‘My Fashion Life’ – Drapers

Delighted to recently have 'My Fashion Life'  – Drapers profile included in the weeks January 17th 2015 edition.
To view the complete article please click here


British Folk Art

This exhibition on at Tate Britain, London, showcases objects drawn from collections across Britain which have been considered as ‘folk art’ of one kind or another. It is the first major historical exhibition of British folk art at a national art museum and takes in an array of genres and media from the 17th to the mid-20th century, when folk art became more commodified. These include monumental ships' figureheads, elaborate embroideries and quilts, giant trade and shop signs (my favourite part of the exhibition), paintings and collages. Some were made by professional craftsmen, some by amateurs, most are anonymous. A number were created in the context of commercial, working or military life, others were designed for the home. All sit outside or at the margins of what is generally considered to be fine art. But there is a long history of such objects also being of artistic interest, whether as the expression of a collective identity or a highly individual creative imaginations.


As a country girl from Wales, I realise that I have some wonderful examples from my Great Grandparents of patchwork and woodcarving, which were practical items as well as highly decorative items.

Categories: Exhibitions

Chelsea Flower Show 2014

I’m a keen gardener, so it's always a special occasion to visit Chelsea Flower Show for some real inspiration, sublime planting combinations, new materials and a different slant on garden design.


Some top gardening tips from the show:

- plant purples from pale duck egg to deepest indigo
- naturalistic planting
- embrace Iris's the main flower in all the show gardens, and also the return of Lupin's as seen in the 'best in show Laurent Perrier garden' by Luciano Giubbilei. Other noteworthy flowers were Foxgloves and Cow-Parsley
- sinuous trees such as Birches, Acers and Amelanchiers
- Hosta's and Fern's to add depth and interest to planting
- a variety of grasses, some quite tall are planted amongst the flowers to bring softness to colour schemes
- water features, and if you can afford it a sculpture too.
- plant of the year was a Hydrangea with double flowers (mopheads)
- Christoper Lloyds, Great Dixter Garden was inspiration for many of the show gardens, worth a visit!


3 exciting exhibitions on in London at the moment

Henri Matisse – Paper Cut-Outs at Tate Modern
Matisse was one of the most innovative painters of the C20th, but for the last seventeen years of his life due to health problems turned to an entirely new approach of making work, cutting shapes from painted paper and then layering these pieces to create shapes which were attached to a larger plain canvas.


In the exhibition we see cut-out shapes of birds, fish, coral, leaves, plants etc and also his work with stained glass. The 'Blue Nudes' series which is perhaps one of his most memorable works and a most striking example of what Matisse himself called 'cutting directly into colour', the paper's flatness co-exists with a sense of figures intertwined limbs. Paper cutting is a way of drawing and sculpting at the same time.


The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945 – 2014 at V&A
A wonderful exhibition of Italian fashion from the end of the Second World War to the present day, and explores through key fashion designers and organizations that have contributed to Italy's reputation for quality and style, and showcases the exceptional range of techniques, materials and expertise from which 'Made in Italy' brand has become renowned.


Designers and labels featured include 1950's and '60's Hollywood stars such as Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor, Prada, Versace, Gucci, Armani, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Pucci etc.


The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier – From Sidewalk to the Catwalk at The Barbican
Over the past for decades, Jan Paul Gaultier has shaped the look of contemporary fashion, with his witty and boundary-pushing designs and his ceaseless interest in society and identity. Keenly interested in all of the world's traditions and cultures, Gaultier has conceived a new kind of fashion in both the way it is made and worn.


Designed as an installation rather than a conventional fashion retrospective, this theatrically staged exhibition presents over 180 cutting-edge couture and ready-to-wear garments created between the early 1970's and now, many of which are being shown in Britain for the first time.


Ulster Festival of Art & Design

Delighted to have been involved and invited to make a presentation at this year’s Ulster Festival of Art & Design in Belfast.
Interview with local TV company followed vimeo.com/89195965 by Drumlin Media


Royal Academy, London / Sensing Spaces – their new architecture show

How do spaces shape our lives?
How do they make us feel?


Experiencing architecture involves moving within and around it, absorbing its qualities through our bodies and senses. We react, consciously or not, to the characteristics of different materials, vistas, volumes, sounds, spatial relationships and proportions. As well as engaging physically with space, our experience of it also informed by our memories and habits.


