Here We Are!

Burberry continues the tradition of the open house they´ve been having every season since last September. This time they moved from the Makers House to the semi-refurbished building of Old Sessions House, just outside the Farringdon Station in Clerkenwell. The prominent landmark of the 18th century, the former courthouse-turned-restaurant and members´ club rarely opens its doors to the public. It is currently in the midst of transformation.

This time the brand´s new collection is embraced by the vast photography exhibition depicting the true quintessence of the British life and character.
‘Here We Are’ brings together the work of over 30 of the 20th century’s most celebrated social and documentary photographers. The list includes the well-known names, such as Shirley Baker and Ken Russell, Karen Knorr capturing Belgravia in 1979, Charlie Phillips showing around in his local Notting Hill neighbourhood, Brian Griffin´s unconventional way of portraying the British businessmen, Burberry´s latest collaborator´s Alasdair McLellan´s photography work and many more…

My personal favourite was the photo presentation by the Russian fashion designer and photographer Gosha Rubchinskiy of models styled in Burberry´s latest collection.

The exhibition is stretched over three floors winding throughout the rooms of Old Sessions House, Burberry´s new show venue. “Here We Are” is divided into themes which reflect different aspects of the British way of life. The semi-renovated building was quite a sight in itself.

And of course, there are clothes! You can´t forget that Burberry is a very British fashion brand, creating the clothes these everyday moments can be captured in. The main trends include red military-inspired jackets(I used to have one of these a few years ago made by an English young designer with crazy leather sleeves), the long black military-inspired woollen coat which I completely fell in love with, a lot of tartan fabric, large selection of see-throughs, multiple versions of knitwear and long woollen socks.

However, note that the models and mortals pictured on the social photography are not (always) wearing Burberry.

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The exhibition is free and open till 1st of October 2017.

 

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The Size Doesn’t Matter

You may think this post is about fashion and celebrating all human sizes, not just XS size models – on the contrary, this is the name of Estonian Design exhibition, pointing out that despite its tiny size, the country has a rather high density of talented designers.

As part of London Design Festival, 16-24th of September, Estonian Design House is displaying a large selection of the newest design objects, blending the innovation, latest technologies and solutions of the day with the rich visual heritage.

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The exhibition displays home furnishing products: textiles, furniture, lighting, ceramics, glass and a small selection of apparel, shoes and accessories of high quality and made using natural materials. Nearly 50 designers are represented. The crisp collection is characteristic of the Nordic country – characterised by a minimalist style, natural materials, ingenious solutions and humour.

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At the back of the shop, it is possible to purchase some of the quirky masterpieces.

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In addition to the physical design items, the event is screening the newest Estonian Fashion Film “Northern Spirit” – setting the mood and introducing the work of 10 fashion designers, and an additional array of accessory designers.

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Riina O gloves are also featured in some of the video clips.

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OXO Tower Wharf hosts a number of other exhibitions and events over the weekend, so it is well worth heading down there over the weekend to explore more!

The Estonian Design exhibition, along with the pop-up shop is open every day until the 24th September, 11-6 pm.

The Multi Style World of Anna Sui

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.

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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.
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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.
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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.

The exhibition is open till 1.st October 2017.

Riina O at London Craft Week

The first week of May welcomed the third edition of London Craft Week.

Riina O had an honour to participate in the Leather exhibition, organised by Bill Amberg at the Leathersellers Hall. Hand-picked as one of the fourteen Britain´s finest independent leatherworkers, the selection included saddlers, sculptors, bag makers, bookbinders, cordwainers, etc.

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During three days, between 4-6th of May, the Leather exhibition was held at the place most suitable for it – the freshly renovated Leathersellers Hall. Completed just last Summer, the hall designed by Eric Parry and finished by Bill Amberg leatherworkers team, the interiors include such details as walls and even the elevator interior covered in veg tan leather, combining the Leathersellers Company´s six-century history with modern luxurious interiors. The London Craft Week Show offered one of the first opportunities for members of the public to set foot inside.

