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Texprint London 2012
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Woolmark Texprint judge: Masahiro Oono from Japanese wool specialist Nikke
11 September 2012 by GGHQ Fashion Intelligence
Textile designer Masahiro Oono from Japanese wool specialist Nikke joins judging panel for the 2012 Woolmark Texprint Award in support of Campaign for Wool prize.
Versatile, strong and natural: Merino wool provides textile designers with yarns and fabrics which are luxurious and sustainable, whether used in interiors or in apparel. The Woolmark Company, the not-for-profit organisation owned by over 29,000 Australian woolgrowers, invests in research, development, innovation and marketing along the global supply chain for Australian wool — the largest source of this noble fibre.
The Woolmark Company encourages new designers to explore the design possibilities and benefits of Merino wool through the sponsorship of the second annual Woolmark Texprint Award in support of Campaign for Wool. The award recognises design excellence in fabrics created with 60% or more Merino wool, whether presented as printed, woven, knitted and/or mixed media fabric.
A winner will be selected from among the 24 designers who will show their work in the Texprint village at Indigo, which is part of Première Vision Pluriel, September 19-21, 2012. The Woolmark Company and Texprint are delighted that experts in woollen textile creation will be choosing the winner.
In the first of two profile focuses on the judges, we speak with Masahiro Oono, project manager of Nikke Group’s textile design and marketing department in the Osaka-based organisation’s textile and clothing materials division – otherwise known as the Japan Wool Textile Co Ltd.
Nikke was established over 110 years ago, starting as a manufacturer of wool products and has since expanded into six different domains with the aim of providing “products and services to meet customers’ demands and make a contribution to society”. Its textile and clothing materials division includes the development, manufacture and wholesaling of products for apparel primarily incorporating wool. Like wool, Nikke’s corporate philosophy is to be “gentle and warm toward people and the planet”.
On meeting with Mr Oono on Nikke’s stand at textile exhibition Première Vision, Paris, he presents what he describes as the company’s signature fabric: a superfine wool chiffon gauze weighing 120g per meter which costs in the region of €35 per meter, which puts it in the realm of luxury brands. Indeed, he lists Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Jil Sander and Burberry as top customers.
The most popular colours selected by buyers in February were sky blue or mustard, however for Mr Oono, achieving technical excellence is more important than using colour in design: “Nikke has a long history and a large archive, and we do a lot of work from the archive. I try to do what other can’t or aren’t able to do.”
Mr Oono joined Nikke 25 years ago. With two generations of kimono artisans in his family, he says his parents were happy when he decided to study fashion and textiles. “Since I was a child I have liked clothing. When I was deciding what to do at university, new stylists such as Yohji Yamamoto were coming through and I wanted to do something in this field,” he explains.
To the question ‘why would you recommend that new textile designers experiment with wool?’ he replies with another question: “Maybe students think that wool is thick and not interesting? But high end wool has so much potential. It’s important to know the possibilities of wool. If you don’t know wool and wool fibres you will never become a good textile designer.”
Mr Oono is a great advocate of wool and praises its inherent nature: “It’s natural, and comes from sheep and there’s a long history of man weaving sheep’s wool. You can do so many things with it: felt, twill, crêpe... there are so many possibilities. It’s also strong.”
As a Woolmark Texprint Award judge, he says he will be looking for designs that show “something unusual, that no one else has thought of, a new way”. As well as lending his expertise in judging the competition, Mr Oono will be a source of advice and inspiration for the 24 designers taking part in Texprint this year as he meets them and reviews their design work while looking for the winner: “We need young people – we need new ideas. Textile design is very creative work, work that gives you the possibility to realise your dreams.”
Supporting Texprint: The Haberdashers’ Livery Company
07 September 2012 by GGHQ Fashion Intelligence
Throughout six and a half centuries The Worshipful Company of Haberdashers has moved away from its historical involvement with the trade of haberdashery and developed into a significant supporter of schools and education in England and Wales.
The Company’s headquarters is the new Haberdashers’ Hall, opposite St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City of London. Built in 2002 around a gated quadrangle, it is reminiscent of a modern Oxbridge college. Here one of the Company’s Past Masters and Chairman of its Charities Committee George Pulman QC, and Alison Murdoch, Director of Charities, make life-changing and life-enhancing decisions for its beneficiaries who range from students of divinity to Texprint.
So when and how did the Company make this leap from trade body to charitable donor? Mr Pulman explains: “The history is long and complicated, but we are frightfully old. There is a haberdasher who travelled from Southwark to Canterbury with Geoffrey Chaucer and there are only three members of livery companies mentioned [in the Canterbury Tales] and the Haberdashers’ is one.”
