In the midst of all the fashion week madness in London last week, Kitsuné kicked off their international project with a pop-up shop at Shop at Bluebird (click here for my recent shop tour). I hadn't encountered the French fashion/music label until recently, but I'm rather loving their AW09 collection, The Graduate, which takes its cues from the 1967 film.
Think wardrobe classics like navy pea coats and slimline corduroy jackets for boys and '60s-style swing coats for girls. The collection is kinda reminiscent of fellow French label A.P.C, only ever so slightly more sophisticated.
Until 12 October at Shop at Bluebird.
The Pop Up Kitsuné Store at The Shop at Bluebird 350 Kings Road London SW3 5UU Tel. 020 7351 3873 Nearest tube: Sloan Square
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10am-7pm. Sunday 11am-6pm
Loving the Pearly pieces from Tatty Devine's AW09 collection, Button Up, which pay tribute to the East End's royal dynasty of Pearly Kings and Queens. Reflecting the hand-crafted and emblematic hallmarks of a traditional Pearlie's costume, there are hand-stitched buttons adorning heart brooches, anchor necklaces and bow earrings, starting at £18.
If you love all things Pearlie, then you might want to check out this incredible exhibition of Pearlie portraits (see top and below) by photographer Harry Dutton. It's currently on show in Tatty Devine's Brick Lane store. Just look at the detail in those costumes!
Tatty Devine are donating £1 from every sale of a Pearly King brooch or necklace to charity through the Pearly Kings and Queens Association. Gorgeous graphic jewellery – and a perfect London souvenir!
Tatty Devine 236 Brick Lane London E2 7EB Tel. 020 7739 9191 Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 11am-6pm Nearest tube: Liverpool Street
The house is finally quiet this morning and I sat down here without knowing what I was going to blog about today. Then I visited one of my favourite blogs: Cicada Daydream, and it became clear what I needed to write about.
But first let me tell you about Cicada Studio… I have long admired Michelle’s lovely textile designs. She is a talented and inspirational designer and she seems like a natural, down to earth person with a big passion for what she does.
Image Source: Cicada Studios
Michelle has recently launched her second fabric business, with a partner, called Cloud 9 Fabrics. I love that Cloud 9 use only 100% certified organic cotton and eco-responsible solvent-free inks and dyes for printing their gorgeous baby collection.
Image Source: Cloud 9
I really enjoy visiting Michelle’s blog Cicada Daydream because she’s created a lovely welcoming little space where she shares what she’s been doing and creating.
Which brings me back to this morning when I visited Cicada Daydream…
I gasped when I read that Michelle lost everything on her computer on Friday. Everything. All her fabric designs, freelance projects, website files, collateral for her two businesses… the lot. I just can’t imagine what I’d do if that happened. But in true Michelle style she’s taking the opportunity to take stock and reassess the way she has been hurtling through life. She’s hoping to use this crippling wake up call from the universe as an opportunity to move forward with a different mindset.
So much of what Michelle said in her post resonated with me – it’s almost as if she was holding a mirror up for me to see myself:
I work hard, but not always for the money because the money isn’t always there. I accomplish a lot, but I am not always going anywhere.
People like me, who do, do, do can’t often see the trees for the forest…
I only react to what comes at me- and I throw in spontaneous actions to propel myself from the spot on which I’m standing. I rarely live for the moment, and I am constantly striving to reach some sort of goal. While it makes for a dazzling spectacle, it’s also tiresome. Only, I just can’t stop.
In addition, one of the biggest issues for me is that I am a perfectionist. Whatever I do I want it to be the best it can be. I am learning (with the help of those close to me) that not everything has to be perfect in my life and I have to be able to let go sometimes. I am also so driven to create that my head is often spinning with all I want to and have to do. Another biggie for me is that I never say no – to clients, friends, anyone. I take on everything and expect myself to be everything. And to do it perfectly.
I’ve been feeling for a while now that something’s got to give… I have actually almost been holding my breath in anticipation of the universe throwing something enormous at me that will bring everything to a grinding halt.
