For us, timeless linen garments and beautiful hand-made ceramics are the tools which inspire social Summer experiences and a rich lifestyle. Our aloe-vera infused Italian linen, is sourced from one of the finest and most luxurious mills in the world, Solbiati and then made in Australia. Our ceramics are sourced from local artisans in Southern Italy. We wanted to bring a taste of the Mediterranean to Australia; where effortless garments can take you from day to night. We think about the ALEX AND TRAHANAS woman who lives for a warm summer of rolling long lunches, enjoying our pieces.

You’ve also just released a jewellery collaboration with Louise Olsen. What was your inspiration behind this?

Louise Olsen is one of Australia’s most recognised designer’s and artist’s, the collection features earrings and a bangle inspired by the beauty of olive trees, the backdrop for our Summer edition photo shoot. The organic curved olive leaf forms bring a touch of the Mediterranean into each piece, where golden leaves hang from the ear or wrap gently around the wrist. They make the perfect summer jewel to accompany our classic Italian linen garments.

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Sara Lanzi

October 26th, 2018

Sara Lanzi’s ‘Slow Burn’.

One of the newest designers to be welcomed to Poepke has been quietly designing in her home base of Umbria since 2005. But since then, her designs are hung at Dover St Market, and the hallowed wardrobe of Rei Kawakubo who has become her mentor of sorts. Her clothes incorporate the dualities found in every human, the feminine and masculine (think tartan checks in pink and cream), vigour and lightness (sculpted skirts in the lightest of wool) and poetry and strength (mannish shirts in a stark black and white floral). We talk to Lanzi about her craft, her country and the culture she creates.

Your background is in art studies, how has this informed your work?

It is generally a great privilege to be able to spend some time studying a favourite subject.. reading and doing research opens and sensitizes the mind.

You live and work out of Umbria, tell us what you love most about the region.

I like the fact that it is secluded, that the way to reach it is a ribbon surrounded by nature. I like its open horizons and the smell of the seasons, so strong.

‘Restraint’ is a word that is often spoken about with your clothing, where do you think you restrain, and where do you not when it comes to your clothes?

Restraint is the inner measure, not always conscious, which makes me stop before feeling uncomfortable. Sometimes may be a limit, but it always speaks of me and keeps me faithful to myself.

That said, even the opposite of moderation – overkill? – is the basis of my work: there must be no limits to dedication and passion, having my job several moments ‘above the lines’

You’ve been designing since 2005, what inspires you to keep designing?

I think it’s my life now. It’s not just about designing, but it’s the whole cycle (from production, to sales campaign) that represents my daily life and what I love to do. Inspiration is a mix of passion and commitment.

To view Poepke’s range of Sara Lanzi you can visit here.

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CristaSeya Edition #11

August 15th, 2018

CristaSeya’s notorious minimalism of style often disguises the attention its founder, Cristina Casini, gives to the luxurious fabrics each garment is cut out of. Whether it be the softest knitwear coming out of her mother’s factory in Reggio Emilia, Italy, or cotton pants blended with Japanese washi paper to get the perfect crispness.

Eschewing the successive trend based, fashion circuit, Casini instead opts for numbered editions for her clothes,  consisiting of 12-15 garments each. Items can be bought from any of these editions, and the beauty of their timelessness means you want to.

Each new edition also introduces handmade objects. These are collaborations with artists from around the world; such as decorative vases of upside down heads from Sicilian artist Giacomo Alessi, or one-of-a-kind cushions from the Swiss brand Ikou Tschuss. Currently in store, Poepke has woven ceramics made of Anaphi clay, Anaphi being the luscious Greek Island Casini holidays at and inspiration for CristaSeya’s Edition #08.

To view Popeke’s range of CristaSeya, visit here.

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Introducing: Deiji Studios

June 8th, 2018

With the season of hibernation upon us, Poepke is now stocking a new range of sleepwear to lounge in. Born out of Byron Bay, Deiji Studios has created pyjamas and robes made from fine French linen in colours such as mustard, cyan and olive. It is the kind of sleepwear you want to venture out in, bringing you a little bit of comfort wherever you go. We talk to one of the founders of Deiji Studios about how it all came about.

Talk to us about the ethos behind Deiji Studios.

We created Deiji almost two years ago now, with a vision to deliver high comfort, high quality linen bedding and sleepwear. Our ever-evolving sleepwear line has been designed in Australia, creating timeless pieces to be worn in bed at home or out and about.

