Friday, 19 June 2009

Eco-design Summer Fair

I am going away this weekend for a friend's wedding, which is going to be a wonderful occasion. However, I am gutted that I will be missing the Eco-design summer fair this Saturday at Westbourne Grove Church in Notting Hill. There is another at the end of the month at the Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, sadly I will not be around for that one either. Talk about mixed emotions.

If you read this check the web-site and go along for a cool day of Eco-design.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Take One Vintage Playsuit...

Inspired by the predicted heat-wave we are going to experience this summer, I bought this Bill Blass cotton playsuit from Sam Greenberg Vintage. It looks a little sad and dare I say frumpy in it's current state. All it needs is a bit of re-styling to make it look loved again...

I've rolled back the legs for this season's silhouette - see Marc by Marc Jacobs SS09. Added a printed scarf around the neck - scarves continue to be on trend this summer. Last year's Marc Jacob's white sunglasses are still looking up-to-date for this summer.

Keeping the legs rolled back, I've removed the shoulder epaulettes and concealed pocket flap buttons. I've created an Obi inspired waist detail using a printed cotton fabric remnant and held it in place with my white 80's belt. For a finishing touch, I've added a gilt tiger's head necklace, which links with the belt buckle.

Keep those legs rolled back! I've tied a printed silk scarf around the waist and accessorised with my colourful Maasi beaded bangles, bought in Tanzania a couple of years back.

Retro Alfresco

This window display caught my eye at Stromboli's Circus in Kingly Court, off Carnaby Street. Love the mix of retro prints on the backdrop, table cloth and cup and saucer. Not forgetting to mention the bottle of Pale Ale. And, look at that orange straw bag. I've got to have it!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Evacuate Top Shop

I have often wondered what would happen if in the middle of the afternoon everyone was asked to leave Top Shop's Oxford Circus flagship store. Where would everyone go? Would shoppers casually wander into the store next door or across the street? Of course not. When an alarm sounded this afternoon followed by a request for everyone to leave the shop the seemingly never-ending stream of people poured out of the store and calmly waited outside showing the brand loyalty every retailer wishes for.

Although Top Shop is part of a large corporate retail group they show their support for ethical fashion (and their savvy business acumen for spotting a new commercial opportunity) by offering vintage fashion and ethical fashion labels.

More fashion retailers need to be doing this. At all market levels. Whether this is by including organic fabrics and yarns to their ranges, creating an ethical sub-brand, introducing ethical fashion brands to their stores, linking-up with designers who create ethical and sustainable fashion…

Ethical fashion isn’t a passing trend. Or, the latest fashion fad for young fashionistas. It is the future for fashion.

Smashing Old Plates

I'm so excited! This weekend I'm going to Greece for a friend's wedding who moved back to Greece a few years ago. My friend laughed as she let me know that I wasn't to worry as there wouldn't be any smashing of plates at the wedding. Once the invitation had arrived the usual wedding guest stress ensued: what to buy for a gift. With (fortunately) no department store wedding list to select from, I set off in my search for a gift that was hand-crafted or vintage and that had some connection with England.

I found what I was looking for at the Dulwich Craft Fair on Saturday. Drinks coasters hand-made by Anna Tilson from broken pieces of porcelain china. How English. How resourseful. And, with a nod towards the Greek tradition for smashing plates. Perfect.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Bags of Inspiration

Paul Smith's printed canvas bags decorate the stair well at the Design Museum.

His signature quirky prints and clever colour combinations created an inspiring visual feast. It was the seemingly hap-hazard display of prints and colours that I found inspiring. I've always been drawn to unexpected combinations of prints and textures. After seeing this display I couldn't wait to get home to rummage through my boxes of vintage and not-so-old charity shop finds to pull out interesting prints to chop up and re-design.

I'll keep you posted with the results.