Maybe reading Michelle’s post today is the universe’s way of giving me a warning. I am hoping that I am able to take that on board and steer myself just off to the left or right so in time I’ll be on a new path. The new path being the way I manage work and life, finding some balance in everything and actually nurturing myself, which is something I just don’t do. I really admire how Michelle is dealing with her crisis and would like to think I can learn from her. I don’t imagine that I can change things over night, but I’m hoping I can find some ways to get the process started.
With all that in mind, I am going to take a mini blogging break. I may only post a few times a week instead of every day. As with everything I do I want my blog to be the best it can be, so I have always posted at least once a day and I put a lot of effort into it. But I really have so much on my plate at the moment that I need to give myself every bit of space and time that I can find to get things done. It seems like something’s got to give for now, and that something will have to be blogging.
How are you going my friend? Can you relate to this too? Have you been down this path yourself? I’d love to her your thoughts and ideas.
I’ve been meaning to post about the multi-faceted talents of The Likkle Girl Who Wurves Pwetty Things, one of Wee Birdy’s long-time supporters and bloggy-pals. Writing a blog has its good times and bad, but one of the most unexpected joys is stumbling across some kindred like-minded souls who have been incredibly supportive as well as lots of fun.
When she’s not cooking up a storm in the kitchen, Sydney-based Likkle Girl is blogging about her incredible fashion finds (I love this canvas faux fox stole from one of her favourite designers, Slow and Steady wins the Race)…
The pieces are hand-stitched using a variety of vibrant prints and discontinued Marmimekko fabric to create a string of ‘jewels’, which her grandmother referred to as ‘jiap-boh’ (literally ‘join cloth’ in the Teochew dialect).
And here I am modelling my 'New Jewels' this morning …
New additions have recently been added to her online shop (click here to check it out), but Sydney-siders may also like to view the Likkle Girl’s work in person when she pops up at The Little Bazaar (‘An Out-of-the-Ordinary Handmade Jewellery & Objects Market’) at The Beresford tomorrow, Saturday 26 September from 11am-6pm. Click here to check out all the details.
Sorry it’s been a bit quiet here on the red thread this week. This is what’s been going on behind the scenes:
Roxy learnt how to make origami cups last week at school, so yesterday when we were in red dust lock down she made a lot of them. I decided to put them to use and we created a few garlands which are now strung across our hall cupboards.
I have been madly packaging up Sweetie Petites and sending out pre-orders. If you’ve already placed an order I posted it this morning. I’ve also had some wholesale orders, which are packaged ready for my second trip to the post office today. I’m including a made up sample for shops to display so I’ve been busily sewing Mimi, Molly, Ginger and Daisy and their little friends.
On top of that every surface in our house is covered in that bloody red dust! We’ve stripped all the beds and we’re in the process of wiping down and/or washing everything in every room. What a drag! And all because we’d left our bathroom window open a few inches over night.
… and so what all that means is that I’ve not had any time to blog.
I’m aiming to have my website updated and online shops in AUS$ and US$ up and running for my Sweetie Petites over the weekend. My ‘to do’ list is sooo long at the moment! .
I really loved Peter Jensen's spring/summer 2010 presentation at the Institute of Contemporary Arts yesterday. Firstly, it was away from the catwalks (and the associated crowds, queues and depressing fashion hierarchy) and I watched the first half of the collection in relative solitude. Secondly, I've always enjoyed Jensen's playful take on the traditional runway show (see last season's Charlotte Mann backdrops), and this season was no exception.
Collaborating with artist Laurie Simmons, Jensen created pieces from his collection in miniature, and dressed them on tiny cut-out dolls. The miniature cardboard cut-outs were lined up along the mantle, where I later glimpsed Colin McDowell resting both hands and leaning right in to inspect them in detail. Detail is key here, as the tiny fabric garments were not just cut from real-size fabric – rather, Jensen painstakingly scaled down the fabric with tiny knits and hand-stitched embroidery.
