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Blossom! New talent and fabulous florals Clements Ribeiro Eley Kishimoto Frida Kahlo



relax, handknit, create Frida on White Bench, Nickolas Murray, 1939 © Nickolas Murray Photo Archives Selvedge Magazine Editorial office PO Box 40038 N6 5UW Editorial T: 020 8341 0248 Subscriptions T: 020 8341 9721 Advertising T: 020 8341 7880 Publisher: Selvedge ltd Editor: Polly Leonard, Art Director: Helena Thomas, Features Editor: Elizabeth Smith, Copy Editor: Peter Shaw, Picture Editor: Jane Larkin, Editorial Manager: Sabrina Iken, e-Marketing Manager: Clare De Lotbiniere, Subscriptions Manager: Kate Karko, Promotions Manager: Beth Hale Advertising: Accounts: Marco Tuveri, interns Laura Service Emma Caple Jessica Preston

Telephone 01484 681881 Email:

Kitty in Cotton Braid from Beach Cool

Contributing Editors: Jessica Hemmings • Anne Morelle • Michael Brennand-Wood • Amy de la Haye • Karen Nicol • Philip Hughes • Clare Lewis • Catherine Harper • Elana Dixon.

Selvedge (ISSN: 1742-254X) is published six times a year by Selvedge Ltd. Registered Office 35 Ballards Lane, London, N3 1XW. Copyright © Selvedge Ltd 2004. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited. The editor reserves the right to edit, shorten or modify any material submitted. The editor’s decision on all printed material is final. The views expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the Selvedge magazine, Selvedge Ltd or the editor. Unsolicited material will be considered but cannot be returned. Printing: St Ives Roche Ltd. Paper: Hello Silk Board 250g, Hello Matt 130g, Challenger Offset 110g. Colour Origination: PH Media. Web Design: datadial. Original design concept and identity: Direct Design. Distribution: Mercury International Ltd. Periodicals Postage Paid at Rahway NJ. Postmaster send address corrections to Selvedge Magazine, C/O Mercury Airfreight International Ltd, 365 Blair Road, Avenel, New Jersey 07001. Subscription rates for one year (6 issues): Paper Magazine, UK £36.00; Europe ⇔65.00; USA $85.00; rest of world £60.00 Web Magazine, UK £20.00; Europe ⇔30.00; USA $40.00; rest of world £20.00



04 bias Letter from the editor. 05 correspond / enquire We welcome your questions, comments and criticism.

24 Old world ideals and new world entrepreneurial spirit: Lotta Jansson’s beautiful prints are being celebrated across the design world.

07 inform, inspire, insight Four pages of news, trends and novel ideas.

28 Flight of fancy The finest florals are taking shape for summer.

13 indulge A rose by any other name: this season's prettiest florals on furniture, throws and a fabulous tent.

36 Quintessentially English, Liberty prints are instantly recognisable but alongside its traditional appeal the company has a hidden history of innovation.

15 miscellany Sultry summer days: throw on your flip flops and kick back in a stripy deckchair. 16 runway Rebels with a cause. Marni strikes out for freedom, beauty and the right to clash. 18 expose Highest heights, 30 project Green fingers, the enduring appeal of English floral fabrics and the evolution of the country garden. 38 runway It takes two: the working partnerships of Eley Kishimoto and Clements Ribeiro. 64 connect Frida Kahlo is an international icon but her image was carefully constructed and founded on traditional Mexican dress. 76 collect Gilly Newberry's collection of fine fabrics documents a golden age of textile printing. 81 quintessence A snapshot of Clarissa Hulse's studio and the wealth of sources that inspire her. 82 read Reviews of the latest books that speak volumes.

86 divulge / declare / disclose International listings and previews.

46 Itsy bitsy They provoked public indecency trials and moral outrage, we uncover the scandalous history of the bikini. 48 Flexible friend It's not stretching the truth to say that Lycra changed our lives. 56 An educated guess Mary Schoeser heads back to school to uncover new trends in textile teaching. 60 Pick of the crop Our top graduates reveal a wealth of budding new talent, see them in action with our comprehensive degree show listings. 66 Volcanic lakes, charming colonial towns and colourful costumes – Guatemala has a traveller's needs covered. 72 Waxwork Indonesia's traditional textile skills have survived hell and high water yet it’s craftspeople continue to produce the world’s finest batik. 93 Coming next The Uniform Issue: the politics, pomp and ceremony of dress. We examine the desire to fit in and the role of the outsider. 95 Stockists Where to find us. 96 Subscription offers A stylish Lotta Jansdotter mini tote worth £20 for every new subscriber, plus tickets to see Frida Kahlo at the Tate Modern and stunning Clarissa Hulse silk cushions.

84 view Critiques of the latest shows.




Bias A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO I had an idea for a beautiful magazine dedicated to textiles – not just to textile art but to textiles in every facet and form; fabric that touches our lives. It would raise the profile of textiles at every level, from industry innovations to the achievements of designers, artists and independent makers. The eve of our anniversary is a good time to reflect on the whirlwind of the last year. The highpoint of which has been our nomination for the Periodical Publishing Association's Consumer Specialist Magazine of the Year Award. This is an incredible achievement for an independent magazine, especially one in its infancy. I want to take this opportunity to thank all our advertisers, contributors and the small team of dedicated people who tirelessly put this beautiful magazine together. The latter have reluctantly agreed to appear here and help you put faces to the names. Finally and above all I would like to thank our subscribers: without you we simply would not exist and my great idea would have remained just that. As Selvedge blossoms we are looking forward to a bright future. We had so many ideas for this issue that much pruning and cutting back has been necessary. I hope that what's left is our strongest issue yet. Taking inspiration from the National Garden Scheme Yellow Book we step outdoors and examine our enduring love of floral design and its links to the English passion for gardening. We look at what is happening in print, from Eley Kishimoto and Clements Ribeiro, pg 38 to the quirky individual style of Lotta Jansdotter, pg 24 . We get into a holiday mood when Sarah Jane Downing reveals the history of scandalously skimpy swimwear and Emma O'Kelly sizes up Lycra, pg 50 the fabric that made skintight styles de rigueur. No bikini is complete without a sarong and no one wears sarongs quite as well as the Indonesians. On a global theme we look at the Indonesian batik industry, pg 72 that although not directly affected by the tsunami is feeling its effects through the disastrous drop in tourist numbers and declining sales. Jamie Marshall, a photographer whose beautiful images have filled the pages of Selvedge since our launch, agreed to write for us about his passion for the textiles and people of Guatemala. Still in Central America Chloë Sayer looks at Frida Kahlo, pg 64 and her affection for traditional Mexican dress. Finally Mary Schooser reminds us what is so special about textile education in the UK and we celebrate this year's budding new talent, pg 56 in our round up of the best student shows. From the Selvedge team enjoy

Polly Leonard Editor

From top to bottom: Clare de Lotbiniere: E-marketing Manager, Jessica Hemmings: Contributing Editor, Elizabeth Smith: Features Editor, Beth Hale: Promotions Manager, Laura Silverman: Contributor, Helena Thomas: Art director, Sabrina Iken: Editorial Manager, Polly Leonard: Editor

Richard Nicholson

the summer! Visit a garden, see an exhibition or fly a kite, we will see you in September. •••

Anniversary wishes

Dear Editor,

I find Selvedge to be an exciting and visually stimulating magazine that addresses beautifully all of the things that I love: textiles, art, craft and beautiful objects! Zandra Rhodes

The latest issue of Selvedge arrived today – a visual treat as always with interesting articles. However as a resident of Broughty Ferry, the suburb of Dundee mentioned in the article about jute, I am writing to point out that Broughty Ferry is not on the opposite side of the river to Dundee, an area known as Fife, but 4 miles to the east on the same side. It seems pedantic to mention it and I apologise for that, but I would hate any visitors to get lost on route! Dundee was famous for three things – Jute, Jam and Journalism. As a child I remember hearing about the number of the jute millionaires living in a small area of West Ferry being greater than the number of millionaires living in the equivalent area in London. There was a special railway station built just for the jute wallahs travelling to Dundee – a journey that took all of 5 minutes. The mills had fascinating names, such as the Coffin Mill, and covered vast areas of town employing thousands of people. As the article says, the majority of the labour was female which nurtured a strong matriarchal society where the families existed on the earnings of the women and the men were amongst the original 'house-husbands'. The origins of the jute industry were as stated, to do with the whale oil but what wasn't said is that jute was seen as a substitute for the linen industry which was dying out. The convergence of a skilled work force of weavers, from the Low countries, damp atmosphere and running water plus the availability of whale oil, meant that jute became the saviour of Dundee's fortunes. The workers however were not so well rewarded and lived in squalid conditions. The effects of rickets was still a fairly common sight when I was young. Since the demise of jute working in Dundee the mills have changed purpose or been knocked down. The Verdant Works Museum part of Dundee's Heritage Trust, along with Discovery Point which houses Scott's Antarctic ship Discovery, tells the story of jute in Dundee and is well worth a visit. Sheila Mortlock Chairman of edge - textile artists Scotland

Selvedge's depth and intelligence appeal to me. It goes beyond the 'gloss' of design without losing any points in the magazine style stakes. Selvedge takes textiles seriously. Neisha Crosland Every issue of Selvedge is an eclectic mix of the social, geographical and physical aspects of all manner of textiles and therein lies its incredible success. It is a perfect format with a wonderful balance of beautiful photographs and fascinating stories. Gillian Newberry, Bennison What a fantastic magazine. Nothing can touch it for textile lovers. Fascinating features and always something to catch the eye. Annabel Lewis, V V Rouleaux I believe that Selvedge is the only magazine in the world with a quest to find the possibilities of all kinds of designs and artworks within the medium of textiles. Thank you for spreading the joy of textiles beyond the usual boundaries. Makiko Minagawa, Creative Director Haat, Issey Miyake.

Dear Editor, I've been a great fan of Philip Treacy for many years now and I absolutely loved his creations for Camilla's wedding day. Her beautiful clothes were elegant and contemporary and this was matched by her hats which flattered without overwhelming her. Her head-dress of gold ostrich feathers with Swarovski crystals which accompanied the silk brocade coat and matching hand-embroidered gown was stunning. I am among the minority of people who bemoan the lack of opportunity to wear hats. I can't help thinking we all look somehow incomplete. Perhaps if Selvedge were to feature up and coming milliners we could jumpstart a revival. Felicity Maunder

Ed: I love hats too and hope to cover classic millinary and new designers in a future issue.

Getty Images

Selvedge is the most chic textiles magazine around, and all the copies get eagerly snapped up here at the office! I love the format and layout, and wish the magazine all the best for many more years to come! Cath Kidston


Correspond & enquire

We are happy to publish letters, unusual queries and undertake research that will be of interest to our readers. Please send intriguing questions or answers to Polly Leonard, Selvedge Magazine, P.O Box 40038, N6 5UW, Please mark clearly any letters not intended for publication.

Event Dates PART 1: 30 JUNE - 3 JULY 2005 PART 2: 7 JULY - 10 JULY 2005 Business Design Centre, London N1

For 20 years New Designers has been the foremost exhibition of truly fresh creative talent. New Designers delivers an event brimming with innovation in every design discipline from jewellery to architecture. Be inspired by genuinely original thinking and catch the next generation of design leaders before somebody else.

Discount ticket offer: Book your tickets at the discounted price of £7.50* by quoting code SL7 at or by calling 08701 222890 * Ticket price of £7.50 is not inclusive of booking fee. Please quote the code to benefit from this special offer. Standard on the door admission price is £10.95


Sasa, El Anatsui. 2004 Courtesy of the October Gallery.

inform / inspire / insight

Africa 05 Kliptown Snappers Horniman Textile Gallery is showcasing eye-

A series of seminars discussing painting and sculpture, fash-

catching West African textiles and costumes. The exhibition

ion, design and dance. A rare opportunity to review and

also features 'Adire' dyed textiles from the Yoruba people in

discuss the contemporary African art scene and its place with-

Nigeria and also includes costumes from around the region.

in an international context. Monday 20 June John Picton: A

Horniman Museum & Gardens, 100 London Road, London. 18

look at Africa 95 and Africa 05. Monday 27 June Roger

March-1 January • New Displays-Sainsbury African Galleries

Malbert: Africa Remix, creating a contemporary survey. Tate

Newly acquired works by the artist Rachid Koraichi including

Modern, Bankside, London. 6.30pm-8pm cost: £70 (£45 con-

a large metal sculpture from his 'Path of Roses' installation and

cessions), booking required.

a selection of wonderful gold embroidered silk banners on display in the African Galleries. British Museum, Great Russell Street, London. 10 Feb 2005-1 Jan 2006 • African Art Today

Africa ‘05 February-October 2005

The drums of Africa still beat and they are louder than ever in 2005. Politically this year is a crucial one in the battle to end poverty and culturally the continent has achieved prominance in every medium from the rarified worlds of art and fashion to reality TV – the BBC has plans for ‘Strictly African Dancing’ featuring celebrities learning traditional dances. Whatever form it takes, Africa 05 is the biggest celebration of Africa ever organised in Britain. It began with an explosion of visual art exhibitions and the summer months feature fantastic craft, fashion and design events.


The Hali Fair, Olympia, National Hall, London 9-19 June 2005 T: 020 7578 7215

Shawls from the collection of Sibella Egerton are back on show due to popular demand. Born in Calcutta in 1813 Sibella Egerton had a long association with India and with the East India Company. Sibella's shawl collection dates from 1800 to 1870, when her brothers, both civil servants in the East India Company, regularly sent shawls home. On her death in 1871 the shawls were packed away and only rediscovered and exhibited at Rode Hall last year. They range from hand woven tapestry to glorious silk embroidered cashmere. The beautiful shawls on display include an Indian twill tapestry woven shawl made in Kasmir around 1830-40. The paisley pattern shown is in fact the Indian boteh motif, which may in turn have come from Mughal art or even China. The piece has lead curator Annabel Wills to make an exciting connection to a panel of red silk tabby weave, woven in the Jin dynasty of China 1115-1234 and illustrated in “Chinese Silk” by Shelagh Vainker, that shows a motif which has a striking similarity to a “boteh”. Sibella's Shawls, West Park Museum, Macclesfield 16 April27 June 2005. Tues-Sun, 1.30-4.30 T: 01625 619831

The Curse of Cotton “The cotton monoculture is more destructive to Central Asia's future than the tons of heroin that regularly transit the region.” This is the shocking conclusion of David Lewis, Crisis Group's Central Asia Project Director. “While the world has invested millions in counter-narcotics programs, it has done very little to thwart the negative impact of the cotton industry.” Central Asia's cotton industry fuels political repression and entrenches widespread poverty, expanding the recruitment base for extrem-

ism with potentially grave consequences for regional stability. The Curse of Cotton: Central Asia's Destructive Monoculture, the latest report from the International Crisis Group, examines the corrosive role cotton plays in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. It states that comprehensive reform of the industry is desperately needed and calls on the international community to get involved. Millions of the rural poor work for little or no reward to grow and harvest the crop. Profits

Fernando Bueno: Getty Images

Second chance

Japanese farmer’s sandals, Marcusson and Hall

The eighth Hali Fair, with its incomparable display of woven artefacts from around the world will take place in June at Olympia, London. Alongside stunning rugs, carpets and tapestries the fair also features exceptional works of Tribal and Primitive art. Over the past seven years, The Hali Fair has established itself as a leading international carpet and textile art event. The Hali Fair takes place over eleven days on the ground floor of the National Hall, alongside the Olympia Summer Fine Art & Antiques Fair. Hali’s attracts over 9,000 collectors, dealers, interior designers and art-lovers who have come to expect a dazzling array of rugs, textiles, costumes and tribal artefacts spanning the last 2,000 years. Once again, some of the most important original contemporary carpet and textile designs from around the world will be on display. Design Zone is a separate specially created area where leading contemporary carpet designers and producers can promote their latest designs.

Portrait of Fanny Holman Hunt, by William Holman Hunt, 1827-1910, Sotheby’s picture library:

inform / inspire / insight

Rugged charm

Artists demonstrating their skills at the 27th Art in Action will for the first time have the opportunity to vote on each other's work. Art in Action is inviting every participating artist to submit a work to be shown in a “Best of the Best” exhibition. Art in Action Organiser, Jeremy Sinclair, says: “One of the key aims of Art in Action is to present the highest quality of art to the public, and what tougher judges could there be than the artists themselves?” Since 1977, Art in Action has been recognised as one of the best arts and crafts events in the UK, regularly attracting over 25,000 visitors.

inform / inspire / insight

Kirsten Glasbrook



Art in Action 2005: Waterperry House, Oxfordshire 14 - 17 July, 10.30-5.30. T: 020 7381 3192

On your uppers go to the state or to elites with strong political ties. Forced and child labour are common. Given powerful vested interests, serious structural reform of the industry will be very difficult. But Michael Hall, Crisis Group's Analyst in Tajikistan, asserts: "Real change in this sector of the economy would provide more hope for the stability of this region than almost anything else the international community could offer."

Palette 21 Canonbury Lane, N1. T: 020 7288 7428. Atelier, New Location – 316 Upper Street, N1. T: 020 7354 8181

Upper Street, London has something of a reputation for being a restaurant mecca but before eating you need to work up an appetite. There are a wealth of cultural destinations – The Crafts Council, Candid Arts Trust, Estorick Collection and the Islington Arts Factory, but worthy as they are they have to compete with the splendour of Islington's shops. Our favourite boutiques include Labour of Love, Atelier and Palette. Palette offers the best vintage and modern clothing and furnishings. In this summer’s collection Boho and Biba feature strongly but if neither appeals fear not. The London team will contact sources across the globe to track down your dream dress. Atelier’s Abigail Ahern is also adept at combining old and new. From divine vintage to pure glamour the focus is on elegant, well-considered design. Her textiles delight the skin and include throws made from the finest, most luxurious wool and clothes in nude, milk and vanilla tones.

Dot Pebbles

10 inform / inspire / insight

Sheer talent The winner of this year's Golden Shears, jointly sponsored by the Merchant Taylors' Company, City & Guilds and Skillfast-UK, was Joanne Baker, a tailoring apprentice at Gieves & Hawkes. Awarded for excellence in design, cutting, handcraft tailoring and style, Baker also won the Silver Shears for the best woman's outfit, a black and white wool dog-tooth check tailcoat, trousers and accessories. The Merchant Taylors' Company also provides annual bursaries to students attending the London College of Fashion. T: 020 7450 4440


In the loop The media may be in danger of putting someone's eye out in its haste to make free with a pair of knitting needles, but it is safe to assume it’s a transient passion. This time next week an obsession with model railways may have taken over the hearts and minds of fickle fashion journalists but there are those who will remain ever true to knitting. Their numbers have been swelled by months in the spotlight, and shops, books and new products are springing up to satisfy their growing demands. One of which – the right to knit onboard aeroplanes – has recently been acceded to and the ban on knitting needles in flight cabins has been relaxed. Debbie Stoller, author of Stitch 'n Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook is responsible for a surge in knitting groups in the US, to the tune of 4 million members. Her follow-up publication Stitch 'n Bitch Nation features 50 new patterns includes a Knit-Your-Own Rock Star doll – choose from Joey Ramone or Henry Rollins. Dolls appear to be a knitting subculture all of their own. The Dot Pebbles kits are a charming range of six unique dolls and acommpanied by a instruction book. Plans are in the pipeline for a larger book on the subject: Knitted Babes will be published in September featuring a 'how to knit' collection

of five babes: US Interweave Press are also setting up a 'Knitted Babes' website. Once inspired there are new places to stock up on materials. 'The Hagedashery' has launched at Fabrications, an independent space dedicated to all aspects of contemporary textiles. The shop stocks knitting yarns, regular and giant knitting needles and all kinds of “cheap frills”. While Loop on Cross Street, Islington is a new ‘knit salon’ offering a fine selection of yarns, knitting classes and beautiful knitted items from across the globe. Amongst all the excitement and novelty traditional skills are holding their own. Knitwear designer Suzy Merrifield has won a £5,500 Queen Elizabeth Scholarship to study the dying art of knitting on four needles. “It’s not taught at any university and is in danger of becoming extinct,“ says Suzy. Clearly one person’s flash in the pan is another’s lifelong pursuit. Stitch 'n Bitch Nation, £10.99, ISBN 0761 135901; Dot Pebbles, T: 02920 762 160,; Fabrications, T: 020 7275 8043,; Loop; Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust: Application forms available, closing date 20 January 2006

Liaqat Rasul, the designer behind fashion label Ghulam Sakina, will be installing his own brand of multi-cultural design in Selfridges Contemporary Designer area this summer. The famous London store has commissioned a textile installation celebrating the Ghulam Sakina AW05 womenswear collection, entitled Multi-cultural, Multi-Talented, Multi-Media, Mayhem. Rasul has also been multi–tasking and is set to launch an exclusive homeware range with Topshop during London fashion Week in September. Ghulam Sakina, Selfridges, Oxford Street, London July–Sept 2005,


RIBBONS souk 020 8341 9721



54 Sloane Square LONDON SW1W 8AX Tel: 020 7730 3125

6 Marylebone High Steet LONDON W1U 4NJ Tel: 020 7224 5179

Quirky knit homeware and fashion. Haberdashery and vintage buttons. knitting classes

8-9 Central Arcade NEWCASLTLE UPON TYNE NE1 6EQ Tel: 0191 261 2474

94 Miller Street Merchant City GLASGOW G1 1DT Tel: 0141 221 2277

41 Cross Street, Islington, London N1 020 7288 1160


A gorgeous new shop to do with all things knit. Stocking exquisite yarns from around the world including Laines du Nord, Colinette, Knit One Crochet Too, Noro, Austermann, Frog Tree, ggh, Habu, Debbie Bliss, Manos de Uruguay and Blue Sky Alpacas.


Flower Power




03 04





01 Mums and Asters rug, £2,550, The Rug Company, www.therugcompany 02 Floral quilt, from £575, Megan Park, T: 020 7739 5828, 03 Embroidered stool, £58, Tai Wood & Scherer, 04 Embroidered bag, £199, Nicole Farhi 05 Deck chair, £118, Cabbages and Roses, T 020 7352 7333, 06 Floral tent, £60, Cath Kidson for Millets, T: 020 7313 3730, 07 Flip flops, £15.50, T: 01952 825788, 08 Vintage fabric door stop, £25, DWCD,



For your free brochure and details of UK stockists, telephone: 020 7318 6090

For details of worldwide stockists, telephone: 020 8874 6484





the original bikini was sold

from designer Louis Reard’s shop in the Parisian Avenue de L'Opera. It came in a matchbox, boasting that it was made from just 30 inches of cloth.

FLIP FLOPS are often dismissed as ●

inappropriate footgear but it is the most


The word parasol literally means “for sun” in Spanish.


are worn across South-

enduring shoe of all time. The word for san-

East Asia. There are at least 45 ways to tie

dal relates to pre-Hellenic times. Two basic

a sarong. Women – and men who long for

designs prevailed: one with thongs between

a David Beckham look – can choose any

the toes and the other with loops and cords

one of 12 skirt styles, 22 dresses, 7 tops,

to strap the sandal to the foot. The thong

2 shorts, a pair of trousers and a jacket.

design endured, although subsequent civilisations preferred different toes: the Greeks favoured the big toe; the Romans adopted the second digit and the Mesapotamians felt



design classics Havaianas were launched in June 1962 by Sao Paulo Alpargatas. 125 million pairs of rubber flip flops are produced every year – five pairs per second. Over 2.2 billion pairs have been sold since 1962 – end-to-end they would go around the world 50 times.

are environmentally friendly. Lasting up to 50 years they are usually made from renewable beech; while the deckchair's striped hammock seats, reminiscent of Edwardian bathing suits, are made of hard wearing canvas, cotton or polyethylene.

Virginia Johnson

most comfortable with the third toe.

