Wellcome Collection

One of my favourite places in London is the Wellcome Collection with its curiosity cabinets.

Located at 183 Euston Road, London, it explores the connections between medicine, life and art in the past, present and future. The venue hosts a museum with permanent and temporary exhibitions, the world-renowned Wellcome Library, the conference centre, a café with some great food and a very cool shop where it is possible to find many unusual gifts.

The Wellcome collection space was opened in 2007, but its story goes a lot further back to its founder Sir Henry Wellcome (1853-1936). Pharmacist, entrepreneur, philanthropist and collector, he made his fame and fortune by his extensive work in the pharmaceutical business. Being one of the first ones to introduce the medicine in the form of a tablet, Wellcome-funded scientists developed medicines to cure a number of important diseases, from tetanus to diphtheria.
In addition to the pharmaceuticals, Henry Wellcome had a passion for collecting unusual items and curiosities from around the world. His personal collection ranged to over a million of items, stacked away at the warehouse in Willesden. After his death, the Wellcome Foundation was established, which lead to the opening of the Collection over 70 years later.

I would like to specifically concentrate on the “Medicine Man” permanent exhibition, presenting the outright weird items from around the world. The extraordinary objects range from Victorian-era diagnostic dolls to Japanese sex aids, from the samples of tattooed human skin to antique artificial arms and legs.

This is quite a different exhibition to discover in London.

All images by Wellcome Collection / Rama Knight.

I have always been attracted to the mysterious wonders of the world, being captivated rather by the unusual than the well known regular things around us. One of my personal early childhood memories includes the blowfish carcass, from my father´s trips to Africa, displayed in the hallway cabinet. Even now our home is filled with the curiosities from around the world, brought back from my extensive travels. Often these are just random remarkable pieces of nature, such as a piece of bark from an exotic tree, a shell of a specific-looking nut or something more mysterious. If the space allowed, the collection would be a lot wider.
Inspired by the Wellcome collection (and other curiosity cabinets of this kind) I am looking to take this passion of mine further, continuing to collect the unusual items along the way and perhaps sharing the most remarkable finds online.

Tiny gloves for Whoopi Goldberg

Recently Riina O had the incredible occasion to collaborate on the pair of shoes made by the very talented Caroline Groves for the wonderful Hollywood actress Whoopi Goldberg!

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Whoopi Goldberg, best known for starring in a ´90s movie “Sister Act“, now a co-hostess of the TV talk show “The View” on ABC site, she is known to be a huge footwear fan.

These shoes by Caroline Groves are rather unique. Eash shoe is in contrasting monochrome colour. In addition to the tiny pair of Riina O gloves one of the shoes, it is also bearing a little top hat and a walking stick, while another sports a veiled bowler hat with a little scarf.

Caroline says, the inspiration for the shoes came from her earlier work that Whoopi was infatuated with. She suggested the one white and one black shoe. One with top hat to represent her show business background and a bowler hat on the other toe in memory of her mother who used to wear a bowler.

The other collaborators on this pair of shoes were the milliner Louise Pocock  and a silversmith Jessica Hickman-Woolcott , who made the tiny cane.

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Riina O mini gloves, seen in several of our recent Instagram posts, made it to the top of the shoes and onto the screen at “The View”.

See them live:

Haluminous “Floral DNA; Born to be a Lily”.

One of the most memorable presentations from the last LFW was definitely of Haluminous´ collection.

Held at the Freemasons Hall, the show took us by surprise and presented the unexpected, pushing boundaries of the fashion presentations.

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Having arrived just as the presentation started, everyone got transfixed on the model/dancer lying on the floor in the circle of candles and lilies. Then she started to move to the music in haunted, almost possessed manner.

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One by one the models, dressed in oversized hoodies and dresses layered on top of each other, walked out from behind the scenes, dragging their feet along in embroidered socks and flip flops as if they were zombies. It was hard to concentrate on the clothes during the presentation, as the frantic movements of the dancer were overly captivating, creating the eerie haunting mood. References to witchcraft and voodoo could be spotted.

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Haluminous is a Sydney based womenswear brand, founded in 2016 by designer Hannah Kim. The label offers highly embellished and beaded garments in street style with youthful silhouettes. Fusing experimental creative textiles with elaborate craftsmanship, Hannah created the new category of the trendy street couture.

The inspiration comes from human anatomy, flowers and Hannah´s surreal interpretation of traditional folktales. Her textiles combine multiple layers of prints, embellishments and embroidery, made into oversized elaborate pieces of clothing.

 

 

“ CURSED, CURSED TO BE A HUMAN.
I WILL DIE. RE-BORN TO BE A FLOWER “

THERE WILL BE NO DROP OF BLOOD LEFT
THEY DRINK OUT OF MY VEINS
THIRSTY
I THRIST FOR FREEDOM
FREEDOM
OUT OF THIS BODY

THE TIME IS COMING
I FEEL IT.
COURSING THROUGH MY VEINS
A LILY AT LAST.

