Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Jessie Chorley And Buddug Humprey And Their Dream Shop.

One Sunday wandering around Columbia Road I came across such a beautiful shop...Is this sounding like a fairy tale? Ok, I love Columbia Road the whole atmosphere, the type of people there, everything about it, in the beginning this steamed from the dreaded Sunday's when we were much younger, being dragged down through the crowds as Mum insists on having the house full of fresh flowers, to today when I can't wait for my Sunday's to stroll down and wander in all the beautiful shops, one of my favourites being one I found at the end of the flower market, Jessie Chorley. I knew I would love it just by seeing the little open across the doorway, and every single thing inside didn't fail to disappoint!! I wanted to buy the whole shop it has such a real handmade with each piece individual feeling.

I then went on to find their website, and this too had exactly the same feeling as the shop, and another little story to share. Originally from Snowdonia north Wales Jessie now lives and works in East London, since 2008 she has run this small concept store on the famous Columbia Road alongside her long term friend and fellow maker Buddug. They met whilst studying art foundation and both moved to London to study independently. In 2004 they started to collaborate realising they had similar themes within their work and also shared the same dream of one day opening a shop.

It all started one day in August 2005 with a simple stall on Broadway Market in London leading on to opening their dream shop in an attic at 146 Columbia Road and in the Summer of 2010 they moved to the ground floor of 158. Their work compliments each other beautifully, with their shop decorated in their signature vintage homemade style. Hand embroidery bunting, vintage petticoats and decoupage picture frames hang in the window an invitation almost to go back in time. Inside a traditional kitchen dresser stands adorned with an array of in-house made enamel plates and jewllery, journals and covered gift boxes lay on lace edged clothes covering vintage tables. The shop encompasses the warm feeling of discovering a one off.

Jessie specialises in hand embroidery as a form of drawing, alongside applique and colllage. Using paper machet from pages of books combined with stitching and embroidery of vintage and worn fabrics. Together these form such creative unique keepsakes, and journals, pages of books are seen alot throughout everything in the shop, ' The form of the book and traditional story telling is a constant inspiration to my practice.'

And clearly its not just me, I agree completly with all the thoughts of the shop displayed on their website....'I found Buddug Humpreys and jessie Chorley's sweet scruffy little place: An Alice in Wonderland den of bunting, prams, paper machet, tin hnadbags and handwritten love letters, its one of the most interesting looking shops that I have ever seen, a labour of love and a perfect mirror for thier stock. I could quite happily live there....'

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Mr Pedro Garcia

I often find myself wandering around TK Maxx with my mum at lunch, it takes a huge dose of patience coupled with a lack of not dithering around making decisions whether items are nice or not and genuinely searching through alot of daren't I say it 'junk' to find those pieces you love forever and the bonus of anyone having the same thing as you, well a much similar chance. Is it only me or when you are in shops such as TK Maxx you justify plenty more prices with the thought of...but originally it was £799 and I'm only paying £199? Or maybe that's just my guilty conscious desperately fighting my barely there sensible side, no guesses as to who wins.

The other day I was looking through the shoe section, this consists of size 5, 6 and 7 just to open myself up to more options, (size 6 my real size, size 5 if i need to squeeze in and size 7 for a little bit of extra room) however, size 4 is out of bounds and this just so happen to be the shoes I NEED, Pedro Garcia. To be honest I have never heard of the label before, and it wasnt until I started picking up shoes throughout the coming weeks that the Spanish label neatly embossed in gold on the insole of each of these perfect pairs of shoes that it was clear, I must have a liking to all they produce.

It wasn't until I typed the name into Google that infact I hadn't found a hidden label from the debts of Alicante I had infact been hit with the realisation that these were sitting happily stocked on net-a-porter and I love that all the shoes I have seen have that distinctive European look to them, a look that I feel they are naturally born with, no teaching required.

'Modern, luxurious, strange and yet somehow inviting. That's the feeling you get when you step into the first ever Pedro Garcia store in Madrid.' From pictures, it is one of those discreet boutique Shoe shops that you know ill have good quality, with maybe a quirkier side to them, similar to F Troupe behind Canarby Street in London, or Kate Kanzier on Leather Lane that also posses that striking black facade. It seems the brand reflects Mr Pedro Garcia himself perfectly, the interior reviews and updates and classical references, combining repetition of industrial elements with use of noble materials mixed with constructions components.

It's simple for a European brand to even make themselves sound so 'beautiful?' 'Zapateros. that's pretty much how the folks at Pedro Garcia define themselves. Shoemakers, in the most traditional sense of the term... and the most avant-garde sense of the term.' This is now the third generation of a family devoted to footwear, it began with grandad Garcia, the first Pedro who founded the business in 1952, by 1968 the brand was being exported to to the worlds premiere markets, appearing in Vogue and Harper's and Bazaar and being sold at Henri Bendel, Bergdorf Goodman and Russell & Bromely.

(Not typicaly what you would associate with European footwear but I'm a fan of the glitter both on sandles and boots.)

