Hawthorne & Heaney Visits the Louise Dahl-Wolfe Exhibiton

The Fashion and Textiles Museum, London, has just opened an exhibition dedicated to Louise Dahl- Wolfe, an American photographer who is credited with modernising fashion photography. The exhibition spans the the whole of the long gallery as well as part of the upper area. It looks at Dahl-Wolfe’s early works and how she defined the image of the post war women. It has over 100 photographs on display which some contain the work from various designers such as Chanel, Balenciaga and Dior.

Located in the long gallery, you must first pass a room on the left which currently has a small display of work from Wallace Sewell, who designed the upholstery fabric for Transport for London, continuing on you walk through a corridor of Dahl-Wolfe’s colour Harper’s Bazaar covers and enter a large open space full of beautifully framed photos. The airiness of the room allows the work to breath and gives you space to enjoy it.

The gallery displays mainly black and white image from Dahl-Wolfe’s career as well as a selection of coloured work. Dahl-Wolfe trained in San Francisco’s Art Institute in 1914, and it was here that she took classes on anatomy, composition and colour theory fundamentals. These proved to aid her later in life when starting out in photography.

Dahl-Wolfe’s first photo to be published, Mrs Ramsey, was in Harper’s Bazaar’s November 1933 issue. Mrs Ramsey was Dahl-Wolfe’s neighbour when her and her husband moved to Tennessee. As with a lot of Dahl-Wolfe’s photos there is an element of calmness about them whilst simultaneously displaying the soul and character of her subject.

Mrs Ramsey,Tennessee-Smokey Mountians,USA,1931

Dahl-Wolfe started working at Harper’s Bazaar from 1936 until 1958. During this time they published 600 coloured photographs, 3,000 black and white images and 86 front covers taken by the artist. During her Hollywood period, 1938-1946,Dahl-Wolfe shot on her Rolleiflex camera using natural lighting and had her models posing outside, providing an alternative to the “clever lighting and retouching”1  that was already apparent within the industry.

Even within the black and white photos Dahl-Wolfe took, the texture and material of the clothing still stood as as one of her key focal points. This was achieved by clever set dressing and good use of composition within the photographs.

Continuing through the exhibition it looks at Dahl-Wolfe’s era within Fashion photography, 1938-1949. When Dahl-Wolfe started, fashion photography was still among its early stages, this meant that there was room to develop and evolve the practice. Took in a variety of settings including Arizona, California Desert, North Africa and Mexico Dahl-Wolfe’s photos erd towards simple compositions that compliment the Dior and Balenciaga dresses.

Dahl-Wolfe had a knack for capturing her subjects unaware and in seemingly natural movements. Mary Jane Russell, who was one of the most successful fashion models of her time, worked with Dahl-Wolfe for over 12 years, producing 8 Bazaar covers and 100’s of editorials and adverts.

The exhibition has a good amount of information spanning Dahl-Wolfe’s early career and through to her retirement as a photographer. It is running from 20th October- 21st January 2018 at the Fashion and Textiles Museum, London. Prices are £9.90 for adults, £7.70 concessions and  £6 for students (Remember your Student ID).

All images and videos courtesy of Charlotte Pearson (@c_textiles) unless otherwise stated.

[1] Louise Dahl-Wolfe- A style of her own, Fashion and Textile Museum. Pamphlet pg.3. 2017.

Hawthorne & Heaney Visits Burberry: Here We Are Exhibition

Last month Burberry held an exhibition of British photography, in celebration of their September 2017 collection at the Old Sessions House which is a Grade II listed building. The exhibition spaned out across three floors in 14 unique rooms and was curated by Christopher Bailey, Alasdair McLellan and Lucy Kumara. The British photography used within the exhibition documents all elements of the British culture, class and clans that form together to create what truly is and makes Great Britain, ‘Great’. We sent our intern, Lauren to the exhibition to find out more.