What compelled you to start the brand, and why sleepwear?

Having a French background, I have seen so much linen passed down through to my mother from her great aunts. Whenever my mother goes back to Paris she always sends me pictures of the beds at her family homes, so the love for working with linen back home was quite strong. We started with bedding with always the intention of doing sleepwear and we wanted to create something that was comfortable to sleep in, host a dinner party, wear to the beach or the shops to grab the milk without offending anyone.

You’re based in Byron – how does the environment there inform what you do?

We try look beyond Byron, as it tends to be a bit of a bubble. We get our inspirations from all over.

Deiji is a Japanese name, why Deiji? 

Our first sleepwear was Japanese inspired, we are very inspired by the Japanese culture and clothing designs, so minimal and effortless.

We love the colours of your sleepwear – olive, mustard, and cyan. Tell us what inspired you to use these colours. 

They are just the colours that stood out to us at the time, Emma wears more of the Mustard and Olive, and I love the Cyan and white. We are bringing out plenty of new designs and colours soon!

To view Poepke’s range of Deiji Studios, you can visit here.

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Lemaire – ‘Finding poetry in the reality’

May 30th, 2018

“Finding poetry in the reality” is how Christophe Lemaire, describes what he and his wife, co-designer Sarah-Linh Tran do at his namesake label.

And that’s exactly what Lemaire’s clothes are: everyday clothes with a poet’s inflection, which are equally at home at a business meeting or a more clandestine one. “We are always constantly reworking the essentials, looking for something timeless, trying to pervert a little bit the archetypes,” he says.

Lemaire, who has also designed for Hermès and Lacoste, spins decks as a DJ during his time off, and it is from music such as German prog rock and new wave bands like Joy Division and Suicide that he draws inspiration from. But it is the streets of Paris too, which continually ignites his ideas, particularly the suburb of Belleville: “It’s very mixed socially, emotionally. It’s a bit of a constant mess. You have this mix of Asian restaurants and Maghreb restaurants or shops. And you have all these old Chinese or Arab men dressing very stylishly. The way they combine certain colours, it’s always quite sharp in an unfashion way which I really love always. So there is always a bit of that in Lemaire.”

To shop Poepke’s latest collection of Lemaire, visit here.

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Poepke Projects – Stephanie Said

May 11th, 2018

Our new edition of Poepke Projects features local jewellery-maker Stephanie Said. For Stephanie, the fluidity and mechanisms of her geometric jewellery begins with a humble piece of paper. Used to using this blank slate as a starting point when she worked in fashion, it’s sculptural malleability informs her work, as does the desire to evoke curiosity in the wearer of her creations. Stephanie’s collection at Poepke over the next two months, features her foray into working with 18k gold and  limited designs in soft blush and soft matt yellow. We spoke to Stephanie about her concepts, motivations and influences for the collection.

A lot of the sculptural shapes of your jewellery have evolved from playing with the shapes and folds of a plain piece of paper. Tell us about how the piece of paper became your starting point and what it reflects in your jewellery’s forms.

I studied and worked in fashion, and to create clothes, we would often start with paper to map out the form the fabric would take. I guess paper became the way for me to visualise in 3D what something could look like on the body and it was a natural process for me to be able to visualise jewellery this way. You can cut and fold and see how the shape feels in relation to the space of your hand or neck before beginning to work in metal. It has a definite affect on the evolution and feel of my collections and has allowed me to create some interesting pieces because of the movement that can be created with paper as opposed to metal. My pieces are often very simple geometric shapes but the detail comes through in the angle, or fold of the metal, and the way it is able to reflect light and create sounds with the movement. There is a pureness to the pieces, much like a blank sheet of paper. It is calm and ready for your own sentiments.

There is an aspect of the hidden with some of you pieces which you can open up to find hidden diamonds or unfold to create new forms. What is your inspiration behind these?

There is often so much sentiment in a piece of jewellery, so it feels more true to me this way, that there is an element which is private and personal created by the design of the jewellery itself. I am really interested in creating objects that have a curiosity to them, or a secret pleasure – When you pick up one of my pieces for the first time, you will often discover something unexpected. That discovery creates an instant private experience between you and the jewellery. There is something quite beautiful in being able to keep precious things close to you and create this curiosity for the people around you who may see you wearing them.

In using diamonds, they create a really beautiful light when subtly revealed which I find much more exciting that when they are so obvious.