The miniatures were shot in Simmons' dollhouse and then scaled back up to life-size portraits, which were dotted around the exhibition space. For the presentation, Jensen sent real-life models (with doll-like cut-out hair) to wander around the rooms and pose next to the cut-outs.
The collection itself was inspired by '50s American classics, so there were lots of twinsets, swing jackets and shift dresses, which were rendered in technicolour glory (think buttercup yellows, poppy reds and bubblegum pinks). The dollhouse theme was further explored with Jensen playing with the sense of proportion and size through the use of giant ginghams, oversized watermelon bags and a super-sized ric-rac motif. It was unashamedly girlish with tulle skirts, ruffles and swan prints, and my, it was pretty.
I finally paid Shop at Bluebird a long, overdue visit last week, and I’m delighted to report that it’s looking better – and dare I say more accessible – than ever. But it’s difficult not to be impressed and a little over-awed by the listed art-deco location alone (the former Bluebird garage), let alone the beautifully edited collection of fashion, books, music, homewares, vintage, and skincare products.
While it’s loosely divided into departments, all sorts of found objects, accessories and artworks are scattered throughout the 10,000 square foot space. Here, for example, you’ll find 1950s American glass milk bottles (£18) sitting on an oversized French farmhouse table, next to a rack of glorious Erdem frocks.
I really loved the selection of vintage greeting cards as well as the fabulous brioche mould pendant lights by Sally and Mark Bailey. The range of playful pastel-coloured ceramics by Berlin-based Kuehn Keramik was also a highlight.
The women’s fashion department is extensive and carefully considered, with labels ranging from Jasmine de Milo, Alexander Wang, Peter Jensen to Elizabeth and James, Luella and Richard Nicoll. Shoe-wise there’s Rupert Sanderson and Vivienne Westwood, while the jewellery cabinets are stuffed with Marni gems, vintage fob watches and Nymphenburg porcelain pendants.
There’s also an excellent spa with Micheline Arcier (Prince Charles’ aromatherapist of choice) joining this month along with an exclusive treatment menu. Right now you can pick up skincare products by the likes of Malin + Goetz and Ole Henrikesen, but keep an eye out for Aesop and Bigelow, which should be arriving over the coming months.
What’s most appealing is that the shop is constantly evolving, with new designers and pop-up spaces keeping it fresh and relevant. Launching its international project in the pop-up room this week is French label Kitsune (next stop is Colette in Paris). Then there’s Atelier Abigail Ahern, the new homewares concession which brings Islington interiors (and some rather lovely Jonathan Adler ceramics) to the Kings’s Road. I was also (predictably) excited to discover that Rob Ryan will be curating the Christmas shop this year.
Whatever you do, don’t leave without a twirl around the spacious dressing rooms, which are in the process of being decorated by individual designers. I’m looking forward to seeing the Bobby Dazzler dressing room (think hand-crafted creature feature!), but I rather liked the room with the incredible sepia photo collage.
This morning Sydney is blanketed in thick orange dust and it’s the weirdest thing. You can feel it in the air inside the house and I can’t get the taste out of my mouth. We’ve had unseasonably high temperatures and gale force winds which have combined to bring about this dust storm from the west. The photos (which would have been taken this morning at around 6am) are rather spectacular aren’t they?
I think we’ll all be staying indoors today – no school for Roxy.
Ontario based artist Darren Riga places everyday objects such as balloons, tinfoil and streamers in natural settings to create these dramatic images titled Displacement. In doing so he allows us to view the commonplace in a new light. These photos almost make me do a double take – I absorb the beauty of nature and then register that there’s something out of the ordinary going on.
The interaction of object with landscape in these works can be read as a narrative. The situation imposes the viewer to question how and why there is a balloon majestically floating through a forest: has it blown here from a far off birthday picnic? Is it returning to the ground after a week long helium filled trip? Has the artist just placed it here in the middle of the forest? Is it not a balloon at all, but something that grew in the woods? Can there be no human presence here? The answer to all of these is: yes. [text from Darren’s website]
I love the endless possibility that these images offer… so many stories could start right here.