The 14 rooms were themed sections which break down the exhibition into a sort of narrative story, which helps the visitors to understand the background inspiration behind the Burberry, September 2017 collection. The unique rooms are titled for example, room 5 called ‘Romance’ was based upon the modern attitude towards race, equality and love in all shapes and sizes featuring the iconic photograph ‘Notting Hill Couple (1967)’ by Charlie Phillips. The photograph represents a British woman with a Jamaican-born male:

“Notting Hill was the London destination for many Afro-Caribbean immigrants who arrived in the UK in the immediate post-war period. A severe housing shortage was among the causes of racial tension there throughout the 1950s, and in 1958, the area was marred by race riots. A carnival was held the following year in response, celebrating Black British culture. In the summer of 1966, the first Notting Hill Carnival took place.”


The above information was taken out of the ‘Here We Are’ exhibition guide. The photograph is so beautiful and powerful as it shows how love will always conquer hate in all forms. As a united society we have grown to love one another and is fascinating to discover the history behind the Notting Hill Carnival that is still celebrated today, 51 years later.

The composition of the exhibition as a whole was perfect. The high ceilings and coffered dome allowed natural light to fill the Grade II listed building. The Palladian-style building was constructed in 1779 with a façade of solid Portland stone and columns which was some of the most expensive materials during that period. The building itself celebrates British architecture and could not of been a better fit to compliment the ambience of the exhibition.


Each photograph has carefully been selected and include work from talented photographers such as Dafydd Jones, Brian Griffin, Jane Bown, Jo Spence and many more. In particular the English documentary photographer, Daniel Meadows who lived on a double decker bus for 14 months in 1973-74. During this time he covered 10,000 miles and at each pit stop he photographed the town’s inhabitants, in total he took portraits of over 1000 individuals. My favourite portrait has to be of the 12 year old boy, John Payne with his pigeon, Chequer. Once again this photographer has captured a timeless moment of British culture, simply 3 young boys who would capture and race pigeons as a form of entertainment which in that time was a normal thing however it also makes you realise how much generations have evolved and adapted to the ever-growing nature of society who would now see this form of entertainment as cruelty to animals and morally wrong.

For us, our favourite garment of the September 2017 collection has to be the green lace applique dress, it is beautifully elegant and also comes in an option of pink too. It is clear how ‘The Garden As a Self-Portrait’ themed room has influenced the design of this garment. The ‘Here We Are’ exhibition is a tribute to the history of Britain, celebrating our culture from past to present day.




By Lauren Stewart September 2017

Hawthorne & Heaney Visits Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion

When a major fashion exhibtion comes to London, we love to go and see what it is all about and the Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion Exhibition currently on at the Victoria and Albert Museum does not disappoint. Based in the fashion and textiles section of the museum, the exhibition goes through from the beginnings of Balenciaga as a brand, through to current designers that Balenciaga has influenced.

Starting downstairs, most of the historical garments and accessories are displayed with accompanying notes and toiles. There are a few pieces which have a video animation next to them of how the pattern goes together to make the garment function which are very informative and really demonstrate the complexity of the designs:

#balenciaga @vamuseum #patterncutting

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This accompanies the actual garment which it explains as well as a calico toile of the garment. A few pieces from the collection have been x-rayed as can be seen in the back of the next video which shows the many layers that go into a piece like this and the hidden support within some of the ‘simpler’ looking gowns.

@vamuseum #balenciaga #fashion #london

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X-ray photograph of silk taffeta evening dress by Cristóbal Balenciaga, 1955, Paris, France. X-ray by Nick Veasey, 2016. © Nick Veasey

They have a section which is dedicated to the fabric choices and embroideries used in some of the historical Balenciaga pieces. These include a wonderfully rich example of silk shading on a gown with an impossibly tiny waist and a very decadent textured jacket. The base embroidery of the jacket is demonstrated by an embroiderer from Paris based embroiderers Lesage recreating the design. See below for a snippet of the tambour beading over long silk stitching.

Wild silk evening dress (detail), Cristóbal Balenciaga with embroidery by Lesage, 1960 – 2, Paris, France. Museum no. T.27-1974. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Going through the exhibition, the different approaches to each of the pieces are explained as Cristobal Balenciaga applied both tailoring and dressmaking techniques to his pieces. He was know for his surgical precision, often pictured in a lab coat measuring and remeasuring sections. A selection of traditional tailoring tools are displyed including shears, pressing ham, chalk shaving box and tracing wheel.