The Company started the change towards education in 1594 when the Bunbury Aldersey Church of England Primary School in Cheshire was left to be under its governance. Mr Pulman continues: “Within the next 100 years three more foundations were started with Robert Aske, William Jones and William Adams leaving money in trust to the Company. So we have these separate funds, you can’t mix them.” Over the succeeding centuries various people gave money – often in their wills, sometimes during their lifetimes - to fund education and other good works.
The Company began when men involved in the trade of haberdashery in the City of London wanted to see it fairly run. “And after that the sons of haberdashers wanted to join as they could see it was good fun. But they weren’t always haberdashers and so gradually you had a lot of people who weren’t in the trade, became members of the Company,” says Mr Pulman. “And so we drifted into other purposes which were largely charitable but I think I’d be right in saying that our educational purposes have been greatly enhanced over the last 20 years or so, we have opened three brand new schools in the last few years.”
Texprint, is not a school, so, why does the Company choose to fund it? “We look for an association with our purposes, one of our purposes is the trade of haberdashery and so Texprint comes precisely within that,” answers Mr Pulman.
“There’s another link,” adds Mrs Murdoch, “Thomas Arno is a relatively recent benefactor of 1937. Some of the money he left to the Company was specifically for helping young people to start up in business. And of course Texprint falls into that category perfectly.”
With so many stipulations, it must increase the amount of administration you must do? Mrs Murdoch says: “It does but we sit down on a regular basis and we think about the strategy for the Company, for each particular committee in its field, and the Charities Committee also regularly reviews the focus areas that we want to concentrate on. We have limited resources, and we can’t give to everybody, however worthy the causes, and we’re limited by partly the Charity Commission schemes and partly by the fact that we want to do what the people who gave us the money to look after, asked us to do. They trusted us to do good things in that particular area.”
The Company also supports haberdashery-linked concerns at the Royal School of Needlework and City & Guilds. And each year the Company invites first year MA textiles students from the Royal College of Art to present their work at the hall. “Some of the students we award prizes to sometimes go on to be picked by Texprint, which is rewarding,” says Mrs Murdoch.
The Company’s involvement as a major sponsor ensures that Texprint can introduce each year’s selected 24 new graduate designers to the industry in London in July moving on to Paris in September. Mrs Murdoch says with a smile: “I do feel, Past Master, that the Director of Charities might be allowed to participate in the event in Paris...”
“I think you may need to be accompanied,” he replies, quickly.
“…by the Chairman of the Charities Committee!”
We hope to see you both in Paris and thank you and the Haberdashers’ Company for your continued support.
Supporting Texprint: The Clothworkers’ Foundation
04 September 2012 by GGHQ Fashion Intelligence
Texprint is proud to have The Clothworkers’ Foundation – the charitable organisation set up by the Clothworkers’ Livery Company – as both a Foundation Sponsor and an Award Sponsor.
As a not-for-profit organisation, Texprint depends on the commitment of its Foundation Sponsors to uphold its annual programme of activities. Through the Foundation’s generous funding, Texprint helps new graduate textile designers as they leap from college into their professional lives.
Founded during the reign of Henry VIII, the Company was established as a trade body for cloth finishers in the City of London. Throughout its long existence the Company has looked after the welfare and interests of its members and has been heavily involved in charitable activities, many of which are textile-related.
“Originally all our members were involved in the textile trade, now virtually none are. And so our involvement is through philanthropic support and we’ve been involved with charities through alms houses, schools and the relief of need, for nearly 500 years,” explains chief executive Andrew Blessley. “Today we have The Clothworkers’ Foundation which gives between £5 million and £6m a year to a broad range of charities. In the textiles arena, our giving is: heritage, conservation, textile technology, and finally, and most pertinent to Texprint, we are a selective supporter of textile design, really focussing on excellence.”
For the last decade, the Foundation has been a consistent supporter of Texprint. Andrew says: “We recognise that it is difficult for Texprint to raise money each year. The industry unfortunately doesn’t seem to have very much of a long-term perspective and is driven more by short-term financial considerations. We’re delighted to support Texprint and we think it provides a wonderful opportunity, not just for the 24 winners but all those who apply, in terms of the guidance and mentoring they get through the judging process. And the opportunity for these talented young people to actually have their work seen by the major buyers, movers and shakers in London; Indigo, Première Vision, Paris; and in Hong Kong is absolutely fantastic.” Andrew says the proportion of established studios set up by Texprint alumni that show at Indigo is “amazing”.
In addition to Texprint, the Foundation funds MA students at the Royal College of Art and is a prize donor at New Designers exhibition of new graduates’ work and the Bradford Textile Society design awards.
