Friday, 23 March 2012

The Stuff That Matters

A few weeks ago I went to the opening of The Stuff That Matters at Raven Row in East London, an exhibition of hand woven textiles collected by its founder Seth Siegelaub. The exhibition shows textiles from all over the world and there's an incredible range of patterns, weaves, brocades, embroideries, prints and velvets. Some of the textiles are worn out and disintegrating while others are in perfect condition despite being hundreds of years old, and most are displayed in glass cabinets around the building, allowing you to examine their intricate details close up and really dwell on the beauty of the cloth.  

The location of the exhibition is worthy of note as the Raven Row buildings were originally silk shops with mercers living above. These mercers retailed the silk and controlled the weavers who worked from their homes in the surrounding streets (now occupied by shops and offices around Liverpool Street Station). 

Seth Siegelaub describing silk textiles: " An essential means of communication for motifs, designs, cultural values and ideas, as well as the power behind them. In this sense, the historical "durability" of textiles is very similar to that of architecture, but instead of immutable monumental and heroic remains physically linked to a particular place, we have mobile textile fragments."

It was really nice to see a whole exhibition dedicated entirely to woven textiles. There was also a really crazy collection of hats which had been collected from all over the world including one which was made from human hair and another that was covered in tiger's teeth. 

One of my favorite things in the exhibition was this tattered book. Makes me want to go home and sew covers out of old scraps for all my naked books! 

The Stuff That Matters continues until 6th May 2012. 

Monday, 12 March 2012

Country Life Magazine

My bird dress in Country Life magazine this month

Photographs by Andrea Carter-Bowman
Styled by Mary-Anna Kearney

Friday, 9 March 2012


February has been a pretty hectic month.. with a big job involving lots of sparkly crystals (post about that later..) and of course London Fashion Week. One of my favourite shows was John Rocha, fellow Irish man and master of all things layered and textural..

John Rocha's show was romantic and gothic and mixed big sculptural shapes with slinky, sexy numbers. As always his use of texture was everywhere from embellished sheer dresses to chunky knits and intricate crochet pieces. Truly inspiring. 

The colour pallet was mainly black but there were shots of colour like this stunning yellow coat with giant flowers which would fit right in with my own flower dresses

My favourite dress was this black crochet dress. Nice the way John Rocha often uses traditional Irish crafts in his collections, making them contemporary and wearable.