MY PETALS WHITE AS AN ANGELIC SOUL .
BEAUTIFUL – PURE – SCENT LIKE HEAVEN .
STEMS SLENDER AND TALL WITH ELEGANCE .

I WILL LIVE FOREVER .
PLEASE, JOIN ME .
I WELCOME YOUR DEATH .
LEAVE YOUR BODY .
NOTHING MATTERS IN ETERNITY .
BUT SINLESS FLOWERS .

Burberry´s Makers House – Henry Moore: Inspiration & Process

Burberry continues its tradition of the Makers House, opening the doors of their showroom to public, first run for the in September 2016.

This time Burberry explores the unique collaboration with the Henry Moore Foundation.
Henry Moore (1898–1986) was one of the most important artists and sculptors of the 20th century. He is renowned for his semi-abstract monumental shapes and curves representing the human body. England´s landscape and natural world proved to be his endless sources of inspiration. Some of Moore´s iconic ideas can be traced back to the found objects he collected – pebbles, bones, seashells and pieces of wood formed the “library of natural forms” on the shelves of his studio. Moore would sketch these objects and transform them through the addition of new material.
Being born and later based in Yorkshire – same as Burberry´s trench coat factory and the birthplace of current creative director Christopher Bailey – Moore became a global star in his own lifetime. His work came to symbolise post-war modernism and can be said to have caused a British sculptural renaissance.

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This exhibition is the celebration of Burberry´s new collection (named innovatively “February 2017” rather than traditionally defined by S/S or A/W seasons, and instantly available in-stores.) alongside the work and creative process of the iconic artist who´s work inspired it. The exhibition looks behind the scenes into Henry Moore´s workshop as well as Burberry´s studios to view the research and creation processes, explaining how the final results were achieved.

The whole showroom is divided into different segments, one corner at the entrance featuring Henry Moore exhibition posters from around the world, spanning 60 years.

The passage to the main showroom is filled with an exhibition of 78 couture capes introduced on the February runway. Inspired by the scale and form of Henry Moore’s elemental sculptures and created using unique constructions and remarkable materials, each design is handmade and available to special order, being a unique collector´s piece. The craftsmanship put into every cape is rather astonishing!

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The main hall features the full Burberry collection, shown first during the London Fashion Week, allowing to discover the garments up close. Unfortunately, for purchasing or trying them on you still have to go across Soho to Burberry shop or online right there on your phone.
The collection features deconstructed knitwear, asymmetric lines, a selection of capes, alongside their signature trench coats, ruffled shirt dresses mixed with lace details and strongly featured nautical stripes.

A separate section looks at Burberry´s inspiration room, taking a glimpse into the research, creative techniques and sketches behind the new runway collection.

Similar sneak peek can be taken at Henry Moore´s creative process, exploring the artist´s working methods – drawings, found objects and large-scale sculptures showcase the creative process of one of Britain´s greatest artists.

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A number of creative workshops are run on the daily basis. There are a few more nooks and corners to discover during your visit.

Runway presentation of the whole collection can be viewed on the way out.

Open daily 10am-9pm until Monday, the 27th of February 2017.
1 Manette Street London, W1D 4AT

Roberta Einer´s Mediterrannean melancholy

Talented young designer Roberta Einer has been the “One to Watch” since called so by NEWGEN in December 2015. Her newest collection for Autumn/Winter 2017/18 proves that she has a lot to offer.

Always inspired by a certain place, this season she travels to Mediterranean in winter. Portuguese poster art and Fado music, alongside Art Deco architecture and structural Forties cuts, hand-painted prints of nature studies, combined with her signature crafted supersized sequins and Swarovski crystals embellishments.

Roberta´s maximalist luxury ready-to-wear signature style features already familiar oversized bombers, masculine shirts contrasted by elegant slip dresses, peculiar skirt hybrid, which is simultaneously high-waisted and low-waisted, cutaway at the back. The intricate craftwork of the embroideries is rather remarkable.

New innovations include prints, pleating and 3-D fabric manipulation techniques, as well as collaboration with Berlin-based footwear label Aeyde. The hand embroidery features the Mediterranean insects – moths, dragonflies and butterflies – rendered in Art Deco-style.

So much to look forward to!

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Haizhen Wang in Transit

Haizhen Wang is a London-based designer of Chinese descent, known for his avant-garde, modernist approach to elegance. Having graduated from Central Saint Martin´s in 2005, his origin has helped him to establish his brand globally in both Europe and Asia.

With his artisanal approach to the design process, inspired by architecture the result is masculine femininity with classical tailoring and bold designs.

His Autumn/Winter 2017/18 collection called “In Transit” is the response to the growing immigration crises around the world. The practically constructed trousers with multiple oversized patch pockets and padded jackets for extra comfort are pulled together with extra long belts, referring to the safety belts on planes. Embroidered and Swarovski-encrusted slogan badges reading “fragile”, “handle with care”  and “priority” feature on the clothing items.  Clear references can be seen towards luggage, travel and passage.

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The idea of transit was even further explored within the presentation, where models moved around the plastic-wrapped cardboard boxes as if in the bonded warehouse.

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