Friday, 18 December 2009
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
I met Hannah Galvin-Horne - who runs Dark Dog Studio - at London Printworks last week where she experimented with Chinese cat designs to stunning effect. Hannah designs, screen-prints, dyes and makes a range of home-wares and accessories from studios in Ballinspittle, Co. Cork, Ireland.
Monday, 14 December 2009
I’m still scrubbing ink from beneath my fingernails after spending an enjoyable 5 days being creatively messy at the London Print Works last week. I was there along with a small group of people for a workshop induction course, which covered basic textile printing processes through to more complex techniques. Following the induction, designers can hire the fully equipped workshop to produce their work.
We were fortunate to have Dawn Dupree - a talented textile artist and extremely patient tutor - leading the course. Each day Dawn would calmly demonstrate new techniques, which would send us enthusiastically racing back to our print tables to incorporate these into our textiles.
I enjoyed combining colours and textures. I enjoyed experimenting with different techniques. I enjoyed the unexpected results. I enjoyed being messy and I enjoyed wiping my ink-covered hands on my clothes. I really didn’t expect to enjoy myself quite so much. And, I didn’t expect to spend a week with such an open and friendly group of people all sharing ideas and advise. There was a tinge of sadness at the end of the week as we reviewed our work over mince pies and a couple of bottles of wine. I’d like to think we would catch up again. Hopefully, my hands will be clean by then.
London Printworks Trust is the UK’s leading textile print resource. As a registered charity, the trust offers a diverse programme of activities, which combines textile print facilities, exhibitions, professional development and educational activities, particularly work with excluded groups or people who find themselves outside the mainstream education system.
As another series of the phenomena that is 'X-Factor' came to last night's not-soon-enough final, I was surprised by two things. The first that yesterday's Observer gave front page column space to the two finalists: Olly Murs and Joe McElderry. (If you're interested, it was Joe the 18 year old with a dazzling smile who won and who is now reportedly being whisked off to Hollywood by Simon Cowell to become South Shields answer to Zac Efron).
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
Monday, 30 November 2009
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Thursday, 19 November 2009
Is it only me? Or has anyone else set out with the sole purpose of buying a specific item only to return with something completely different? I was back in Crystal Palace - an area of London that really is a hidden gem for retro and vintage lovers – with the intention of buying a retro coffee table. I returned home with a vintage dress.
I'd found myself in Vien, a treasure trove of a boutique owned by the vivacious Vivienne Bartholomew. Vien sells an eclectic selection of unique vintage clothing including a wonderful choice of Fifties dresses, elegant eveningwear, tailoring and accessories. A Lurex batwing top from the 80’s caught my eye. As did a metallic jacquard top – very Marni. Ahhh! But it was a Little Black Dress with sheer voluminous sleeves that won me over. A perfect fit. How could I resist.
All of Vien’s vintage is in excellent condition without eye-popping price tags – easily less than half the price of similar vintage clothes you would see in boutiques around Portobello Road and Cheshire Street. Vien also holds a small range made from surplus and vintage fabrics under it’s eponymous label. I thought the vintage range was much stronger. This is where Vivienne’s eye for detail, love of fabrics and passion shines through.
Crystal Palace may not have the style of Notting Hill or the cool factor of the East End but it’s definitely worth taking a detour for. You never know what vintage treasures you might come home with.
Monday, 16 November 2009
Thursday, 12 November 2009
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
I have never liked my toes! I don’t want to go into detail. All I’m saying is they appear longer than average. There. I’ve said it. My secret is out. But my toes are staying in.
In summer, I try to wear shoes as often as possible. Or I wear sandals with enough coverage to hide the offending toes. Ah! But when Winter arrives, I rejoice the open toed sandal. Worn with socks, of course.
You see, I enjoy the unexpected mix of socks, opaques and woolly tights worn with strappy sandals. There's something interesting about a contrasting print and texture peeking through or even bunching up between the straps. I like to subvert that old style rule that socks with sandals is a major faux pas.
Imagine my delight when I came across Mohops. These innovative, environmentally friendly sandals are hand-crafted by Annie Mohaupt in her Chicago studio. The ergonomically designed soles are made from solid walnut, maple or cherry from sustainably managed forests. Ribbons of different lengths, colour and fabric can be threaded through the elastic loops to create an infinite number of looks with just one pair of sandals.
Fantastic for your individuality, your budget, your storage space and for sustainable fashion. What's more, they look fabulous with socks and woolly tights.
Monday, 2 November 2009
Thursday, 29 October 2009
Friday, 23 October 2009
Remember the fun you had as a child making pom poms? Well it's time to get creative again with strands of wool and cardboard discs made from empty cereal boxes. Pom poms are a key fashion look for AW09. So, what better way to lift the recession blues than with these colourful, fun accessories. Take inspiration from current designer collections to update your outfits with the innocent pom pom.