There’s a musicality to wearing your creations, they often make sound when you move. Was this something you intentionally wanted to capture?

Yes, it feels quite perfect to be able to have the extra sensation to hear your jewellery, and be reminded of its presence when you can hear the piece moving with you. They can make the most delicate sounds depending on the combination of pieces and where it is worn. The sounds become a part of you.

You use 50% of recycled material in your designs. How do you manage to achieve this?

We use a minimum of 50% recycled sterling silver and are always aiming for 100% recycled metals. We do this by asking the questions to our suppliers and only working with those that can we can trust, ensuring we have that guarantee. They will refine pure silver and copper from various industrial users of precious metals to create silver that is as good as new.

You can view Stephanie’s collection at Poepke here.

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Stella Jean

May 5th, 2018

‘Fashion can be used as a cultural translator and a tool against colonisation; it re-establishes the balance between symbols, stories and different worlds through style.’ – Stella Jean.

The story of Stella Jean’s heritage is the story of her style. Roman born with Haitian roots, each of these influences appear in her collections to, as she says, ‘embrace’ each other. The ubiquitous stripes are an homage to her father’s origins in Turin, while the bold prints and textiles hint at her Creole ancestory.

For her S/S 2018 collection, Jean was inspired by Bolivia’s Cholitas luchadores community. These are women wrestlers who wear native dress while performing their fierce moves, but have often faced discrimination for doing so. Not allowed in some public spaces due to their refusal to wear western clothing, they have garnered attention for this mistreatment, all the while waving the flag for their country’s indigenous heritage.

In Jean’s SS18 collection currently in Poepke, native Bolivian-style prints adorn jackets and dresses, her father’s stripes appear on shirting, as does tie-dye, and there’s a coloured petticoat-skirt just like the ‘fighting goddesses’ wear.

To shop our range of Stella Jean, visit here.

 

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New to Poepke: Maison Martin Margiela

February 23rd, 2018

After graduating in 1980 from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp , Martin Margiela along with the famed Antwerp 6, came under fashion’s spotlight. He has been evading it ever since.

Described by the New York Times as “the most elusive figure in fashion” there is an aura of  mystery that pervades Martin Margiela and his maison which is now presided over by John Galliano.

Even the Maison’s labels are subdued. A piece of cloth with the numbers 0-23 is attached inside each garment, the number corresponding to the line it is created for, circled. Four, white pick-stiches affix the label, which is exposed on the outside of his garments. This has become the Maison’s trademark.

Poepke has four of Maison Martin Margiela’s lines, available:

1 Woman’s collection

In this collection, Maison Martin Margiela expresses its love for avant-garde design and conceptualism.

4 Woman’s gaderobe

 This collection features basic garments focused on the feminine.

11 Accessories

A mixed line for both men and women, unisex accessories.

22 Shoes

A seasonal selection of footwear from Line 1.

You can view our selection of Maison Martin Margiela here.

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Artist Collaboration with Mary MacDougall

February 13th, 2018

Poepke’s new online backdrop is an art series organised by photographer Rafaela Pandolfini featuring Sydney based artist Mary MacDougall. We chatted to Mary about her work, the textures that inform it and her scientific, geological and ancient inspirations.

For someone who is coming across your work for the first time, how would you explain your aesthetic and theme of your work?

I’m primarily a painter and drawer but I like to work all kinds of materials to get unexpected effects. Textures are important to me and keeping the forms in my work mysterious. Sometimes I will abstract a figure or object and other times I will push automatic marks towards something more descriptive.


What are some defining moments in your work as an artist?

The first works I exhibited were on glass and then I moved to ceramic tiles. More recently I have shown drawings and developed artist books with an imprint in New York called Cooperative Editions. The biggest project I have completed to date is a commission for a tile mural in a house and later this year I’m having a solo show at ReadingRoom, a new gallery in Melbourne.

What or who influences your practice?

I am fascinated by the history of art and I hoard images from everywhere. I’m interested in art and architecture from the ancient world and I collect news, scientific and geological images. I guess I cast my net quite wide! I think a lot about collage and I am influenced by artists who can really animate their materials.

Images courtesy of Mary MacDougall and ReadingRoom, Melbourne. Mary MacDougall is represented by ReadingRoom, Melbourne

You can see Mary’s collaboration with Poepke here and here.