Cristóbal Balenciaga at work, 1968, Paris, France. Photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson. © Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum PhotosMoving upstairs, the exhibition focuses more on Balenciagas lasting legacy and those he has inspired. Against the dombed ceiling, three videos of current designers such as Mollie Goddard and Gareth Pugh who speak about how Balenciaga has influenced them and their design work. A series of parallels are drawn between contemporary designs and historical Balenciaga pieces such as the below by Hussein Chalayan and Oscar De La Renta which are likened to textured coat and silk work dress previous mentioned.

This exhibition is a well rounded insight into the Balenciaga brand with lots of lovely couture examples and the technical specification to go with them which is interesting for those with and without exisiting fashion knowledge.  Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion will be running at the Victoria and Albert Museum‘s Fashion and Textiles Gallery Space (Room 40) until Sunday 18th February 2018 so if you have the opportunity to see it, it is worth the visit. Tickets cost £12.00 and some concessions are available.

All images and videos courtsey of Natasha Searls-Punter (@tashasearlspunter) unless otherwise stated.

Hawthorne & Heaney for Joshua Kane Fantasy

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





My personal favourite is this incredible leather jacket! Raised embroidered sleeves. This really is a dream!

It is safe to say that we are living the fantasy here at Hawthorne and Heaney


Check out the whole collection here Follow Joshua Kane on Instagram, we cannot wait to see what he comes up with next season!


Hawthorne & Heaney Explores The Life of Francis Golding


Francis Golding – 1944 – 2013

The Francis Golding Exhibition: ‘a sartorial biography’ at The Museum of London is a small viewing celebrating the fashion and life of Francis Golding. He became a fashion icon and ‘charts the changes in the city’s style over the last 40 years’. He was born 1944 and sadly passed away a few years ago in a tragic bike crash.



Frances Golding moved to London in 1967 when he was 23, the city at this time was a fast growing, vibrant city with great social culture through a boom in music, theatre and fashion. Golding started his London career shaping the city landscape with his architecture soon becoming a successful career. He became one of London’s leading architectural, planning and conservation consultants with projects including the Gherkin, the Walkie-Talkie and One New Change.


Golding was passionate about fashion and collecting menswear. The exhibition explores 14 items that belonged to Golding through his London life.

At this time expressing yourself through fashion was key, allowing your identity to be shown through society. The homosexuality act was discriminated among men and the expression through fashion enable people to show what could not be said out loud, through their clothes.

The Museum of London described Golding to “portray a ‘dandy’ look for that day and age in London”- ‘…soon I will look like the bi sexual libertine I am’.

The following Photos are examples Golding’s Fashion and accessories on show at The Museum of London exhibition


Window display at the Museum of London exhibition of Francis Golding’s clothing and accessories 1960-75.


Close up view: Black leather Briefcase, known to be used at the beginning of Golding’s civil service career.


Close up view: Black leather boots, Foster and Son, London.


Close up view: Printed tie, from Thea Porter  (red) and Liberty of London tie (green patterns).


Striped jumper from Bloomingdales 1960.


Window display in The Museum of London exhibition. A latter selection of Golding’s Fashion. The difference in materials and colours is quite prominent, perhaps him settling into the London living and influences of the city in the 21st century.


Close up view: the label on Timothy Everest tie. Beautiful details and quality in the materials.


Francis Golding was one of the country’s leading architectural, planning and conservation consultants, and had a big influence on the look of contemporary London. He had many collaborations, for example: Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, Terry Farrell, Rick Mather, Rafael Viñoli, Jean Nouvel and Michael Hopkins.

His collaboration with Norman Foster was particularly memorable as it was for the Gherkin, London.

By Phillipa Lloyd

Hawthorne & Heaney for Diana: Designing a Princess BBC Documentary

2017 sees the 20th anniversary of the tragic death of our beloved Diana, Princess of Wales. To mark the anniversary, BBC Two has made a documentary called ‘Diana: Designing a Princess’ to celebrate the Princesses sense of style and fashion. Hawthorne and Heaney are excited and grateful to say we played a small part in this by embroidering section titles for the documentary.

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As one of the most famous women on the planet, this programme traces the evolution of the Princess’s style, ‘from the demure, romantic outfits of her first public appearances’.

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To her playing the role of a ‘fairy tale princess’

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She captured the hearts of the world and elevated to the ‘glamour, elegance and confidence of her later life’.


