Fashion week is here! We have had the absolute pleasure of working with the one the only Joshua Kane for his Spring Summer 2018 Collection ‘Fantasy’. It is always a delight to see our work come to life on the catwalk, and out there for the world to see!
A close up to show the 3D effect of the tailor,
We are loving the attention to detail, The Tailor on the shoes
An exciting exhibition focusing on the daring, rock-n-roll American fashion designer, Anna Sui. Exhibited at the London Fashion and Textile Museum until 1st October 2017. Anna Sui is not your traditional American fashion designer. From Detroit to New York her unique style is forever growing and adapting to the pop culture that reinvents itself for every new generation. She established her label in 1981 and had her first catwalk show in 1991. She has been forever growing her independant vision by not only creating garments but expanding into textiles, accessories, beauty and interiors. The World of Anna Sui features over 100 looks from the designer’s archive and is a beautiful commendation for all she has achieved so far from beginning to end.
“Even if people haven’t heard them for a while, I feel I’m telling stories that never go out of style” – Anna Sui.
The exhibition has a mass variety of archetypes from Mods and Punks, School Girls to Hippies and Surfers. Anna Sui creates a look for a particular woman, in her own words: “one with a sense of fantasy such as a fairy-tale princess but there is also a darker side, you could never tell whether she is a good girl or a bad one.” This is something everyone can relate to as a form of expression. It is also the first time an American designer has been the focus of a retrospective exhibition in the UK.
“But I’m always looking for the unfamiliar perspective on familiar things. That takes research. Which, as I said, is my favourite thing.” – Anna Sui.
One aspects of the exhibition that will capture your attention was the research boards Anna Sui creates for every garment piece she designs. The quote you see above this text is said by the fashion designer herself, how she is always looking for an unfamiliar perspective which is achieved through her research. The boards tell a story, a journey in fact from where the source of inspiration came from and how Anna Sui has adapted that knowledge into her vision and essentially put her own, unique twist upon it in order to achieve the end result. This example on the right is her ‘Floral Stripe Peplum Dress’ part of her Spring 2012 collection. The collection was set out to “evoke the atmosphere of the fashionable Club Sept, frequented by the likes of Jerry Hall and Grace Jones in their early days as models. The collection mixed the glamour of the 1970s with a 1940s’ sensibility, reflecting the style of dress on the dance floor.”
This example showcases Anna Sui’s talent to combine eras, using that inspiration and knowledge from past decades in order to transform it and create a beautifully, modern peplum dress. Therefore if you have an interest in previous decades and an admiration for pop culture then this is the exhibition for you. The photograph below shows the research journey for this particular dress:
The following information was learned during my visit to the exhibition through a CGTN interview shown of Anna Sui opening up about this story. By far the best element of the exhibition as nothing beats hearing information first hand from the woman, herself. The interview is called ‘Anna Sui – Fashion’s true original’:
Anna Sui went to her first Paris fashion show with fashion photographer and friend, Steven Meisel. On the way to the show they stopped at The Ritz to pick up his friend, Madonna who came out of her dressing room and into the car wearing a coat. When they arrived at Paris fashion show, Madonna took her coat off and said to Sui, “Anna, I have a surprise for you.” this resulted in Madonna revealing Anna Sui’s dress that she had on. This gave Anna confidence as out of all the high-end labels Madonna could have worn, she chose hers. When Anna Sui arrived back in New York, 10 years after establishing herself as a fashion designer, she premiered her first catwalk show in 1991. Through Steven Meisel, Anna also became friends with models, Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista who helped her get all the models together. Everyone pitched in. Her first show opened up multiple opportunities including international, in particular Japanese companies. All this movement from the simple, kind gesture that Madonna did for Anna therefore Sui believes she will always owe a debt of gratitude to her.
To watch the interview yourself please click on the following URL: https://america.cgtn.com/2016/11/12/anna-sui-fashions-true-original
“My favourite thing was always research. I met all the trim people, the button people, the pleating and embroidery people… I kept coming back to music, too. Music made the fashion more amazing, more accessible.” – Anna Sui.