 

 

 

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The Mechanics of Movement: Michel Vivien

January 12th, 2018

Looking at the hues of Michel Vivien’s shoes, new to Poepke, you will find a braided heel in rich cognac, a low sandal in turkish delight rose, and the scarlet red of his shoeboxes. It is through these colours that Vivien’s background in painting comes to play. As a twenty year old, he attended the National School of Fine Arts in Paris, but dropped out in order to pursue other adventures. Despite this, he has always remained faithful to his first art form; “I continued to paint and I have never stopped painting” he says.

But it was at a chance meeting with two Italian brothers from Naples who owned a shoe factory, that Vivien foresaw a different future for himself. Though the eventual partnership with these two brothers failed, the original vision inspired by this encounter, is one he keeps to this day. It is a vision which balances romance with reality; “My shoes are not something extraordinary, like a sculpture or an artwork. They are made to be worn” he says.

In the summer of 1999, Vivien launched his first collection under his own name, but still collaborates with prestigious Haute Couture houses such as Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, and Lanvin. Working from his workshop in Rue de Nice in Paris and his small footwear factory on the outskirts of Milan, he designs shoes for a “Parisian woman who lives a hectic life”  more interested in how she “spends her days, not her nights.”

You can see our selection of Michel Vivien shoes at Poepke here.

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Dries Van Noten’s Alphabet of Fashion

January 3rd, 2018

What makes Dries Van Noten’s clothes so coveted by his pockets of fans around the globe, is the wide variety of inspiration he collides together, from each of these corners.

“For me, other cultures have always been a starting point, ” he recently told Tim Blanks at a Business of Fashion forum. “But I never took things very literal. Quite often, we take one element that we like…and mix it to be something very personal.”

But in an age where the line between cultural appropriation and homage can be fine in the eyes of critics and consumers, he admits referencing other cultures has become “more difficult now” despite it being the “alphabet of his fashion”. Instead Van Noten is moving towards the art world as a springboard from which to create.

For his most recent SS18 collection, which will  land at Poepke in coming weeks, Van Noten referenced Picasso’s “Les deux demoiselles faisant leur toilette.” For this, Picasso constructed a collage of found materials, largely consisting of wallpapers featuring varying motifs, rather than his usual medium of paint. So just like the cultural references Van Noten is used to stirring together, he became captivated by Picasso’s haphazard mixes.

Van Noten took elements from the prints to create an assemblage of motifs through the decades – from surrealist lips to forties wallpaper, sixties couture flowers and bourgeois scarves straight from the seventies.

For more of Van Noten’s conversation with Tim Blanks, see below, and for more Dries Van Noten at Poepke, you can click here.

 

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Introducing Visvim

November 30th, 2017

 

The unique aesthetic behind cult label Visvim is reflected in the twin abodes and hobbies of its founders. Hiroki Nakamura and his wife Kelsi, divide their time between their mid-century house high in the Hollywood hills, and their 250 year old traditional Japanese home outside of Tokyo. The clothing they design is described as “rugged western” meets “zen utilitarianism” and is reflected in their everyday environment and antics; Nakamura plays rock and blues on pre-war guitars, restores vintage motorcycles and eats off porcelain dishes from Arita. Next to the shoji sliding doors in their home in Japan, is a vintage poster of Clint Eastwood, on the tatami floor lies Aztec style rugs; “I love Japanese culture, but I love being American,” he says.

 

 

At Poepke, pieces from Visvim’s women’s range have arrived in store. As with the designers’ lifestyle it is functional but with a traditional and vintage feel. There are moccasin sneakers, slim denim jackets, patchwork skirts and pocket tees referencing Japanese textiles.

You can browse our range of Visvim here.

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Dries Van Noten – His career in two books.

November 16th, 2017

Those who are fans of Dries Van Noten, know about his garden. It his refuge, his inspiration, his well and his source of sustenance.  But American author Hanya Yanagihara who recently profiled Van Noten for the New York Times ‘The Greats 2017’ issue, found that for the designer with the ‘painterly eye’ this inspiration sometimes draws on the melancholic:

 

“Van Noten says that he and his longtime partner in both business and life, Patrick Vangheluwe, often joke that they’ll someday write a book titled ‘The Depressed Gardener,’ about all the things that can go wrong in a garden, no matter the allowances made for changing climates, unpredictable weather, rapacious insects and on and on. You plan and plan, he says, and something always goes awry anyway. The depressed gardener knows that. He also knows, however, that it is simply what happens when you try to control what cannot be controlled — to be a depressed gardener is to live in a state of constant humility. ”

A fitting metaphor for Van Noten’s career as a fashion designer Yanagihara points out.

