Hawthorne & Heaney goes to Ocean Liners: Speed and Style

Spanning across 8 rooms the V&A museum’s exhibition, Ocean Liners: Speed and Style, takes us back to an era of opulence and lifestyle travel. Walls painted in moody grey tones, wooden floors, all paired with ocean sounds create an atmosphere of warmth and comfort.

 

Starting off with a brief history of ocean liners and their links to immigration they quickly move forward to when immigration quotas were introduced,and the start of the liners we came to know today. Bold display of large posters and magazines advertising trips and destinations adorned the walls, these originally were to entice the people with money, advertising this lifestyle of travel and luxury that previously they had turned their noses up at. All of the posters touched on a feeling of brightness and a new modern age.

 

As you walk around the first room there are models of ships and detailed drawings of the impressive building these companies invested in to further enhance this idyllic way of travel.

Moving on through, the exhibition touches more upon the furniture and interior design of these magnificent ships many of which were inspired by the arts and craft movement and often a showcase of the country’s goods, such as the British Queen Mary was a showcase of British woods. Wall panels and furniture, mainly chairs, continued through the exhibition as these are a good way of tracking style change within eras. There was a sense of nostalgia in each of the rooms, as videos of life on these ships are played throughout.

 

 

Further on through they discuss the importance of liners throughout World War 1 and 2 as troop transport and delivering supplies and the addition of new engineering advancements to the liners as aircraft travel superseded them. There is also a Wooden panel fragment from an over-door in the first-class lounge on Titanic.

Embroidery and craftsmanship were very apparent throughout, even more so when it came to the last section which focused more on the liners as they became a vacation/leisure activity. This is when deck chairs were being introduced, lounging by the pool became popular and games such a deck curling were installed on deck.

Amongst the collection of swimwear, and Louis Vuitton luggage cases are outfits and objects from Miss Emilie Grigsby, a well travelled American socialite, who’s wardrobe is not only stunning but ahead of the times in many aspects.

 

Overall the exhibition is nostalgic and beautiful with a large mix of tastes and periods, taking influence from various cultures. We would definitely say this is one not to miss as it is a masterclass in style.

The Ocean Liners: Speed and Style will be running at the V&A until Sunday 17th June. Prices are £18.00 for an adult and £15.00 for a student with concession tickets available.

Hawthorne & Heaney for Young Designers

At this time of year we are lucky enough to get a sneak peak at some of the freshest fashion talent around as Students from all over contact us with their ideas for their final collections. This insight into the future of fashion is always so exciting to see and often pushes us beyond our usual style or way of approaching a project. This year we have been working with designers such as Mary Ashcroft, Naomi Bartling and Palmina Cerullo.

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mary ashcroft

Mary Ashcroft has a bold aesthetic, using machine embroidery also to add large strokes of texture to her piece emulating a paint brush. With this piece she brings together multiple textures of fabric as the embroidery act as the seam between Mac plastic, Velvet and Felt. This exposes the way the fabrics react differently to the introduction of the embroidery with the punched out nature of the plastic and the way the pile of the velvet peeks through the heavy stitching on the velvet areas.

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Naomi Bartling took a very different approach to the other graduates, using embroidery to bring together many different elements to built a multitude of colour texture and interest. This eclectic approach to her embroidery created some really eye catching pieces as we took apart existing hair pieces and corsages, and reassembled them. We also produced this moss covered piece for her, embellished with a range of 3D beaded motifs.

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Palmina Cerullo from the University for the Creative Arts went for a more traditional embroidery route, with her hand embroidered blue bullion work chair designs. The punchy colours of the bullion stands out wonderfully against the suiting fabrics.

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If you would like to get in contact with us about a project you are working on, please drop us an email, we would love to hear your ideas…