Riina O demonstrated the best of our glove collections, where ages old craftsmanship has been joined with modern technological advantages. The making process could be witnessed at the display of the deconstructed gloves and work tools, as well as at the craft presentation.

deconstructed gloves

On Saturday it was even possible for the public to try the glove making at Riina´s masterclass of a modified design of an archery glove with just two fingers.

The exhibition was supported by the Leathersellers´ partner livery companies, including the Glovers Livery and it was a real pleasure meeting them in person again.

Riina with livery master

Riina O exhibiting at London Crafts Week!

If you are in London this week, head over to the Liverpool Street neighbourhood, as 5-6th of May 2017 Riina O is showing at the Leathercraft exhibition at the Leathersellers Hall.

Located at 15 St Helens Place, you can find the best of the British leathercraft.

London craft week poster

I will be running the craft presentation today and the archery gloves workshop tomorrow.

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Don´t miss out!

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

You Say You Want a Revolution…

…Well, you know, we all want to change the world.
(The Beatles, Revolution, 1968)

Records and Rebels 1966 – 1970 exhibition at V&A looks at different aspects of the time that affected the counterculture of the 60s in the UK and the USA.

Armed with a set of headphones, that change the tune automatically as you move through the rooms, one would enter the exhibition maze, running through the spaces analysing different aspects of the era. The time was highly innovative for the rise of the cultural revolution that embraced various topics, from music to design, politics and lifestyle. Inspired by Thomas Moore´s Utopia, written in 1516, people were looking for alternative ways.

The first section of the exhibition is looking at youth identity and “Singing London” as the centre for fashion, music, photography and art. Twiggy sporting Mary Quant miniskirt, famous works by photographer David Bailey, invitations to art “happenings”, the importance of the mainstream pop music of the time are featured.

 

The second part looks closer at the counterculture and alternative lifestyles, through psychedelia, underground literature and pirate radio. Psychedelic art is featured on the walls accompanied by some trippy tunes coming from the headphones. The music is the king in this section. It was sweet to see an older lady with a distinctively cool style flipping through the album covers of the time – music she probably grew up with and experienced first hand when it was launched. The exhibition must have taken her down the memory lane…

 

The third section explores revolution on the street, exploring the anti-politics with peaceful protests and anti-war statements in regards to the war in Vietnam. The revolutionary figures of Martin Luther-King and Che Guevara are on display. Among others are displayed the ideas calling for equality including gay rights´ activists and women´s liberation groups.

 

Next part of the exhibition concentrates on the design innovations of the time, exploring consumerism, fed by the rapid increase in personal wealth and the introduction of the credit card. The 1967 Montreal and 1970 Osaka World Expos look into the consumer innovations, such as home TV-s, futuristic furniture and fashion, featuring innovative Pierre Cardin dress. The television opened the window to the real-time news coverage of the Vietnam War and moon landings, shocking and enthusing the viewers.

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The fifth space is dedicated entirely to the Woodstock festival, being designed with a large stage and dramatic backdrop of large screens surrounding the room. One can absorb the atmosphere of the music festival by sinking into one of the bean bag chairs in the middle of the hall. The event that brought together 400 000 people to enjoy music and each others company peacefully despite the rain, was rather unprecedented at the time. Instruments, costumes and ephemera are on display.

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The sixth and final exhibition environment looks at alternative communities living on the USA’s West Coast during the period as the birthplace of a revolution in communications. These alternative living communes explored sexual liberation, rejection of institutions and a ‘back to the land’ philosophy to the tunes of psychedelic rock music. They lived in parallel with a different sort of alternative community: the pioneers of modern computing. Both believing in the possibility of achieving a better world through sharing human knowledge more equitably. The Whole Earth Catalog, the American counterculture magazine published by Stewart Brand, served the purpose of ‘Google in paperback form’, according to Steve Jobs.

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From global civil rights, multiculturalism, environmentalism, consumerism, computing, communality to neoliberalist politics, the world we live in has been vitally influenced by five revolutionary years: 1966 – 1970. The whole exhibition reveals and explores the origin of tendencies prevailing today and encourages a rediscovery of an imaginative optimism to envisage a new and better tomorrow.

You Say You Want a Revolution on until 26th February 2017.