16 runway


Colour strictures such as "blue and green must never be seen" or that black and brown in the same outfit is a fashion faux pas remain surprisingly widespread. Yet the whole concept of “matching” is historically, culturally and generationally specific. Jess Cartner-Morley, at the Guardian, notes: “the generations have different ideas about what goes with what… women over about 45 (have) much stricter principles.” Luckily no one dispels preconceptions better than Marni. Beloved by women of all ages the company offers uplifting collections and the freedom to mix and match. For Spring/Summer 2005 nothing looks fresher than Marni's eclectic collection with its joyful use of colour, artisan feel and the most innovative design in Italian fashion. Inspired by disparate items such as the bird appliqué on a hessian place mat found in Portobello market, fifties kitchen curtains, mattress stripes and a thriftstore floral print swimsuit, Consuelo Castiglioni has created another collection full of colourful contrasts. Founded in 1994 by the Castiglioni family, Marni quickly created their own niche in the fashion universe, fulfilling their ambition to be distinctive through a fresh mix of craft and tailoring and defusing any potential contradiction along the way. Their unique style produces exquisite garments, blending refined materials with innovative techniques. For spring/summer 05 the company ethos materialises in dresses with high waistlines and skirts in fresh printed fabrics that have generous, airy lines. Impeccably cut little jackets and coats with kimono sleeves in canvas, jute tweed, linen and silk are thrown on top. Floral and bird motifs appear throughout the collection, popping up on shoes, bags and jackets to add a note of random consistency. Vivacious colour – strawberry, meadow green and lemon – contrasts with natural hessian. Overall the look was fresh and feminine, thrown together in a

frenzy of gorgeous shapes and colours. The models looked as if they had been rushed onto the catwalk, all mussed hair and odd combinations. Bell and egg-shaped skirts worn with shrunken knits, and cropped trousers under dresses were among the unconventional shapes on show. If the clothes looked challenging and occasionally difficult, the accessories made of colourful string, beads and cloth flowers were temptingly wearable. Narrow belts even appeared on lustrous monochrome taffeta evening gowns. Accessories featured a range of exotic elements; wooden beads and leather tassels, coloured crystals, strands of raffia, embroidered buttons and coloured resin. Flat leather sandals were embellished with multicoloured discs, and handbags with intertwining rope and raffia. Fabric flowers and wooden cylinders were peculiarities of the collection and described as a homage to arts and crafts. Craft is important to Marni. The eyecatching handicraft look of many pieces provides a seasonal focus while the material and technique are the essence of the garment. The tailoring is perfectly executed and the choice of fabric is thoughtful and considered: yet the collections display a carefree elegance. Unlike other designers who produce collections that are unrecognisable from one sea-

son to the next, Marni has a specific style. Collections are composed of, to coin a phrase, eclectic classics. Of course Marni has redefined 'classic' according to their own philosophy and by doing so, reinvented that mainstay of the early 90s, the capsule wardrobe. No longer twelve items in complimentary shades of beige, each Marni collection allows wearers to play with pattern, texture and form. Not only are the garments in each collection perfectly suited to each other, most items can also be mixed with previous collections – a skirt from this season could be matched with a top from three seasons ago. Catwalk looks can be reinterpreted: there are no restrictions and mis-matching is matching. Marni’s confidence in its approach can be seen in its reluctance to advertise, almost as if they do not wish to restrict themselves to a single image. Instead they rely on the interpretation its clientele give to the garments. In their own words they are focusing their energies on reaching the “fashion-conscious consumers who are moving away from designer uniforms towards a mix of authentic separates”. Marni is defined by its artistic versatility. Rules and constraints are sidestepped, explanations, ad campaigns and press coverage are dispensed with. It is as if this design company – like Oscar Wilde – has only its genius to declare. ••• Sabrina Iken


All images courtesy of Marni Spring Summer 2005

17 expose


Charles Bowman: Getty Images

The highest heights FOR CENTURIES KITES HAVE LIFTED OUR SPIRITS Great minds think alike and current thinking suggests that kites may have been independently invented in both China and Malaysia. They were being flown in China as long ago as 200 BC. Various legends relate the use of kites as an instrument of war by a general in the Han dynasty, either as a method of determining distance, lifting observers to spy upon the enemy before battle or to lift fireworks in order to terrify them. More peacefully, the people of the South Sea Islands used kites to fish, attaching bait to the tail of the kite and a web to catch their supper. In some Asian countries kites had considerable religious significance. In Korea, babies had kites released for them, taking away bad luck: while in Thailand farmers flew kites during the Monsoon to ask the gods to prevent flooding. Kites were introduced to Europe by explorers returning from Asia. The first known reference to kite flying in Europe appears in a manuscript about military technology, written in 1405, but by the 18th century the kite had demonstrated4

Getty Images

its usefulness as a scientific instrument. In 1749 Scottish meteorologist Alexander Wilson used kites to measure temperature variations at altitude, and three years later Benjamin Franklin used a kite to prove that lightning was an electric current travelling from the ground to the storm cloud. In 1833, a British meteorologist, E. D. Archibold, used kites to lift anemometers to measure wind speed. For decades afterwards meteorological observatories around the world used kites to provide information about the atmosphere and – although some may disagree – vastly improve weather forecasts. Sir George Cayley experimented with kites in a quest to develop a flying machine. In 1853 he developed a full sized glider that brieflysupported the weight of an adult man. In doing so he developed a body of knowledge – including the identification of the separate properties of lift, thrust and drag which helped the Wright brothers overcome widespread scepticism and fly an aeroplane of their own design in 1903.

Returning to their military roots, kites were used as an observation device during both the first and second world wars. They were used as a means of increasing the range of visibility by German submarines, and during the second world war kites designed to lift the antennae of an emergency radio transmitter were standard equipment in the life rafts on British and Australian aircraft. The development of "sport kites" led to the modern popularity of kites. These use two lines rather than one, and may be steered around the sky, often at speeds in excess of 100 kilometers per hour. In 1972, the Peter Powell Stunt Kite was released. This diamond shaped kite was relatively cheap, easy to fly and triggered a kite flying craze: but the oldest form of manoeuvrable kite was developed in Asia. Made from tissue paper and bamboo it uses one string and the skills of the flier to control it. Commonly known as a fighting kite, competitions to determine the most skilful flyers are common in Asia. Competitors prepare by coating part of4



22 expose

the kite's flying line with a mixture of glue and powdered glass, making the line extremely abrasive. A sawing motion is all that is needed to cut their opponent's line and prove their superiority. Since the development of the “Peter Powell” there have been many other innovations, and nowadays the most common style of stunt kite is based on the delta wing. Shaped like hang gliders, these kites make use of high tech textiles such as kevlar and spectra, initially developed by the aerospace industry for high performance aeroplanes and spacecraft. Kites are more popular now than at any time in history. The largest, and oldest, kite festival in the world takes place annually in Ahmedabad, India on the 14th of January. The festival has been celebrated for centuries and the importance of kites in India is suggested by the Hindi language: it revels in over 100 different words for kite. ••• Beth Smith


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FOOTSTEPS TO LEARNING June to September, 2005 A four month long exhibition of shoes, to mark the 21st anniversary of The Gateway Education and Arts Centre, celebrating all the footsteps that have passed through its doors over that time, and all those yet to come!


Photo: Jenni Dutton

In Gateway's foyer this June, there will be an exhibition of historical shoes, followed by fantasy shoes in July. The months of August and September will feature talented new shoe designers.

Straight down the line A perfect combination of old world ideals and new world entrepreneurial spirit, Lotta Jansdotter is being celebrated across the design world for exceptional purity and sleek flair. Scandinavian born but San Francisco based, Lotta Jansson's screen prints embrace a comforting organic simplicity – much like the designer herself. Lotta Jansson's label doesn't just carry her name – dotter means “daughter” in Swedish, and her father's name is Jan – it reflects her whole lifestyle and breathes through her every pore. From her beloved medium of screenprint to the earthy colour schemes and neutral fabrics she uses, her designs tell a life story. There are the winter berries on bare twigs from her childhood's Åland – a small island in the Baltic Sea halfway between Sweden and Finland. There are the pussy willows in spring and the daffodils in high summer: the graphic patterns of her grandmother's 50s china and the shape of a crystal vase: the blue slate and weathered wood of buildings she saw from a car window. Fast forward to 2005. Now 33, Lotta Jansson locks up her bicycle outside her sunny Nob Hill, San Francisco storefront. Her little store has an exposed brick wall and stained hardwood floors, chalk white surfaces and birch wood details. In the back is another room, which started out as a hands-on art studio, but as the company grew turned into more

of an office. The space is filled with boxes, samples, magazine cut-outs, reminder notes and stacks of paperwork. Since acquiring the studio in 2002, this is where Lotta Jansson has moved forward at full speed and made a name for herself as an up-and-coming surface designer. An expansive network of stores now carry her products: she recently secured a notable commission for a San Francisco museum, hosts an efficient and stylish retail store on the web, and has become a media darling across the Pacific Ocean in Japan. “I can feel the expansion of my company right now,” says Lotta Jansson, jokingly comparing herself to a young child with growing pains. Her patterns and motifs, printed on table runners, pillows, linen tote bags, stationery, cotton clothing and the recently introduced yardage, display calm and simplicity. Although they are now produced overseas and shipped to Jansson's San Francisco studio for distribution, Lotta Jansdotter products have a strong craft element. Unlike many young, contemporary designers, Jansson has not embraced computer technology in her creative process. Instead she sketches, cuts and pastes her motifs and patterns before they go into production. She loves this hands-on process, even though, as she puts it, it tends to make her feel guilty when import, distribution and marketing tasks con-

sume her on a daily basis. “You realise after a while that your creativity has to be distributed differently when running a business. I love the administrative creativity as well, but naturally I wish I had more time to actually get paint and glue all over my hands.” Slight self-induced guilt, however, didn't stop her from spending hours making invitations to a recent trunk show and sample sale for her strong local following. Jansson's storybook handwriting was copied onto wax paper, floral designs were pencil-coloured by hand and along with delicate pieces of evergreen stuffed into see-through envelopes. A hand written address sticker and carefully picked stamp with a botanical print topped off the creation. It might have been easier and quicker to send out an email, or a simple pre-printed postcard. But this is the beauty of Lotta Jansson. She doesn't compromise. It's one of her greatest assets – she knows it, and her products and marketing strategies show it. Some signature prints like “Tång”, an organic motif “just kind of appeared when I played around with a paintbrush”, and “Syllöda”, a more focused pattern partly inspired by a picture of a cut through flower stem, clearly reflect nature's bounty. Others, like the sleek “Askö”, are more urban-contemporary, with a nod to the graphic prints typical of

All images:Lotta’s Lifestyle. Reproduced courtesy of Shunotomo Co. Ltd, Japan.


25 profile

the 50s and 60s. Jansson has always had a fondness for that era, describing it as “not overly ornate”. While surface prints and graphic patterns are deeply rooted in Scandinavian design – think Marimekko and Joseph Frank – in the US, Jansson says, they are just starting to attract attention. “When I first launched my company in San Francisco, I was pretty much alone. You didn't see much retro design around.” However, her style immediately caught the attention of design-savvy consumers in Japan: thanks in part, says Jansson, to the natural synergy between Scandinavian and Japanese design, and their mutual focus on simple shapes, sleek materials and essence of form. Her trademark products have established her as something of a design star in Japan. Two coffee table books, “Lotta's Lifestyle” and “Lotta's Travel Style”, were published within the last three years, and she pens a monthly column in two lifestyle magazines. Half of Jansdotter's total sales are currently in Japan. And now the US seems set to follow. One of the country's most influential furniture and design firms, Herman Miller, uses Lotta Jansdotter textiles in showrooms and at special events across the country. San Francisco's oldest art museum, the de Young Museum, choose Lotta Jansson to design a collection for its museum shop. It will be a series of runners, placemats4

and porcelain items inspired by the Museum’s ultra-modern yet natural new look – a striking copper facade surrounded by the massive trees of the Golden Gate Park. Love brought Lotta Jansson to California 13 years ago. She moved to the design hub of San Francisco, in the peak of the Internet boom of the 90s. She still lives in the same space, now with husband Nick – they got married on her little island last summer. On arrival she enrolled in art classes at a community college in search of the perfect career. Through jewellery design, ceramics and drawing she developed a clean,

natural style. Then, the day she tried screenprinting, everything fell into place. A naturally driven entrepreneurial spirit, Jansson saw no reason to stay in school. “I knew this was it. I was going to print on fabric. I dropped out of my classes immediately.” She launched her company working out of her apartment although the business has since moved closer to downtown. Outside the serenity of the Lotta Jansdotter store is busy Post Street, with a constant flow of traffic heading to the heart of the city just a half dozen blocks away – and “a world away from childhood summers on Åland,” says Lotta, who

goes back every year: “I miss the forms in nature. At the same time I see shapes everywhere. A sewage cover in the street, an iron gate, a mailbox – there are colours and outlines everywhere.” To keep track she carries a “visual journal”. There have been a total of seven of these sketchbooks since 1996, filled with seedpods, pieces of fabric, drawings – whatever catches her eye. These are her personal library, something to fall back on for inspiration in design, business and life. “I always make the time to add something to my journal. It keeps my creative spirit alive.” ••• Elin Jensen













Flights of fancy



01 Country Rose Sprig, £28.00 per meter, Jane Churchill, T: 020 7351 0666. 02 Garden Trail, £27.50 Parkertex, GP & Baker, T: 020 7351 7760 . 03 Wickmere, £30 per meter, Bennison, T 020 773 08076 04 Floribunda, £27.50 Parkertex, GP & Baker, as before 05 Calicut, £136 per metre Bennison as before 06 Rosebud, Anna French £24.00 per meter T: 020 7351 1126 07 Anna French Rosebud as before. 08 Chinoiserie, Anna French £36 as before 09 Karikal, Marvic Textiles £42.50 per meter T: 020 8993 0191 10 Norfolk Stripe, £30 per meter, Bennison Fabrics, as before 11 Chinoiserie, Anna French £36 per meter as before 12 Floribunda, as before 13 Silk Road Cotton, £110.00 per meter, Brunschwig & Fils, T: 020 7968 1205 T: 020 7351 5797 14 Pandora, £34.95 per meter, Kate Forman, T: 01730 233592,15 Matlaske, £30 per metre, Bennison as before 16 Christobel, £34.95 per meter, Kate Forman as before 17 Calicut, £136 per metre Bennison as before,18 Summer Garland, £28.00 per meter, Jane Churchill as before.


12 Photo: Richard Nicholson, Origami birds by Laura Service


11 17


10 16


The Perennial ENGLISH FLORAL FABRIC Francis Bacon declared the garden “the purest of human pleasures”. To delight in nature and organise some small part of it has been seen through the ages as a godly pursuit. “Bread feeds the body, indeed, but flowers feed also the soul”, says the Koran. Even among the secular gardening is revered :“The best thing one can do is to cultivate one's garden.” – Voltaire. For artists flowers have provided unlimited inspiration – from the religious or moral symbolism of the 17th century Dutch and Flemish artists to the impressionists and Monet's sensuous immersion in a moment. In the last few years we have witnessed a veritable return to Eden as gardening has become a passion for many home owners. Prime time

television has countless programmes devoted to the subject. The current emphasis on garden make-overs is an indication of the wish to extend our living space into the natural world: perhaps, as “minimalism” has reduced comfort in the home, the garden is once more a sanctuary. In the home too, after more than a decade of minimalism, the


The English textile industry developed through imports from India and Asia, and in parallel with those of France, Italy and Holland. The original imported Indian chintz was decorated with exotic flowers in a varied palette and a permanent glaze. These printed calicos were cottons with smallish sprigs using one colour or more, with patterns both painted and applied by wood blocks. The colour was mostly derived from madder. By using different mordants – metallic oxides or minerals – the dyes were made fast and different colours were developed. The language of this cloth is still with us, so embedded within a traditional English style that its Indian origins are often overlooked. These early imported chintz cloths almost always show an abundant curving tree framed within patterned borders. This framing within sprigged bor-

ders allows the tree to establish its dominant central line as it curves from side to side, issuing branches and leaves that hold gloriously varied and stylised flower forms, sometimes bursting with stamenlike shoots with bold curling, unfurling, stylised leaves. This flowering tree known as Palampore cloth has an exotic heritage combining Hindu, Islamic and Chinese cultures, traded and crosstraded with European textiles. But for our purposes it was mainly imported from India and gave us the structure of one of the rudiments of England’s most enduring style, the floral. Its roots are in the history of the growing tree, the flower, the garden – the English floral is about growth itself. Intrinsic to growth is change: when the first English trader ordered his Palampore to have a central symmetrical tree, rather than a tree at the side of a hanging, he began to create an

English ‘look’. When the first merchant ordered his cloth on a white ground instead of a 'muddy red', he sowed the seeds of a distinct English style. In 1730 Robert Furber published the first illustrated seedman's catalogue. He had his plates hand tinted showing the flowers in bloom for each month of the year. The series of engravings were soon adapted and printed as Palampores. Western merchants began to commission their own naturalistic florals developed from flower paintings and illustrations. The floral began to reflect English tastes rather than its Indian origins: but the structure of the repeat owed less to the garden and more to the loom and the copper. By 1750 the explosion of motifs, colour and dye technology and the development of printing from large copper plates began to replace and sup4 plement wooden blocks. The develop-

Long Border, Great Dixter, East Sussex: Jonathan Buckley


beauty of the English floral has blossomed once more. Flowers seduce every sense, we are vulnerable to their appeal on every level – but above all visually. A beautiful printed floral design on a perfectly matched cloth engages the eye and leads it effortlessly through a series of spaces, stopping from time to time, bending this way and that – tracing and moving through the repeat, enjoying the chance to freewheel and explore. It provides a route towards reflection and an opportunity to find, in this utterly private reflection, a transformational aesthetic experience. The aesthetic is crucial to our wellbeing: we have all had our breath taken away by the sheer beauty of a landscape, a satisfying planting, a perfect fabric, poem or piece of music. This response to beauty is at the heart of our emotional health, allowing us to withdraw from the purely intellectual.

32 project The Garden Picture Libary

ment of finely engraved copper plates expanded the textile language. The skill and ambition of master engravers was demonstrated in the creation of elaborate scenes of ‘everyday life.’ Toiles de Jouy emanated from the Oberkamf factory at Jouy-en-Josas near Paris. The French scenes featured comfortable farm houses, fences and hedges, cattle and dogs; agrarian, often domestic scenes of contented rural life. The English, obviously more comfortable with boundaries, introduced classical architectural pillars and ruins to make firm uprights or frames for these charming pastoral scenes. The Toiles were resonant of the handsome parks owned by the aristocracy and demonstrated the same idealised vison. No one created a more desirable picturesque landscape than Capability Brown (1730-1760). His designs brought forth the underlying

order of nature and society, enhancing the sublime and reinforcing the status quo. From foreground to horizon, his new hills, waterfalls and groves of trees were rigourously landscaped to declare ownership and present a refined version of the countryside. But while gardeners cultivated lasting reputations there are few names associated with textile design in this period. Prints and patterns were created at the instigation of the owner of the printworks. The names of fine plate engravers are recorded in business transactions only. Towards the end of the 18th century William Kilburn – one of the few recorded designers – developed a new style depicting growing English flowers. His plate-printed field flowers of the 1780s and 90s remain at the heart of the language of the English floral. One can detect in Kilburn's work climbing roses, ranunculus and

daisies, primulas and violets that resonate with the charm and simplicity of the cottage garden. While botanically accurate they came no closer to the reality of country life. In Kilburn's day most of the ground in a cottage garden would have been needed for vegetables and medicinal plants, but he does reflect the domestic tradition of having sweet smelling flowers by the door. English textiles were, and remained, the domain of the upper classes until the Industrial Revolution. From the late 18th century to the early 19th century the means of fabric production were forever changed. Crudeness of line and colour and the increasing vulgarity of design were unfortunate expressions of the initial stages of the revolution. Fully mechanised printing was attained in 1783 when Thomas Bell patented a cylinder or roller-printing machine. The rollers were mechanically engraved and

the master designer engraver was separated from the printing process. Manufacturers set up large studios and employed pattern drawers to develop designs in-house. At the same time new dyes were discovered, harsher than the traditional vegetable dyes. Hefty black lines were introduced to many patterns to disguise the flooding edges of shapes printed at high speed. The government instituted select committees in 1835, 1840 and 1845 to investigate falling standards. As a result Henry Cole founded Schools of Design to educate artisans and the general public on the link between aestheticism and production techniques. Cole's programme of aesthetic education paved the way for a new breed of painters and designers who drew inspiration not only from nature, but also from the fascinating new styles from Japan. The Industrial Revolution was key to

of Victorian fashions, he and his companions were longing for simplicity. His textiles used vegetable dyes, and his wish that ordinary people – the mass market – should enjoy the beauty he produced, was earnest. Yet his commentary was on the past. In spite of his beautiful draughtsmanship his return to use of the wooden block gave a tightness to his design structures. A reliance on the Islamic or Medieval tile repeat system made his textile a subgenre of its own, and something of a design cul de sac. It was William Robinson who developed the ‘natural garden’. He favoured herbaceous plants, grouping elements that belonged together and drifting the plants as if designed by nature: selfseeded or scattered by birds. But it was Gertrude Jekyll, who joined him in 1920, that revolutionised the English garden, devising her amazing colour4

Marianne Majerus from Flower Gardens by Penelope Hobhouse published by Frances Lincoln.

a changing class system. New riches from factory profits enabled merchants and managers to develop grand houses. Their lavish gardens were incomplete without enormous glasshouses encouraging hothouse flowers to bloom all the year round. Textile design also heated up, displaying ingenious, flamboyant and exuberant decoration – flowers set in complex grids framed by swooping ribbons, lush lilacs and roses, oriental touches and gaudy garlands looping over fanciful grottos. Not to be outshone, Humphry Repton (18301900), a brilliant horticulturalist and garden landscaper of the period, developed massive plant displays and introduced brightly coloured plantings with new collections of shrubs. It was from this florid background that the great communicator William Morris determined to follow his own ideals. After the suffocating grandeur

34 project


and the gigantic repeats of Marimekko, modernism vied with nostalgia and boom and bust economics created instability. Perhaps this lead to what Lesley Jackson calls “the taste timidity” of the mid-1980s. Creativity was evident in only a minority of independent designers while large textile manufacturers marketing ‘recycled’ period patterns flourished. In 1988 a manufacturing recession cut short a period of prosperity. In the same period the government passed a regulation to make all upholstery fabric fire retardant. A necessary evil, the ensuing chemical process meant that cloth lost its defining 'hand' and colour was no longer controllable. Costs increased virtually overnight and manufacturers struggled to survive. In the USA factors as diverse as AIDS – which wiped out a generation of skilled and powerful Design Directors – and the economic fallout from the col-


All images on this page V&A images.


abstract ideas emanating from scientific discoveries were photographed and communicated to a public that expected to be educated. For a time textiles were less obviously floral but the period spawned the new breed of manufacturers that returned to working alongside designers. In 1958 Pat Albeck famously created Horrockses popular ranges of fresh floral prints with their simplified daisies and stripes, chalk pastel lines and soft colours. The 60s were a period of paradox: 'Flower power' was expressed in graphic new styles free of feminine mystery, but this freedom contrasted vividly with the neatly mown lawns of suburbia, uptight island planting of shrubs encircled by unappealing bedding plants – regiments of red salvia. In 1971 Christopher Lloyd wrote The Well Tempered Garden but generally the 1970s were a period of extremes. In Laura Ashley’s miniature floral sprigs



fine lawn. Textile design had a new spring in its step, encapsulated in Dufy's merry spirit and light touch. Dufy's work for Bianchini between 1912 and 1928 introduced new subject matter for textiles with his abstracts, frivolities, jungle scenes and figures – he notably mixed flowers and music and ushered in a new era of freedom. Innovation and discovery were also apparent in Bauhaus design. Their development of abstract elements in textiles began a period of collaboration and influence. In the 1930s refugees fleeing persecution from all over Europe revolutionised the textile industries in their countries of adoption. These newcomers brought to England an attitude of respect for painting, drawing and colouring textiles that produced adventurous new scales and styles of floral. By 1951 and the Festival of Britain, Dufy

guide for planting borders, inventing the perennial drift for the border and organising plants to suit each other, the architecture and the human eye. The perennial recalls the wild flowers seen in childhood and is associated with the delight of discovery – snowdrops with frilly green edges, bluebells in beech woods, followed by chanterelles in wet October, primroses on green Devon banks and the daffodils of our nation's favourite poem. They re-emerge every year to tell us the season. Following the artifice and stylisation of Art Nouveau, by 1924 design entered a cheerful period that reflected garden design. Delphiniums and stocks appear, growing naturally – no longer organised in grandiose sweeps or linear constructions – and hinting at the gaiety in fashion. Liberty began to print their 'natural' field flowers; pretty ‘Poppy and Daisy’, a seminal print, was printed in 1929 on





Chintz Furnishing Fabric with Roses. England, c. 1850 04 Silver studio for Liberty 05 Straw berry Thief, William Morris. London, 1883 06 Printed Cotton Raoul Dufy, 1925 07 Roller printed linen, Arthur Sanderson and Sons 08 Printed fabric, Lucienne Day for Edinburgh weavers, 1949 09 Cottage Garden, Collier Campbell for Liberty 10 Timorous beasties, large floral, screen printed on linen 10

The National Gardens Scheme has been opening fine gardens to the public to raise money for charity for over 75 years. It has grown from the creative entwining of two strands of our heritage – the national passion for gardening, and the deeply embedded desire to help those in need. In the early days of voluntary District Nursing, a Miss Elsie Wagg came up with the novel idea of fund raising by asking individuals to open their private gardens to the public for 'a shilling a head', 609 gardens opened and £8,191 was raised. By 1931 over 1,000 private gardens in England and Wales opened to the public under the banner of the National Gardens Scheme. Each was listed by Country Life in a handbook called The Gardens of England and Wales, later to become affectionately known, from its arresting cover, as "The Yellow Book". By the beginning of the Second World War, the Gardens Scheme had become firmly established and even continued during the hostilities, albeit in a slightly reduced form. From 1980, Garden Owners have been able to help additional charities of their own choice by offering them a share of the money raised. In 1984 Macmillan Cancer Relief joined the list of nursing charities to benefit from the monies raised by the NGS. Over the years the gardens have changed in size and style. There are now thousands of medium-sized and small gardens, the majority belonging to practical enthusiasts. It is a tribute to the Scheme that in 2002 almost 100 of the 'Pioneer' gardens were still open. You don't need to be a devoted horticulturalist to enjoy a visit – garden openings are simply a beautiful and relaxing way to spend an afternoon. Some people just visit for the delicious home-made teas often on offer! And always, at the back of your mind when you visit, is the pleasant knowledge that your money – usually around £3 nowadays, rather than 'a shilling' – is going to help a whole range of good causes.