The discovery in TK Maxx:

Garcia designs are 'experimental luxury' that distinguishing and unmistakable JNSQ is evident in certain models and in the use of particular finishes and materials. Fact: 89 people take part in the process, from the moment a pair of Pedro Garcia shoes is conceived until it reaches the consumers feet. Now that is special.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Bip Ling

It all began with the words: "My name is Bipasha Ling, I am known as Bip."
At that moment one young Londoner took to the blogosphere to document all that she thinks cool - and suddenly the world got interested.

Because while ex-art student and former PR Bip Ling, 21, just thought she was writing her "online journal - a record of what I get up to", anyone paying attention noticed a hyper-excitable girl (who is also a DJ and sells art through her blog) with an offbeat fashion sense, artistic blogging style and a penchant for My Little Pony that, when thrown together, makes her just about the trendiest thing to ever come out of Wimbledon.

And they were paying attention. When Bip "bipped" on her blog about her friend, Australian actress and model Cobi Marsh, and declared her love for a magazine story about Lily Donaldson or posted a "Bathroom Look of the Day" of her own outfit, it wasn't just her 1,400 Twitter followers, her 14-year-old sister's Facebook friends or the general public who were watching but the someones of the art and fashion worlds.

People started wanting to take pictures of her for their own fashion blogs "I think maybe they just liked the bow in my hair … My mother always used to say, 'Every day is a style day, darling'. Which made me think, 'Why not put a nice dress on?'" she says.

Big brands, knowing that people pay attention to what Bip says she loves, began sending her gifts.
By the time February's London Fashion Week came around, Bip was being invited to sit in the front row.

Now, Storm Models has signed her up and she is about to be launched as the face of two major fashion campaigns. "There are lots of bloggers around but Bip's blog is a quirky reflection of her professional and personal life, her tastes, her views and her vision - so it's exciting to follow," says Paula Karaiskos at Storm. "Bip has lots of admirable qualities that have struck a chord with people."
But her flair for style is no coincidence. Bip's mother is fashion illustrator Tanya Ling, who has worked for Vogue and designers such as Christian Lacroix. Her father, William Ling, owns the Fashion Illustration Gallery.
"I've been brought up in the creative world," she says, "so if I'm going to post something I change it to the way I see it." Pictures on her blog are illustrated with little cartoon characters that she says "show how I feel about that look", so that she can cut back on words.

Bip has just become the face of Forever 21, which is celebrating the opening of the first London store, in her own words...'oh my dayzzzzzz super duper exciting.' 360 Oxford Street on 27th July.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Drawn In Light

Being stuck working in a bank allows me limited access to searching the internet all day looking for new emerging designers, the quick glimpses I get are usually through blogs and other various websites and even then its just a quick read through as opposed to leisurely reading and taking it all in. As I probably always mention when I am writing about new designers I have discovered, is first off they most definitely would not be in the stages of truly about to make it as I would not of heard of them as it doesn't reach me till I find it in the most obvious of places, and secondly I always love the stories of how it begun literally from the very beginning to them now sitting smugly watching it grow.

(SS11)Open Air:

Another easy access source i have of information is my friend Sarah who works at Liberty in London, where an email will occasionally pop up in my inbox with the subject: Think you might like this? The latest link contained in one of these exciting emails was Drawn In Light.

I love Liberty's approach to new designers, it seems almost reachable fro any talented designer to be stocked in one of London's most famous stores simply due to them actually encouraging young designers to come forward and share their designs, one of these programmes annouced by Liberty is an open call of the 'Best Of British' designers. The London based design emporium that first opened its doors in 1875 has continously sought out and supported British designers. Liberty claims that the competition will provide designers with the chance to get 'sympathetic and helpful advice from experts on how to nurture and develop their ideas.'
The winning designs are chosen by a team of experts, led my Managing Director, Ed Burstell, the panel also consists of members of the Liberty buying team and various other industry experts. Their favourite designs will then be sold in Liberty's world renowned London Store.

(AW 11)True North

One of the best things about this is keeping with Liberty's desire to nurture the best of British talent, the competition is open to anyone with a creative passion; from fashion to funiture, hats to handbags and ceramics to silverware.
Last year Drawn In Light were the winners of this compettion, and rumour has it they just about had enough money to get to the competition and pay for their train home and stayed up the whole night before to complete their collection.....and then they won! The designers behind this are Harry and Polly, Harry met Polly in a West London hospital, 20th April 1985, this coincidentlly was the first day of their 25 year friendship. Learning to walk, talk, draw and dress up together, the two have had a unique creative bond since that day.
The pair studied textiles for fashion with business at the Univeristy of Brighton, graduating in the summer of 2008. Drawn In Light was formed in December 2009, Harry and Polly now work in their studio in East London.

(Pre SS 12)Bring Out Colour.

'Everything Is Unique.....Drawn In Light print with free-hand silk screen techniques. Specialising in elegant, minimal, raw, smart yet undertstated shapes for women. Due to our processes each garment is an individual. this is the substance to our style, the essence and intergrity that is DRAWN IN LIGHT.