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ContentsINDULGEtextilestobuy,collectorsimply admire 76 Gentle gradient Margarete Häusler combines natural linen and luminous colour in her range of delicately toned bags and cushions.Seemorefromheratwww.selvedge.org
CONCEPT textiles in fine art 58 COVER STORY Signed and sealed Signature cloths Textiles artist Lynn Setterington has researchedsocialnetworkingoldandnew
INDUSTRY from craft to commerce 20 Head girls Thisyear’sgraduatingstudentswereinvitedtocreateasouvenirscarfthatembodied theirexperienceatuniversity 40 Rush hour. Felicity Irons was a fast learner Helena Pozniak discovers how an accident was a catalistforachangeofdirection.PhotographedbyAndrewMontgomery 46 Going their own way Love many, trust few – Amelia Thorpe discovers a clutch of designers that always paddle their own canoe PhotographybyAlunCallanderandThomasBuckler
GLOBAL 52 COVER STORY Local colour Travel photographer and writer Neil McAllister surveys the spectrum of traditional textiles in Pakistan 96 Imperial guard Tyrian purple was fiercely protected CharlotteGardnerlooksatacolouronce reservedforroyaltyandtheelite
ANECDOTE textiles that touch our lives 24 COVER STORY Family album A snapshot of the work of Cecil Beaton AmydelaHayenotes howBeaton’sartfulphotographshelpedshapeourperceptionoftheRoyalFamily 28 With due ceremony The weavers, embroiderers and designers behind the coronation Clare Lewislooksatthepeopleandcompanieswhomadethepompandcircumstancepossible 34 Beauty therapy Caroline Barry analyses why the brain likes handmade textiles Illustrated by MarkLazenbywhois, according toSir Peter Blake, “avery goodcollagist in thebest tradition of collagemaking,viaKurtSchwittersandJosephCornell...Iamafan,andownerofacollagebyhim” 75 Guiding hand Prized rosettes AndreaSingarellaexplainswhysheawardsfirstplacetothese prettymomentosandoutlinestheirsurprisinglylonghistory 73 Favourite fabric No:10 Chiffon Sarah Jane Downing takes apeek at a feminine fabric that movedfromundergarmentstoeverydaywear
COHABIT stunning interiors beautifully photographed 65 Golden globe Jeweller Pippa Small seeks treasures in unexpected places Editor Beth Smith tracesaglitteringcareerinspiredbytheworkofindigenouspeoplesaroundtheworld
The design of this tiny workbag, that can hold little more than two reels of thread, is based upon the much larger masculine Gladstone bag, which was named after the British, Liberal Prime Minister W E Gladstone (from 1868) whom the original manufacturer - J G Beard - much admired.
AMY DE LA HAYE’S SNAPSHOT OF CECIL BEATON
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Services to fashion NORMAN HARTNELL’S ROYAL SIGNATURE
Over the course of his career, Norman Hartnell – who was often referred to, not by his given name, but instead as ‘The Royal Dressmaker’ – dressed three Queens of England.
Like Cecil Beaton, as a young man Hartnell created stage costumes whilst studying at Cambridge University. Once graduated he decided to pursue a career in fashion and embarked upon trying to sell his designs to London’s coterie of court dressmakers, including Lucile (who plagiarised his work without payment or credit and whom he successfully sued). In 1923, supported by some funding from his father, Hartnell and his sister opened a small couture house in Bruton Street, Mayfair.
By this date, the business of court dressmakers was in decline. London embarked upon establishing its own couture fashion industry. However, Paris remained the undisputed centre of elite fashion and Hartnell struggled to assert his own, distinctive, creative identity. In his autobiography Silver and Gold, 1955, Hartnell rued how his early clients, society ladies and stylish actresses, would enquire which Parisian couturier had designed the model they had chosen. When Hartnell, with great pride, informed them that it was his own, they retorted, “Then, I think I will reconsider. No, on reflection I won’t take it.” Hartnell stated unequivocally that, ‘I suffered from the unforgivable disadvantage of being English in England.’