The National Gardens Scheme, Surrey T: 01483 211535, The Yellow Book 2005, £7.99. See subscribers’ offers, p96 Susan Collier’s garden is open Sunday 26th June, 2-6. £2 adults, children free. 80 Bromfelde Road, London, SW4 6PR


01 Indian dress, detail., 18th century 02 Textile designs, William Kilburn, late 18th century 03

Courtesy of Timorous Beasties


Beasties, and a growing interest in the handcrafted, indicated change was afoot. A change that was rapidly accelerated by the shocking impact of 9/11. The current proliferation of floral designs reflects that it is the nature of the artist to react, and react against what is. Design too has its seasons – hot summers, then coldness, darkness, nothingness, showers, blizzards; and in spring new growth, changed and unpredictable. ••• Susan Collier

Courtesy of Collier Campbell

lapse of junk bond trading were felt by retail and manufacturing industries alike. In 1959 there were 50 “better” American department store chains; today there are only four. Yet at the time England experienced an economic boom. As in Victorian times new fortunes were invested in display architecture. Richard Rogers' Lloyds inside-out building and his Pompidou Centre in Paris were accompanied by widespread publicity. Postmodern concepts became part of the public consciousness. The type of textiles which fitted into these designs were the new fibre art sculptures and neutral wovens: Jack Lenor Larsen’s “decade of beige” was reborn. Florals withered away completely and minimalism went largely unchallenged until the millennium. Fin de siecle stirrings in the form of the dense colourful designs of Collier Campbell to the eccentric exuberence of Timorous


Courtesy of MODA



Courtesy of MODA

The Yellow Book

36 profile


What is a traditional Liberty of London print? A simplistic reply might be “a dense floral on cotton lawn”: but that would reduce a rich and varied identity to just one of its manifestations. What distinguishes a Liberty textile and sets it apart is a mixed recipe of colour, cloth, printing method, the rich influence of the East and fresh, contemporary design.

When Arthur Lasenby Liberty opened his shop on Regent Street in 1875, his stock consisted entirely of beautiful eastern silks. Advertised as soft and flowing they were available in rich and subdued colourings. As the company grew and demand increased, Liberty commissioned Thomas Wardle to reproduce these colours, and after some canny promoting this range of hues and tones became known as the Liberty Art Colours. Thomas Wardle also produced some of the earliest prints for Liberty and – like the colour palette – these were oriental in inspiration. Prints were taken directly from Indian and Japanese sources. Of course an astute businessman like

Liberty knew he couldn't rely on the oriental craze to continue indefinitely and he branched out into other areas, commissioning new patterns. Although never directly credited, designers such as Lewis F Day, Lindsay Butterfield, Christopher Dresser and the Silver Studio contributed designs. Throughout the 1880s a close connection to the oriental style was maintained. The Indian influence was there, in the floral and paisley designs; and there were Japanese inspired drooping blossoms over stylised streams. During this period there was no clear division between furnishing and dress fabrics, and lightweight silks and cottons were used for both. From the 1890s, the stylised shapes of Art Nouveau crept into Liberty's designs. They evolved directly from the Arts & Crafts Movement and the flowers seemed blockier than, for example, French designs of the same period. Although floral designs dominated, other themes included Persian musicians, and Japanese ladies: there were also some surprising abstracts and a number of geometric patterns. Though Liberty used many printers, a large proportion of their designs were printed at Littler's Merton Abbey printworks, which Liberty finally bought in 1904. Here the block printing technique dictated the style of designs. By the mid 1890s there was a greater difference between furnishing and dress designs. Heavier weight fabrics were used for furnishings, and a lighter weight for dress. Consequently designs for furnishing fabrics

grew larger and bolder, while many of the earlier designs still appeared on dress fabrics. Indeed, the printing blocks stored at the printworks in Merton show that some of the dress designs were in use for decades, while the furnishing patterns, which were printed elsewhere, changed more frequently. By the late 1910s the difference was more pronounced: alongside the heavy Jacobean style prints that were now printed on furnishing fabric to go with popular 'period' schemes, were bright outlined stylised florals and geometrics in strong colours made newly fashionable through the success of the Ballets Russes. During the 1920s new fashions influenced dress fabrics, both in colour, with bright highlights on dark grounds, and in fabrics which became softer and shinier. In the Liberty archive pattern books show samples of expensive 'Specials' that Liberty's Merton Abbey printworks were producing including rich silk brocaded with metal threads. In the late 1920s the Liberty cotton buyer, Mr Dorrell, introduced a new lawn, called tana lawn after Lake Tana between Sudan and Ethiopia where the cotton was produced. A great many new designs were commissioned for this cotton. Small pretty flowers in all over designs were printed on tana lawn and quickly created a new Liberty identity. A small number of these designs came from Merton Abbey, but the majority were copper roller printed in Lancashire. Many of the designs were from the Silver Studio, which had produced so many of Liberty's successful Art Nouveau designs.

The Advertising Archive

The most prolific designer for Liberty during the 1930s was a mysterious individual identified only by the initials DS. Some of their patterns are still in production. Around this time the Liberty printworks began to experiment with screen printing, which had immediate impact. Patterns had less definition, flowers grew sketchier and there were more abstracts and geometrics. As they got to grips with the technical possibilities many of the block print designs were converted to screen, thus extending their life even further. Although Liberty promoted a variety of styles through their textile designs the 'tana lawn style' maintained a strong hold on the overall brand identity. In the 1950s they commissioned new designers, among them Jacqueline Groag, Ashley Havinden, Lucienne Day, and Robert Stewart to revive the fabric ranges and scarves. Their work was a vivid contrast to the tana lawns. Large abstract and geometric shapes, sun faces and human figures appeared on Liberty products. In the late 1950s Colleen Farr set up the design studio. She designed across all the Liberty ranges and her reinvention of the flowered designs gave the dress cottons and silks a contemporary edge. Her work was continued in the 1960s by Bernard Nevill, who took a fresh look at the archive. The 'past' and the 'far-away' were the inspiration for his dynamic prints. When Collier Campbell took over in the 1970s, they also used Liberty's traditions as the basis for new designs and strengthened the furnishing designs with geometrics and up-to-date stylised floral and conversational patterns. The Liberty design studio remains a driving force in the textile print industry, carefully maintaining a balance between the traditional and the new. Although there is a strong floral component in the prints that is far from the entire story, many successful prints do not feature flowers at all. The typical Liberty print is technically excellent, with beautiful colours that – whether rich or subdued – are carefully balanced and combined. Above all, it is the quality of the design that gives it its identity, whether newly drawn or reinvented from an archive print. ••• Anna Buruma

Alex Sarginson

39 runway


For some people the idea of living and working with their partner is the stuff of nightmares. Although harmonious partnerships can offer the best of both worlds, the process is often more battle cry than beautiful duet. Collaborations are a delicate chemistry and not all succeed: but rare couples exist whose working life is positively enhanced by their personal relationship. Among the exhibitors at London Fashion Week last September were two British design teams who just happen to be married couples. emerged with first class honours in 1991. Despite claiming that they often fight and do not share a vision, they married a year later after a spell working in Brazil, and returned to the UK in 1993 to launch their label Clements Ribeiro. Initially known for producing luxurious cashmere with a 'street' flavour, the five times nominated 'Designers of the Year' now produce elegant and wearable grown up clothes that are complex but unfussy. The couple's collections draw on diverse references that include a nod at vintage dress and traditional tailoring. Delicate, embellished fabrics are a staple of the Clements Ribeiro repertoire: perhaps because these clothes retain some of the sassy 'street' feel of the early days, they always seem fresh. The label's Spring/Summer 2005 collection perfectly illustrated the mature sophistication that this respected team have achieved in their design. Prints for the new season include bold and confident florals in hot violets, jades and poppy reds, the colours saturated and intense enough to induce a low visual hum. Decorating the hippie kaftans were artful mixes of rich but washed green and pink carrying distinct flavours of whimsical Art Nouveau-esque decadence, garments that subtly declare who the original hippies really were. Clements Ribeiro Spring/Summer 05 takes a whistlestop tour through the 20th century:

pausing at the 1940s, where dainty tea dresses gently flare from under the bust: yet the zingy meeting of equal parts cobalt blue and tomato red lands these elegant empire line garments squarely in the 21st century. Still on the 1940s theme there are neat bone-coloured trenchcoats, again detailing the underbust with rib height belts and pockets, girlish yet conspiratorial, as if the female cast of 'Allo 'Allo had shed its stereotypes but retained its sauciness. Although plenty of Clements Ribeiro exotica bloomed across the catwalk, there was also subtle and delicate colour on view. Sensitive palettes of blues and greys were made heavy with embroidery and beaded embellishment. The extensive beadwork on pistachio green silk gave weight and presence to a dress that could have been just simply pretty; instead it was dynamic and sensual. This season’s highwaisted styling continued, with underbust sashes wrapping the ribs Japanese obi fashion. Clearly Orientalism – at the height of its fashionable popularity in the 1900s – lives on. The authentically Oriental Wakako Kishimoto arrived in the UK in 1986. Born in Japan the 'quiet, shy' and diminutive half of Eley Kishimoto gained an M.A. from Central St. Martins in Fashion and Print. Whilst on work placement in New York she met fellow work placementee Mark Eley, a Welsh Fashion and Weave graduate from Brighton Polytechnic. 4

The creation of textiles, and printed textiles in particular, is often a process of collaboration. There are some things that just can't be done easily with one pair of hands: dressing a loom, screen printing a length of fabric: as Mark Eley of Eley Kishimoto once said, “you need someone at the other side of the table to catch the squeegee”. In 2004,'Creative Collaborations', a series of panel discussions at the Fashion and Textile Museum, covered the “spectrum of permutations of a partnership; husband and wife, sisters, partners, colleagues & friends”. Eley Kishimoto, Collier Campbell, Antoni & Alison, Julian Roberts and Sophie Cheung and Timorous Beasties all participated, offering an insight into the trials, tribulations and triumphs that accompany the decision not to go it alone. Creative married teams offer a meeting of equal but different strengths and a maturing of ideas that occurs through consistent trusted dialogue. The collaborative duo who pull together can support and encourage each other along the shared journey of their career. For Clements Ribeiro and Eley Kishimoto the collaborative design route seems to have been the right way to go: both labels have become highly successful and deservedly so. British born Suzanne Clements and Brazilian Inacio Ribeiro met at Central St. Martins where they studied fashion and both


41 runway

01 Clements Ribeiro Spring/Summer 2005 02 Clements Ribeiro Cacharel Spring/Summer 2005


nic images are clearly an influence, and hailing as she does from a pattern oriented culture Wakako must surely have had a big hand in building the pair's confident and assured application of pattern to form. Mark became interested in pattern through his experience of weaving, and also seriously considered becoming a graphic designer. This may explain some of the detailed and meticulous graphic qualities that are a significant element of Eley Kishimoto design. The complex and sophisticated composition of the print seems to be a major part of the garment's structure, with the result that a garment designed and produced by this house has a holism that renders it an 'object' in its own right. Eley Kishimoto Spring/Summer 05 consists of dresses and separates decorated with measured mixes of aforementioned small-scale detailed drawing and large bands of contrasting colour These areas of colour, sometimes large tiered stripes or chevrons, often accentuate articulated areas of the body such as the hips, knees and shoulders. On straight shift dresses large circular bands of loud colour ring the hips as if highlighting hazardous areas, while the background print quietly busies itself in the constant travel of linear graphic marks. Even hosiery has the Eley Kishimoto treatment: stockings and socks are covered with pattern, and in what must have been a moment of maddened kitsch humour stockings were printed with tromp l'oeil laces. Mobile jersey dresses printed in retina burning combinations of scarlet and viridian swirls could, if one was a delicate soul, bring on a migraine. However, for the sturdier among us this stuff is just plain excit4 ing. Bring on the 3D glasses!

The couple returned to London and in 1992 set up Eley Kishimoto in their shared living room. They married each other the same year. In these early days they worked as freelance textile designers, producing for the likes of Joe Casely-Hayford, Alexander McQueen and Hussein Chalayan. A little later on in 1995 the couple designed their first fashion range of printed rainwear, pragmatically entitled 'Rainwear'. This collection consisted of waterproof coats, umbrellas and gloves that were decorated with their distinctive prints, a canny career move for designers working on a small wet island. Smart moves aside, this design duo is passionately dedicated to print. For them the surface is everything because just about everything has a surface, and is therefore a potential site for a signature Eley Kishimoto design. Mark and Wakako have a reputation for being genuinely modest and hardworking: they run their operations from a former jam factory next to Brixton prison with a team of committed craftspeople. The demand for Eley Kishimoto design is now so great that this dedicated crew is hard pushed to produce prints for the crockery, wallpaper, furniture, footwear, lingerie and sunglasses that are now part of the expanded label. The house style is bold and feelgood: there is tremendous energy in the surface which is saved from being garish by the considered and masterful use of graphic line drawing and control of colour. In less skilful hands this intense activity on the surface could be jarring, but in the work of Eley Kishimoto it is poetic, almost musical. The prints encompass a variety of motifs, from abstract forms through delicate florals to narrative doodle. Japanese sce-

42 runway

03 Eley Kishimoto Spring/Summer 2005


With its defiant anti-pretty glamour, this collection has a knowing sophistication. The Eley Kishimoto Spring/Summer05 collection does, like Clements Ribeiro, make distinct reference to the previous century. There is sharp 70s inspired tailoring and a 'Biba' feel to some of the separates; however the impression is one of reworking and referencing rather than pastiche. The overall feel of the collection is one of freshness, exuberance and, well, downright intelligent sexiness. Since starting out on the dual carriageway to fame, fortune, love and fulfilment, Eley Kishimoto have gained a fine reputation and print commissions from big players Louis Vuitton, Yves St Laurent and Versace. Commissioning designers have also included fellow twosome Clements Ribeiro. For the chary and cynical among us, the story of these married couples who have successfully extended their relationships into their working lives may serve to reintroduce the idea – or fantasy – of mutual creative support and genuine teamwork. On a wider scale they also illustrate the social aspects of textiles that have their roots in centuries old practices. The quilting bee, sewing circle, weaving and spinning: these tasks were – and still are – group activities that take place while talking, laughing and gossiping. More than any other craft, textiles makes room for others. Perhaps the predominantly feminine roots of textiles have prevented the escalation of artistic ego found in its 'finer' counterparts of ceramics, sculpture and painting. After all we can excuse the artist his 'temperament', but nice girls – and boys – must remember to share. ••• Nicola Donovan

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46 anecdote


With the birth of Venus from the azure oceans of the Mediterranean, the link between bathing and beauty was born. The ancients would sacrifice a beautiful woman to the sea, believing her naked body held magical powers capable of lulling a tempest. But from the outset the bikini created the opposite effect, grabbing attention and causing scandal wherever it went. Annette Kellerman created a sensation in 1909, not only because she was the first female marathon swimmer, but also for her swimsuit: although totally encasing her in black stockinette, it was sinfully aware of her uncorseted body and revealed her bare arms. By the mid 1940s swimwear was the most glamorous signifier of beauty and sexuality. The poolside swimsuit shot was the predecessor of the 'gentlemen's magazine' spread and a thousand starlets gleamed in photographs. In 1946 French designer Louis Reard ‘officially’ named the two piece after the Bikini Atoll, where an atomic bomb had been tested just weeks earlier. It was suggested that the bikini represented the only vestiges of clothes left after facing an atomic blast! It immediately caused a sensation. Reard's original bikini was sold along with hundreds of other styles from his shop in the Parisian Avenue de L'Opera in a matchbox, boasting that it was made from just 30 inches of cloth. Bikinis were banned from many public beaches across the USA and Wigan still hadn't lifted its official ban 40 years later... At the Venice film festival in 1955 Diana Dors famously claimed column inches by being photographed in a gondola sporting a hugely expensive £150 mink bikini - to be outshone by Jayne Mansfield’s outrageous publicity stunt, gate- crashing a poolside photo shoot in a minuscule red bikini and 'accidentally' los-

ing the top. Only the rather dubious official line that it was an ‘accident’ made it a sensation rather than a scandal. The bikini remained indomitable, the gap between top and bottom widening each year. In 1964 American designer Rudi Gernreich introduced the topless bikini, a high-waisted bottom with a halter strap from centre front that looped up behind the neck, between the breasts leaving them completely exposed. He was certain that it was the next step on the way to universal nude bathing: but France did not agree and banned it whilst surprisingly even the most reputable American stores sold them by the hundred. Gernreich may never have anticipated that with the monokini he would also invent topless go-go dancing. When the owner of the Condor nightclub in San Francisco asked one of his dancers to don a topless swimsuit and dance on top of a piano as it was lowered from the ceiling, she was promptly arrested: but the act was hugely successful and within days other clubs were Louis R offering topless dancers. Condemned by the Pope and banned by the Miss World Pageant in 1952, the bikini became the symbol of youthful sexuality in the newly permissive society. Acceptable on the pretext of wholesome swimming, beach games and tanning, it was also the most undressed you could possibly be in public. It allowed girls to display their sexuality without being labelled as 'slutty', but freedoms gained were also lost, and

a good figure could no longer be bought with a padded bra or girdle; it had to be earned with punitive diet regimes. Early bikinis saw the breasts strictly controlled with the wires and elastic that formed the rigidly defined bras. But as the women's movement sought to free breasts as an act of political emancipation, the string bikini with its minimal flat triangular cups came into favour. Stylish but impractical crochet bikinis became hugely popular with the allure of nudity glimpsed through all those holes, and there was even a peephole bikini by Nautic of Paris that saw the nipples framed by large chrome eyelets. With Ursula Andress in Dr No and Raquel Welch's chamois leather in The Land That Time Forgot, the exotic impact of the bikini was captured and all manner of peculiar versions added colour to tabloid on news days. Shaped like butterflies or festooned in fake flowers, fun gave way to novelty as a 1970s bikini bra was adorned with replica lion's head door knockers, and in 1980 a cooling system was built in to a yellow plastic number complete with solar powered propellers! Bikinis were made from human hair, hedgehog hides, even edible liquorice; there was also the Trikini where the bra cups were glued on individually, but the methylated spirits needed to get them off proved less than appealing! Sun scares may have discredited the lie down and fry beach holiday but there is a wider than ever choice of one and two pieces swimwear with an array of accessories, among them the thong. It’s a style which has brought a whole new range of concerns and made chic and well groomed the order of the day. The 'Brazilian' has made it safe to wear even the itsy bitsiest bikini – even if it is for no more than 30 minutes at a time. ••• Sarah Jane Downing

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Defendant, Public Indecency trial, June 1964


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If you ever watched the 80s American TV show Fame, you’ll remember the highs and lows of being a student of the performing arts – and you’ll also know a thing or two about Lycra. Lydia, Bruno, Coco and the other heroes of the New York City High School for the Performing Arts spent their lives in skin-tight leggings and garishly coloured leotards made from it. Along with aerobics, jogging and the fashion for looking at all times as if you were just about to go to a jazz class at Pineapple Dance Studios, it summed up the sportswear-obsessed 80s. More importantly, it was one of the most radical inventions in textile history. The discovery of Lycra, and of stretch fabrics generally, ‘was without a doubt the most significant development in twentieth century textiles,’ says textile historian Mary Schoeser. ‘You couldn’t imagine today’s fabrics without it. The body beautiful, Jennifer Lopez look exists in both couture and high street fashion, and tight clothing is an essential part of it. Before Lycra or elastane came along, haute couture was the only route to having a tailored fit. Lycra democratised all that. Whatever fabric it’s mixed with, it hangs on your body as if it has been personally made for you.’ An elastane yarn made from petrochemicals, Lycra is lighter than rubber thread and does not degenerate with exposure to body oils, perspiration, lotions or detergents. It can be thrown in the machine without losing its shape, it doesn’t rub the skin and it stretches to six times its length. The

downsides? If you ignore that fact that Lycra is currently off planet fashion’s immediate radar, what with our obsession for all things floaty, draping, decorated and layered, then there aren’t any. It still appears in everything from Marks & Spencer tracksuits, Calvin Klein undies and Jaeger woollen suits to Levi jeans – and even Porsche sunroofs. Says Schoeser: ‘Just because it’s not fashionable like it was in the 80s doesn’t mean it’s not used. In fact, the opposite is true. One fifth of all garments are knitted and Lycra is incorporated to provide a buoyancy that stops them sagging. It’s still a very important element in textile design.’ Lycra was invented in 1958 by American chemicals and fibres multinational DuPont as a response to diminishing supplies of natural rubber. It took ten years of research to discover the radical new elastane fibre, christened Lycra by DuPont. Before it, people had had to make do with sports and swimwear made from wool, silk or Neoprene – a synthetic rubber, also invented by DuPont in 1930. Schoeser recalls: ‘Throughout my childhood, swimsuits were made with Neoprene and came with ruching down the front. Every single one disintegrated. The ruching would suddenly unravel and catch you unawares. It was very distressing for an eight-year-old girl!’ It wasn’t until it appeared in the garments of the French Olympic ski team in 1968 that Lycra really hit the headlines, and Australian sportswear company Speedo snapped it up and produced their aerodynamic

Racerback costumes of the 1970s. Last year, DuPont sold the Lycra portfolio to American fibre multinational Invista, but until then the company had always kept the material’s chemical formula a closely-guarded secret – in 1989, five DuPont employees from the spandex plant in Mercedes, Argentina tried to extort 10 million dollars for the safe return of stolen production documents. They were eventually arrested. Schoeser believes DuPont’s sale was the result of having taken the Lycra brand as far as it could go rather than any financial difficulties. ‘DuPont is a hugely innovative company and it launched an exceptional branding campaign for Lycra. Throughout the 70s and 80s, clothing containing the fibre came with a ‘Lycra’ swing tag. Just as Brits call vacuum cleaners ‘hoovers’ and Americans call tissues ‘Kleenex’, all stretchy fibres became known as ‘Lycra’, even though many companies make their own versions of it. In the fibre world, this marketing exercise was on a par with that of Dulux and its English sheepdog. DuPont probably felt it was time to move on.’ For her first collection in 1981, American swimwear designer Liza Bruce, who has a shop in London’s Belgravia, took inspiration from the ‘ugly’ quality of early Lycra. ‘In the US, Lycra was being used in a very unsophisticated, unrefined and practical way and Liza saw an opportunity to use it differently,’ says a com-4


There’s something crisp, disciplined and sexy about the language of hosiery: pantyhose, thigh highs, stockings, garters, tights, bodywear, lingerie, sheers, grips, snaps, pull-ups, suspenders, fishnets, silks, legs eleven... It’s lacy, lascivious, languid and luxurious stuff… we forget grey marl, the Nora Batty syndrome, painted-on wartime gravy browning, the hot and scratchy woollies of Form 1, the support stockings for the varicose-challenged in our rush to see snag-free, shiny, taut and slender legs, with an arched ankle, and the flash of flesh at cellulite free thigh…as ‘Phil’ on ‘fetish google’ asserts, it’s a “symbolic containment of the sanctity within, akin to ripe fruit about to burst”. And that’s to say nothing of the seductive ‘shh’ when stockinged legs cross and uncross… Hmmm, thanks to the goddess for lycra!! Fine and fabulous until we take them off. Then, tights, stockings, hose, all collapse as stretched and wrinkled heaps of gauzy, almost invisible, fabric holding our scent and our dead skin cells, lifeless, formless, dozy… There’s something uncanny about these odd garments, powerful when on, and differently powerful when off. Freud wrote of the uncanniness of the dismembered body, of the odd creepiness of body parts detached from their rightful place. Linked to issues of home, family, trauma and repressed memory, for me, this is exactly what discarded hosiery conjures. The special relationship between these garments and the leg: a snug stretched highly intimate relationship charged with desire and the fantastical, conjoins limb and lycra skin. The peeled leg, with its shed skin, alters that balance, and there is nothing less sexy and more literally abject than discarded hosiery. ••• CH