Princess Diana Dancing with John Travolta on her visit to America at President Reagan’s White House Gala in 1985.

The BBC2 documentary is presented by Brenda Emmanus, BBC’s Art, Culture and Entertainment correspondent and was produced in collaboration with the Historic Royal Places. Brenda looks at some of Diana’s ‘most celebrated and exquisite dresses’, which have been brought together for a new exhibition at Kensington Palace – open from 24th February 2017 and runs until March 2018.

Brenda then visits the Conservation Studio at Hampton Court Palace as the dresses are prepared for display.


She hears from historians, cultural commentators and the designers who dressed Diana, including Elizabeth Emanuel, Victor Edelstein and David Sassoon. Exhibition curator Eleri Lynn says that Diana, was ‘an excellent silent communicator through her clothes’ and this can be noted in the so called ‘Revenge Dress’ she unveiled on the night Prince Charles admitted adultery.


Diana broke away from the traditional image of royal outfits and created her own image as a modern princess.

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This year, the Princess would have turned 56, which seems unimaginable and this exhibition and documentary is a perfect way to understand Diana’s fashion choices and to celebrate Diana.

The documentary is still available to watch on BBC TWO.



Historical Royal Places – http://www.hrp.org.uk/kensington-palace/visit-us/top-things-to-see-and-do/diana-her-fashion-story/#gs.TxGK4KA

History of Royal Women – http://www.historyofroyalwomen.com/diana-princess-of-wales/diana-princess-waless-fashion-legacy-celebrated-kensington-palace/

The Telegraph – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tv/2017/02/25/diana-designing-princess-provokes-mixed-emotions-review/

Marie Claire – http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/fashion/princess-diana-s-dresses-the-truth-behind-her-most-famous-fashion-moments-116675

Vanity Fair – http://www.vanityfair.com/style/2016/09/john-travolta-princess-diana-dance-memory


Hawthorne & Heaney for Kent and Curwen A/W 2017

It’s exciting to announce that Hawthorne & Heaney have worked with Kent and Curwen to produce beautiful embroidered badges for their new collection.



Kent & Curwen, was first established in 1926, ‘two years after Eric Kent and Dorothy Curwen first crossed paths on Savile Row’. The company was described as a sports related gentlemen’s fashion brand that first began as a manufacturer of military, club, and college repp ties. In 1972, K&C had a defining moment when they produced kits for both England and Australia in the Ashes. The relationship with The England team lasted for well over ’20 years, supplying knits and caps well into the Nineties’.

cricket team

As of recent, David Beckham has joined Kent and Curwen in a partnership, acting as a brand ambassador and to us he is the perfect fit – ‘a true gentleman, celebrated for his fashion style and the British sports hero of his generation’.

Working with creative director Daniel Kearns, they have both created a collection ‘of everything a man would want to wear right now’. From ‘sun-faded rugby shirts, classic outerwear to English heritage knits.’ Most of these products bears a badge that reflects the heritage of Kent & Curwen – the Three Lions and the English Rose. These embroidered badges are both long held symbols of the brand and we at Hawthorne & Heaney are delighted at the way they turned out!

kent and cerwin

Kent & Curwen launched this collection as part of London Fashion Week Mens and in an interview with WWD, Kearns expressed that this collection aims to appeal to a new British generation. The collection is now on selling on the Kent & Curwen’s website and Mr Porter so check it out to get your hands on it.

Kent and Curwen are seriously embarking on a new chapter in their rich history and we are so excited to be part of that.

Find out a bit more about the K&C here:


WGSN – https://www.wgsn.com/blogs/david-beckham-to-help-design-kent-curwens-autumnwinter-2016-collection/#

Kent and Curwen official website – https://www.kentandcurwen.com/heritage/

GQ – http://www.gq.com/story/david-beckhams-kent-curwen-new-menswear-line

By Hasina





Hawthorne & Heaney for Joshua Kane A/W 2017

JOSH KANE aw17 ticket

On Friday night, Hawthorne & Heaney were a few of the audience members to watch the the fashion show of Joshua Kane’s A/W 2017 collection. Held at the London Palladium, it was a grand affair with 2250 people eagerly watching as Kane wanted to be able to share the experience with his fans as well as the high fashion crowd. Therefore, tickets were available for anyone to buy, attend and enjoy.