Human responses to architecture range from awe to feelings of comfort, safety, pleasure, excitement or unease. We frequently shape the spaces around us - from making dens as children to placing furniture in a living room. Ultimately, architecture connects us to time, place, and people.


This exhibition invites you to explore built space directly. The installations all highlight different aspects of architecture – from manipulation of light, mass and structure to the transformations brought about by use, movement and interaction.


There are seven architectural practices from six countries and continents in this incredible show


Premiere Vision, Paris – Spring/Summer 2015

Premiere Vision the international fashion textile trade show is an absolute power-house of creativity and a guaranteed source of inspiration.

Some key textile directions seen at the show included:


  • textural fabrics with surface interest and tactile handles either through the use of yarns, weave structure or finish.
  • bring more 'light' into fabrics, could be through colour + white, chambray, delave yarns, shadow or ombre colourings
  • everyone was loving the colour yellow!
  • subtle and airy patterns with a charming openness and a minimal refined touch
  • denim continues its influence with very dark indigo and inky blacks
Categories: Trade shows

Fashionably forward – London Fashion Week (LFW)

Mens street fashion


London Fashion Week (LFW) – Autumn/Winter ’14 Collections

LFW is one of the highest profile fashion events in the world and one of the ‘big four’ international catwalk influences.


It is estimated that over £100m orders are placed during LFW each season and over 5000 visitors attend. Over 135 catwalk shows and presentation salon shows.

Surrounding the main LFW events is also a perfect place to see amazing street fashion, London buzzes


Maison & Object, Paris January 2014

Maison & Object the brilliant home-fashion show is adulated for its complete offer – interior decoration, furniture, accessories, fabrics, home fragrances, table ware etc. and presents a cutting-edge platform that is in line with the development of the market. Totally inspiring (the stand displays are really great) and innovative, showcasing manufacturers latest offerings, emerging trends, the latest materials and technology in the industry. With over 3249 exhibitors from Europe and worldwide, it offers a very comprehensive view of today's and tomorrow's interiors.


Beautiful Bali

Spent a wonderful and relaxing Christmas and New Year on Bali – to be highly recommended. The island's creative heritage is everywhere you look and there's nothing manufactured about what you see and the culture is vibrant and accessible. Dance and musical performances are the result of an ever-evolving culture with a legacy of centuries. Villages save their highest honours for the artists who live there.


Had fun doing a Bali Indonesian cookery course in Ubud www.casa lunabali.com, from shopping for ingredients in the local market, preparation, cooking and the best bit of course eating all the delicious food.


The lady that runs the course is Janet de Neefe an Australian married to a Balinese for 25 years, a real mover and shaker, she has also set up Ubud Literary Festival 3 years ago, a sort of mini version of Hay Festival.


Also had more fun doing a ceramic painting day at Jenggala www.jenggala.com, had rather heavy hand luggage coming home with all my lovely new bowls and dishes, perfect for using with my new cooking skills!


Kew Gardens illuminated trail though their winter landscape

This December for the very first time, Kew Gardens opens after hours with an illuminated trail, drenched in colour through its enchanting world famous botanic gardens, casting light into hidden places off the beaten track, under tree-top canopies and onto dancing lakeside ripples. From the delicate and twinkling to the grand and spectacular, Kew’s much loved landscape is brought to life as you have never seen it before.

On the route through the heart of the gardens you encounter light, sound, performance and interactive installations that are truly magical and delightful. Go if you get the chance!

Tags: Kew Gardens

Visit to China

Enjoyed my recent work trip to Shanghai and area, the stylish Indo Chine feel of Shanghai contrasts sharply when you get out to the provinces.


Although Chinese textile companies are very high tech with all the latest machinery and state of the art manufacturing plants, it was a pleasant surprise to see simple handlooms still being used for fabric trials and design work.


The ever-growing Intertextile Apparel Fabric Fair was also on in Shanghai, with an amazing 3,700 exhibitors this time – nothing is truly small scale in China! – which was spread over 15 huge halls, the size of airport hangers. I assisted in putting together the UKFT stand there, which was very busy and created much interest in British Textiles and our wonderful heritage and tradition which goes down exceedingly well.

Categories: China, British Textiles

Display & Presentation

The studio has been super busy recently with various display and presentation work for major product launches, customer private views and trade show events. Most clients are keen on ‘story telling’ and getting the message out behind all the creative research, development and history of the product, and also appreciate showing-off the tactile and structural natural of the textile.