One of the biggest grants the Foundation has made in the last few years has been £1m to the V&A Museum’s Clothworkers’ Centre for Textiles and Fashion Study and Conservation.The Centre at Blythe House, Kensington Olympia, London, will bring the European and Asian textile study collections together in a single location for the first time. Individual visitors and groups will be able to make appointments to see, study and enjoy the collections in the spacious new public study room. It will open in summer 2013.
The Foundation is also a major funder of the Textile Conservation Centre in Glasgow and the Bowes Museum in County Durham, which has an important collection of lace. It also made a grant of £750,000 to the British Museum, towards an organics conservation centre which houses its huge collection of ethnographic textiles.
Andrew explains the origins of the Foundation’s funds: “It’s the ultimate old money; if you were involved in cloth finishing and had a house in the City and didn’t have any heirs, you often left your house to the Company. What was then a grotty house with an open sewer in front of it is now part of a 40-storey block. We still own quite a lot of property in the City as do other livery companies. And the income from that funds all the philanthropic work that we do, which is based largely on property and on bequests that were made three or four hundred years ago.”
The Clothworkers’ Company was formed in 1528 with the merger of two companies; the Fullers and Shearmen which are two stages in the process of cloth finishing. It has had six halls, where the Company holds its meetings and members’ events, on the same site since 1515. “As the Company’s role in the cloth finishing industry declined as the textile trade moved away from London, it became more of a property and investment company and we have always been very involved with charity,” he says.
The Company returned to the trade in the mid-19th century. He continues: “We were one of the founders of the City & Guilds Institute which is all about vocational skills, effectively replacing apprenticeships which were the traditional way of people learning their craft. And we were one of the founders of what’s now the University of Leeds which was originally the Yorkshire College of Technology and we founded the textile department and what was known as tinctorial chemistry and what is now known as colour science. We’re still involved with Leeds and other universities with textiles departments.”
From ensuring that valued collections of precious fabrics are kept safe, to helping launch the careers of the next generation of designers, the Clothworkers’ is as steadfast in its support of the industry, now as it was 500 years ago. Texprint would like to thank Andrew Blessley and The Clothworkers’ Foundation for your continual sponsorship and valuing excellence in design.
Exhibition alert: London summer highlights
27 August 2012 by Joyce Thornton
Inspiring exhibitions we recommend you visit this summer and autumn.
POP! Design, Culture, Fashion - until 27 October, Fashion & Textile Museum, Bermondsey. Traces the impact of youth culture, music and art from the 50s-70s; highlights include 60’s pieces sold in Mary Quant’s Bazaar, items from Elton John’s personal wardrobe, and original pieces sold in Westwood and McLaren’s ‘80’s shop, Sex.
Fashion & Textile Museum, Lunchtime Lecture Series – 5 – 26 September, Fashion & Textile Museum, Bermondsey. A series of four lectures looking at the changing shape of fashion from 1955–1976. Using garments drawn from the Fashion and Textile Museum’s Collection, these talks are led by author of ‘The Chronology of Fashion’, NJ Stevenson.
Heatherwick Studio: Designing the Extraordinary – until 30 September, V&A Museum. Heatherwick’s design explorations, whether architecture, sculpture or product, don’t start with a drawing or a discussion, but with ‘an attitude of purposefulness’ pushing the physical properties of materials beyond the expected. The exhibition tracks Heatherwick’s progress from his RCA graduation project through to a scale model of the spectacular 2012 copper Olympic cauldron.
Thomas Heatherwick / Photo credit: V&A Museum London 2012
Arthur Bispo do Rosario (1909-1989) - until the 28 October, V&A Museum. Bispo remains one of Brazil’s most recognised artists, and this display includes hand-embroidered banners, garments and sculpture. This ‘outsider’ art reveals the imaginative responses of the artist who has appropriated found objects such as bottles, buttons, card, paper and even cutlery to create complex pieces.
Fights 1938-1982 Arthur Bispo do Rosario / Photo credit: Rodrigo Lopes
Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950 - until 6 January 2013, V&A Museum. Over 60 items of statement eveningwear: from the elegance of Norman Hartnell to the bold inventiveness of Gareth Pugh.
Atsuko Kudo, worn by Georgia Frost with dresses by Hardy Amies and Worth of London / Photo credit: Carlos Jimenez, V&A Images
Grayson Perry: The Walthamstow Tapestry - until 23 September, The William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow. A rare opportunity to view one of the most powerful works by Turner Prize-winning artist, Grayson Perry. This vibrant and very large tapestry “chronicles man’s passage from birth to death via the shops” – an exploration of our uneasy but powerful relationship to branding and the impact of consumerism on everyday life.