Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Fashion and Textiles

Do you remember me mentioning that amidst all the rubbish stuff going on I'd had a lovely day out in London? Of course you don't... but it was so good, and so inspiring that I'm going to tell you all about it whether you remember or not!
 
 
I went with Gill to the wonderful Fashion and Textile Museum, near London Bridge where they have an exhibition called Artist Textiles. In an attempt to make their work less elitist and more relevant to the lives of ordinary people, many 20th century artists designed  textiles for the mass market. This exhibition charts the course of this movement from Artists such as Raoul Dufy and Vanessa Bell through to Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol.

 
Post WWII many artists were commissioned to design head scarves as part of a strategy of national recovery after the war. Henry Moore and Matisse were among those who designed some of these head squares but we rather liked these fruit and vegetable inspired scarves too, designed by Marcel Vertes.

 
I also liked this one by Salvador Dali with its whirling dancers.

But there is so much more to see than just scarves with a wealth of glorious prints and some fabrics made up into garments. I loved this floral furnishing fabric by Marc Chagall. It is a wonderful exhibition and if you are remotely interested in textiles it is well worth a visit, especially if you go on a Wednesday like we did, when there is always an excellent short guided tour at lunch time.

 
The weather was so good that we then had a stroll through Borough Market, another feast for the senses, and then all the way along the South Bank as far as Westminster Bridge. On our way we browsed through the shops in the Oxo Tower and discovered the amazing work of Lauren Shanley, who has a shop on the first floor. Lauren makes the most exquisite appliqued and embroidered textiles... yet more sensual stimulation! Her work is an absolute explosion of colour and she was lovely, spending ages chatting to us about her work... we even offered to come and do work experience with her!

 
And so I came home inspired to try my own version of a Lauren Shanley fabric and started piecing scraps of fabric together... and in no time at all I had a bag!

 
It was such fun to make and a great way not only to use up masses of scraps and all thoose little bits and bobs we hoard but also a chance to showcase a wealth of machine embroidery stitches.

 
I loved the technique so much that I'm already making my second one and I've got my machine embroidery class making their own versions.

 
Plus it was a chance to put one of the hand embroidered buttons I made a few weeks ago to good use. I think we could all do with more inspiring days out like that! What's inspiring you at the moment?

19 comments:

  1. First glance at Lauren Shanley's work and I thought it was very 'you' Gina! :) Love your interpretation too but it's not really an interpretation because it's really you!
    V xxx

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  2. What's inspiring me?? You are!! What a crafty, creative work of art that bag is - no wonder you enjoyed making it. x Jo

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  3. Wow -- beautiful work Gina! It sounds like you had a great day. It's fun to see your inspiration and then your end project!

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  4. Your bag is stunning, how wonderful to make your own fabric!

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  5. Thanks for the exhibition review Gina. Its on my list.

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  6. What a gorgeous bag! How wonderful that you were inspired by your visit, although looking at Lauren's website, who could fail to be inspired! :)
    I can't believe I haven't ever visited the fashion and Textiles Museum. That's one for the bucket list. ;)
    Jess x

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  7. Lovely post Gina, and a fab bag! Before reading this I had just sorted out a bag of brightly coloured silk scraps for making a bag along the same lines.
    (Prob best not to hold your breath for the finished thing tho.)

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  8. I'm planning to go to this exhibition at the beginning of April, on a Wednesday so I can have the guided tour too. I've been really looking forward to it and am even more so now I've read this. Love the bag too :-)

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  9. What is inspiring me at the moment? Your lovely work, the gorgeous sunset on the way home tonight and meeting some lovely people. Wish it was more inspiration for some embroidery but no time for that I'm afraid.

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  10. That exhibition sounds fantastic and I love the bag you made. It makes me wish I hadn't got rid of all my fabrics!

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  11. Gina, how I would have loved to take this trip to London with you. I've yet to get to the Design Museum, knowing that I will enjoy all inside it so much.

    I agree with the prior comment that you and Lauren S definitely share a particular design sense.

    xo
    Frances

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  12. You are definitely inspiring me - that bag is gorgeous. Sounds like it was a wonderful day for you, which would have been even better knowing you were getting away from all the other nastiness. Cheers

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  13. The exhibition looks great, as is the bag, an inspiration for lots of things, perhaps they'll get made!
    Annya

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  14. Wonderful bag, Gina! I love the boldness of it!

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  15. I think I would have loved to join you on this trip, Gina. I very much like your own interpretation of the Lauren Shanley bag. It is quite simply beautiful. I almost feel inspired to remove the dustcover of my sewing machine. Cx

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  16. I can't wait to go to this exhibition. I've also just discovered Lauren Shanley on facebook, and as I've recently been given a large random collection of furnishing fabrics, I made a mental note to try the cushions - but you've beaten me to it! Looking good!

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  17. Oh to have some of the energy that you have!

    Love the bag.

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  18. YOU are inspiring me at the moment as you always do! I think I would love this exhibition but as it is never going to happen thank you for the guided tour and edited highlights. Thanks too for the intro to Lauren Shanley. I must go search her work. If that bag is the outcome of you finding her then she is a must see. Plus, I love that bag so much, I am wondering if it's within my skill sets to try something similar.Lovely to feel the energy and positivity coming out of this post.

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  19. oh yum. don't know how I missed this post Gina. so gorgeous and right up my street at the moment. I can't believe how quickly I'm gathering a fabric stash having started quilting. I'm off to have a look at her work.

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