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Dennis O’Clair, Getty Images


Tight fit pany spokeswoman. Thus her sporty, high leg, ultra-chic costumes were born. In the 90s, Bruce helped develop ‘matt crepe Lycra’, a tougher, heavier version of the material which she still uses in her costumes today, and have become her signature range. Speedo – always a pioneer when it comes to new fabrics – still uses Lycra in its sportswear but has an in-house R&D team working on new materials. One of these, ‘Endurance’ was launched in 2000 and claims to be ‘20 times more colour resistant than conventional elastane swimwear’. David Robinson, Vice President of Global Product, Speedo International says: ‘The Endurance fabric took a number of years to develop and came from a consumer demand for a long-lasting swimwear fabric that was as comfortable as nylon/Lycra but was non-degradable and colour-fade resistant – hence the launch of Speedo Endurance swimwear.’ He adds: ‘We continue to focus on developing new fabrics with recent innovations including the first non-transparent white fabric and a new luxurious, super soft fabric called Speedo ‘Sculpture’ that sculpts and smoothes the body’s shape.’ Lycra may no longer be at the forefront of swimwear fabric innovation, and natural fabrics like cotton, linen, cashmere and silk may carry the cachet in the fashion world these days, but Schoeser predicts that Lycra will never go out of fashion. ‘Many natural fabrics are in short supply, and designers have to turn to manmade materials.’ Cue last winter’s

Lycra stretch jumpers from Greek-born designer Sophia Kokosalaki, and Christian Dior’s grey stretch-cotton hot pants teamed with chiffon and silk floaty tops. It may not be having a moment like it did in the 80s when Tunisian fashion designer Azzedine Alaia – the ‘King of Cling’ – sent models down the runway in Lycra bandage dresses or when Herve Leger created iconic stripy skintight Lycra dresses: but according to global branding experts Interbrand, more than 80 per cent of women in most major markets are familiar with the Lycra brand. ‘It’s as common as cotton these days. There may even be an attitude of “so what?” about Lycra content,’ says Schoeser, ‘but it won’t disappear. That’s just not possible.’ •••

Emma O’Kelly

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57 education


Nature abhors a vacuum, and it seems that this well-known phrase

energy, coupled with a mandate to increase student numbers. Among institutions and courses alike, the whirl of name-changes and amalgamations was dizzying and occasionally confusing. What happened to the BA(Hons) at Kidderminster, where so many fine carpet designers had been trained? Ahh, the College has expanded by focussing on other types of training, but the University of Wolverhampton – a former polytechnic – has taken up the mantle by offering more places on its BA (Hons) course in design for interior textiles, within which carpet design was already included. Today there are some five dozen educational establishments providing close to 1,500 graduates annually from undergraduate and postgraduate textile and textile-related courses in the UK. Nearly all offer a BA(Hons), and the majority also cater to those seeking a PGDip, MA or M Des. Many now also provide supervision for practice-based post-MA studies, the MPhil and PhD. Any of these degrees opens a global door for graduates, typically already acquainted with a range of companies through the contacts cultivated by teaching staff and now a vital component in the external assessment of an institution's viability. Taking but one example, the MA in textile practice and theory offered by Winchester School of Art (since 1996 part of the University of Southampton) has recently collaborated with the Italian fabric house, Mantero Seta Spa, the Netherlands-based world leader in textile-printing machine manufacture, Stork, and a variety of fashion and furnishings houses including Givenchy, Donna Karan, Marks & Spencer, Habitat and EHO Speedo. Providing this range of educational options has, however, altered the landscape of everyday life within teaching institutions. Gone is the assumption that every student will have personal studio space and equipment at their disposal in their department. Gone too is the pattern of attendance that found nearly all students at print tables, looms or their own workstation for four days each week, with the fifth day devoted to lectures and seminars about some closely related aspect of their field, typically design history. In their place has come flexible programmes, with part-time routes built in to many courses. Goldsmiths College (University of London) has even begun to offer evening classes as an integral part of their part-time postgraduate textile courses, a4

applies equally to textiles and their constant significance in Britain. Mile for mile, it preserves more historic textiles than any other nation. Not much more than a stone's throw away from any location, one can find a street name, building or archeological site recalling textile manufacturing that ultimately rose to world dominance during the 19th century. Textile design education, in the formal sense, was in its infancy then, entirely lacking the caché of training in France. Yet while observers bemoaned the demise of much of what remained of the old British textile industry in the 20th century, many seem to have missed the emergence of an educational system whose graduates' contribution to the global industry is unrivalled. Cloth may no longer flow in impressive amounts from the looms of this nation, but textile designers do. And they don't confine themselves to the narrowly defined fields of print, weave, knit or embroidery, but can be found designing wallcoverings, consulting in trend prediction, colour and lifestyle, styling in the marketing and merchandising sectors of the industry and much, much more. Twenty-five years ago it was easy to describe the textile education available in the UK: there were some three-dozen excellent BA Honours courses and one sought-after MA offered in London, at the Royal College of Art. The sole undergraduate course devoted to tapestry – then as now – was to be found at Edinburgh College of Art, where it benefited from close links with the Edinburgh Tapestry Studio. Elsewhere, institutions that were once aligned to a local speciality had already expanded their offering, often by developing strengths in related fields. Examples range from Nottingham Trent's replacement of expertise in machine-made lace with that of knitwear, to the University of Ulster's use of their proximity to the once gigantic Belfast shirt-making industry as a springboard for an innovative textiles and fashion course. Much more significant changes began in 1991 with the transformation of established polytechnics and art colleges into new universities. Since that time the provision of postgraduate textile education has mushroomed. What propelled the creation of over twenty new textile courses leading to an MA (and the Scottish MDes) was a kind of 'deregulation' that is more readily associated with the government's policy of the period on services such as transportation, telecommunications and


01 Student preparing a screen for printing


02 Design studio

feature long typical of American colleges, but not of those in the UK. As Maureen Wayman put it, in the new educational environment, it’s clear for all to see that 'one size doesn't fit all.' Wayman, Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean of Faculty of Art and Design at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), speaks with pride of the long-established reputation of their undergraduate training, noted especially for embroidery. (A current eminent visiting professor, Michael Brennand-Wood, is but one noted graduate.) Nevertheless, she enthuses about the current shift in emphasis from named routes to broad courses that can widen participation, allow hybrid fashion/textile training to flourish, and cater for the growing number of students intent on becoming designer-makers. For these entrepreneurial souls, MMU has developed a new B Des degree focussed on small-scale production and, as an alternative to an MA, provide two years' support for those running their own new businesses by hosting a programme based on the North West Arts Board/Arts Council's schemes, What's Next and Next Move. In addition, they help young graduates by maintaining Dialogbox, a concession in Selfridge's, Manchester. Such a 'shop window' was equally pivotal in establishing Duncan of Jordanstone's (Dundee, Scotland) renown for printed textiles. Equally broadening is the theoretical framework for textile arts. Critical enquiry and debate are fundamental to the practice-based M Phil and PhD students who have been able to pursue this route in an increasing number of institutions since the 1990s. However, these issues have gained a firm hold at earlier stages too. With many BA and MA courses now constructed around self-negotiated units or routes, students must articulate why and how they intended to realise their particular goal. For those who wish to immerse themselves in defining the field, there are postgraduate courses directed especially at the crossfertilization between theory and practice. Among these is the MA Textile Culture offered by Norwich School of Art & Design, which 'challenges and encourages a broad perspective on the historical, global, local, contemporary and critical contexts for which textiles are a formative medium.' Situated in what was once a centre for fine shawl weaving inspired by products of the Indian subcontinent, the emphasis on the historical and global is appositely combined in this course with units on the intercultural and 'site, body and text'. While individual details vary, virtually all courses have evolved and adapted to meet new challenges. Computer-aided design (CAD) and digital printing have been in the forefront of the creation of a newly complex set of needs, on the one hand to design for what might be far-distant machines and on the other, to harness the possibilities of a new

printing technology that, compared to established methods, is not only far cleaner and quieter, but takes up a fraction of the space, is more flexible, and is affordable. A garage is ample room for a digital printing studio and if few students as yet have these, many do have CAD programmes on their computers at home. Perfect for quickly-produced short runs, digital technology has had the most evident impact in the fashion-textiles arena. Indeed, MMU bought their first digital printer for their fashion students, and at Glasgow School of Art, the Centre for Advanced Textiles finds its digital printer in greatest demand in the runup to London Fashion Week. In contrast to the 'no set diet', negotiated courses, tailored to individual creative directions, today there are also a range of hybrid degrees aimed at particular aspects of the global industry. The myriad of possibilities provided by new fibres and fabric treatments are at the heart of focussed courses such as the University of Huddersfield's MSc in textile technology for textile designers and the University of Derby's Performance and Design MA. The latter, which combines textiles, fashion, graphics (especially packaging), product and sportswear design, including footwear, takes advantage of performance materials and includes the study of human physiology. It boasts among its recent graduates a designer for Dupont Advanced Fibres. For those with an eye on a management position, there are postgraduate courses such as the MA in fashion/textiles with an emphasis on marketing and business skills, offered by Bath Spa University College, and the brand new range of postgraduate degrees in design management for interactive media, which brings together expertise from the School of Textiles and Design and the School of Management and Languages at Heriott Watt University, which has campuses in Edinburgh and Galashiels. Although new in concept and content, such courses continue the UK's traditional strength in understanding and providing for its leading industries. At Heriott Watt, course director Dr Britta Kalkreuter has perceptively modified what was once primarily a training ground for Scottish Borders' weavers, knitters and spinners into one aimed at emerging industries. As her prospectus notes, already in the UK alone, 'approximately 50,000 people are involved in the Interactive Media industries, [which] needs a new type of postgraduate with strong design and technical skills, marketing awareness and the ability to conceive and communicate a powerful creative vision.' Even more ambitious is the sole postgraduate course in the UK designed to identify - and even create – emerging industries. This is the MA Textile Futures at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design (CSM), part of the University of the Arts, London. Here the emphasis is placed firmly on identifying a

Lian Bailey: Alamy

critical agenda and coherent design philosophy applied to a selected 'future', based on topics such as smart textiles, new materials, interactive design, sustainable textiles, trend forecasting, branding, fashion or craft. Rachel Kelly, featured in Selvedge (issue 02), developed her Interactive Wallpaper while a student on this course, and since her graduation in 2001 has formed her own business and recently entered into licensed production in Japan. The CSM Textile Futures course provides a telling insight into the new style of textile education to be found in Britain today. First, it has been hard won. Course director Carole Collet commented recently that it took ten years to realise the vision. After a dozen years of substantial change, it is only now that this course, like many others, can count its achievements in scores rather than handfuls. Next, it thrives on collaboration. Students who explore the latest concepts and technologies need access to equally innovative materials, technologies and minds. For the near-at-hand experience of the latter, research fellows and visiting professors enrich many courses and this trend is exemplified at CSM by Dr Jane Harris, a leading exponent of the virtual textile. But CSM Textile Futures' students are expected to seek out appropriate mentors wherever they may be. Past students have forged links with other training centres: Asha Thompson with Brunnel University's Design for Life Centre, or Sung Min Kim with the Hanyang University of Seoul, where she has introduced a course based on CSM's Textile Futures. Tomoko Hayashi, a 2004 graduate, joined Medialab Europe's Human Connectedness team to develop a collection of conceptual 'connecting' prototypes for couples existing in long distance relationships. While some have worked for Lacroix, Dior and Gautier, Davina Hawthorne (2002) started her own label with the help of the Clerkenwell Green Association, creating 'fashioned skins' based on digital and ultrasonic welding technologies. Graduates also work in the fields of architecture, theatre and film, transport, products, living spaces and the environment. Such diversity inspires other courses too. What remains the same after so much upheaval in the provision of higher education in the UK is the focus on textile skills. New is the definition of these skills. The leading institutions no longer look to serve British textile manufacturers, but intend to train students to create their own opportunities, to identify new concepts and to take part in a worldwide industry. All this is encapsulated in the words of Jane Rapley OBE, Dean of the School of Fashion and Textile Design at CSM, who speaks of an 'ambition for our students in that the way they devise and design textiles now will influence the way we live in the future.' ••• Mary Schoeser


Cleveland Colle ge of Art

The Surrey Institute of Art & Design

Loughborough University, LUSAD

iversity etropolitan Un Manchester M

Glasgow School of Art

Chelsea College of Art & Design Somerset College of Art & Technology

Winchester School of Art

hool of Art Winchester Sc




London College of Fashion

hester University of Manc


Staffordshire Un iversity

PICK OF THE CROP: A TASTE OF THE TALENT ON OFFER FROM THIS YEAR’S TEXTILE GRADUATES The number of textile courses has risen dramatically over the last 10 years and with them the number of textile graduates. With so much work in so many forms and mediums creativity is at an all time high. Colleges offer alternative structures and emphasis for textile students. Those on show here have excelled on their chosen courses but from now on they will be following their own path. Their first step may be exhibiting at New Designers, for 20 years this has been the foremost exhibition of creative talent, delivering an event brimming with innovation in every discipline from jewellery to architecture. New Designers presents emerging graduate design talent from from over 180 university and colleges.

Liverpool John Moores University

The Nottingham Trent University

University College Falmouth

New Designers. The Business Design Centre, Islington, London. PART 1: inc. Fashion, Textiles & Accessories 30 June-3 July 2005, T: 020 7288 6738


BA and MA Courses and degree show listings Degree Show: TBC. • University of Central England in Birmingham.

Kate Deacon


Show and tell Fashion Design Management, T: 01896 892 13

BA (Hons) Textile Design (Constructed Textiles), BA (Hons) Textile

Degree Show: 22-25 June, Wed-Fri 10-4, Sat 10-12; Private view:

Design (Embroidery), BA (Hons) Textile Design (Printed Textiles), BA

Tuesday 21 June 7.30-9pm, Also New Designers exhibition. • The

(Hons) Textile Design (Retail Management), BA (Hons) Fashion

University of Huddersfield. BA (Hons) Fashion & Textile Accessories,

Design, BA (Hons) Fashion Design with Product Development BA

BA (Hons) Fashion & Textile Buying, BA (Hons) Fashion & Textile

(Hons) Fashion Design with Retail Management, BA (Hons) Fashion

Management, BA (Hons) Fashion & Textile Retailing, BA (Hons)

Retail Management, T: 0121 331 5000 Degree

Fashion Design, BA (Hons) Fashion with Manufacture Marketing &

Show: TBC. • University of Central Lancashire. BA (Hons) Fashion,

Promotion, BA (Hons) Fashion, Media & Promotion, BA

BA (Hons) Fashion Promotion, BA (Hons) Textile Innovation,

(Hons)Textile Crafts, BA/BSc (Hons)Textile Design, T: 01484

T: 01772 201201 Degree Show: 7 June, 4pm,

422288 Degree Show: 13-16 June, Mon/Thurs

Graduate Fashion week, Battersea park, London.• Cleveland College

10-4, Tues-Wed 10-8; Private View: 10 June, 7-9pm; Fashion Show:

of Art & Design. BA (Hons) Fashion Enterprise, BA (Hons) Textiles &

15 June, 7-9pm. • Kingston University. BA (Hons) Fashion, T: 020

Surface Design, T: 0429 422000 Degree Show: 8-

8547 7066 Degree Show: 15-18 June,

16 June. • Colchester Institute. BA (Hons) Art & Design (Fashion &

20-23 June 10-9, Private View: Tues 14 June: 6-9.30. • University

Textiles), Tel: 01206 518777 Degree Show:

of Leeds. BA (Hons) Fashion Design, BA (Hons) Textile Design,


TBC. • De Montfort University. BA (Hons) Contour Fashion, BA

T: 0113 343 3999 Degree Show: TBC. • Leeds

Basingstoke College of Technology. BA (Hons) Textiles for Fashion,

(Hons) Fashion Design, BA (Hons) Fashion & Technology, BA

College of Art & Design. BA (Hons) Fashion Clothing, BA (Hons)

T: 01256 306484 Degree Show: 14-16 June, Tues

(Hons) Textile Design (Constructed Textiles), BA (Hons) Textile

Printed Textiles & Surface Pattern Design, T: 0113 302 8030

2-8, Wed 2-7.30, Thurs 7- 8. • University College, Bath Spa. BA

Design (Mixed Media Textiles), BA (Hons) Textile Design (Printed Degree Show: 29 June. • University of Lincoln.

(Hons) Creative Arts, BA (Hons) Surface Design for Textiles &

Textiles), T: 0116 255 1551 Degree

BA (Hons) Fashion Studies, BA (Hons) Contemporary Decorative

Fashion, T: 01225 875875 Degree Show: 9-14

Show: 17-21 June.• The University of Derby. BA (Hons) Fashion

Arts, T: 01522 886097 Degree Show: 14-20 May,

June, 9-5 • The University of Bolton. BA (Hons) Textile/Surface

Studies, BA (Hons) Textile Design, T: 01332 594 057

10-4, closed Sun. • Liverpool John Moores University. BA (Hons)

Design, BSc (Hons) Product Development for the Fashion Industry, Degree Show: 4-9 June. • University of East

Fashion & Textile Design, T: 0151 231 5095

Bsc (Hons) Textile Technology, T: 01294 903 353 www.technolo-

London. BA (Hons) Fashion Design, BA (Hons) Fashion Design with

Degree Show: 1-4 June, Also: New Designers and Graduate Fashion Degree Show: 21-24 June, 10-4, Private view: 20

Marketing, BA (Hons) Printed Textiles & Surface Decoration, T: 020

Week. • Chelsea College of Art & Design. BA (Hons) Textile Design,

June, 6.30. • Bournemouth University. BA (Hons) Fashion & Textiles,

8223 2835 Degree Show: TBC. • University of

T: 020 7514 7751 Degree Show: TBC.

T: 01202 524111 Degree Show: TBC. •



• University of the Arts London (Camberwell College of Arts, Central

Bradford College: Associate College, Leeds Metropolitan University. Degree Show: TBC. • Edinburgh College of Art,

Saint Martins College of Art & Design, Chelsea College of Art &

BA (Hons) Textile Design (Printed, Woven, Knitted, Embroidered),

BA (Hons) Design & Applied Arts (Textiles), BA (Hons) Design &

Design, London College of Communication, London College of

BA (Hons) Fashion Design, T: 01274 433333 www.bradfordcol-

Applied Arts (Fashion), T: 0131 221 6027 Degree

Fashion). BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology: Surface Textiles for Degree Show: 18-22 June, Sat 10-4, Mon-Wed 10-8,

Show: 18-25 June. • University College Falmouth. BA (Hons) Textile

Fashion, BA (Hons) Fashion (Fashion Design Menswear or

Thurs 10-4, Private View: 17 June, 4.30-8; Fashion Show: 27 June,

Design, T: 01326 211 077 Degree Show: 28

Womenswear or Knitwear or Marketing, BA (Hons) Fashion Print,

1, 2.30, 4. • University of Brighton. BA (Hons) Fashion Textile Design

June-2 July, Tues-Thurs 10-6, Fri 10-4.30, Sat 11-5. • Glasgow

BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology: Menswear, BA (Hons)

& Business Studies, BA (Hons) Fashion Design & Business Studies,

School of Art. BA (Hons) Design-Textiles, T: 0141 353 4500

Fashion Design Technology: Womenswear, BA (Hons) Fashion

T: 01273 600900 Degree Show: 4-9 June, Sat Degree Show: 18-25 June, Sat 10-5, Sun 2-5, Mon-

Design, T: 020 7514 7407 Degree Show

10-4, Sun 12-6, Mon-Wed 10-8, Thurs 10-4; Fashion Show: 4 June,

Thurs 10-9, Fri 10-7. • Goldsmiths College, University of London. BA

London College of Fashion: 25-30 June, Sat-Thurs 10-5; Royal

9pm. • University of the West of England, Bristol. BA (Hons)

(Hons) Textiles, T: 020 7919 7870/ 020 7919 7777

College of Art Degree Show: 24 June-3 July, 10-6.Fashion Show: 8

Fashion/Textile Design, T: 0117 3284 718 Degree Degree Show: 3-6 June, 10-7; Private view: 2 June,

June, 4pm • London Metropolitan University. BA (Hons) Textile

Show: 3-7 June; Preview: 3 June. Also: New Designers. •

6-10. Also Design Degree: Atlantis Gallery, The Old Truman Brewery,

Design for Interior & Products, T: 020 7133 4200

Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College. BA (Hons) Textiles &

91 Brick Lane, London. • Herefordshire College of Art & Design. BA Degree Show: TBC. • Loughborough University. BA

Surface Design, T: 01494 522141 Degree Show:

(Hons) Design Crafts, T: 01432 273359

(Hons) Textile Design (Multi-Media Textiles), BA (Hons) Textile

TBC. • University of Wales Institute, Cardiff. BA (Hons)

Degree Show: 25-29 June, Sat-Sun 11-4, Mon-Wed 11-8; Private

Design (Printed Textiles), BA (Hons) Textile Design (Woven textiles),

Contemporary Textile Practice, T: 029 2041 6070

view: 24 June. • Heriot-Watt University. BSc (Hons) Clothing Design

T: 01509 228934/ 01509 228903, Degree Show:

Degree Show: TBC. • Carmarthenshire College. BA (Hons)

& Manufacture, BA (Hons) Design for Textiles (Fashion, Interior,

11-14 June, 10-5. • University of Manchester. BSc (Hons) Fashion

Contemporary Textiles, T: 01554 748000

Art), BA (Hons) Fashion Design for Industry, BSc (Hons) Textiles &

& Textile Retailing, Bsc (Hons) Management & Marketing of Textiles,







63 education

College. BA (Hons) Design Studies with Fashion, BA (Hons)

Textile Science & Technology, Bsc (Hons) Textile Technology, T:

Fashion, T: 023 8031 9039 Degree Show: 11-16

0161 306 6000 Degree Show: 4 June; 7-8

June, Sat 10-4, Thurs 9-5. • University of Southampton, Winchester

June, Sat 10-3; Tues-Wed 10-3. • Manchester Metropolitan

School of Art. BA (Hons) Textiles, Fashion & Fibre, T: 02380 596

University. BA (Hons) Clothing Design & Technology, BA (Hons)

9000, Degree Show: 25 June-1 July, Sat 11-3,

Fashion, BA (Hons) Fashion Design with Technology, BA (Hons)

Mon-Fri 11-8. • South East Essex College. BA (Hons) Fashion

Textile Design for Fashion, BA (Hons) Textile Technology for

Design, T: 01702 220500 Degree Show: 2-6

Linda Florence

Bsc (Hons) Textile Design and Design Management, BSc (Hons)

Fashion, BA (Hons) Textiles BA (Hons) Embroidery, Bsc (Hons)

June, 10-7 except Thurs 6-10. Fashion Show: 23-24 June, 8.30-



9.30pm. • Stockport College of Further & Higher Education. BA

Degree Show: 1-15 September 9.30-5.30 closed Sun, Gallery, Degree Show: 18-22 June, Sat-Sun 10-4; Mon-

(Hons) Design & Visual Arts (Contemporary Textiles & Surface

College Line Campus, Hatfield • University College Bath Spa. MA

Wed 10-6. • Middlesex University. BA (Hons) Constructed Textiles,

Design), T: 0161 958 3417 Degree Show: 13-

Design: Fashion & Textiles, MA Design (Brand Development,

BA (Hons) Fashion, BA (Hons) Printed Textiles & Decoration, T: 020

17 June, 10-7. • The Surrey Institute of Art & Design, University

Ceramics & Textiles), T: 01225 875875

8411 5000 Degree Show: 3-6 June, 10-7. •

College. BA (Hons) Fashion, BA (Hons) Textiles Printed or Woven,

• Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design. PgDip/MA Design for

University of Wales, Newport. BA (Hons) Fashion Design, T: 01970

T: 01252 722 441 Degree Show: 30 June-3 July,

Textile Futures, MA Fashion T: 020 7514 7022

622021 Degree Show: 12-14 June, 7.30.

Thurs-Sat 11-6; Sun 11-4. • Swansea Institute of Higher Education.

