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Iconic designer Christian Lacroix has created these flamboyant ‘fashion monsters’. Made from a mixture of satin, plastic, knitted fabrics and golden thread, they come complete with matching gift bags and are his distinctive contribution to Habitat’s Very Important Products (VIP) for Kids’’ collection. Ten other ultra cool childhood-insipired items have been designed by celebrities including Kate Winslet and Jacqueline Wilson. www.habitat.net
Rarely do we look inside our beautifully designed, high quality consumer items and find a ‘Made in Africa’ label but one Ethiopian company is determined to make this an everday occurance. Taytu use traditional materials and embroidery techniques to produce contemporary designs from leather bags (Ethiopian suede kid leather is considered the finest in the world) and jewellery, to woven shawls with graphic yet delicate designs. www.taytu.com
The middle way
From cinemas to nightclubs – even tents – internationally renowned textile artist Sally Greaves-Lord’s work is at home in a variety of contexts. The Royal College of Art graduate, and ex-Creative Director of Issey Miyake UK, works alongside architects and interior designers to incorporate her large scale banners into interiors. Her richly coloured, subtly textured abstract images are hand-painted on silk or cotton cloth, using a combination of acid dyes and a textile bleaching agent. Thanks to the Arts Council’s Own Art Scheme you can buy a “Greaves-Lord” for your own home. The scheme is designed to encourage people to purchase and commission art and craft. You can borrow up to £2,000, or as little as £100, and pay back the loan in ten interest free instalments. The scheme is available in over 250 participating venues across the country including those showing in Made in the Middle. In partnership with Craftspace and Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, this major touring exhibition features new work by contemporary craft makers with a connection to the West Midlands and explores ‘routes to an object’ – how career paths create the skills and ideas behind each work.
Artworks-mk, Parklands, Great Linford, Milton Keynes, www.craftspace-touring.co.uk, www.artscouncil.org.uk/ownart, 18 May-29 June.
Image Horst P. Horst, from Shocking! The Art and Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli, Dilys E. Blum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2003, p.265; Sally Greaves-Lord’s Glauconite & Serpentine - images by Andy Kruczek
1940’s/1950/s Pattern Book © Braintree District Museum Trust Ltd
Alpa Mistry, Studio E14, Cockpit Arts, T: 07968 788045 email@example.com
Congratulations to the Braintree District Museum who have been nominated for the Gulbenkian Prize for Museums and Galleries for their Warner Textile Archive. The winner of the £100,000 prize will be announced in May as part of Museums and Galleries Month 2007. A range of events around the country will encourage visitors to discover the unusual and expected in their local museum. www.mgm.org.uk
Finger on the...
These gorgeous stripy cushions are by Alpa Mistry who will be exhibiting as part of Launchpad, a special showcase for cutting edge young designers at Pulse 2007. It features a section devoted to textiles that have been specially selected by Selvedge. Now in its fifth year, London’s major summer buying event unveils the latest new design products and creative talent of the future. The event is trade only but for a truly illuminating experience, why not visit Cockpit Arts Open Studios where Alpa is resident, and come away with not only a treasured textile, but a real sense of how and where it was made.
Pulse, 3-5 June, Earls Court, London www.pulse-london.com Cockpit Arts Open Studios, www.cockpitarts.com www.alpamistry.com, 18 May-3 June.
For some an entire exhibition devoted to the costumes of a diminutive Australian popstar was the most surreal event ever to take place at the V&A but the London institution isn’t stopping there. Its major Spring exhibition, Surreal Things is the first to examine the impact of this art movement on the world of design. Objects such as Dali’s ‘Mae West Lips’ sofa and Schiaparelli’s ‘Tear’ dress will be on show in an exhibition that embraces architecture, fashion, film and the decorative arts. The V&A Shop will be stocking a Surreal range for the home and wardrobe, a tea towel featuring Man Ray's Cadeau Audace (1921), – a vicious image of a flatiron with 14 protruding tacks would make a cosy souvenir or how about a ‘Clutch of Hair’ evening bag for a salon-friendly soirée?
www.vam.ac.uk, until 22 July.
“I sketch almost every day, subjects can be everything from the roof tops
of St. Ives to oyster catchers on the beach,” explains the eclectic Poppy Treffry whose wallets, badges and bucket bags are randomly handembroidered with seaside scenes, flowers, cakes, chickens or cutlery. This summer Poppy will be showing at The Contemporary Craft Fair in Bovey Tracey, the only regional event of its kind staged in association with the Crafts Council. Poppy Treffry, Newlyn, Cornwall, T: 07800 896505 www.poppytreffry.co.uk,
The Contemporary Craft Fair, Mill Marsh Park, Bovey Tracey, T: 01626 830612 www.craftsatboveytracey.co.uk 8-10 June.