It was not long before he turned this to great advantage. Anne, Countess of Rosse, was an early Hartnell client: looking back on his career she recalled, “I think he realized from the start the sort of romantic, yet suitable clothes that could complement the English beauty, and he developed a magic talent for making an English girl or woman look her best at all times and on all occasions, be it smart diplomatic soirée, the ballroom or a race meeting.” (Norman Hartnell 19011979, Brighton Museum, 1985)
Hartnell’s first major career break came in 1935 when he was requested by Lady Alice MontaguDouglas-Scott to create the wedding gown for her marriage to the Duke of Gloucester. The commission included designing dresses for the bridesmaids – amongst whom were the young Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. The wedding was widely reported in the press and Hartnell’s designs were acclaimed. In 1936 he received an order to make three dresses for Queen Mary. A year later, the Duchess of York placed her first order: in 1937 she was crowned Queen Elizabeth. 4
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Pied pipers HOW MUSICIANS TOOK THE LEAD IN FASHION
Today it is taken for granted that music and fashion are creative and certainly commercial bedfellows: witness how both Madonna and Lady Gaga manipulate their image as an essential element of their music brands. The clothes promote the music, the music the brand. But the phenomenon really got underway in the 1950s, taking off in the Swinging Sixties and was truly established in the 70s when the subversive environment of British art schools stimulated students, or former students, to indulge in both music and design. This creative tension plays a major role in two exhibitions in London this summer British Design 1948-2012: Innovation in the Modern Age at the V&A and POP! DESIGN CULTURE FASHION at the Fashion and Textile Museum.
Immediate post-war fashion was still dictated by the fashion establishment, with everyone, no matter what their age, trying for the same look, derived from the fashion houses and diffused downwards by magazine editors. As the economic situation changed and teenagers emerged as a group with real spending power and an increasing cultural identity, they sought to define themselves as distinct from their parents’ generation, by their clothes and their music. The Teddy Boy (and Girl) style appeared in conjunction with Rock and
Roll as a way of escaping from the schmaltzy Doris Day look and sound.
Inspiration for style increasingly came from the street; it was perceived to have ‘working class’ rather than ‘top drawer’ origins. This movement continued through the 60s when London became a centre of world fashion fuelled by young working class musicians, photographers, designers and models all rebelling against the smugness of 50s prosperity. These post-war pop generations were informed and characterised by their consumption of commodities. Unwittingly they became the creators and supporters of contemporary culture, initially through music and subsequently through fashion and design.
Art schools were the hothouse for the growth of this symbiosis between fashion and music. The subversive, irreverent forces at play in art schools encouraged students and former students to take an active role in music. With their understanding of visual iconography, the marriage of style and music was assured. Bright colours, unlikely patterns, new forms and innovative materials were the trends. Art and pop music permeated the design and fashion world with art schools and their former students dominating fashion, music and design. They
Boy George helped to promote the development of different ‘tribes’ brought together by shared, dress codes, music and to a lesser extent ideology. Music and fashion became potent symbols of rebellion and radicalism, although always ultimately exploited by big business.
Whilst women’s fashion was in part powered by the music world, with designers such as Mary Quant and Barbara Hulanicki at Biba changing the look, it was men’s fashion where music and musicians initially had the strongest symbiotic relationship. Think Ray Davies of The Kinks’ satire ‘Dedicated Follower of Fashion.’
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They seek him here, they seek him there, In Regent Street and Leicester Square. Everywhere the Carnabetian army marches on, Each one a dedicated follower of fashion.
Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is). His world is built 'round discoteques and parties.