The exhibition ‘The World of Anna Sui’ showcases a variety of craftsmanship including millinery, gold work, print, embellishment, applique, weave, knit and embroidery techniques which you can see evident in the photographs above. If you have an interest in any of these of design or fashion then you will certainly enjoy your visit to the exhibition. Not only will you see a unique twist put on these traditional techniques but it will open up your mind and inspire you as to how you can use inspiration from your surroundings in your own designs. Anna Sui’s work is narrative as her powerful garment collections simply document her journey and interests through the decades. Her archive clearly shows her fascination with pop culture. You can see from beginning to end, how previous decades have influenced her design, how as a fashion designer she, herself has evolved and grown over time with this particular movement. Her interest in fashion, art, design and music is at the core of each idea, with every collection having its own style and inspiration. The composition of Anna Sui’s archive I personally found very powerful as you were completely surrounded by a wide variety of collections that for me, I just did not know where to start. A true statement of the daring, rock-n-roll designer that Anna Sui is. Her research and collections are the “desire to understand why things happened or what inspired the design, song or artwork. This then leads her onto other topics and ideas that themselves become part of the design process.” I truly would recommend anyone to visit this exhibition as it was a pleasure to witness as there is something to suit everyone’s particular taste and interests.
“Anna Sui’s holistic vision as a designer is about making connections, and everything around the designer is part of the connectivity, and the story.”
Please note that the text written in bold is from the ‘The World of Anna Sui’ exhibition and not my own. For further information regarding the exhibition please follow the URL below: http://www.ftmlondon.org/ftm-exhibitions/the-world-of-anna-sui/
Machine Embroidery Technician – Part time/Full Time
We are excited to be looking for a friendly outgoing person to join our small team in Central London. The position will mainly focus on machine embroidery design/production, but will also have the opportunity to expand and develop your skills in other areas. There is also the opportunity to expand this into a full time position. The role will involve:
Hawthorne & Heaney we are excited to reveal our new venture in producing Bespoke Bridal Fabrics. For the past 5 years, our company has produced the most beautiful embroidery! We have had a lot of experience working in the Bridal industry and through this, have gained an understanding of what is needed to bring a designers idea to life.
We have really established our love and passion for couture. If you are a bridal/couture company, or just someone looking for bespoke bridal embroidery then give us a call on 020 7637 5736 to book an appointment to view our couture samples at our studio in central London.
We would also be happy to come to your studio to show you some of our work!
Please email email@example.com or call 020 7637 5736 to make your enquiry.
In addition to our own classes and exhibiting work at Anderson and Sheppard, we also were demonstrating goldwork at Smythson’s LCW event. They had a series of craftspeople set up in store to show some of the process that their items go through.
At the front of the store, Meg was positioned, drafting and embroidering the Smythson’s ‘S’ into a bespoke badge. This piece will have been drafted, raised, appliqued and embroidered with cutwork bullion.
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On another counter, one of their book binders was stationed, explianing the properties of the binding process that thie products go through, the importance of using 2 types of glue for each piece and why they have maintained their hand processes over using machines. Finally they had another lady applying the tissue linings into their envelopes which also all done by hand.
They also had a lady doing freehand calligraphy, where you could write down your name for her and she would draw it out on a card for you to take home.
Hawthorne & Heaney is currently looking for an embroidery intern to join us for an immediate start.
We are looking for a current undergraduate fashion/textiles/costume student to join us in the studio for a 2-3 month internship. Duties will include machine and hand sewing, general administration, maintenance of the social media sites, research, assisting with embroidery preparation for both the staff and for the School and errands. Time is also set aside from duties to develop your own embroidery skills during your internship. Applicants must be hard working, versatile, enthusiastic, professional, responsible and able work well in a small team. Attention to detail is a must along with patience as nothing in embroidery is particularly quick.
Sewing skills are essential, and a proficiency in both hand and machine sewing would be ideal.
Computer knowledge of both MAC and PC, ideally with an understanding of adobe programs and G drive
Looking to gain experience in a live studio in the embroidery sector
Must be a current undergraduate student of a fashion/textiles related course
Able to travel into London every day
This internship is unpaid and should be taken in addition to a current undergraduate course, we are therefore unable to accept non students for this position. Hours are full time, Monday- friday 9-5pm.
If you would be interested in furthering your studies please fill out the attached form.
London Craft Week opens London’s studios and shops giving you an insight into the amazing industries around the city. By inviting you to see what amazing crafts happen, often behind the scenes with demonstrations and viewings and showing you skills and techniques traditional and recent. Hawthorne & Heaney have been very busy soaking up all that London has to offer this week, so far we have visited:
Nest design at Blacks Club- Soho.