Degree Show: 16-24 June. • Glasgow School of Art. MDes Design

• University College Northampton. BA (Hons) Fashion, BA (Hons)

BA Surface Pattern Design (Contemporary Applied Arts Practice), T:

Practice (Textiles as Fashion), T: 0141 353 4500

Fashion (Printed Textiles for Fashion), BSc (Hons) Materials

01792 481000 Degree Show: 13-18 May, 10-6,

Degree Show: 12 December. • Southampton Institute, University

Technology, BA (Hons) Surface Design & Printed Textiles, T: 01604

Grand Theatre, Swansea. • University of Ulster. BDes Textiles &

College. MA Textiles Practice & Theory: Textile Design, MA Textiles






Designers, MA Art Practices T: 01707 284 000

893 210 Degree Show: 9-16 June.

Fashion Design, T: 028 7032 4221 Degree Show:

Practice & Theory: Textile & Fibre art, MA Textiles Practice & Theory:

• Norwich School of Art & Design. BA (Hons) Contemporary Textile

TBC. • University of Westminster. BA (Hons) Fashion Design, T: 020

Curatorial Theory & Practice, MA Textiles Practice & Theory: Textiles

Practices, T: 01603 610 561 Degree Show: 16-22

7911 5000 Degree Show: TBC. • University of

by Project MA Textile Conservation, T: 023 8059 5000

June, Mon-Fri 10-5, Sat 10-4. • Northbrook College Sussex. BA

Wolverhampton. BA (Hons) Design for Interior Textiles, T: 01902 • Nottingham Trent University. MA Textile Design &

(Hons) Fashion: Menswear Design, BA (Hons) Fashion:

321000 Degree Show: TBC.

Innovation, T: 0115 941 8418 • University of Central England in Birmingham. PgCert/PgDip /MA Fashion, Textiles &

Womenswear Design, BA (Hons) Surface & Textile Design, T: 0800


Surface Design, T: 0121 331 5000 • Heriott-Watt

• Northumbria University. BA (Hons) Fashion, T: 0191 2326002

University of Leeds. Msc/PgDip Advanced Textiles & Performance

University. MA/PgDip/PgCert International Design Marketing Degree Show: TBC. • Nottingham Trent

Clothing, MSc Textile Coloration Technology T: 0113 243 1751 www.

(Fashion & Textiles), MDes/ PgDip/PgCert Textile Design with

University. BA (Hons) Fashion Design, BA (Hons) Fashion Knitwear • University of Huddersfield. Msc Computer Aided

Computer Applications, T: 0131 449 5111 • Norwich

Design & Knitted Textiles, BA (Hons) Fashion and Textile

Design for Textile Designers, MSc Textile Technology for Textile

Schoool of Art & Design. MA Textile Culture, T: 01603 610561







Management T: 0115 941 8418 Degree Show: 5 • Chelsea College of Art & Design. MA Textile

June, 7.30pm, Graduate Fashion week, Battersea Park, London.

Design, T: 020 7514 7751 Degree Show: 30

• Opus School of Textile Arts. BA (Hons) Embroidered Textiles, T:020

September-7 October. • University of Manchester. MEnt Textile

8864 7283 Degree Show: 29 June-2 July,

Design Technology & Fashion, MSc/PgDip Textile Technology, T: 020

Wed 2-6, Thurs 10-9, Fri 10-6, Sat 10-5. • Ravensbourne College of

7514 7751 • Bolton Institute of Higher

Design & Communication. BA (Hons) Fashion, T: 020 8289 4900

Education. Degree Show: New Designers, 30 June-3 • Royal College of Art. MA Textiles (Constructed

July, Thurs-Sat 11-6, Sun 11-4. • The Robert Gordon University,

& Printed), T: 020 7590 4444 Degree Show: 22-30

Gray’s School of Art. BA (Hons) Design and Crafts (Textiles), T:

June. • Manchester Metropolitan University. MA Textiles & Fashion,







01224 26 27 28 Degree Show: 18-25 June, Sat-Sun

T: 0161 247 2000 • Goldsmiths College. MA

10-4; Mon-Thurs 10-9; Fri-Sat 10-4. • University of Salford. BA

Textiles, PgDip Textiles, T: 020 7919 7766

MDes/PgDip Textiles, T: 0131 221 6027 • The

BA (Hons) Fashion & Textiles, BA (Hons) Fashion Design, BA

Surrey Institute of Art and Design. MA Contemporary Crafts (Textiles),

(Hons) Surface Pattern, T: 01823 366420

Mphil/PhD Contemporary Crafts: Ceramics & Textiles T: 01252 722

Degree Show: 18-23 June, 10-5. • Southampton Institute University


hel Kelly

Degree Show: 22-25 July, 10-5 • Edinburgh College of Art.

Degree Show: 13-15 June. • Somerset College of Arts & Technology.

(Hons) Fashion, T: 0161 295 6088


Chloë Sayer



Painted lady

01 02

Americans were rarely flattering. In 1933, during a stay in New York, she wrote: “the gringawomen are imitating me and trying to dress a la Mexicana, but the poor souls only look like cabbages...”. In 1939, during a visit to Paris, Frida was feted by the world of haute couture. Schiaparelli designed a robe, Madame Rivera, for fashionable Parisiennes. Frida mixed different costumes to make a carefully composed ensemble. There was, however, one combination that she favoured above all others: the costume of Zapotec women on the Isthmus of Oaxaca. Today, during festivals, the Tehuana women of Tehuantepec and Juchitán still wear a close-fitting top, termed a huipil, over a long gathered skirt with a flounce of starched lace at the hem. The velvet ground of gala garments is covered with large satin-stitched flowers. For added splendour, some women wear an elaborate headdress of starched lace. Tehuana women, widely regarded as sensuous and strong, play a dominant role in Isthmus life. Their poise and courage no doubt appealed to Frida. At the end of her life, beset by pain and ill heath, Frida continued to dress as if each day was a fiesta. In life, as in art, she loved colour and alegría (gaiety). On her last birthday she wore a hand-woven tunic of white cotton, with a lavender tassel, from Yalalag in Oaxaca. Just days later she was dead. ••• Chloë Sayer

See listings for current exhibitions at Tate Modern and National Portrait Gallery. 01 Detail of an embroidered Maya huipil 02 Zapotec women wearing Tehuana clothing in Tehuantepec and Juchitán on the Isthmus of Oaxaca during the fiesta de la Asuncion.

Chloë Sayer

the theme of her art. Her vibrant self-portraits intimately reflect her experiences, dreams, hopes and fears. Born in 1907 she suffered a serious accident at the age of eighteen. Although it left her crippled and unable to bear children, she was determined to live life to the full. In 1929 she married the flamboyant artist Diego Rivera. Their tempestuous relationship was punctuated by divorce, remarriage, and numerous affairs – Kahlo's intermittent lovers included Trotsky – but they were still together when she died in 1954. Today Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera have iconic status. Both, in their different ways, helped to shape the cultural identity of twentiethcentury Mexico. The Revolution of 1910 banished European influence in the arts. Kahlo and Rivera were at the centre of an intellectual circle that glorified the achievements of ancient Mexican civilisations. Folk art was revered. The couple surrounded themselves with weavings, papier-mâché figures and toys from street markets. Many of Kahlo's most powerfully autobiographical paintings show her surrounded by tropical fruit or flowers and dressed in regional clothing. Native clothing symbolised her political allegiance to peasant cultures, but it also shaped her own highly personal style. With her embroidered blouses, huaraches (sandals), fringed shawls and floor-length skirts, Frida caused a sensation wherever she went. To complement her 'exotic' costumes – her collection included more than 180 garments, mostly from the state of Oaxaca – Frida braided her hair with bright ribbons or decorated it with combs and flowers. To Frida's apparent surprise, her striking appearance was not just admired but even imitated. Her descriptions of North

Frida on White Bench, Nickolas Murray, 1939, © Nickolas Murray Photo Archives

The Mexican painter Frida Kahlo made herself

Bruno Morandi: Alamy

Robert Harding Picture Library Ltd / Alamy Jamie Marshall

67 Andreas M Gross: Alamy



babies slung around their backs en route to church; grandmothers dragging reluctant pigs to market; solitary figures in canoes slicing their way through mists at dawn; weatherbeaten faces peering through the shutters of adobe walled homes; and children as carefree as they are shoeless. It makes sense to skip the congested sprawl of the capital and head straight to Antigua, less than an hour from Guatemala City, to acclimatise to the altitude before heading on into the highlands. The volcanoes of Acatenango, Agua and Fuego loom over Antigua like sentinels, imposing reminders of both past events and future fate. Antigua was

for over two hundred years the Spanish seat of government for a vast swathe of Middle America until, in 1773, a devastating earthquake left her in tatters. The ruins bear testament to the determination of the colonisers and the futility of their grand efforts. The sheer concentration of cobblestone plazas, stone fountains, colour-washed arches, churches, convents and palaces make it one of the most beautiful cities in the Americas and a place spared over-commercialisation thanks to its World Heritage status. Winding steeply down from the altiplano through the colourful market town of Sololá offers a glimpse of the clear, deep-blue waters4

It always comes as a shock to meet a traveller who, in the midst of a brief foray around Guatemala, fails to wish they were staying longer. From the dizzy heights of some of the grandest volcanic peaks on the continent, to the humidity of the archaeologically rich jungles of the Petén, there is enough to keep even the most world-weary traveller on cloud nine for weeks. Vibrant highland markets and fiestas, colonial architecture, ancient Maya pyramids, and dazzling textile traditions are all packed into a nation that’s surprisingly small. Even experienced photographers are left gasping between frames. In one’s viewfinder are Maya women in brilliant costumes with


Beren Patterson

Tracey Hallitt


of Lake Atitlán, unquestionably one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. This gigantic water-filled caldera is surrounded by volcanic peaks and more than a dozen traditional Maya settlements. The Kaqchikel Maya town of Panajachel, its bustling main street lined with stall upon stall of multicoloured souvenirs and locally woven fabrics, is the perfect place from which to launch trips. Guatemalan Maya costume tends to be community specific, with weavers drawing upon an established repertoire of local designs and colour combinations. Like many of the hundred or so highland communities in Guatemala that maintain a distinct style of tribal dress, each of these lakeside communities exhibits an idiosyncratic costume that ties a person to their respective home. A woman’s hometown can be determined so accurately from the individual nature of her blouse, stripe sequence of her skirt, or simply the way her hair ribbon is tied, that the Guatemalan army were instructed in costume styles during the civil war, in an attempt to combat insurgency. In recent decades these distinctions have become less pronounced as fashion conscious young women have adopted the designs and colours of other communities, or have innovated to such an extent that their dress no longer conforms to previously established village styles. Some communities on Lake Atitlán have shifted entirely from the multicoloured schemes popular in the 1970s and 80s, to a completely different palette, currently based on blues, purples and greens. An hour across the Lake by ferry from Panajachel, the Tz’utujil Maya community of Santiago Atitlán is hemmed in by the peaks of San Pedro, Atitlán and Tolimán volcanoes, and is one of the few communities in Guatemala where both women and men continue to wear town-specific dress. The native style is striking and somewhat unusual. Most garments are hand-woven by women on a hip-strap loom of

a type that has been in use in Mesoamerica for millennia. Hip-strap loom woven items include the woman’s blouse – generally called a huipil - rectangular shawls and multipurpose utility cloths called zutes. In addition to garments woven on the hip-strap loom, the wrap-around skirt & woman’s headdress are woven on floorstanding treadle looms. The four harness European foot loom was introduced to Guatemala by the Spaniards in the 17th century to increase textile production in the colony, and a number of weaving communities have specialised in its use for generations. These skirt weavers export various styles of fabric to Maya communities nationwide via a network of village markets and itinerant traders. In Santiago Atitlán, however, this type of treadle loom wasn’t adopted locally until the middle of the last century: by its close there were merely fifteen or so looms in the village. The general form and construction of Maya women’s costume has remained fairly consistent over centuries but stylistic change has accelerated in recent decades. Fashion is a driving force amongst the young who are keen to state their individuality in an era where conservative traditionalism no longer holds sway. Around 1900, Santiago Atitlán costume was relatively simple and had little in the way of decoration, but over the past century costume has become more elaborate. The explosion in the use of synthetic fibres and chemical colorants fuelled this revolution. In the 19th century Guatemala was the world's primary source of cochineal, and historical Maya textiles – particularly silk and wool – show its widespread use. Another fabled dye, murex or shellfish purple, was highly prized, especially for ceremonial garments, but has been out of use for at least half a century as cheaper equivalents took precedence. With the gathering momentum of the chemical dye industry synthetic alternatives became the norm and dyestuff plantations 4 gave way to the richer pickings of coffee.

Terrance Klassen: Alamy


Jamie Marshall

Jamie Marshall


Although little seen today, the woman’s headdress consists of a ten to twenty metre tapestry ribbon of predominantly red or orange fabric wound around the head like an oversized halo. It is the most distinctive element of Santiago dress – featured on the 25 cent coin – and recognised throughout Guatemala. Today it is seldom worn for everyday use and is instead reserved for special occasions. Sometimes children purposefully don the headdress in the hope that a tourist will photograph them in exchange for a small reward. An interesting historical parallel is found in headwear depicted on seventh century AD ceramic figurines from the ancient Maya site of Copan. The small foot-loom used to weave the hair ribbon has weathered the decline in headdress popularity as the same tapestry techniques are today used to create colourful purses, wallets and stoles for the tourist trade and export. Santiago is one of the few communities in Guatemala where men continue to wear a traditional costume on a daily basis, although in many cases it is increasingly confined to older men. Elsewhere traditional costume has either been abandoned or is reserved for ceremonial use. The sash is often the last item of traditional costume to slip out of use. Whereas the ancient Maya nobility had a repertoire of clothing that included short skirts, capes and tunics, archaeological research indicates that the most common male garment was a loincloth consisting of a long narrow sash arranged around the body so that its ends hung loose in front. Maya men readily adopted styles of clothing from their colonial rulers, and today the westernisation of clothing is continuing, especially amongst the youth, who prefer western shirts over those worn by their fathers and grandfathers. T-shirts and baseball caps, readily available at market and from stores plying recycled North American clothing, are popular and invariably display the logo of an American sports team.

Even though neighbouring San Pedro La Laguna is more popular as a base, Santiago is far less touristy once the last boat has returned to Panajachel, and offers a good alternative place to get a flavour for traditional lakeside life. The main draw for most of the day-trippers to Santiago is to visit the esoteric cult idol of Maximón. Mysterious and highly revered, Maximón is housed by the cofradía of Santa Cruz, one of the local religious fraternities, and survives on a steady flow of monetary donations, candles, alcohol and cigars from visiting supplicants who require blessings and favours in return. Local kids willingly act as guides for the usual incentives. In the 1950s the Bishop of Sololá took exception to the role that Maximón has in Santiago’s vibrant Easter celebrations and attempted to rid the town of such blatant pagan idolatry. The people successfully prevented this by marching on the capital and securing the support of the President. Before the Conquest Santiago was the capital of the Tz’utujil nation. Across the bay on the lower slopes of San Pedro lie an ancient ceremonial centre and fortress. Although few traces of pre-Columbian structures remain, the cornfields around Cerro Chuitinamit are littered with ceramic shards and fragments of Maya pottery. Legend has it that in anticipation of the Spanish canoe-borne assault, the town treasures were hidden here. On a moonlit night a gap can be seen between boulders on the site. From the narrow opening there rushes forth a sweet, cool fresh flow of air from deep inside the volcano: nostrils twitch in heady anticipation. Is this the entrance to the Maya underworld, or the hiding place of Maya Gold? Only a small child could possibly squeeze through the gap but the prospect remains that treasures may lie beneath. The riches of Lake Atitlán lie not solely in its waters and spectacular setting. The true magic lies in the people and their communities, their rich textiles and wondrous legends. ••• Jamie Marshall


Location On the Central American Isthmus bordering Mexico to the north, with Belize to the east and Honduras and El Salvador to the south. • Population 14 million (est. 2004). • Area 108,000 square km. • Capital Guatemala City. • Languages Spanish is the official language. 23 indigenous languages also spoken, predominantly Mayan. • Religion 70% Roman Catholic (& Maya), 30% Protestant.• Currency The Quetzal - US dollars acceptable. • Visas Issued on Arrival to many nationalities, including UK citizens (Guatemalan Embassy, London: 020 7351 3042 for further information). • Getting there American Airlines flies to Guatemala city via Miami, Continental via Houston, Iberia via Madrid & Miami. • Accommodation simple pensiones to international class hotels. Expect basic accommodation off the beaten track. • Health Protection against malaria is essential for jungle areas, while vaccination against hepatitis A, typhoid, tetanus, cholera & polio are strongly recommended. • Best Time to Visit Early October to January provides the clearest weather in the highlands. • Safety Contact the Foreign Office for detailed information. • Recommended Reading Rough Guide to Guatemala & Footprint Handbook for practical travel advice; Insight Guides as a photographic resource. • Community life revolves around the market, church and fiestas.


Travel info

The Guatemalan Maya Centre is a non profit, cultural and educational centre dedicated to the Maya of Guatemala. Home to one of the largest collections of Maya weaving in the world (with around 7000 textiles, and looms), the Centre organises exhibitions of Guatemalan Maya life and dress. The Centre's study facilities include an extensive reference relating to all aspects of Guatemala and the Maya. The Centre was founded in 1990 by Krystyna Deuss, author of “Indian Costumes from Guatemala”, who spends several months each year in Guatemala continuing her research into the customs of the Highland Maya. Jamie Marshall, curator of the Centre's collections, is responsible for documenting the textiles. ••• JM

Bruno Morandi: Alamy

The Guatemalan Maya Centre, 94 Wandsworth Bridge Road, Fulham, London SW6 2TF. T: 020 7371 5291 Tues, Thurs 2-6; Sat: 10-6. Closed in August and January Exhibition opens 24th May: Chichicastenago: Life & dress. A selection of daily and ceremonial costume from the Quiché Maya town of Chichicastenago.



Lindsay Hebberd: Corbis


When a vechicle exploded outside Kuta's Sari Club in October 2002, it shattered more than the lives of the revelling holidaymakers and their families. The peaceful image of a tropical island paradise was also destroyed, taking with it the livelihood of many living in the chain of volcanic islands between Java and Flores. Slowly, the island's hospitality industry found its feet. Bali and Lombok made a gradual reappearance in holiday brochures – only to have all progress swept away by the Asian Tsunami. A short flight from Bali leads to Yogyakarta, the ancient princely Javan state, which acts as a gateway to the ancient temples of Borobodur and Prambanan and as a repository for Central Java's cultural traditions. The arts of Yogya, as locals affectionately know the city, have been honed and developed by royal patronage and have become integral to everyday life. They can however be a little intense and impenetrable to the uneducated eyes and ears of western visitors. The word Wayang, meaning ghost, is used to describe performances of traditional stories. A theatrical performance using actors is known as 'wayang orang'; three-dimensional string controlled puppets are called 'wayang golek'; but 'wayang kulit', flat shadow puppets, are one of Java's most famous cultural highlights. Performances depict epic tales, often from the Ramayana, which are familiar to the audience: they anticipate the action and respond appropriately as the action unfolds. Performances especially for tourists are edited to appeal to our short attention span, but fully to appreciate the art requires a stiff dose of caffeine: a performance starting at 8.30pm can often conclude at dawn. Fritz Wagner, in his 'Art of Indonesia', sums up the performance as 'A mystical event in which the invisible becomes visible, and something which cannot be adequately expressed … becomes comprehensible...' The puppet master known as 'Dalang' conducts the drama with his array of flat, leather puppets. The seated audience can see the orchestra, puppet master and performance, but the visitor quick-


02 Batik fabric.depicting traditional Javanese figures, Java ..

Neil McAllistair

It was with some trepidation that Diane Gaffney arrived for her annual visit to Indonesia just days after the Boxing Day tsunami. “Although I didn't venture near the areas directly affected, the disaster was in everybody's minds”, she says. Diane heard first hand of areas which had been devastated: “the island of Nias off the coast of Sumatra was very badly hit by the tsunami and again by another earthquake very recently. The people from this island are tribal and make their own highly individual art including textiles. It will have been a dreadful blow for the people and their culture.“ But she also saw the indirect impact of the earthquake. Tourists from around the world cancelled their trips for fear of spreading disease. They did not think to find out that place somewhere like Bali is around 1,000 miles from the worst affected area North of Sumatra. Indonesia has suffered from a whole succession of disasters; the overthrow of Suharto, forest fires, SARS, the Bali bomb, and this is one more reason for people to cross it off their list of holiday destinations. Yet many Indonesians rely on tourism, the affect has been devastating. Batik plays a huge role in Javanese life; it is worn daily, especially in rural areas. It plays an important part in ceremonies – births, deaths and especially weddings. A traditional Javanese wedding is a feast of textiles. The Government also does its best to encourage the traditional craft by insisting that public employees wear batik every Friday and that school uniform shirts are batik. Alongside the domestic market, the export trade is enormous; women from all over South East Asia wear sarongs made in Java. Through these means and the sheer beauty of handcrafted batik the craft will survive it's current difficulties and continue to exemplify the hard working, skilled and determined people of this region.••• Diane and Jim Gaffney are specialists in textiles from Indonesia and all over the world, they have lectured on ethnographic textiles for almost 20 years. They also source and sell a beautiful range of genuine Indonesian batiks. Selvedge readers will recieve a 10% discount when purchasing fabrics from Textile Techniques. T: 01588 638 712

duced cloth for everyday shirts, skirts and sarongs is made using the batik process. It is only recently that machine printed cloth has begun to make inroads into the market. The area is ideal for batik production. All the raw materials such as cotton and beeswax are readily available, as are the plants from which natural dyes are made. Traditional colours are naturally derived deep indigo blues and soga browns and these are still the characteristic colours for Solo Batik. The gradual introduction of chemical dyes from the late 1800s resulted in more brilliant and varied, but less refined, colours. In the west we consider batik an art process, but in Indonesia – for all its many languages – there is no word for artist. The craft processes that produce such beautiful results are part of the worker's labours. The fact that they achieve a high level of craftsmanship cuts little ice with the average worker; they have pride in their work but it is only a job. Unlike Yogya, Solo 02 boasts two royal Kratons, one of which is still occupied by the Royal Prince. Within the Kraton, the sound of Gamelan music drifts from hall to courtyard, while royal retainers go about their daily business in their traditional costume. This is a sarong, shirt and turban-like hat, all made from the finest handmade batik in traditional designs. Each Royal family has its own designs, as do most towns and districts, which allows traditionally dressed Javanese to be easily identified. Throughout Java the finest batik finds its way into the shops of Batik Keris, a Solo based manufacturer and retailer, whose workshop is based a few kilometres from the centre of 4


ly notices a break from western theatrical tradition. During the long performance the audience get up, walk about, get something to eat, go to the toilet, and disappear behind the stage to appreciate the performance from a different viewpoint. When puppets are moved a little away from the screen they are not sharply defined and have a kind of ghostly lack of substance. Only when the puppet is placed in firm contact with the screen is the full decorative effect of the puppet maker's workmanship really seen. The leather is pierced with a fine network of interlaced pattern with gilded and painted decoration. A 40 mile drive north leads to Surakarta, universally shortened to Solo, another city with royal origins. Ten tears older than Yogya, the city has mystical origins. Following the sacking of Kartasura's Royal Court, the ruler Pakubuwono II - known as the Susuhunan - sought a more auspicious location. Cosmic voices directed the king to decamp to Solo as 'it is the place decreed by Allah and will become a great and prosperous city.' The prophesy proved accurate: today Solo is a thriving city, home indeed to some of the world's finest Batik textiles. The art of batik has its roots deep in the history of the Far East. Ancient examples have been found from the Middle East, through India and Central Asia to the Far East. There is evidence that batik was practised in China as early as the Sui Dynasty (AD 581-618), but it is generally believed that the craft spread through the islands of the Malay Archipelago and west via caravan trade routes. The word 'batik' itself is Javanese, meaning 'marking with dots', and is an everyday textile art. In a country where labour is cheaper than machinery, mass-pro-


