Monday, 23 September 2019

100% Design

London Design Week is drawing to an end for another year and it's been great to dip into some of the shows that have been going on. On Friday I headed to Olympia to check out 100% Design and I found some inspirational designers that immediately made me want to redesign my home!

I love a grey sofa (and have one in my home) and loved this one by British Design Shop. It looks great set against an orange wall and if that's a bit bold, just accessorise with an orange velvet cushion.

The orange and grey theme was also used in this wonderful wool cushion cover. The dark wall behind gives it drama whilst the cream Mid Century Modern chair keeps it fresh.

These retro-inspired tables are by Curve Top Tables and they come in a series of vibrant colours and a variety of fluid shapes, perfect for curving around your sofa and adding flowing lines to your space.

Friends of Wilson is a company that produces hanging screens made form 100% wool felt and available in a range of rich colours. It combines abstract art, design and acoustics to give a practical solution to an open plan space.

For lighting, my favourite company was Showroom Finland a Helsinki-based business that creates stunning lamp shades out of plywood. No glue or screws are used and the lights are assembled using numerous plywood parts, bringing together traditional Finnish techniques with modern computer geometry.

On another stand, these light shades were being produced using a 3D printer.

There was also a good selection of jewel tones on show. I took a liking to these velvet-covered footstools in a fun combination of colours.

Or how about this fabulous teal armchair with a modern twist on the Mid Century style.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Anya Hindmarch Postbox Maze

On Saturday I headed to the Brewer Street car park to check out the Postbox Maze, an immersive art installation and a celebration of Anya Hindmarch's new Postbox Collection and the art of the written word. You enter the maze through an inviting red archway - the red is used throughout the maze and is made from a soft wool that covers the walls and floors.

The maze is a unique tessellated design created by leading maze and puzzle designer, Adrian Fisher and is inspired by the mural designed by MC Escher for The Hague Post Office. The Brewer Street car park is the perfect venue for an installation this size as well as being in the perfect location. The high industrial ceilings allow space and light and add to the drama.

Within the maze, visitors can discover readings of a series of letters written by notable people throughout history, such as Emily Pankhurst and Spike Milligan.

In the Postbox Maze cafe you can enjoy a cup of tea and postal-themed biscuits and cakes.

In the concept store you can shop a carefully curated range of stationery-related items, or sit and write a hand-written letter which will be posted for you. And last, but not least, you can view the latest range of stunning bags from the Anya Hindmarch Postbox Collection. I'll have one of each please!

Monday, 2 September 2019

Kimono scrunchies

I have so many lovely kimono fabrics in my collection and I often find myself sorting through them and getting inspired by new ideas for my store. The most recent find were these stunning kimono belts that come in shades of red and white.

I love the stylised butterfly design and modern chrysanthemum motif and realised they would make the perfect selection for the next set of scrunchies to hit my store.

The scrunchies come in sets of two and I love to use colours and designs that compliment each other.

The butterfly design has butterflies fluttering randomly across the fabric.

Both fabrics are vintage but look very modern in their colour and design. I love the contemporary feel of this chrysanthemum print.

They are great for using on ponytails and top knots but also make perfect wrist decorations.

Monday, 12 August 2019

Peruvian Textiles at the Fashion and Textile Museum

Peru has a strong national identity in its fibres and textiles and the Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey, London has a rather fabulous exhibition on which showcases some of these items. The exhibition is rather aptly called Weavers Of The Clouds.

When the Spanish colonised Peru, they brought a general dress code to the style of dressing to the indigenous communities. It incorporated a mix of established traditional of weaving with contemporary methods and new textiles were created. The traditional techniques were valued, but the Spanish textiles offered innovative ideas, along with the introduction of sheep wool and cotton.

The skirts, known as pollers, are highly decorated with embroidery and are bordered with a woven trim.

A full costume consists of many garments, each with its own unique embellishment or decorative motif.

The traditional costumes of Peru show a diverse range of skills and each individual garment can feature a variety of techniques. The style of a garment identifies each community or region and can also indicate a person's marital status, occupation and economic status.

Many of the garments are decorated with these stunning giant metal brooches which also hold garments together.

The exhibition celebrates the diversity of applied arts created in a wide range of materials, encompassing numerous symbols and employing various techniques.

Contemporary Peruvian fashion designers have looked at their own culture for inspiration and the upstairs section of the exhibition shows work from designers who work with indigenous people, using traditional skills.

My favourite piece was this ensemble by Meche Correa who used a wide border along the bottom of the dress using a brightly coloured Andean floral motif.

The dress has been accessorised with a purple and green clutch bag and bright red hat.

This wonderful exhibition closes on 8th September, so not long left to get there and check it out!

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Apetitu Jewellery Design

When I was at the design shop in the Azkuna Zentroa museum in Bilbao recently I came across a fabulous jewellery designer called Apetitu. In Basque, Apetitu means appetite and this company is all about having an appetite for discovery and play.

I particularly loved this necklace which called Hirunaka (which means 'daytime' in Japanese). It is made from polymer clay and is handcrafted by the designer.

I love the use of colour, pattern and asymmetrical design.

The necklace would go perfectly with these earrings, which are called Obalo - 'oval' in Basque.

I love the idea of using the earrings as a brooch instead, as seen below.

Monday, 29 July 2019

My last day in Santander

For my last day, we decided to head to the beach. It was a bit of a hike but lovely once we got there and we decided to rent sun beds. Dom and the girls headed into the sea with their boogie boards whilst Morwenna and I lay on the beach and chatted. There was also some bat and balling going on! Sadly the sun didn’t last long, so after a nice lunch by the sea, we headed back into Santander to mooch about the shops and chill out for a while. There are a few things we are a bit bemused about here. Firstly the rather fab pedestrian crossings which have a little green man who looks like he’s moon walking! Secondly are the travelators that are dotted around the city on the slightly steeper areas, but not always within reason. Thirdly, the rather hilarious funicular that we took a long time looking for, only to find that it’s the shortest funicular in the world!!! My last evening ended up with a fab tapas dinner followed by the biggest ice cream I’ve ever had!!!

The gang is here!

After having a night and a day in Santander on my own, it was great to finally have my sister and her family arrive. They got the ferry down from Portsmouth and are staying about a 20 minute walk from my apartment. I trotted over there to meet them and it was lovely to be reunited! We spent the evening wandering around and stopping in the odd square for a drink and then dinner at a lovely tapas bar near their apartment. When I got back to my apartment I spent some time standing on my balcony and taking in the atmosphere on the street below. Everyone was out and about enjoying the balmy evening.

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