Entitled, ‘Journey’ the brand did not disappoint with an amazing set of intricate lattice work depicting a early 20th century tube station, newly built and creating a social microcosm of it’s own as the classes mingle. On this we were introduced to the narative with a couple of models interacting briefly before the main body of the show got started.

JOSH KANE aw17 4JOSH KANE aw17 6 JOSH KANE aw17 5

The shows itself was crisp, sharp and well polished as is only fitting for a Joshua Kane collection. Not only was this show unusual to be shared with the wider audience in this way, but was also Kane’s first show that was an equal split of mens and womenswear. The line up finished with the three looks which Hawthorne & Heaney produced embroidered pieces for, in the form of a horse head, with chess board, military and heraldic influences.

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JOSH KANE aw17 2

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JOSH KANE aw17 3

Great to see some of my embroidery on the runway this evening @hawthorneheaney #joshuakanejourney #embroidery #lfw

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The show finished with a moving performance by the two models/dancers that we were introduced to at the start.

A beautiful presentation of tailoring from last nights fashion show #joshuakanejourney #ballet #suits

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As always it was lovely to be involved in an exciting project like this, particulally with such as beautiful outcome and was wonderful to see them on their debut in person. If you would like to seemore of the collection follow the link here. We are looking forward to what they produce for next season already!





Hawthorne & Heaney Experiments with Machine Ceremonial Military Embroidery

For quite some time now, we have been playing around with the idea of developing a machine embroidery that would communicate some similar ideas to traditional military style goldwork but in a crisper, more modern way. In true Hawthorne & Heaney style, we didnt just want to go in for a little sample that we could get to work on a small scale, but a big piece that would really hit you in the face, so we settled on a version of the Privy Councillors Coatie.IMG_0804

We wanted the piece to not only have a rich gold look of the original piece , but also the different heights to the stitching and surface details that come with applying bullion individually.


The colours are worked in layers, adding layers of padding between colours to create light relief.


Following these processes, the machine then goes back into to add additional details :


Once all of that is done, we give it a little tidy up and it is complete. To give you a sense of scale this piece is 45 cm high which would be the left hand side of a mens jacket. It is really exciting for us to see a large scale outcome for this technique which has defiantely sparked some subsequent ideas, so stay tuned to see what we do next…


Hawthorne and Heaney Visits Burberry Maker’s House

Burberry is one of the most acclaimed British fashion houses, and to celebrate their Spring/Summer 2017 collection, Burberry partnered up with The New Craftsmen to hold a week long exhibition at Maker’s House, Soho. This event showcased the best of British craftsmen, designers and makers as well as the latest Burberry collection.


As you make your way into the house, you walk through the garden which is covered in fairy lights with large white sculptures of heads, figures and giant horses creating a magical atmosphere before you’ve entered the building.


The house was divided into sections, the first floor is where the makers set up their studio for the day. Each day there are a new group of makers, from jewelry makers, basket makers and textile designers. Whilst I was there, I was lucky enough to see the work of Shepherds Book Binders, sculptor Thomas Merrett, textile designers Rosalind Wyatt and Rose De Borman and even got to listen to storytelling from Pindrop studios. Watching all of this was very exciting, especially to see the work that goes into their practice.


Downstairs is where they displayed giant mood boards showing the inspiration behind Burberry’s SS17 collection designed by Christopher Bailey. For this collection, Bailey took inspiration from the novel ‘Orlando’ by Virginia Woolf, where in the novel the protagonist’s gender changes halfway through. He also drew influences from Nancy Lancaster’s interior design, using her sense of colour and floral designs.


At the very top of the Makers House is where the Burberry collection was located. Each look was presented across the room with music playing in the background. There was a huge screen where we could watch the catwalk show and this was held here in the Makers House. We found out that even the carpet was bespoke designed for the show!



The colours in the collection ranged from black and gold to soft mint greens and pinks. Shapes and techniques used alongside the colours captured both feminine and masculine qualities and this fits the story of Orlando.


This collection was also celebrated as this was the first time the garments were available to buy immediately after the show. Normally it takes around six months to buy what you see on the catwalk.


This was truly a beautiful collection and a great way for everyone to experience and celebrate London Fashion Week.