01 Palace Guard in a traditional batik headdress.


03 Local ruler in Yogyakarta wwith wife and child, 1927.

Throughout the process, work is rapid and precise. One part of the huge workshop is devoted to hand waxing cloth, where full lengths of cotton and silk are waxed in the traditional way, using hand, eye and the Tjanting. Sometimes called a Canting, this wax dispensing tool is basically a reservoir holding molten wax from which a thin pipe or pipes project, allowing wax to flow on to the cloth. The Tjanting can make a wide range of marks, from single or multiple lines to dots, which resemble the dots produced by cap printing. Workers first draw out their basic designs lightly with soft pencil – no mean feat on fabric that can be many metres long. Then, sitting in circles around a communal wax pot, they apply the wax to their cloth in a time consuming and precise process. Whilst Solo is the undoubted leader in industrial scale batik production, Yogya is the craft batik centre, a haven for craftspeople who use the medium expressively. Here batik is created 03 which varies from the stunning and imaginative work of genuine artists, to extremely ordinary pieces knocked out to meet the demand for Yogya batik paintings, from the home and tourist markets. Batiks do have a front and back; the front is crisper in appearance, but the finished result is suitable for viewing by transmitted light. The design goes right through the cloth and is not confined to the surface. Two different kinds of wax are generally used: paraffin wax and beeswax. Yogya's tiny shops are crammed to the roof with blocks of wax ready to supply the town's craftsmen. Beeswax is used for lines or flat areas that need to remain totally undyed. Paraffin wax can be used for areas where a Leo Haks photo collection, Amsterdam

town. On the outside it looks like a huge modern factory and the inside proves to be a hive of activity, with thousands of workers creating magnificent textiles. When westerners think of mass-production an image of whirring machinery churning out cheap goods often springs to mind: but in the Batik Keris workshop, massproduction means large-scale craft production, with a staggeringly high level of craftsmanship. Men and women work alongside each other, with the heavier task of printing more often done by the men, while women tend to specialise in the delicate work of hand applying dyes and hand waxing. Most of the batik produced here is cap printed, a process where hot wax is printed on to cloth, which is then dyed. Where the cloth is covered with wax the dye cannot penetrate and the original colour of the cloth remains. The printing blocks themselves are works of art in their own right. Hand-made from iron, copper and brass, they use wire and strips to form astoundingly complex patterns. The worker makes his way down a length of fabric, dipping his block into a heated wax pad and pressing it on to the fabric, each impression perfectly registered with the last. After dyeing with the palest colour, the fabric is waxed again with a new block which adds a new pattern, sealing in the first dyed colour and the original colour of the cloth. The process continues; sometimes dye is applied with a brush for even more complex results. By the time the process is over, the fabric contains so much wax it is almost stiff enough to stand up on its own and looks dull and brown. Boiling removes the wax – which is reclaimed and used again – revealing bright and colourful cloth.

cracked texture is needed; as it is placed in the dye bath it cracks gently and dye seeps through to the cloth. Alternatively, when a very crackly texture is needed, the waxed area can be gently crushed before dyeing. When all the cloth is to be coloured, dyeing can take place in a tub, large bucket or tin bath. If colour only needs to be applied to a small area it can be applied by brush, and this allows many techniques to be used. The strength of the dye can be varied rather like the strength of watercolour paint. Some of the best contemporary examples use combinations of techniques, applying different waxes with brush and Tjanting and then combining bath dyeing with selective applications of colour. The complexity of some of the traditional hand waxed batiks means that even when workers can earn only a few dollars a day, finished cloth can cost from tens to hundreds of pounds, depending on the design. Handmade lengths of cloth, known as Tulis, may take several months to produce with a consequentially high price. In the heat of the market, or in the air conditioned comfort of the Batik Keris shop, finished batik garments and lengths of cloth are sold to a voracious home market, keeping alive a craft tradition that for the forseeable future is showing every sign of fighting off mechanised competition. The delineation between 'craft' and 'art' batik is rarely clearly defined. Much 'industrial' work could be considered art using anybody's definition. It would be worthy of hanging on a gallery wall, if only a sufficiently large frame could be found. ••• Neil McAllister

Batik: Design, Style & History. Fiona Kerlogue, Thames & Hudson £18.95, ISBN 0500 284776. World and Beyond: Treasures from Insular Southeast Asia. The Textile Museum, Washington DC. For details of this and other batik exhibitions, listings, pg 58

The Textile Museum. Gift of Katharine Z. Creane


04 Surakarta, cotton, wax resist, 252 x 104 cm.

04 inform inspire insight


77 collect

Flight pattern BIRDS, BEES AND BEAUTIFUL FLORALS: GILLY NEWBERRY DOCUMENTS THE FINEST PRINTS behind the grand facades of the streets of Sloane Square lies a small square house. This simple structure is Gilly Newberry’s studio. The pale blue front door opens directly into a large airy room arranged to include a seating area, desk and a miniature library under stairs leading to a mezzanine gallery. A doorway leads off to the kitchen and bathroom and with that the tour is complete. In the past Gilly's beautiful Georgian rectory in Norfolk has been the subject of interior features, and her studio is a microcosm of her enviable style. Simple wooden furniture, large armchairs, a handful of ornaments and an atmosphere of comfort and ease: it’s the natural result of a room composed with skill. Gilly's particular skill, both personal and professional, is translating the 'English country house' to the modern interior. Launched in 1985, Bennison specialises in hand-printed fabrics. Directors Gilly and Geoffrey Newberry were drawn into the world of fabric design through legendary antiques dealer and interior decorator Geoffrey Bennison. Gilly’s collaboration with him began with the creation of fabrics for use in his interiors. These were based on Bennison's collection of document fabrics from the late 18th and 19th centuries, particularly hand-blocked textiles from France, England and India. Following Bennison's death in 1984, his business and his wonderful collection were left to Gillian and her husband (also called Geoffrey). Geoffrey Bennison’s presence remains strong. Gilly recalls his 'wonderful eye' and even now the question “would Geoffrey have liked it?” acts as guide in her decision making. During the past 20 years the Bennison

fabric collection has grown but nothing has been discarded during the expansion: no fabric is ever discontinued. Her passion for the collection is apparent in her handling of the pieces and in her difficulty in choosing anything close to a personal favourite. In practice the piece of cloth in her hands at any given moment becomes her favourite as she draws attention to details in the pattern, the print technique or an area that has been carefully patched or mended. For Gilly the document fabric represents the design in its 'perfect' state. When recreating them as Bennison fabrics, few alterations are made to the original; a slight adjustment of scale and the creation of new colourways maybe, but the skill of the draughtsman are always maintained. Occasionally elements of a design are omitted, usually as a concession to prevailing tastes. During the 1980s birds were very unpopular and a beautiful print was reproduced by Bennison without its peacock motif. When pressed Gilly acknowledges her current delight in bird motifs and pulls from her collection a range of printed fabrics featuring an array of them but she doesn’t regret the lost peacock. “Everything”, she says, “has its moment”: a time when after years, even decades, of looking ‘wrong’ a pattern or style will suddenly fit and appear fresh and beautiful. Birds had their biggest moment to date in the early 19th century when, as Patricia Smith notes in her book Calico and Chintz, they were a genre of chintz in their own right. Gilly has fine examples of many different birds including parrots, birds of paradise – recognisable due to its long graceful tail feathers – peacock and also an ostrich toile in both purple and red colourways.4

01 02

Richard Nicholson

Tucked away along a narrow passageway

78 collect

03 04 05 06

They became feasible with the invention of copperplate printing, discovered by Frances Nixon in 1752. A large intaglio engraved copper plate was filled with dye and pressed down hard on to the fabric. Very fine lined and detailed motifs could be printed, which had been possible with wood block printing. Thomas Bell, from Scotland, patented the roller printer in 1783. The method took a while to catch on, but from 1810 was the preferred method of printing. Another of Gilly’s document fabrics features an eagle. The eagle is one of the oldest symbols representing strength, faith, pride, lofty thought and keen eyesight: and nowadays, the United States of America. Of course true meaning is in the eye of the beholder. Gilly's eye is one of the sharpest in her field and her appreciation of these beautiful fabrics is heartfelt yet unsentimental. Her awareness of her role as custodian rather than proprietor is clear and she sidesteps questions which veer towards romanticism – when asked if she had any knowledge of the symbolism of the birds or the 'language of flowers' she delivers a rather stern glance and enquires in turn if she is being asked about “that Victorian nonsense?” Clearly her enjoyment of the collection coexists with a no nonsense practicality. Unlike some collectors Gilly does not appear to need elaborate explanations. Her textiles are happily unburdened by long pontifications on their origin or social importance. The visual is placed over the verbal and above all beauty takes precedence. Gilly holds them in trust; aware that they are here today and gone tomorrow she simply enjoys the visit. ••• Beth Smith 01 English, late 18th Century polychrome. 02 English, early 19th Century, recreated by

Bennison as “Chinese Pheasant” 03 English, late 18th Century copperplate toile

recreated by Bennison as “English Toile”

04 French, late 18th Century Oberkampf Toile de

Jouy recreated by Bennison as “Chinese Toile” 05 English, mid-19th Century document recreated

by Bennison as Bennison’s “Bird and Basket” 06 French, Late 18th Century Indienne blockprint



A custom weaving house specialising in hand woven carpets

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Rebecca Duke

Ferns, flowers and all things botanical inspire Clarissa’s eponymous line of sumptuous screen printed silk cushions, throws, bed linen and lampshades. The flowers and leaves she uses in her designs are handpicked but not always by Clarissa. Friends send suitable samples from as far away as Canada but from that point on the work is in Clarissa’s hands. Although she juggles a hectic schedule her joy in the creative process is undiminished after 10 years in the business.


Floral tribute

82 read

The World of Coco Chanel: Friends, Fashion, Fame

Xtreme Fashion

Edmonde Charles-Roux, Thames & Hudson, ISBN

3791331752, £25.00

Courtenay Smith and Sean Topham, Prestel, ISBN

0500512167, £29.95.

We owe a great deal to Coco Chanel, an icon

The cover grabs the attention imme-

of the 20th century. Her legacy is the looks

diately. In making reference to

we take for granted: suntans, easy hair,

extreme activities, the title suggests

striped t-shirts and sailor pants, cardigan

danger and ultimate challenges. This

jackets and a scent known by its number 5 -

book offers thought-provoking insight

her lucky number and the source of her for-

into expressive fashion.

tune and her freedom.

The four chapters debate the

On the surface Chanel was the woman

importance of urban street style, the

who had it all – christened Gabrielle, Coco

nature of multifunctional garments that protect and perform and the per-

to her intimates, Mademoiselle to her staff

sonal, social and even political messages given by our clothing. The text is

and the world – but this was a poor girl who left her convent with a sense

easy to access with an in-depth yet succinct introduction that sets the scene

of style so strong it broke the mould. In her twenties, Chanel threw out the

and covers many angles from music to sport, while discussing the increas-

corsets, skirts and hats that hampered women and strode onto the social

ingly democratic nature of fashion.

scene at Deauville tanned and fit in loose jackets and skirts, the epitome

Clothes are a signifier of our times and demonstrate the ways in which

of the liberated woman. By 1918 she had opened her first boutique, and

we live or aspire, how we perceive ourselves and relate to others. Such codes

was photographed, smiling and stretching like a cat in the sun, jersey out-

are often subliminal and the mystery and potency of the wide world of fash-

fit showing off her supple body.

ion is laid out here in an honest and frank manner. Technology plays a huge

By her thirties she had an eponymous business plus a string of lovers.

role and has greatly affected our society: how we work and how we play. The

She designed costumes for Diaghilev, Cocteau and Picasso.To be invited to

incorporation of electronics and sensors for communication, entertainment,

loll on Chanel's velvet sofas was an accolade – and a photo opportunity.

protection and safety and the employment of super-advanced flexible mate-

Chanel's ability to reinvent herself was her greatest asset, and in the

rials with high-performance capabilities is explored. The work of internation-

Fifties her fame spread worldwide. Film stars wore Chanel with pride - as did

al designers is illustrated with well-chosen images and concise text. There

Jackie Kennedy as First Lady. The Chanel suit was the working girl's uniform

are many Japanese practitioners featured due to the significant role tech-

and its begetter remained the indefatigable worker, then in her eighties,

nology plays in this country of tradition and innovation, while those from Italy

scissors at the ready, as she cut and reworked her jackets. In the Sixties, at

demonstrate a material-centred attitude to design. From the USA, a positive,

the first show I covered, I remember seeing her sitting on the stairs, look-

anything-goes approach is clearly to the fore.

ing down on the audience, attentive and true to one of her famous remarks:

Also shown are inspirations from various disciplines and backgrounds.

“Chanel, above all else, is a style. Fashion goes out of fashion, style never.”

Art and performance; fashion and architecture; textiles and science; tailor-

This book by Edmonde Charles-Roux, former editor in chief of French

ing and engineering – all can mutually interact, the result being homogenous

Vogue, and friend, offers a frank portrait of her long, mesmerising life. First

creativity. Included are the established and the next big names of fashion.

published in l979, this reprint has over 400 illustrations and photographs

Like the fashion it documents, Xtreme Fashion is a provocative and chal-

that chronicle the cat-like Chanel's many lives.

••• Deirdre McSharry

lenging study.

••• Sarah E. Braddock Clarke


In brief Quilt Collection at York Castle Museum. Josie Sheppard, York Museums Trust, ISBN 0 905807 19 7, £20 T: 01904 687687 More than 80 items of the York Castle Museum patchwork and quilt collection are illustrated in this glossy publication. Many of them have never been on public display. The

Alice Mackrell, Art and Fashion: The Impact of Art on Fashion and Fashion on Art Batsford, 2005, ISBN 0 7134 8873 5, £17.99

accompanying text provides descriptive details about the techniques and fascinating snippets of personal information about the makers, bringing the artefacts to life. This is not an historical account of the crafts for, as Josie Sheppard writes, this has been done ably elsewhere. Rather, it will serve as a lasting record of a remarkable collection that ranges from well-used, functional quilts to decorative fancy

Art and Fashion offers a panoramic overview of the way art has impacted on fashion, and vice versa, over 500 years. Despite the Yves Saint Laurent dress on the cover, it focuses in most depth on the period from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. There is plenty of detail on the stylistic similarities and crossovers between art and fashion but, although there are references to 'the interrelation of art and fashion', she does not define either term. It seems, however, that by 'art' she includes 'decorative arts' alongside fine art. Rather than discussing the social and economic context of art and fashion, she presents the relationship between the two as stylistic. Yet so long as the links claimed between art and fashion are based on visual similarity alone, we cannot get to the bottom of the relationship. Both may mimic each other convincingly at particular moments in history, but this mimickry can disguise underlying structural differences, in terms of both production and markets. The author does suggest this approach where she asserts that 'art and fashion were inextricably linked as cultures of consumption during the July monarchy' in 19th century France, but the point is not developed. Instead, the comparisons with art are sometimes stretched, as where a photograph of a Doucet gown in 1903 is likened to Watteau's treatment of dress, and the play of light on it to an Impressionist painting. That the couturier Charles Frederick Worth dressed like Rembrandt in old age, and declared his gowns to be works of art, is better evidence of his considerable marketing skills than of any link between haute couture and art. There has been a recent tendency, in both books and international exhibitions, to blur rather than distinguish the boundaries, and to assert that art and fashion are more proximate than they may actually be. In fact it is often the differences between them - particularly when they are flirting with each other, art seduced by fashion's glamour, fashion by art's clout – that are interesting and illuminating to explore.

••• Caroline Evans

work. The selection, shown in chronological order, clearly demonstrates the astonishing diversity and sophistication of British patchwork and quilting over the last 300 years. Dispelling once and for all the idea that British patchwork was limited to hexagons.

••• SM

Textiles For this World and Beyond: Treasures from Insular Southeast Asia Mattiebelle Gittinger, Scala Publishers ISBN 1 85759 376 6 $29.95 Although




intrinsically linked to the exhibitions they cover, it is a great pity when they fail to be viewed as beautiful books in their own right. The treasures captured in this catalogue means it stands alone as an impressive record of the role of textiles in the culture and history of Austronesians. It would be a more lasting record if the book were enclosed in a stronger cover but the design is simple and the textiles are given the space they require to allow readers to truely appreciate the maker’s workmanship and skill. Even if a trip to Washington DC is impossible this publication with it’s wonderfully detailed illustrations – that helpfully show both a detail and each textile in it’s entirity – and fascinating analysis of pattern design is an essential addition to any library.

••• PL


Through the Needle's Eye: The Patchwork and



Private collection

The State Hermitage Museum

Private collection: John Hammond




Matisse, His Art and His Textiles: The Fabric of Dreams.

well demonstrated by swatches of brilliantly coloured

at the art of other countries, while popular exhibitions,

silks in The Fabric of Dreams – were aimed at the fash-

such as that on Islamic art at Union Centrale des Arts

Sackler Wing, Royal Academy, London. T: 020 7300

ion trade. As a young man he started his own collection,

Décoratifs in Paris in 1903, which included a special

8000 5 March - 30 May

over his lifetime amassing a vast amount of stuff, includ-

group of Safavid carpets, drew attention to the visual rich-


ing traditional French woven fabrics, delicate Arab

ness of other cultures. The carpets in the exhibition

embroideries, richly hued African wall hangings, intricate

prompted curator Gaston Migeon to observe: 'No painted

It is no exaggeration to say that Matisse was obsessed

Persian carpets and haute couture fashion – his ‘working

work could ever achieve such accords of superlative har-

by textiles, as both objects in their own right and the

library’ – used to inspire, furnish and compose his art.

mony and subtlety as the great weavers of Isfahan.'

starting point for his work as an artist. This is well

The carefully selected paintings throw fresh light on

Although Matisse's interest in, and involvement with

brought out in Matisse, His Art and His Textiles: The

the artist's work and its intimate connection with the dif-

textiles is evident from his painting, it is only through

Fabric of Dreams, which includes paintings depicting

ferent textiles portrayed, revealing the way these were

painstaking research undertaken as part of Hilary

materials, costumes and embroideries from his collec-

manipulated and juxtaposed, the colourful patterned sur-

Spurling's majestic biography that the range and depth of

tion alongside the textiles themselves. It is rare to see

faces part of the psychological story of the sitter or the

his own acquisition of textiles has become apparent.

an exhibition of objects and the paintings they inspired

mood. In his magnificent Harmony in Red 1908, a riot of

Packed away unseen for half a century, his collection of

in which both are equally absorbing.

scarlet cloth, changed initially from blue, with a repeat-

historical and modern fabrics and costumes is a revela-

Unlike many major artists, Henri Matisse had lit-

ing pattern of foliage, absorbs the figure. By contrast, the

tion, not only in the quality of the stuff itself but also in

tle concern for the perceived distinctions between

sensuality of the women gazing directly out of the canvas

its rich cultural references, which can moreover be seen

design, the applied and fine arts that even today con-

in his luscious odalisques is subtly reinforced by the

as a history of colonialism.

tinue to bedevil discussion of the qualities of work, its

extravagant decorative, often floral, patterns and motifs.

In many ways, Matisse poured his life into these

ambition and success. Whether as academic divisions

In Seated Odalesque, 1926, the model, curled up in a

vibrant images, whether in acknowledging his own inher-

or in his practice as an artist – producing not only

chair, is wearing harem pants and a transparent blouse

itance, the seductive charms of the women who served as

paintings but also cut-outs or 'drawing with scissors',

revealing her rouged nipples, the image a celebration of

his models, or in his fascination with the textiles that they

costume designs for the ballet, magnificent chasubles

both opulence and eroticism in which the woman appears

wore or with which he surrounded them. Just as the finest

and stained glass for the chapel in Venice – such issues

confident and assured.

tapestries are made up of many threads to form a coher-

did not trouble Matisse. 'It is' he said, 'a bad mistake

Textiles inspired many of Matisse's radical, pioneer-

ent and stimulating whole, The Fabric of Dreams embod-

to give a pejorative sense to the word “decorative”,

ing departures in art. A length of material was often the

ies not only the story of Matisse's development as an

adding 'a work of art should be decorative above all'. It

starting point for early still lifes – an exploration of sur-

artist but explores for the first time one of his primary

is a rallying cry for artists, regardless of where they see

face, space and form – in which the fabric appears like a

sources, bringing them together in an absorbing combi-

themselves within the art spectrum, and an important

visual second skin. The magnificent paper cut-outs,

nation. How fascinating it would have been if Matisse

statement about a vital quality of art.

made at the end of his life when he was no longer able to

had been commissioned to design for one of the leading

Textiles were in his blood. He was brought up in the

paint, were initially inspired by Kuba cloths from the

textile houses. •••

textile-producing town of Bohain in northern France,

Congo, the geometrical patterned fabric in soft creams

01 French printed fabric, 19th century

which, with a history of weaving dating back several hun-

and browns a constant source of ideas.

02 Still life with blue tablecloth, 1909

dred years, was then producing fabrics with bright, rich

Like his contemporaries William Morris and Roger

colours and forward-looking bold patterns. The finest -

Fry at the Omega Workshop, Matisse looked intelligently

Emmanuel Cooper

03 Pieced and appliqued hanging, North African, early 20th century

85 view




Spectres: When Fashion Turns Back

another gesture that breaks with curatorial conventions.

jump through decades as well as centuries. Inspired by

Victoria and Albert Museum, London. T: 020 7942

Instead of ubiquitous labels of dates, names and acces-

Anna Piaggi's monthly trend-spotting page in Italian

2000 24 Feb - 8 May 2005

sion numbers the exhibit is punctuated with quotes from

Vogue, the cogs reveal a sense of haunting that hails from

Caroline Evans’ excellent text Fashion at the Edge:

the future as well as the past. Strangely, the pace of the

Fashion exhibitions are plagued with the challenge of dis-

Spectacle, Modernity and Deathliness, giant sketches by

cogs is not set to the speed we are repeatedly led to

playing garments in a manner that does not deny the

fashion illustrator Ruben Toledo and mannequin pros-

believe is fashion's relentless pace. Instead these cogs

presence of the wearer, but avoids the disquiet that man-

thetics by jeweller Naomi Filmer. The latter do much to

churn slowly, even methodically, suggesting that the pace

nequins evoke. In Adorned in Dreams: Fashion and

diffuse the dejected surface of the mannequin, although

of fashion may in fact be far from fleeting. Evans writes:

Modernity fashion historian Elizabeth Wilson notes the

their beauty continues to unsettle. Echoing Borges,

“And in the same way that musical history lost its linear-

unsettling feeling aroused by the sight of the empty gar-

Evans writes, “It was not that the past simply illuminat-

ity when mixed by the too did fashion and cultur-

ment: “What is the source of this uneasiness and ambi-

ed the present, or that the present illuminated the past;

al history lose its linearity when 'remixed' by late twenti-

guity, this sense that clothes have a life of their own?

rather the two images came together in a ‘critical con-

eth century designers folding one historical reference

Clothes without a wearer, whether on a secondhand stall,

stellation’ tracing a previously concealed connection.”

back on another. Rather than recreating one period, [the]

Here the absent physical body is evoked through a

historical borrowings were multilayered...rummaging

floor, can affect us unpleasantly, as if a snake had shed

series of fairground attractions that can and do move to

through the historical wardrobe to produce clothes with a

its skin. Similarly, a pregnant woman described how the

create optical illusions and multiple perspectives. The

strictly modern resonance.” Nearby a giant puzzle whose

little frock hanging up in readiness for her unborn child

exhibition opens with a mirror image of a cotton Baptism

pieces include painted sections by Ruben Toledo and seg-

seemed like “a ghost in reverse.”

robe and, leaping fifty years, a cotton dress and blouse by

ments of garments from the treasure trove of Portobello

Curator Judith Clark confronts countless ghosts in

Veronique Branquinho. These garments are revealed,

Road leave the viewer with a set of “modern” solutions

reverse in “Spectres”. Turning away from conventional

both literally and materially, to be reflections of them-

whose possibilities are countless.

curatorial practice and the importance placed on context,

selves. But it takes time to realise that one is looking at

Clark describes her notion of a gallery “as something

Clark proclaims, for the space of this exhibition, that

a reflection rather than material and this disconcerting

akin to the sketch book.” I believe she means a work in

“context is discarded.” Instead, early magical realist

visual pun sets the tone for much of the exhibition. A

progress, the germ of an idea rather than the conclusion.

author Jorge Louis Borges' short story “The Garden of

series of optical devices focus, magnify and distort ele-

Sketchbooks can, from personal experience, be excruciat-

Forking Paths” – whose narrator laments the “abysmal

ments such as a ruffled collar, magnified and paired with

ing to share with the public. Between the protection

problem of time” – is cited as inspiration. Like Borges

its contemporary doppelganger or the kaleidoscope,

afforded by those closed pages tentative gestures are

who “thought of a labyrinth of labyrinths, of one sinuous

which makes clear its uncanny ability to assemble beau-

begun without idea of conclusion or ramification. Clark's

spreading labyrinth that would encompass the past and

ty from fragmentation. The final illusion distances our

curation is far from tentative or unpolished, but the notion

the future and in some way involve the stars”, Clark sug-

vantage point to the present rather than the past, dis-

of opening one's sketchbook to public scrutiny is both

gests a more enfolded manner in which material, shape

rupting any sense of security and stability from which a

generous and inspired. The results are groundbreaking.

and colour find themselves in and out of fashion's favour.

sense of linearity could be recovered.

