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.

Riina O set up2

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.

Revolution exhibition photography 06-09-2016

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.

Revolution exhibition photography 06-09-2016

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.

Revolution exhibition photography 06-09-2016

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.

 

1920s Jazz Age and fashion

Sparkle, fun and excess – this is what ´20s people were craving for, what they longed after the war and what the economy of the day allowed.

The exhibition at London Fashion and Textile Museum looks back nearly 100 years ago at the glamorous time when women´s rights expanded for the first time after the WWI and the ankles started flashing in the decade-long celebration of life. Women´s style of dressing changed unprecedentedly. Jazz music also played an important role in the decade, as well as fashion – allowing more comfortable dresses for dancing, as well as the whole idea of movement, energy and self expression. The clothes were designed to move and shift and allow the movement while wearing them.

The display looks back at the glittering haute couture, as well as everyday ready-to-wear, alongside large display of accessories, ranging from fans to cigarette holders, gloves and headbands.

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The photographs by James Abbe: Photographer of the Jazz Age, depict portraits of the well known ladies of the time reflect the realistic look of that time. Although on illustrations depicted always so slender, the real life women of that time looked rather healthy and far from the anorectic models.

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Of course, the bitter economic crash followed at the end of the decade, due to the overspending, but it was a decade to remember. The ´20s of this century are just a few years away, lets wait and see how this decade will turn out!

1920s JAZZ AGE Fashion and Photographs exhibition at London Fashion and Textile Museum open till 15th January 2017.

The Vulgar

Vulgarity is a word usually associated with negative connotations. Hence I was very curious to see what “The Vulgar” fashion exhibition at Barbican Art Gallery is all about. It was much more than the common meaning of this word – the curator was pushing boundaries and exploring the wider concept and background of what has been considered vulgar in fashion through times and how that changes along with the general view and progress.

In a nutshell, almost anything can be vulgar. And who is to define what is vulgar and what not, as it depends on the point of view – while punk can be considered vulgar for someone, for Johnny Rotten high fashion or the smart suit would have been considered as vulgar.

Good taste changes with time, but vulgar is not exactly the same as bad taste. It is bold and shameless. Vulgarity always exaggerates, it never retreats. It is committed to enjoyment. It is the theater of ambition and kitsch is its celebration. Here the pleasure is viewed as vulgar and restraint as a virtue.

The exhibition presents over 120 exhibits of well known fashion designers, including Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Iris van Herpen, Pam Hogg, Stephen Jones, Manolo Blahnik, Hussein Chalayan, and many more.

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To be frank – fashion without vulgarity would be boring! Vulgarity is intriguing, experimental and boundary-pushing.

Stephen Jones has said: “Vulgarity is the salt and pepper of fashion”.

“We must never forget that vulgarity is tremendous fun!”

Even high fashion is in constant play with vulgarity. For example Chanel´s show staged at the supermarket. By the way, note all the products in the Chanel “supermarket” are especially crafted for this purpose, bearing Chanel labels – some of them were presented at the exhibition and the rest probably sold out as collector items.
In this show you can spot ripped and holed tweed sweatpants and tops, crafted purposefully by the couturiers.

Another definition for vulgarity is someone or something pretending to be what it is not. For example commoners trying to belong to so called “elite”, but failing at some crucial details or a dress trying to be labor-intensive couture, while instead being a print-on of that, or a print-on of a naked body instead.
Moschino is known for its pretend-playfulness and games with kitsch. This can also be seen in their latest collection show.

Vulgarity as the unrestricted joie de vivre. Better vulgar than boring!

The Vulgar – Fashion Redefined at Barbican Art Gallery in London is open till 5th February 2017.

Burberry Makers House exhibition

Right after the London Fashion Week Burberry opened its show venue´s doors to public for one week. Burberry together with The New Craftsmen are bringing the inspiration behind the new collection to life in unexpected ways.

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As the whole fashion business approach is changing from “business to business”, reaching the consumers half a year later; to “business to consumer” – being immediately available(for pre-orders at least), so has Burberry taken the lead of this change and made their latest collection, showcased just a week ago at London Fashion Week, readily available for their clients.

Makers House exhibition looks closely at the making process and the skillful work of their craftsmen, as well as the finished products, available for order.

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The collection – influenced by Virginia Woolf´s novel “Orlando” – is like a love letter to English history. The selection of clothes includes pieces for men and women both, shown together for the first time. Featuring denim blend with cashmere and several silky pyjama elements suitable for loungewear as well as outerwear. The separations between gender-specific and place-specific wear are blurred into new reality. The collection includes deconstructed trench coats, military-style inspired jackets, ruffle neck shirts and other historical elements rediscovered and modernised. Spiced up with some very cute ruffle-purses.

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Open until 27th September 2016, this showcase is worth a visit!