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Exhibition Alert: British Design 1948-2012: Innovation in the Modern Age
30 March 2012 by Joyce Thornton
British Design 1948-2012: Innovation in the Modern Age is a major new exhibition which opens at the V&A Museum on March 31, 2012. As Britain once again hosts the Olympic Games in London, the exhibition looks at the radical changes in design since ‘The Austerity Games’ was staged in London in1948. Three galleries are dedicated to tracking the changing shifts in the design of buildings, objects, images and ideas over the last 60 years.
The items on display reveal how British designers responded to economic, political and cultural changes, and how, from the 1950s in particular, the younger generation challenged the ideas and values of their parents like never before. Moving from reconstruction to revolution the exhibition aims to showcase some of the best of the dynamic and ever-changing spirit of British creativity.
British Design 1948-2012: Innovation in the Modern Age
March 31 – August 12, 2012
Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL
Open 10am – 5.45pm daily, 10am – 10pm on Fridays
Adult ticket price £12
Exhibition Alert: Designing Women
27 March 2012 by Joyce Thornton
Designing Women is a new exhibition just opened at the Fashion and Textile Museum. Running until June 16, 2012, it celebrates the radical, fresh post-war style of three women artists at the forefront of international textile design in the 1950s and 1960s.
Lucienne Day; Traffic Lights textile by Jacqueline Groag; Jacqueline Groag
Over 100 works by Lucienne Day, Jacqueline Groag and Marian Mahler are featured in this must-see showcase. These modern designs were hugely influenced by the art world and with their bold, off-beat colour mixes and use of quirky abstract shapes, heralded a dramatic change in design for conventional furnishing fabrics for the home.
Lucienne Day: Olive Calyix
The exhibition is complemented by a series of displays including a series of photographic portraits from the University of Brighton’s archive and The Printed Square, a small exhibition of beautiful vintage handkerchiefs from the 1920s to the 1950s.
Designing Women : 6 March - 16 June 2012
Fashion and Textile Museum83, Bermondsey Street
London SE1 3XFinfo@ftmlondon.org
Open Tuesday to Saturday, 11am - 6pm
Last admissions 5.15pm
Closed Sunday and Monday
Ticket price: £7 / £5 for eligible concessions
Includes entry to FTM displays
New Horizons: Abigail Gardiner, Nancy Thompson and Rhiannon Williams
24 March 2012 by Joyce Thornton
Abigail Gardiner’s superb embroidered work has been much in demand since she exhibited with Texprint in 2011. Abigail has been working for Nicholas Oakwell Couture and the designer recently staged an exclusive catwalk show at Claridge’s hotel, London, just prior to Paris Fashion Week. Abigail designed the fantastic embellishment and beadwork for all of the pieces in the collection. She says; “The collection was very well received by clients and the fashion press and was featured on Vogue.com."
Abigail Gardiner for Nicholas Oakwell Couture
"I have absolutely loved this project - I have recently accepted a full-time job as textile and embellishment designer for Nicholas which is really exciting. I am currently working on ideas and sampling for the new collection. Being in the studio much more, I am now able to fully discuss ideas with other members of the team. I have also assisted with other aspects of the design process, such as costing and production management, which have really helped me to understand the business and the production process in the fashion industry”.
Talented weaver Nancy Thompson is employed by UK silk weaving specialist Vanners, which began with a six-month work placement. This arrangement has recently been extended, and Nancy is now working as a fabric designer for the Vanners open collection.
Nancy Thompson woven designs
She says: “I wouldn't have had the chance to do this job without my work placement so I'm really pleased. I've been doing lots of design and development work specifically for individual customers – working closely with the sales team, which I have really enjoyed, so everything’s going very well.”
Vanners, based in Sudbury, Suffolk, is renowned for top quality silk weaving and accessories manufacturing. With a history stretching back 250 years, the company holds a unique archive of over 250,000 designs. Its sumptuous range of silk fabrics is prepared, dyed and woven in-house using state-of-the-art dyeing, weaving and production methods. Vanners fabrics regularly appear in outfits worn by many high profile public figures. Adele wore a Barbara Tfank dress created from a Vanners silk brocade to the Sony Grammy party in February.
Rhiannon Williams's distinctive, witty pieces are building a steady fan base. Her work has been exhibited in According to McGee, a well known art gallery in York and Rhiannon sells some of her pieces through their on-line shop.
Rhiannon Williams; printed and embroidered pieces
In addition, she has just finished an internship with JRC Imports Ltd, a digital fashion print company. Rhiannon says: “This experience was really insightful. JRC Imports is a lovely, friendly company – they specialise in womenswear and their fabrics are used by many high street retailers. My role was to assist the design team with preparing their prints for the buyers, and to create mood boards and design commercial collections based on researched trends. I learned such a lot about print design and using Photoshop - so it was a positive experience. It has me really excited about digital techniques and opened my eyes to the fashion industry.” Rhiannon is currently in the process of applying to study for an MA.
Egle Vaituleviciute’s Indian inspiration
18 March 2012 by Joyce Thornton
Knitwear specialist Egle Vaituleviciute (Texprint 2011) recently exhibited her latest creative project at the Construction Gallery in Tooting Bec, London - a super-sized weave created from her knitted ‘strands’ - the ends dipped into liquid pots of vibrantly coloured dye which soaked up the colour over time.
Egle creating her exhibit at the Construction Gallery
This latest work is just one of the outcomes of a seven-week trip to India as part of an educational project organised by Chelsea College of Art & Design and the Institute of Fine Art in Modi Nagar, India.
Egle was selected as one of two textile graduates for her creativity and research skills. The graduates travelled to India to share their skills and experience with fashion & textile students at the Indian institution.
Detail of Egle's dip-dyed piece
Egle explains: “This trip has been a life changing experience for me. I found India such a fantastic place for inspiration. I gathered so many resources in seven weeks that this will sustain me for at least a year! I learned such a lot more about textile techniques – tie-dye, dip dye, block printing - and made some great contacts. This experience has inspired me to create more exciting work, pushing the boundaries of knit and incorporating processes such as block printing.
Egle creating her exhibit at the Construction Gallery
Added to this, I loved the colours, smells and the great, warm welcome I found in this fascinating place – a world away from the stresses of London. I loved the way that people in India find the time for the enjoyments in life – I got my energy back.”
In August 2012 Egle is due to start a 12-month design internship with Tan House, a company based in Hong Kong that she made contact with while exhibiting with Texprint at Spinexpo, Shanghai last year.