This exhibition sets a new standard of curation which, one

The exhibition draws on the collection of the V&A

Perhaps the most effective, and simple, display of

and the ModeMuseum in Antwerp where an expanded

the fairground attractions is “Locking In and Out” a stage

maintain. •••

version of the exhibition was first displayed. A printed

of three cogs whose teeth slowly move together and then

01 & 02 Installation shots

exhibition guide is available, but entirely optional –

turn apart, mapping references between garments that

03 Fashion Machine: illustration Ruben Toledo

can only hope, future fashion exhibitions will endeavour to

Jessica Hemmings

in a glass case, or merely a lover's garments strewn on the

86 view




Knit 2 Together

'finish'. Here we see incompleteness, and – horror –

A Lifelong Love Affair with Textiles

Crafts Council Gallery, London

the revelation of exhaustion, of indecisiveness, of not

Fashion and Textile Museum, Bermondsey Street,

T: 020 7278 7700

being able to complete… in relation to Robins' more

London. T: 020 7407 8664.

24 February - 8 May 2005, touring

wholly finished works, I loved it. Jemima Sykes' Blackened Teeth (2003) tantalised

When designer Zandra Rhodes graduated from the Royal

It was Susie MacMurray's discreet Maidenhair (2001), a

with both its title and its mixture of metal zips and hand-

College of Art in 1964, fashion manufacturers deemed

fine ceiling to plinth cord of French knitted human hair,

knitted mohair. Her work seemed to be absolutely related

her too radical to employ. The first British retrospective of

placed almost so that it could be overlooked, that had the

to the body, suggesting a new kind of knitted jewellery,

her work shows why: no colour is too bright, no pattern

'x' factor I was looking for – it made my spine tingle and

and is the only work in the exhibition that activated knit-

too audacious or statement too daring. Nevertheless, her

my shoulders shiver – as much work involving hair tends

ting's contemporary relationship with fashion.

designs manage to be dramatic but graceful, bold but

to. This extruded line had an odd sexuality: its method of

It's difficult to transcend the associations with lump-

making – a kind of knotting around a hole through which

ishness and woolly wool, and one of the problems for me

Over 3,000 original drawings and garments trace

the resultant product grows – has an oddly vaginal gener-

with the exhibition is its insistence on reactivating them.

Rhodes' design process. Silk fabric hangs from the ceil-

ative sensibility, and the titling, with its virginal associa-

Janet Morton's Domestic Interior (2000) gives us a

ing, draping the walls of the corridor entrance. Green

tions, is unsettling. What delicate membrane was I being

creamy woolly representation of a home space, complete

material shifts to blues, then pinks and reds, altering the

presented with? How might it be unravelled? There was a

with knitted vacuum cleaner, telephone, standard lamp,

colour of the light. Small manikins, rulers, sketches and

flavour here of Kathy Prendergast's tiny knitted sweater

but their design is retrogressive, and the forefronting of

remnants are arranged haphazardly in a glass cabinet.

with a small fluttering beating heart which I saw many

the technique and process of knitting locates this work

Inspiration can spring from anything: from high-rise

years ago and which made me cry, or indeed of Annette

with a much older genre of laudable – worthy – feminist

buildings catching the sun to banana leaves.

Messager's achingly tender and insanely useless knitted

practice in the 1970s where crafting signified women's

jackets for dozens of tiny dead songbirds.

labour in the suffocating domestic environment.

feminine, vibrant and enthralling.

The exhibition is divided into six sections: Shape, Colour, Technique, The Dress, One World and The

Where Maidenhair was deliciously sexual, Kelly

Andy Diaz Hope's Personal Transformation (2003)

Woman. Heavily made-up manikins with outrageous

Jenkins' digitally knitted Knit Chatlines didn't quite make

played with my associations of balaclavas as 'knitted ter-

hairstyles and distinctive accessories flaunt Rhodes'

it. The materiality of the pieces over-rode the playful con-

ror masks'. His camp creations were very cleverly done,

garments in the warehouse-style space. There is no

ceptual basis for them in a confusing mix of sharp textu-

and reminded me of Gavin Weston's Aran balaclavas for

gentle easing in here. The first manikin wears a jacket

al word-play and 'Nora Batty sag'. Since that 'sag' is a

Irish terrorists made in 1980s Belfast. I wondered, how-

and skirt in shocking pink chiffon, pink feathers deco-

fetish in itself, maybe I missed the erotic point here?

ever, if we needed to see the artefacts, and whether the

rating her wild afro hair. Set against a bright orange

Freddie Robins' contribution to the exhibition

photographs of these knitted skins in action would suf-

background, her dancing pose gives a light, breezy feel

was anything but saggy. How to Make a Piece of Work

fice. Removal of the knitting, leaving its photographic

to the outfit. When Rhodes launched her initial collec-

When You're Too Tired to Make Decisions (2004) saw

representation only, would have been a means of sepa-

tion in 1969, she set loose her ideas.

a series of ambiguous knitted sections and pieces

rating out concept and material, and the exhibition would

stretched and pinned like skin sections or anatomical

have been richer for that . ••• Dr.

Catherine Harper

specimens on a large white surface. This formed on

Cuts and shapes of ethnic clothing inspired Rhodes' first collection and she developed garments that followed the shape of the textile print itself. Lines and circles

one level a random, rather pacy, pattern, but on the

01 Drop Stitches Not Bombs, Rachel Matthews

became necklines; repeats and edges were cut around to

other hand sliced across the craft tendency to value

02 French knitting, Francoise Dup´re

become shaped edges of jackets and dresses.



The October Gallery

The October Gallery




El Anatsui, Gawu

wall of the first gallery of the Hayward and won much the

into and through the cloth. Manikins recalling the punk

October Gallery, London T: 020 7242 7367

best reviews. Widely regarded as the elder statesman of

era show how Rhodes played with the idea of featuring 10 Feb-19 March

African art, the Ghanaian-born Anatsui still lives in

From the early 70s, she moved beyond the surface

external seams, later slashing garments and making a

Nigeria where he has taught sculpture since 1975. But

design feature of safety pins as she experimented with

Walk into the October Gallery and you will be blown away

he is also part of the contemporary gallery world. He rep-

“the beautiful qualities of a tear”. Still alluring but more

by the de luxe materials on display: gold, silver, ruby and

resented Africa at the 1990 Venice Biennale, was recent-

delicate, another display shows several versions of her

mother of pearl. Monumental tapestries hang from the

ly commissioned by the Eden Project to create a major

best-selling garment, The Dress. Created in 1973, it is re-

ceiling so that the massive folds fall slowly down on to the

sculptural installation, and his work is in the collection of

introduced and evaluated each season; its sheer and sexy

gallery floor, juxtaposing different shapes, iridescent

the British Museum.

use of chiffon illustrating her continuing belief in the

colours and patterns. In fact these 'cloth' hangings are

In many ways Anatsui occupies two camps. His

power of feminine beauty.

fashioned from the most lowly, discarded materials –

work, made up of found object installations and assem-

Costumes drawn from Rhodes' interest in world cul-

liquor bottle tops and metal wrappers, condensed-milk tin

blages, draws on traditional African idioms about trans-

tures demonstrate her vivid imagination. In 1987, she

lids, scraps of fabric. The lids are crushed and flattened,

formation and renewal. There is a strong anthropological

was the first western designer to produce designer cloth-

then sewn together with copper wire to form extensive

pull – several pieces could fit seamlessly into museum

ing in the Indian style. Amongst the exhibited manikins,

pieces of cloth-like material.

ethnographic collections – but they draw just as easily on

an Australian wears a striking red one-shoulder silk chif-

The West African sculptor El Anatsui literally weaves

Western art practice. His work is full of spirit: quite liter-

fon dress, a Turk cowboy turquoise suede and an Egyptian

the detritus of consumer society into walls of glittering

ally, considering it is made from liquor bottles. Although

a black silk evening dress, its elaborate beading sugges-

textiles. These magnificent crumpled forms, built up

the construction itself is gruelling – it takes several days

tive of mummy wrapping. As the centrepiece, an

Pointilliste-style from small metal elements and showing

to build the frames and install the hangings – Anatsui can

Englishwoman stands firm in gold pleated lamé, complete

a pattern only from afar, play games with geometry and

be playful. Peak Project, a field of sculptural, teepee-like

with a silver crown, recalling the glories of Elizabeth I.

transparency. From certain angles, they look as if they

objects fashioned from the collected tops of milk tins, is

Rhodes has always thrown herself into her work.

have frozen into shape when the wind suddenly dropped.

a pun on the Nigerian milk brand, Peak.

“Experimenting on yourself is the best way to see if a

They are so tactile, you long to handle them. Anatsui's

He claims he works 'with whatever the environment

design will work,” she says. She has outlined her eyes

metallic hangings are, in fact, inspired by the Kente tra-

throws up'. So is the breathtaking beauty of Anatsui's

with lipstick, shaved her head and always wears flamboy-

dition of ceremonial robes, constructed from narrow strips

work free from political or social commentary? In fact,

ant colours. A pop art poster by Piers Atkinson and bust

of silk cloth, hand-woven on a horizontal treadle loom.

fashioned from recycled materials using craft techniques,

by Andrew Logan with her trademark pink hair shows

Worn on important social and religious occasions, they

it has a subtext of poverty and wealth, power and power-

Rhodes' influence in society and the fashion industry. The

have come to be regarded as the symbol of the peoples of

lessness. Constructed from discarded obituary printing

sample of the 2005 collection towards the end of the

the West African diaspora around the world.

plates, the 10-foot tall Wastepaper Bag, which dominates

Gawu – Ga approximates as metal, Wu means a fash-

the first room, stands as a reminder of temporality and

work but maybe this is because she has already re-

ioned cloak – is part of Africa 05, the nine-month festival

decay. How many African lives are crumpled and discard-

stitched the style boundaries. The garments are still char-

of African culture taking place across London, and runs

ed – when they are just as valuable and multi-layered as

acteristically hers and it would take some of the design-

in conjunction with Africa Remix at the Hayward Gallery.

a Western life? ••• Liz

er's panache to carry them off. ••• Laura

In fact Anatsui's 30ft-high sculpture Sasa, a patchwork

01 Earth Cloth, 2003

curtain of flattened aluminium bottle tops, fills a whole

02 Detail of Sasa, 2004

01 Archive fashion shoot



exhibition seems subdued compared to Rhodes' earlier

divulge / declare / disclose



Fibre X Four. Contemporary Scottish Textiles Old Gala Until 25 June, Tues-Sat

House, Galashils, Scottish Borders. T: 01896 752611

11-5.30. • Frida Kahlo. National Portrait Gallery, St 9 July-7 August, Mon-Sat 10-4,

Martin's Africa - from dyed, wrapped to printed garments


Sun 1-4. • Quilt Art 20. The Collins Gallery, 22 Richmond






2558 3 July-21 August, Mon-Fri 10-5, Sat 2-4. • Waking and Watching. Culross Palace, Culross, Fife. T: 01383 880359 Until 30 September, MonSun 2-5.

NORTH WEST & IRELAND: Time Lines.7 Textile Artists. Cajobah Gallery, Birkenhead,

Sophie Roet

Wirral. T: 0151 647 9577 9


Reece T:


Gallery, 020








0055 Until 26 June, Mon-Sun 10-6 except Thurs/Fri 10-9. • The Case of the Fan: 100 fans with their boxes or cases. The Fan Museum, 12 Crooms Hill, Greenwich, London. T: 020 8305 1441 Until 26 June, Tues-Sat 11-5, Sun 12-5. • Time Lines. 7 Textile Artists. Art Van Go, 1 Stevenage Rd, Knebworth. T: 01438 814946 Until 2 July, Tues-Fri 9.30-5, Sat 9.30-2.30. • Crosscurrent: Textiles at Orleans. Orleans House Gallery, Riverside,

August-8 September, Tues-Sat 10-4. • After a Fashion.

01743 361120 Until 23

Twickenham, London. T: 020 8831 6000

20th century fashion plates. Harris Museum and Art

September, Mon-Fri 9-4.30, Sat 10-12.30. • Future Until 3 July, Tues-Sat 1-5.30.

Gallery, Market Sq., Preston. T: 01772 258248

Textiles: Fast Wear for Sport and Fashion. The Hub

Biennial exhibition of the London Guild of Weavers, 13 August-16 October,



Spinners and Dyers. • What's your Clerkenwell?

Mon-Sat 10-5, Sun 11-4.

Lincolnshire. T: 01529 308710 13

Clerkenwell Green Association, Cornwell House, 21


August-23 October, Mon-Sun 9-5.

Clerkenwell Green, London. T: 020 7251 0276

Conceptual Craft: New Art from Norway. Usher

SOUTH WEST & WALES Until 3 July, 12-6. • Alice Kettle:

Gallery, Lindum Road, Lincoln. T: 01522 527

Kimono - The Red Thread. Walford Mill Crafts Centre,

Mythscapes. The Grace Barrand Design Centre, 19 High

980 Until 3 July,

Stone La., Wimborne, Dorset. T: 01202 841 400

St, Nutfield, Surrey. T: 01737 822 865

Mon-Sat 10-5, Sun 1-5. • A Field of Centres. Until 10 July, Mon-Sat 10-5,

Until 23 July, Tues-Sat 10-5. • Abstracted Garments.

Michael Brennard Wood. The City Gallery, 90

Sun 12-5. • Quilters Part I. City & Guilds patchwork and

Contemporary Applied Arts, 2 Percy St, London. T: 020

Granby St, Leicester. T: 0116 223 2067

quilting group. Walford Mill Crafts Centre, Stone Lane,

7436 2344 Until 23 July, Mon-Sat Until 9 July,

Wimborne, Dorset. T: 01202 841 400 www.walfordmill-

10.30-5.30. An exhibition of 6 artists with varied

Tues-Fri 11-6, Sat 10-5. • Not What It Until 10 July, Mon-Sat 10-5, Sun 12-5. •

approaches to the interpretation of garment forms and


Return to Eden. South West Textile Group, Bridgewater

images of the body. Artists include Tiziana Bendall


Arts Centre, Bridgewater, Somerset. T: 01278 422 700

Brunello, Lucy Brown, Julia Griffiths-Jones, Lorna Miller,

Boothtown Rd, Halifax. T: 01422 354823 5-30 July, Tues-Fri

Johanne Mills and Freddie Robins. • International Arts Until 14 July,

10.30-5, Sat 10-1. • Lace in a Barn: Westhope Lace

and Crafts. The Victoria and Albert Museum, South

Tues-Sat 10-5, Sun 1-4. • Lindum Textile

group. Somerset Rural Life Museum, Abbey Farm,

Kensington, London. T: 020 7942 2000

Artists. The Beetroot Tree, South St,

Chikwell St., Glastonbury, Somerset. T: 01458 831197

Until 24 July, daily 10-5.45, except Wed 10-10. • Folk

Draycott, Derbyshire. T: 01673 862699 25 June-31 July, Tues-Fri

Archive: Contemporary Popular Art from the UK. The 5 July-17 July,

10-5, Sat 12-4. • Nancy Tingey. Black Swan Arts, 2

Curve, Barbican Art Gallery, Barbican Centre, Silk St,

Tues-Sun 10-5. • When Philip met

Bridge St, Frome, Somerset. T: 01373 473980

London. T: 0845 121 6828 Until 24

Isabella. Philip Treacy’s hats for 27 August-24 September, Mon-

July, Mon-Sun 11-8, Tues/Thurs 11-6. An exhibitioin

Isabella Blow. The Design Centre, 11

Sat 10-5. • Jane Austen: Film and Fashion.The Museum of

which considers how folk art, a form of creativity that is


Costume, Assembly Rooms, Bennett St, Bath. T: 0122

often overlooked and undervalued, has adapted in light of


social, cultural and technological developments. • Karina




Thoughts. Gallery,










Gordon London.








December 2005, Mon-Sun 11-5.

Thompson. Lesley Craze Gallery, 33-35A Clerkenwell

May-29 August, Mon-Fri 10-5, Sat


Green, London. T: 020 7251 9200 www.lesleycraze-

10-3. • Footsteps to Learning.

Zandra Rhodes: A Lifelong Love Affair with Textiles. 4-30 July, Tues-Sat 10-5.30.• The Queen's



Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey St, London.

Working Wardrobe: Memories of Royal Occasions 1945-

Education and Arts Centre,

T: 020 74078664 Until 25 June,

1972. Kensington Palace, Palace Green, London.

Chester Street, Shrewsbury. T:

Tues-Sun 10-4.45.• Tulu. Vibrant graphic weavings from

T: 0870 751 5170 Until July, daily 10-5.


All information was correct at the time of going to press. Please call to confirm before setting out on your journey. To be included in the listings please send details to are made based on geographical spread, dates and diversity of theme


Exhibition listings

Sun 10-12, 2-6. This exhibition made up of two sections. The first

Council, 44A Pentonville Road,

portrays an image of Africa



through the fabrics printed in the Until 21

XVIII and XXth centuries, the sec-

August, Tues-Sat 11-6, Sun 2-6. •

ond takes us from the Alsatian

Sophie Roet. The Crafts Study

industrial venture in Western

Centre, The Surrey Instituteof Art

Africa to the real history of Africa

and Design, University College,

during the XXth century through

Falkner Rd, Farnham, Surrey. T:

printed wrappers. • Costumes.

01252 722 441

Museo di Palazzo Mocenigo,





After a Fashion.


Until 2 September, Mon-Fri 10-5, Sat 10-4. • Frida Kahlo. Tate Modern, Bankside, London. T: 020 7887 8000 Until 2 October, Sun-Thurs

Centro Studi di Storia del Tessuto e del Costume, S.Stae 1992, Venezia, Italy. T: +39 (0)41

721798 Until 30

10-6, Fri-Sat 10-10. • West African Textile and Costumes.

September, Mon-Sat 8.30-1.30. • Japanese Indigo:

The Horniman Museum, 100 London Rd, Forest Hill,

Kimonos and Textile Art 1825-2004. Wereld Museum

London. T: 020 8699 1872 Until 1

Rotterdam, Willemskade 25, Rotterdam, Netherlands.

January, Mon-Sun 10.30-5.30. • Style and Splendour:

T: +31 (0)10 270 71 72 www.wereldmuseum.rotter-

Queen Maud of Norway's wardrobe 1896-1938. The Until 2 October, Tues-Sun 10-5. • Drink Water.

Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington, London.

Lucy and Jorge Orta. Galleria di Piazza San Marco, 71c/,

T: 020 7942 2000 Until 8 January 2006,

Venice, Italy. T: +39 (0) 41 523 7819 www.bevilacquala-

Mon-Sun 10-5.45, except Wed 10-10. • Concealed - Until 3 October Mon-Sun 12-6. Closed Tues.•

Discovered - Revealed: Creative collaboration between

Princely Interiors: furnishing textiles of the 18th century.

Sue Lawty and the V&A's permanent textile collection.

Abegg-Stiftung, Textil-Museum, Werner-Abegg-Str. 67,

The Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington,

Riggisberg, Switzerland. T: +41 (0) 31 8081201

London. T: 020 7942 2000 Until 8 Until 13 November, Mon-Sun 2-

January 2006, Mon-Sun 10-5.45, except Wed 10-10.

5.30. • Textiles in the sphere of textile art. Centralne

It seems that as soon as one institution studiously erases the word craft from its name another pops up to replace it. The new San Francisco Museum of Craft + Design is the latest to join the list, opening to the public in late 2004. A clever mission statement sidesteps the linguistic debate of art versus craft by stating that the promotion of “the art of contemporary craft and design” is the new museum's focus. Housed in the space previously occupied by the Tercera Gallery in the heart of San Francisco, architect Alan Ohashi's redesign combines the clean light walls of white cube thinking with exposed brickwork and beams. A gift shop takes up a good portion of the 3,000 square-foot space, but perhaps we shouldn't sneer too quickly at commerce as it does provide another solid venue for the sale of craft objects. JoAnn Edwards, co-founder and executive director of the museum, explains: “our goal is to educate the public about the 'present' of craft by celebrating and promoting the artists and culture of contemporary craft and design.” A noble idea, but some have voiced concern that the museum joins an already vibrant museum scene in San Francisco that includes the established Museum of Folk Art in Fort Mason which maintains a very similar mission statement: “dedicated to contemporary craft, American folk art, and traditional cultural art”. It is feared that the presence of two similar venues may dilute rather than strengthen the cause of contemporary craft. Only time will tell if this is the case. The inaugural exhibition “Dovetailing Art and Life: The Bennett Collection” of furniture, ceramics from the collection of Silvia and Garry Knox Bennett opened to mixed reviews. Currently on display is “Nouveaux Nuptials”, through to June 26, 2005. ••• JH

divulge / declare / disclose


Contemporary African Makers. Crafts


Craft + Design

CONTINENTAL EUROPE Iranian Flat weaves. Historisched und VolkerkundeMuseum St Gallen, Museumststr. 50, St Gallen, Switzerland. T: +41 (0) 71 2420642 Until 31 July, Tues-Fri 10-12, 2-5, Sat-Sun 10-5. • Medieval Textiles. Kestner Museum, Trammplatz 3, Hannover, Germany. T: +49 (0) 511 168 42743 Until 14 August, Tues-Sun 11-6. • Wrapped in Myth. Japanese Textiles and Costumes of the 18th-20th Centuries.





Genoa, Italy. T: +39 (0) 10557 4004 Until 21 August, Tues-Sun 9-9.• Only Clothes: Yohji Yamamoto. Musee de la Mode et du Textile, 107 rue de Rivoli, Paris, France. T: +33 (0) 1 44 55 57

Henner, Mulhouse, France. T: + 33 3 89 46 83 00 Until 4 September, Tues-

Faith Ringgold.

10-6. • Africa: From dyed wrapper to printed garment. Musee de l'impression sur Etoffes, 14, rue Jean Jacques

San Francisco Museum of Craft + Design, 550 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94102. T: 415-773-0303, Mon, Tues, Fri, Sat 10-5, Thurs 10-7, Sun 12-5

50 Until 25 August, Tues-Fri 11-6, Sat-Sun


Muzeum Wlokiennictwa, ul. Piotrkowska 282, Lodz,

Museum of Canada. Textile Museum of Canada, 55 Centre Until 31 December, Tues/Wed/Fri 9-5, Thurs 11-7, Sat/Sun 11-4. • Textile machines and tools. Centralne Muzeum Wlokiennictwa, ul. Piotrkowska 282, Lodz, Poland. T: + 48 42 6843355 Until 31 December, Tues/Wed/Fri 9-5, Thurs 11-7, Sat/Sun 11-4. • From the History of Textiles in the Region of






Piotrkowska 282, Lodz, Poland. T: + 48 42 6843355 Until 31 December, Tues, Wed, Fri 9-5, Thurs 11-7, Sat/Sun 11-4. • Lace of the

11-8, Sat/Sun 12-5. • Fassett! Patchwork Quilts by Kaffe Fassett. Textile Museum of Canada, 55 Centre Ave, Toronto, Canada. T: +1 416 599 5321 Until 16 October, Tues/Thurs/Fri 11-5, Wed 11-8, Sat/Sun 12-5. • Yves Saint Laurent. A Retrospective. Kent State University Museum, Rockwell Hall, Kent, Ohio. T: +1 330 672 3450 Until 23 October, Wed 10-4.45, Thurs 10-8.45, Fri-Sat 10-4.45, Sun 12-4.45. • Allegory & Symbol. Chinese

19th and 20th Centuries. Koninklijke Musea voor Kunst en

exhibition features pieces from the 1880s to the 1930s

Robes. Kent State University Museum, Rockwell

Geschiedenis, Wandtapijten en Textiel, Parc du

and include elaborate every day clothing with intricate


Cinquentenaire 10, Brussels, Belgium. T: + 32 27417211

patterns and colour along with special ceremonial textiles Until 23 October, Until 31 December, Tues-Fri

created for the highly sophisticated royal courts of central

Wed 10-4.45, Thurs 10-8.45, Fri-Sat 10-4.45, Sun 12-







4.45. • Contemporary Japanese Quilts Workshop. The

Design 2005. Wereld Museum Rotterdam, Willemskade

History Museum, 491 Dutton St, Lowell, Massachusetts.

Indiana State Museum, 650 W. Washington St,

25, Rotterdam. T: + 31 10 4111055 www.wereldmuse-

T: +1 978 441 0400 Until 4 September,

Indianapolis, Until 5 March 2006, Tues-Sun 10-5.

Tues-Fri 9-4. • Palace and Mosque: Islamic Art from the Until 11 November, open daily 9-11.30.


Victoria and Albert Museum. Kimbell Art Museum, 3333

• Huari Ceremonial Textiles. The Textile Museum, 2320 S

Faith Ringgold: A view from the Studio. Allentown Art

Camp Bowie Boulevard, Fort Worth, Texas. T: +1 817 332

Street, NW Washington DC. T: +1 202 667 0441 www.tex-




Java. • Batik Fashion/America Style. American Textile











Museum, 31 N. Fifth Ave, Allentown, Pennsylvania. T: +1

8451 Until 4 September, Tues-Thurs 1 July- 8 January, Mon-Sat 10-5, Sun 1-

610 432 4333 Until 14

and Sat 10-5, Fri 12-8, Sun 12-5. • Hela Jongerius

5. • Extremes Textiles: Designing for High Performance.