This is an extraordinary interior company, with delightful staff explaining the fabric origins, methods of designing and previous client projects. Nest have an amazing collection of fabrics from all over the world; linens, velvet, silks, lace as well as dyed materials such as shibori and Tussar silk.
If you love fabrics and a variety of them it’s definitely worth heading over to Nest at Blacks to talk about the collection of beautiful samples as well as the great projects they have made.
Example of a client project in Spring Restaurant, Somerset House (photo taken from Nest design.co.uk) Beautiful lines of stitch, layering and vintage lace are highlighted as well as different opacities of linens.
Christian Louboutin -Mayfair
The Christian Louboutin shop was demonstrating leather tassel making which is part of their personalisation service of the shoe. The construction of these leather tassels was amazing to watch, the demonstrator did not speak English however the skill he had constructing the leather strips into delicate but fun tassels was a great process to watch and learn. It inspires you to have a go at making such decoration as he made it look so easy. (definitely isn’t easy!)
Example of the hand made leather tassels on a boat style shoe.
As you approached Fretta the window display was a wall of work of art with a painter part way through painting a full size design of flowers and leafs
The experience in Fretta was a treat with very helpful staff showing you around the shop, explaining fabrics, as well as browsing the beautiful luxury fabrics.
I spoke to Lucia Surace (CRM & Marketing Manager) who was able to show me through the personalisation of the collection and previous examples of embroidered items. The quality of fabrics they have there are so lovely, these including, bed linens made from egyptian cotton, throws and blankets made from cashmere, wool and silk, as well as table linens and towels.
Clients for the embroidery personalisation are often for mass for example for cruise ship towels.
Above right: example of embroidered towels, part of their personalisation service.
Above left: table linens with the popular lace hole boarder.
Above: photo of Fetta’s embroidered table linen.
I found Fretta well worth a visit to see the style and quality that they produce and to learn from the staff there.
The Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles – At Temple Gallery
Above image: Example of traditional Thai embroidery on garments in at Temple Gallery
The Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles was founded by Her Majesty Queen Sirikit within the Grand Palace grounds in Bangkok and officially opened in 2012. This will be the museum’s first London visit, celebrating the Khon, Thailand’s oldest narrative dance forms. This exhibit is placed in the most beautiful building, Temple Gallery, located just a short walk from Temple Station. On display at the exhibit is a wonderful array of various examples of the skill which has been used to make such magnificent garments, passed down through generations, to even make garments suitable to be worn by people now.
Images above: Examples of the traditional Thai garments on display, as well as a close up of the lavish accessories
In this exhibit, we see cultures come together. There were embroidery techniques that have been apparent in our own culture for centuries, examples of this we see in our heritage museums. What a treat it was to see them on traditional Thai garments in such a wonderful building, and just like us, the skill of all of this has been lovingly passed on through generations, person to person.
Images above: examples of Goldwork on a traditional Thai collar
The Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles was founded on Her Majesty’s efforts to ensure the preservation of Thailand’s textile arts for future generations. In 1976 the museum was established with the objective to help people in rural areas to gain supplementary income and in doing this, Her Majesty realised just how wonderful and truly unique the hand woven silk by villagers is.
Making A Mackintosh – At Mackintosh
Above Image: Equipment used by Mackintosh
Glasgow has always been known for its work ethic and producing hand made goods and of course its tireless war efforts. Hard working Glaswegians have been producing Mackintosh coats since 1824!
Above Image: Demonstration of the rubber glue being applied to pattern pieces
On entering, I was warmly welcomed by the lovely Factory and Production Managers of the Mackintosh factory in Glasgow, Scott Sheridan and John McGuire who have worked for the Mackintosh factory for 40 years. They gave me a fantastic demonstration on how the pattern pieces are glued, attached and arranged to ensure that they are functional and waterproof.
Above Images: Glue being applied to the button-fly of the coat, then the piece is folded over and a heavy rolling tool is applied to ensure the two pieces have stuck with no air bubbles
The demonstration was very engaging, it was so informative seeing how much time and care goes into one coat. On a basic coat, there is 25 pattern pieces, and each one is passed through different departments in the Glasgow factory before completion. I watched on as they applied glue to the pattern pieces with their index fingers, using a lot of force and pressure to get the technique correct, using the same tools and glue that the people who did it before them would have used.
