My latest collaborative blog post with Design Junkie takes you on the craft trip to India to discover the Banjara fabric. Have a look:
Access to cheap labour, materials and ready-made factories ensures India is one of the world’s mass-produced, ready-to-wear powerhouses, producing millions of pieces per day. However, it also boasts a rich crafts and textiles heritage. Artisanal fabric traditions can be traced back centuries and each region has its own unique style. The slow fashion hand made by the skilled craftsmen and ladies still thrives – you just need time to discover it. Small-scale independent craftspeople promote the traditional way of creating beautiful pieces using specialised skills passed down from generations…
American fashion designer Anna Sui is revealing her world of decades-long work and the inspiration behind it in her retrospective exhibition at London Fashion and Textile Museum.
The retrospective exhibition of a truly American signature fashion designer bedazzled with its multiplicity of subcultural styles. Her inherent style grasps rock-n-roll romanticism mixed with pop/sub culture and with a touch of Bohemian chic.
Anna knew already as a 4-year old kid that she wanted to become a fashion designer and everything she did since then was leading her to the goal.
The exhibition displays her different collections, from the first catwalk show to the present day, each representing a certain ever changing style, her research and inspiration, the collaborations with other creatives and much more.
Her “archetypes” range from surfers and school girls to hippies, mods and punks, nomads and rock stars, creating a different story with each collection. The right word to use to describe her style would be eclectic. As well as playful and fun – not something to be taken too seriously. Some of her whimsical accessories feature dog head turbans and gingerbread handbags, for example.
In addition to the pop culture, the strong influence in her work is a nomad, travelling to all the corners of the world. The indigenous and national dress is a great source of her interest, as well as her references to global cultures.
The amount of her research into vintage fashion and popular culture is impressive. Anna Sui blends her sources of inspiration from photography, art, graphic design, music and subculture styles, creating her own interpretation of the current moment by using the unfamiliar perspective on familiar things. Each of her outfits creates a different “fairy tale” and you can transform yourself through her clothes.
Anna helped to define the American look in the 1990s. The fashion was infused with the youthful spirit in that era, turning its back to the head-to-toe high-end designer brands that dominated in the 1980s. Anna´s retrospective work from the 90s reinvents itself in the current day fashion with the revival of the main style elements.
Oslo Opera House is probably one of the most symbolic buildings of the Norwegian capital. Emerging like an iceberg from water it epitomizes the Nordic spirit.
I had an incredible opportunity to discover this building inside out, see the ballet preformance and even peek to the back stage while running the glove making workshop during the Prøverommet training event.
Covered with marble and white granite, the building was opened to the public in 2007 and has won numerous awards for its architecture.
It is possible to walk up to the roof via the slant, to enjoy the panoramic views of the city.
The glass walls create a mesmerising effect of light play in the hallway, while the interior design is contrasted with the waving natural oak panelling, bringing out the variance in textures.
Behind the building, floating in the fjord is a glass and steel sculpture “She Lies”, constructed by Monica Bonivicini. The installation responds to the moving water and changes its appearance constantly depending on tides.
Currently the neighbourhood of the Opera house is undergoing a transformation with extended construction – just behind the Opera house the museum of the most famous Norwegian painter Edward Munch is being built, planning to open in 2020. Along with the new city library, currently also in construction, it is aiming to turn the area into a new cultural hub.
The future of the area looks promising!
Lincoln is a quaint little town in the East Midlands region of England, with a massive cathedral towering over the charming little houses on top of the hill.
While downtown is quite modern and trendy, the steep walk up the hill takes you to the rather historic neighbourhood.
Lincoln Cathedral was once the tallest building in the world for over 200 years, until the central spire was destroyed by a storm in 1549. The cathedral has not lost its grandeour though and is still the third largest in the UK, following closely after St Paul´s in London.
Having worked in the cathedral during the Heritage Skills Festival I had a chance to get know it pretty thoroughly, with its numerous little nooks, passages and different rooms, which made me feel like being in a village of its own. The architectural beauty is rather breathtaking!
Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to look around the castle this time, but the 11th century Norman castle surely needs a visit.
While walking through the town the colourful sculptures of knights can be spotted throughout Lincoln. These are part of the Knights Trail project – 36 knights in total – to mark 800 years since the Battle of Lincoln.
Each sponsored by a local business and painted by a talented artist they form a cheerful addition to the town.
The playful side of Lincoln comes out this weekend, as it´s the time for the annual Asylum Steampunk Festival.
Hailed as “the most splendid festival in the world” and held already 9th year in the row, it is Europe´s largest Steampunk gathering.
If you have no plans for the bank holiday weekend, here´s an idea what to do.
Let me know how it was, if you happen to go there!
My latest collaborative blog post with Design Junkie takes you on the craft trip around the world. Have a look:
The world is full of beautiful colours, textures and patterns; each hemisphere, continent, archipelago and country boasts an array of cultural riches which are just waiting to be discovered.
We´d like to take you on a trip around the world, introducing you to the colourful textiles and the indigenous weavers from the different continents, starting from the Central and South America. Learn to make a difference between Molas and Frazadas and note where to find the best deal once you hit the road and go travelling yourself. We would like to encourage you to discover the world for yourself and help to sustain the local crafts on your journey, bringing the authentic memories back home with you.
The legend has it that after the big town fire in 1624, the Danish-Norwegian King Christian IV decided to rebuild the town in this area and name it after himself. He supposedly pointed to this spot and said: “The new town will lie here!”. Now there is a fountain in the shape of a gloved hand pointing to the ground making the spot.
Christian IV was the king of Denmark-Norway 1588-1648. He is remembered as one of the most remarkable Danish kings, having initiated many reforms and projects.
The sculpture, titled “Chritian IV’s Glove” is just known as “Hanske”, meaning “The Glove”, among locals. Situated in the middle of Christiania Torv square (also known as “The Glove square”) it was designed in the mid-1990s by the Norwegian artist Wenche Gulbransen.
The allegorical statue was one of the first sights for me to visit in Oslo and rightfully so, as I was running the glove making workshop in Oslo during the following days.
Historically a glove has also played a significant role as a symbol of power. King´s glove was a symbol of rule like a seal. One could sell, make coins and take taxes with the possession of a king´s glove. In the Medieval times, the king´s glove hanged high above the market place symbolised the right to trade. At the end of the day, the glove would be taken down. Later the glove got replaced by the wooden shape of a hand.
So in a way, it is quite symbolic that a gloved hand is placed in the middle of the market square.
The real reason for going to Bristol last weekend was actually visiting the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, taking place already the 39th year! Europe’s largest annual balloon event brought together over 130 international balloonists and a whole field full of spectators.
The festival was spread over the meadows of the Ashton Court Mansions, on the outskirts of Bristol. The early Saturday afternoon was filled with a variety of air shows, including a rather impressive wind walking performances, with the stuntmen fixed on top of the small aeroplane.
The hot air balloon lifts off was meant to be at 6 pm. Unfortunately, due to the windy weather conditions, the hot air balloons did not fly on Saturday´s afternoon. The public could only enjoy watching the tethered balloons, as it was too dangerous for them to fly.
However, the evening event was worth a stay. Saturday night was finished off with a glorious nightglow show, followed by the fireworks. The hot air balloons, securely fixed to the ground, were being lit up, turning on and off as giant light bulbs, following the sounds of the music.
Luckily the weather conditions changed and the balloons did take off the next morning.