August, Tues-Sat 11-5, Sun 12-5. The exhibition explores

Selects: Works from the Permanent Collection. Cooper-

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian

the artist's working methods and debuts the artist's

Hewitt National Design Museum, 91st St and Fifth Ave,

Institution, 2 East 91St Street, New York, New York. T: +1

newest work, the Jazz Series, in the context of story



212 849 8351 Until 15 January, Tues-

quilts, paintings, soft sculpture, and prints from through- Until 4 September, Tues-Thurs 10-5, Fri

Thurs 10-5, Fri 10-9, Sat 10-6, Sun 12-6. • Textiles in

out her thirty-five-year career. The Jazz Series is a fabu-

10-9, Sat 10-6, Sun 12-6. • Ancestry and Innovation:

America. American Textile History Museum, 491 Dutton

lous exploration of the Jazz Age musicians and singers of

African American Art from the Collection. American Folk

St, Lowell, Massachusetts. T: +1 978 441 0400

the 1920s and 30s. • The Quilts of Gee's Bend. The

Art Museum, 45 West 53rd St (between 5th and 6th Avs), Ongoing, Tues-Fri 9-4.

Museum of Fine Arts Boston, 465 Huntington

New York, New York. T: +1 212 265 1040 www.folkart-


Ave, Boston, Massachusetts. T: +1 617 267 9300 Until 4 September, Tues-Sun 10.30-5.30,

New Designers. Business Design Centre, 52 Upper St, Until 21 August, Mon-Tues 10-4.45, Wed-

Fri 10.30-7.30. • Do-Ho Suh. The Fabric Workshops and

Islington, London. T: 020 7359 3535 www.businessedsign-

Fri 10-9.45, Sat-Sun 10-4.45.• Fiber Art Center: Third

Museum, 1315 Cherry St, 5th Floor, Philadelphia, 30 June-10 July, daily 11-6 except Sun 11-4.

Annual Members' Exhibit. Fiber Art Center, 79 South

Pennsylania. T: +1 215 568 1111 www.fabricwork-

• Talent for Textiles Fair. Yarlington House, Yarlington nr Wincanton, Somerset. T: 01225 866 136, 14-15 July, 10-








Pleasant St, Amherst, Massachusetts. T: +1 413 256 18 June-17 September, Mon-Fri

1818 7 July-27 August, Tues-Sat

10-6, Sat 12-4. • Textiles for This World and Beyond:

4.30. • Best of the Best. 27th Art in Action exhibition.

10-5.30. • Beads, Buckles and Bows: Four Hundred Years

Treasures from Insular Southeast Asia. The Textile

Waterperry House, near Wheatley, Oxfordshire. T: 020 7381

of Embellished Footwear. The Bata Shoe Museum, 327

Museum, 2320 S St, NW Washington DC. T: +1 202 667

3192 14-17 July, 10.30-5.30. • Hali


0441 Until 18 September, Mon-

Fair. National Hall Ground Floor, Olympia, London. T: 0870

T: +1 416 979 7799 Until 31

Sat 10-5, Sun 1-5. The exhibition explores the roles that

126 1743 Until 19 June, Wed/Thurs 11-8,

textiles in Indonesia and Malaysia play in daily society,

Fri/Sat 11-7, Sun 11-5. • Creekside Artists Open Studios.






August, Tues-Sat 10-5, Thurs 10-8, Sun 12-5. • Batik from Courts and Palaces: The Rudolph Smend Until 16 October, Tues/Thurs/Fri 11-5, Wed

Collection. American Textile History Museum, 491 Dutton St, Lowell,

and how textiles are used in the ceremonies

Unit 110, 112 & 114, Faircharm Trading Estate, Creekside,

to maintain harmonious relationships

Deptford. T: 020 8305 0452

with the deceased or the gods. •

26/27 June, 3-4 July, 12-6.• The Festival of Quilts. The

Massachusetts. T: +1 978 441

Thirty: 30 stories, 30 collectors,

National exhibition centre, Hals 7-8, Birmingham. T: 01473

0400 Until 4

30 years. Celebrating the 30th

320407 18-21

September, Tues-Fri 9-4. The The Case of the Fan: 100 fans with their boxes or cases.





August, 10-5.30.

All information was correct at the time of going to press. Please call to confirm before setting out on your journey. To be included in the listings please send details to are made based on geographical spread, dates and diversity of theme

Ave, Toronto, Canada. T: +1 416 599 5321 www.textileFolk Archive: Contemporary Popular Art from the UK.

divulge / declare / disclose

Poland. T: + 48 42 6843355 www.muzeumwlokiennict-


shirley pinder merino wool and silk designed, woven and hand finished in The Scottish Boarders.

tel/fax: +44(0) 1896 820120

souk 020 8341 9721

Scarves and wraps in cashmere,


92 souk 020 8341 9721

the handweavers studio 29 Haroldstone Rd London E17 7AN tel 020 8521 2281 email

MACCULLOCH & WALLIS fabric & haberdashery since 1902 25-26 Dering Street London W1S 1AT

Tel: 020 7629 0311

Fax: 020 7491 2481


See us every Friday at Spitalfields Market. Email us to go on our mailing list. or call 02072539556 and 07905075017.

Solider Boy The appeal of men in uniform. Turkish delights Whet your appetite before the European Textile Conference. Military might Hand and Lock leads the field in embroidery and embellishment. Modern times Sarah Braddock Clarke brings us up to date with Techno textiles. Dedicated follower of fashion Modern day dandies are demanding their share of the beautiful things.


Coming next


World domination Fashion staple and uniform of youth: we chart the unstoppable rise of denim. Dress to impress Artists have always used clothing as a symbol and statement. Jessica Hemmings uncovers some current examples. Grand designs Embroidery expert Layla Moussa draws on the Mogul era and the treasures of the 17 and 18th centuries.

Looking the part The significance of national dress and tribal clothing. Artextil’s woven cloth has been gracing catwalks and celebrities for decades. Figuratively speaking The striking scuptural works of Marie Blaisse. The price is right The pros, cons and long term impact of textile tariffs. Circle in the sand The nomadic style and natural beauty of Ocelot clothing.

Plus: Christian Lacroix, Sophie Roet, Gallery of Antique Costume

Out on September 1st 2005

Lonely planet images

*Contents are subject to change

LONDON: Artemidorus, 27B Half Moon La., SE24, T: 020 7737 7747 • Artwords Bookshop, 65a Rivington St., EC2, T: 020 7729 2000 • Books Etc. 255 Finchley Rd., NW3, T: 020 7433 3299 • Borders, 122, Charing Cross Rd, WC2, T: 020 7379 7313 • 203 Oxford St., W1, T: 020 7292 1600 • The N1 Centre, Parkfield St, N1, T: 020 7226 3602 • Botterills, 308 Regent St, W1, T: 020 7580 3835 • Capital News, 48 Old Compton St, W1, T: 020 7437 2479 • Chaplins of London, 17-18 Berners St., W1, T: 020 7323 6552 • Contemporary Applied Arts, 2 Percy St, W1, T: 020 7436 2544 • C2+ Textile Gallery, 33 Clerkenwell Grn, EC1, T: 020 7251 9200 • The Crafts Council, 44a Pentonville Rd, N1, T: 020 7806 2554 • Designers Guild, 277 King's Rd, SW3, T: 020 7351 5775 • Fabrications, 7 Broadway Market, Hackney, E8, T: 020 7275 8043 • Falkiner Fine Papers, 76 Southampton Row, WC1, T: 020 7831 1151 • Fashion and Textiles Museum, 79-85 Bermondsey St, SE1, T: 020 7403 0222 • Gallery of Costumes and Textiles, 2 Church St, Marylebone, NW8, T: 020 7723 9981 • Good News, 23 Berwick St., W1, T: 020 7437 8580 • Gordon Reece Gallery, 16 Clifford St., W1, T: 01423 866 219 • Haji & White, 53 Fashion St., E1. T: 020 7377 9319 • Hand, 11 Colville Mews, W11. T: 020 7792 1292 • Handweavers Studio, 29 Haroldstone Rd, E17, T: 020 8521 2281 • Hayward Gallery, Belvedere Rd, South Bank, SE1. T: 020 7960 5205 • Infomark, 213 Brompton Rd, SW3, T: 020 7581 3165 • John Jones ArtSource, Stroud Green Rd, N4, T: 020 7281 5439 • Joss Graham Oriental Textiles, 10 Eccleston St., SW1. T: 020 7730 4370 • Labour of Love, 193 Upper St., Islington, N1, T: 020 7354 9333 • Livingstone Studio, 36 New End Sq, NW3, T: 0207 431 6311 • MacCulloch & Wallis, 25-26 Dering St., W1, T: 020 7629 0311 • Magnum, 17 Thayer St., Marylebone, W1, T: 020 7487 3141 • Marimekko, 16/17 St Christopher's Place, W1. T: 020 7486 6454 • Marshalls News, 11 Marshall St., W1, T: 020 7437 4419 • The Metropolitan Hotel, Old Park La., W1, T: 020 7447 1000 • Mint, 70 Wigmore St., W1, T: 020 7224 4406 • MODA, Middlesex University, Cat Hill, Barnet, Herts, EN4, T: 020 8411 4394 • M2, Covent Garden, 30-35 Drury La., WC2 T: 020 7240 8107 • Places and Spaces, 30 Old Town, SW4. T: 020 7498 0998 • Rayden Newsagent, Temple Station Buildings, Victoria Embankment, WC2, T: 020 7836 3600 • R D Franks, Kent House, Market Pl., W1, T: 020 7636 1244 • Regent Bookshop, 73 Parkway, NW1, T: 020 7485 9822 • Rococo, 12 Elgin Cres., W11, T: 020 7727 5209 • Selfridges, 400 Oxford St., W1, T: 0870 8377377 • Silk Works, Studio 7B, Rear of 46-52 Church Rd., SW13, T: 020 8748 4805 • Studio Voltaire, 1a Nelson's Row, SW4. T: 020 7622 1294 • Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1, T: 020 7401 5000 • Tate Britain, Millbank, SW1, T: 020 7587 8876 • Terrys News Stand, Great Marlborough St., W1, T: 020 7287 3312 • Titles of Penge, 94 High St, Penge, SE20, T: 0208 676 0926 • VV Rouleaux, 6 Marylebone High St, W1M, T: 020 7224 5179 • Wardour News, 118-120, Wardour St., W1F, T: 020 7437 6131 • Waterstones, Harrods, Knightsbridge, SW1 T: 020 7730 1234 • 9-13, Garrick St Covent Garden, WC2, T: 020 7836 6757 • William Morris Gallery, Lloyd Pk, Forest Rd, E17, T: 020 8527 3782 SOUTH EAST: The Art House, North St., Westbourne, Emsworth, Hants, T: 01243 376099 • Atelier 71, 71 High St., Fareham, Hants, T: 01329 82717 • Borders, Lakeside Retail Pk, West Thurrock, T: 01708 865 964 • Waterfields Retail Pk, New Rd., Watford, T: 01923 256 902 • Churchill Square Shopping Centre, Brighton, T: 01273 731 122 • The Crown Needlework, 115 High St., Hungerford, Berks • The Grace Barrand Design Centre, 19 High St., Nutfield, Surrey, T: 01737 822865 • GillSew, Boundary House, Moor Common, Lane End, Bucks, T: 01494 881 886 • Grayshott Books, 8 The Sq, Grayshott, Hindhead, Surrey, T: 01428 604 798 • Jazzy Lily Hot Glass, 34 Grecian St., Aylesbury, Bucks, T: 01296 437 406 • Much Ado Books, Streamer Cottage, High St, Alfriston,East Sussex, T: 01323 871 222 • New Ashgate Gallery, Wagon Yard, Farnham, Surrey, T: 01252 713208 • October Books, 4 Onslow Rd, Southampton, Hants, T: 02380 581 030 EAST ANGLIA: Art Van Go, 1 Stevenage Rd, Knebworth, Herts, T: 01438 814 946 • Bircham Gallery, 14 Market Pl., Holt, Norfolk,

T: 01263 713312 • Borders, 9 Magdalen St., Oxford, T: 01865 203 901 • 12-13 Market St., Cambridge, T: 01223 306 188 • Christchurch Mansion, Soane St., Ipswich, Suffolk, T: 01473 429 919 • Grapevine, 109 Unthank Rd., Norwich, Norfolk, T: 01603 760660 • The Minories Art Gallery, 74 High St., Colchester, Essex, T: 01206 577 067 • Walkers, 25 Pottergate, Norwich, Norfolk, T: 01603 618 718 SOUTH WEST: Arnolfini Bookshop, 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol, Avon, T: 0117 917 2300 • Black Swan Arts, 2 Bridge St., Frome, Somerset, T: 01373 473980 • Blue Lias Gallery, 47 Coombe St., Lyme Regis, T: 01297 444919 • Borders, The Square, 4-21 Bourne Ave, Bournemouth, T: 01202 589 736 • Oribital Shopping Pk, Thamesdown Drive, Swindon T: 01793 702 200 • 48, Queens Rd, Bristol, T: 0117 922 6959 • Bunyip Beads and Buttons, Units 6-10, McCoys Arcade, Fore St., Exeter, Devon, T: 01392 437 377 • Church House Designs, Broad St., Congrestbury, Bristol, T: 01934 833660 • Cowslip workshops, 1 Newhouse Farm, St Stephens, Launceston, Cornwall, T: 01566 772 654 • Growing Needs, 11 Market Place, Glastonbury, Somerset, T: 01458 833 466 • Iriss of Cornwall, Penzance, 66 Chapel St., Penzance, T: 01736 366 568 • Mulberry Silks/Papers, Silkwood, 4 Park Close, Tetbury, Gloucester, T: 01666 503 438 • The Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Riverside Mill, Bovey Tracey, Devon, T: 01626 832 223 • The Museum of Costume, Bennett St., Bath, T: 01225 477 789 • Quintessence, 21 Paul St., Catherine Hill, Frome, Somerset, T: 01373 461 357 • Stitch’n’craft Ltd, Swans Yard Craft Centre, High St., Shaftsbury, Dorset, T: 01747 852 500 • Trelissick Gallery, Cornwall Crafts Association, Feock Truro, Cornwall, T: 01872 864 084 • Rope Store Gallery, The Shambles, Stoud, Gloucester, T: 01453 753799 WALES: Ario, 5 Pengry Rd, Loughor, Swansea, T: 01792 529 092 • Craft in the Bay, Flourish, Lloyd George Ave, Cardiff Bay, T: 02920 484611 • Hotch Potch, Old Quayside, Haverfordwest, Pembroke. T: 01437 760 971 • Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre, St David's Rd, Cwmbran, Torfaen, T: 01633 483 321 • Llwyngwrll Gallery, Llwyngwrll, Gwynedd, T: 01341 250 054 • Mission Gallery, Gloucester Place, Maritime Quarter, Swansea, T: 01792 652 016 • Oriel Myrddin Gallery, Oriel Myrddin School of Art, Church La., Camarthen, Camarthenshire, T: 01267 222 775 • Ruthin Craft Centre, Park Rd, Ruthin, Denbighshire, T: 01824 704774 • Walford Mill Craft Centre, Stone La, Wimbourne, Dorset, T: 0120 284 1400 • Washington Gallery, 1-3 Washington Buildings, Stannell Rd, Penarth, T: 02720 712100 WEST MIDLANDS: Birmingham Art Gallery, Chamberlain Sq, B’ham, T: 0121 303 2834 • Borders, Bullring Shopping Centre, B’ham, T: 0121 616 1094 • The Coachman's House, 2c New St., Newport, Shropshire, T: 01952 813 316 • Gateway Galleries, Chester St, Shrewsbury, T: 01743 361 120 • Ikon Gallery, 1 Ozells Sq, Brindley Place, B’ham, T: 0121 248 0708 • Parkfields Gallery, 4 High St., Ross on Wye, Herefordshire, T: 01989 565 266 • Forge Mill Needle Museum, Needle Mill La., Riverside, Redditch, Worcester, T: 01527 62509 • Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, Little Elborow St., Rugby, Warwickshire, T: 01788 533201 • Shire Hall Gallery, Market Square, Stafford, T: 01785 278345 • The Great English Outdoors, Mortimer House, Castle St, Hay on Wye, Herefordshire, T: 01497 821 205 • Worcester City Art Gallery, Foregate St., Worcester, T: 01905 361 826 • Warwick Gallery, 82 Regent St, Lemington Spa, Warwickshire, T: 01926 422 833 EAST MIDLANDS: Angel Row Gallery, Central Library Building, 3 Angel Row, Nottingham, T: 0115 915 2862 • Borders, Grove Farm Triangle, Fosse Pk, Leicester, T: 0117 922 6959 • The City Art Gallery, 90 Granby St., Leicester, T: 0116 223 2060 • Derek Top Gallery, Chatsworth Rd, Rowsley, Matlock, Derbyshire, T: 01629 735 580 • The Harley Gallery, Welbeck, Worksop, T: 01909 501700 • Helen Ashling, N58 Coniston Crescent, Loughborough, Leicestershire, T: 01509 827 497 • The Hub, Navigation Wharf, Carre St., Sleaford, Linconshire, T: 01529 308 710 • Pickford's House Museum, 41 Friar Gate, Derby, T: 01332 255 The Ropewalk, Maltkin Rd, Barton upon Humber, North Lincolnshire, T: 01652 660 380 • Rare Bird, 61 Shelford Rd., Radcliffe on Trent, Notts,

T: 0115 933 6268 • Waterstones, 1-5, Bridlesmith Gate, Nottingham, T: 0115 948 4499 NORTH WEST: ARC Gallery Stores, Smithfield Buildings, 59 Oldham St., Northern Qtr, Manchester, T: 0161 831 7454 • Bags of Inspiration, The Loft, Studio Gallery, The Courtyard, Carr Farm, Birkenhead Rd, Meols, Wirral, T: 0151 639 9987 • Best Cellars, The Hill Studio, Dent, Sedbergh, Cumbria, T: 01539 625 354 • Bluecoat Display Centre, Bluecoat Chambers, School Lane, Liverpool, T: 0151 709 4014 • Borders, New Mersey Retail Pk, Speke Rd, Speke T: 0151 494 9144 • Great Portwood St, Stockport, Cheshire T: 0161 476 3392 • 34 Coliseum Way, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire T: 0151 356 7716 • Cedar Farm Gallery, Back La., Mawdesley, Ormskirk, Lancashire, T: 01704 822 101 • Cornerhouse Books, 70 Oxford St., Manchester, T: 0161 200 1514 • Firbob and Peacock, 76 King St., Knutsford, T: 01565 621156 • Harris Preston, Museum and Art Gallery, Market Sq, T: 01772 258 248 • Manchester Craft & Design, 17 Oak St., Manchester, T: 0161 832 4274 • Percy House Gallery, 38-42 Market Place, Cockermouth, Cumbria, CA13 9NE. T: 01900 829 667 • Silk Gallery, The Stables, Nannerch, Mold, Flints, T: 01352 741 893 • Waterstones, 91 Deansgate, Manchester, T: 0161 832 1992 • Whitworth Gallery, University of Manchester, Oxford Rd, Manchester, T: 0161 275 7450 YORKSHIRE & HUMBERSIDE: Bankfield Museum, Boothtown Rd, Halifax, T: 01422 354823 • Borders, 94-96 Briggate, Leeds T: 0113 242 4400 • Holdening Way, Gelderd Rd, Birstall, Leeds T: 01924 474914 • 1-5 Davygate, York T: 01904 653 300 • Calderdale Museum & Arts, Westgate House, Westgate, Halifax, T: 01422 393240 • The Craft Centre and Design Gallery, City Art Gallery, The Headrow, Leeds, T: 0113 247 8241 • Marcia Crookes, 40 Meadow la, Cononkey, St, Keighley, T: 01535 631 497 • Mercer Gallery, St Luke's Avenue, Harrogate, N. Yorks, T: 01423 556 188 • Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield, W. Yorks T: 01924 832 527 NORTH EAST: Attica, T2 Old George Yard, Cloth Market, Newcastle upon Tyne, T: 0191 261 4062 • Baltic, The Centre for Contemporary Arts, South Shore Rd, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, T: 0191 478 1810 • Borders, Silverlink Retail Pk, Silverlink, Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, T: 0191 2634503 • Gateshead Visitor Centre, St. Mary's Church, Oakwellgate, Gateshead, T: 0191 477 5380 • Tracy A. Franklin, 6 Wesley Terrace, Chester-le-street, Durham, T: 0191 388 5834 • VV Rouleaux, 89 Central Arcade, Newcastle upon Tyne, T: 0191 261 2474 SCOTLAND: Borders, 98 Buchanan St., Glasgow, T: 0141 222 7700 • Inverness Retail Pk, Eastfield Way, Inverness, T: 01463 243 278 • Fort Kinnaird Retail Pk, E’burgh, T: 01316 574 041 • Concrete Wardrobe, 317- 319 Cowgate, Old Town, E’burgh, T: 0131 558 7130 • Corniche, 2-4 Jeffrey Street, E’burgh, T: 0131 556 3707 • Designs Gallery, 179 King St., Castle Douglas, T:01556 504552 • Di Gilpin, 1Burghers Clode, 141 South St, St Andrews, T: 1334 476 193 • Dundee Contemporary Arts, 152 Nethergate, Dundee, T: 01382 909231 • Glasgow School of Art Shop, 167 Renfrew St., Glasgow, T: 0141 353 4500 • Lillie Art Gallery, Station Rd, Glasgow, T: 0141 578 8847 • The Park Gallery, Callendar Pk, Falkrik, T: 01324 503788 • Scottish Gallery, 16 Dundas St., E’burgh, T: 0131 558 1200 • VV Rouleaux, 1694 Miller Street, Merchant City, Glasgow, T: 0141 221 2277 NORTHERN IRELAND: Colours, 62 Prehen Pk, Waterside, Londonderry, T: 02371 362914 • Ormeau Baths Gallery, 18a Ormeau Avenue, County Antrim, Belfast, T: 028 9032 1402 CHANNEL ISLANDS: The Harbour Gallery, Le Boulevard, St Aubin, St Brelade, Jersey. T: 01534 743 044 Please see our website for International Stockists. Selvedge is now available in Borders and Barnes and Noble throughout the USA. To stock Selvedge, call 0208 341 9721 or email


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SUMMER WINE Sitting in a peaceful garden on a warm summer evening sipping a glass of cold white wine is one of life's simple pleasures. Set in the spectacular scenery of the Surrey Hills, Denbies is one of the largest privately owned vineyards in Europe but there's more to Denbies than just fine wines. The chateaustyle visitor centre offers excellent facilities. There's a choice of restaurants, art exhibitions, and a well stocked gift shop. Denbies is offering Selvedge readers the chance to tour the winery and taste the wine. Selvedge has 5 free pairs of tickets, simply send your details to the usual address.*1 FRIDA KAHLO The Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) is regarded as one of the most significant artists of the twentieth century. Tate Modern is currently showing the first major UK exhibition dedicated to her work to take place for over twenty years. Selvedge has 6 pairs of tickets to give away.*1 Frida Kahlo. 9 June-9 October 2005. To book tickets visit or T: 020 7887 8888'.

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This dramatic and ground-breaking compilation, published by Prestel, explores the weird and wonderful edges of the fashion world and some of its most eccentric and subversive designers. Selvedge has 5 copies to give away.*1

THE YELLOW BOOK Private gardens of quality, character and interest have been opening in aid of the National Gardens Scheme since 1927. Approximately 3,300 gardens now open in aid of the Scheme and its beneficiary charities. The Scheme has grown from the creative entwining of two strands of English heritage - the national passion for gardening, and the desire to help those in need. Selvedge has 6 copies of The Yellow Book priced £7.99 to give away.*1

ART IN ACTION 2005 Started in 1977, Art in Action is recognised by artists and visitors to be one of the best arts and crafts events in the UK. It regularly attracts over 25,000 visitors and more than 250 artists who demonstrate their skills and answer questions about their art. Selvedge has 6 pairs of Art In Action tickets worth £13.50 to give away.*1 Art in Action 2005: Waterperry House, Oxfordshire 14 - 17 July, 10.305.30 T: 020 7381 3192 Kirsten Glasbrook

NEW SUBSCRIBERS… BEST OFFER YET All new subscribers will receive a free stylish Lotta Jansdotter mini tote worth £20. Made from 100% linen with a quirky chick design, they are the perfect summer accessory.*2

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