Above Image: Example of the pocket patterns, tin of glue and traditional rolling tool
It is very obvious on going to this exhibit to see that Mackintosh is a company of tradition and efficiency. It was a treat for me to be able to see this tradition which has carried on through different generations and also have explained to me how the company has expanded to keep up with popular demands, cultural and even climate changes through the years. Such as detachable collars/hoods, varying fabrics and changes in the way we use our coats and what for. The traditional Mackintosh coats are still made in Glasgow, with the same glue and the same equipment as they always have been.
Shoe Making at Edward Green
Above images: Left: Demonstration of Andy Peach sewing the two front pieces that make the shoe. Right image: See front seam for example of what Andy is currently working on
Above Image: Close up of stitching on shoe, done with boar hair
Northampton has always been closely associated with shoemaking and that became very apparent to me upon entering this exhibit at Edward Green and seeing the demonstration. Andy Peach, a fantastic hand sewer who has worked making shoes for Edward Green for over 30 years gave me and a small audience a fantastic demonstration. He was very honest about his work and the methods which he uses. I was able to see him begin the sewing of the two front parts of the shoe together. He carefully inserts a sharp tool into half of the leather, which is the best calf’s leather which has been cut by hand. He then threads Chinese boar hair into that hole to attach the two pieces. He says that they use boar’s hair as over time cotton would rot and these shoes are made to last a lifetime!
Above Image: Example of the “stirrup” and Andy wearing the shoes pictured above which he is also making
The stirrup is used traditionally to keep everything attached to the knee where most of the work is happening, effectively working like an elastic band, keeping both hands free to focus on the stitching. He works on this piece for 15-20 minutes and tells me that this one small area of the shoe can take up to 2 hours to be completed, which it then it goes on to other departments to be finished and finalised by the staff at the factory in Northampton. The handwork that must go into one pair of shoes was exquisite to see.
Emblem by Rose At St James Pavilion
Above Image: The screen printing equipment Rose works with
Emblem by Rose is a beautiful independent, up and coming screen printing company. Everything Emblem states to do, is done by Rose entirely on her own, and speaking with her on Thursday made that evident to me. Visitors were even able to commission their own ties if they should wish to. This alone made me feel like Rose is very passionate about what she does and communicates what Emblem as a small independent company is all about.
Above Images: Rose Demonstrating the printing process with screen and also squeegee
Sadly I didn’t get to this exhibit in time to see any demonstrations, but Rose was wonderful to speak with. She really engaged with her audience and spoke honestly about her work and why she is so passionate about making bespoke designs for her clients. She spoke of how she is always trying out new techniques with mixed media and programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator to make her work more efficient and durable for the client. All imagery is designed and drawn by Rose, before being transferred into a screen to be printed onto silk scarves. Despite not having any demonstration, Rose was very good at explaining the printing process to me, she was a delight to speak with.
London Craft Week will be finishes on Sunday 7th May so see what you can before it is all over this year, click here to go to the website for full listings. We can not wait to see what next year will bring!
Along side our own London Craft Week Classes, Hawthorne & Heaney also have some embroidery on display in the shape of a navy smoking jacket we embroidered for Anderson & Sheppard. They are part of a collaboration with Jeremy King OBE of the Beaumont Hotel London to create a capsule collection inspired by the hotel:
‘Each tailor has produced an outfit for Jimmy Beaumont, a fictional character invented by Jeremy to inform the interior design of the 1926 hotel building. The collection includes a tuxedo, a three piece suit and night-wear, highlighting the skill of the tailors alongside their ability to respond to their client’s character. Each piece of Jimmy Beaumont’s wardrobe is displayed in the tailors windows along Savile Row. ‘ (London Craft Week)
Here are some of the photos of the jacket in the various stages of production, whilst the pieces were still flat they were provided to us to create the frogging on the front and motifs on the sleeves which are inspired by the symbols on playing cards:
All above images from @jennie_mcwalter
And here is the finished jacket, if you’d like to see this piece and others from the collection, they are all on display in their prospective shops down Savile Row now until 7th May.
Image above by @guy.hills and video courtsey of Anderson & Sheppard.