And although ‘The Depressed Gardener’ is the book that Van Noten would like to write, here at Poepke we are excited to announce the arrival of Van Noten’s 2017 book in two parts; a retrospective of his 100 collections.


“The books delve into the fashion designer’s work and aesthetic vocabulary, documenting and capturing the spirit of each collection with more than 2000 pictures detailing everything from the runway to the backstage, from the invitations to the scenography and uncommon choice of locations.”

Books spanning a career that might even make the Depressed Gardener smile.

Dries Van Noten 1 – 100 is available to purchase in store at Poepke now.

To view pieces from Dries Van Noten’s 100th collection, click here

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Orto Parisi Fragrances

October 6th, 2017

“Orto Parisi states that our body is experienced like a garden, and its smells are a true mirror of our soul.”       

For the first time at Poepke, we welcome a range of fragrances – Orto Parisi, by the Italian perfumer, Alessandro Gualtieri . The range is inspired by Gualtieri’s grandfather, Vincenzo, who “used buckets to collect both his needs that timely ended up fertilising the garden”.  Gualtieri, pays homage to Vincenzo by blurring the line between the pleasant and unpleasant, with his collection of fragrances. Each portray the duality of freshness versus stench and attraction versus repulsion.

Eschewing describing these parfums through notes of scent, instead, they have a story as the stimulus for their creation.

Bergamask – ‘berga’ from bergamot, is a very fresh citrus fruit and ‘mask’ captures the musky odour expelled by a fresh kill.

 

 

Boccanera – means ‘dark mouth’ in Italian. Nature offers dark holes that express sensuality in an erotic, dark way.

 

 

Brutus –  is in reference to the Roman senator Marcus Junius Brutus, who was known for his lack of eloquency.

 

 

Seminalis – is an odour responsible for leading males to females.

 

 

Stercus – is from Latin meaning ‘dung’ or ‘faeces’.

 

 

Terroni – refers to Italians from the South, and is inspired by the roots and the land around the volcano Vesuvius.

 

 

Viride – comes from the Latin meaning ‘green’ and represents virility.

 

 

Each bottle is inspired by the flask, a vessel for liquids to satisfy your thirst. The cap is made of solid metal and the inlay on top is a product of nature – either wood, nut, horn or bakelite.

You can browse the Orto Parisi line of fragrances here.

 

 

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Sloane Angell Ceramics

September 8th, 2017

New to Poepke this Spring are Sloane Angell ceramics.  Based in Los Angeles, Sloane creates vases and planters known for their striking colours and textures.  There are vases with dripping turquoise and oxblood glazes, and planters with shiny veneers and portions left raw. We talk to Sloane about his design background and approach to his craft.

 

 

Before you focussed on ceramics, you were part of Marc Jacobs’ design team.  You also have your own label – Mercer Market. Tell us what prompted you to change direction?

I started making ceramics in 2000, while I was in high school. I have kept the craft ever since. My clothing company Mercer Market took a few years to get off the ground. Now that it doesn’t require all my time, I was able to get my hands back in clay. I really enjoy splitting my time between both projects.

You know live in Los Angeles after living in New York and Maryland.  Does L.A inform your work in any way?

I think L.A changes the way I work based on environment, but I don’t think it effects my aesthetics.  Fortunately my vessels seem to translate well in the homes here, I have been very successful with local customers collecting my work.

 

 

We especially love the oxblood and turquoise drip glazes on your pots. What inspired your use of colour?

These are some of my favourites as well.  A little secret about these colours; the blood red and turquoise are actually the same glaze. It reacts either way depending on a specific firing method. Both colours evoke a great response from the viewer. The blue drips on porcelain have become somewhat of a signature of my work.

You have also worked under the L.A based ceramicist Mirena Kim. What did you take away from your time with her?

I wanted to learn production techniques and the day to day of a ceramics business. I was extremely fortunate that Mirena hired me, and allowed me to work and learn with her. She taught me a lot of great practices for being a successful potter.

What is the favourite part of your craft?

I love the process of changing ideas into form. My ceramics are handmade, functional art. Dishwater or vases that can be used on a daily basis, hopefully serving many generations of owners. Each piece is unique and individual.

 

 

You can view Sloane Angell’s Ceramics here.

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