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.
London seems to be alive with fashion exhibitions and installations at the moment so Hawthorne & Heaney have been making the most of the location privilages and have been enjoying the culture on offer. One such opportunity is at the Louis Vuitton’s Series 3 exhibition on the Strand.
The exhibition is staged as a walk through Nicolas Ghesquiere’s mind coming in underneath a hugely imposing hanging ball grid structure in a highly mirrored room, a theme that runs throughout.
The exhibition is a great example of how technology and fashion can come together as art, which is effectively used in the laser room. Green lasers from the ceiling cut down around what seem to be meaningless shapes below but as time goes on, and all the pieces are cut out, they come together seamlessly to form a shoe or a handbag. This then slowly transforms into the CAD mock up of the finished piece with all its fastenings and details.
You then move on to see a more real world explanation of the making of the Petite Malle bags in the Artists hands room where close up videos are shown of how the bags are put togther. This is then renforced by as you are also able to interact the the makers in person in the Craftsmanship room.
Seeing the makers constructing in person really helps to give a sense of the difficulty and intricacy of these bags which are made like trunks, but on a much tinier scale. This combination of rooms flows easily through the design process, from idea to drawing and development, to the construction and realisation.
There is a little look back at the history of the trunks, from some of the earliest made pieces to others that show their development in size, shape and material in a dazzlingly white room.
Finally there is the rare opportunity to see upclose some of the garments that you have been watching walk towards you throughout the exhibiton, but more so to feel them as they are hung in a giant perpex wardrobe installation. This demonstrated the variety of fabrics and qualities that have been used in the collection including whitework lace, jaquard, leather, fur and diamantes.As an embroiderer this last room and the craftsmanship rooms were probably the most interesting of the exhibition as they give a good understanding of the craft and techniques used in their creation. One does leave the exhibition feeling a little disorientated by all the mirrors and lights which drew the attention away from the skills themselves. However from the general public’s point of view this provides an interesting fusion of technology and art whilst perhaps giving a little glimpse at the chaos of Ghesquiere’s mind.
If you would like to see the exhibition and decide for yourself, it is on until the 18th October at 180 The Strand, entry is free so make the most of it!