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Local colour NEIL MCALLISTER SURVEYS THE SPECTRUM OF TEXTILES IN PAKISTAN
Since its partition from India one sticky August night in 1947, Pakistan has suffered more than its fair share of negative headlines. Yet hidden below the stories of natural and man-made catastrophes stands a colourful, friendly country, whose vibrant culture is reflected in its textile arts. Rawalpindi’s public park is filled with the vibrant colours of shalwar kameez; in Hunza hats are embroidered with shining threads, whilst the sands of the Thar Desert shimmer with colourful camel cloths.
Bordered by China, Afghanistan, Iran and India, for millennia Pakistan has formed a cultural crossroads. To the north, amongst the glorious mountainous landscapes of Azad Kashmir, faces reveal that the journey to Kashgar may be shorter than that to Islamabad. Travelling across the Khyber Pass may have become deadly in the last 30 years, but for centuries, traders carried Persian textiles, exotic carpets and Afghan embroideries in from the west. Nestling against the Arabian Sea, Sind shares its language and culture with Gujerat in India.
Four hundred years ago, the Moghul period saw patronage of the arts and a cultural flowering, where fine knotted carpets and woven durries (tapestry rugs) became popular. These were beyond the pocket of most people, who in the absence of looms made their own non-woven mats.
Namdas are simple felted wool mats, sometimes block printed with pattern, whose origins are lost in central Asian history. Nutts are one of the most ancient forms of covering, and are at their simplest, embroidered leather mats. Of all the non-woven floor coverings, gabbas are the most varied and decorative. Buddhist monks started the gabba tradition. Woollen blankets are decorated with chain stitched silk embroidery by monks in their monasteries on the famous silk road which stretched from China to the Middle East through Kashmir. An example from this period – 'the Thousand Buddhas' – survives from the mid-sixth century. Sophisticated in both composition and execution, it suggests that, even then, gabba was a well-established craft. The idea of completing some kind of narrative sequence in stitches meant that throughout the ages, gabbas have been a pictorial history book, depicting contemporary scenes in wool.
Ancient Kashmiri gabbas were decorated with immense motifs similar to those used on namdas. A central field was surrounded by complex borders, as detailed and fine as knotted carpets. What started as a cheap way of covering the floor has developed into a full-blown art form and in village homes, hands can be found stitching pictures of fantastic complexity, which are more likely to be hung on a wall than walked upon.
A typical gabba depicts craftswomen at work, one spinning the wool and two others embroidering. Another is working on a floral picture, whilst the other is depicting a stylised animal. Around them, completed gabbas lie between village houses, plant and ponds. Part of the joy of gabba watching is that though you are likely to encounter the same themes time and time again, you will never come across the same design twice. The individual imagination of its creator can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.
Traditionally the blanket’s base colour is used as part of the picture, between stitches. In the 1960s, a shortage of woollen blankets in the mountainous area of Azad Kashmir caused coarse burlap or canvas to be used as an alternative base, although results using this material are not as satisfying as with a blanket. Gabbas tend to be large, some as much as six feet long, but smaller pieces, suitable for more modest domestic decoration, can also be found.
Popular subjects for modern gabbas are social occasions like weddings, or pastoral scenes of days gone by such as hunts or agricultural vistas where animal and plant forms are used as decorative elements. In these days of mass communication, broader influences than those experienced locally can also shape the designs.
These influences are easily detected in one of Pakistan’s other, more public arts – truck decoration. Throughout the country, lorries, tankers and buses are painted and decorated with beaten chromed patterns. Islamic tradition forbids the depiction of living creatures, yet these mobile artworks illustrate a dichotomy in Pakistani art, as the cab doors often show figurative scenes, whilst the bulk of the truck is covered in pattern.
Geometric pattern is an essential element of rilly patchwork, a form of appliqué fashioned from colourful cloth strips, traditionally household scraps. Originating from Sind, the southern state on the Arabian Sea, which shares a substantial border with Gujerat and Rajasthan, this art is often encountered in everyday life. No social function, be it a wedding or sports day is complete without a Shamiana – a multi-coloured patchwork tent, and on a more domestic4
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