I wasn’t expecting to blog about my visit to Clerkenwell Design Week last week. I wasn’t even meant to go until badgered by my sister’s tempting pics on WhatsApp. Blame it on the ongoing obsession with augmenting the house. When faced with the choice between a new patio door or new season’s whatever, currently I’m swaying towards the door. I know. Tough life, eh?
Whilst Clerkenwell Design Week did yield vaguely useful home inspo pointers (polished concrete kitchen top anyone?) and yet more interesting designers that do insanely expensive chairs, I did find a myriad of textures and patterns that bear some relation to the fashion realm. Isn’t everything a bit multi-disciplinary these days? In fact, on the day that I went, there was a conversation held in the main venue about the blurring boundaries between fashion, design and architecture that partially explains why I occasionally deviate away from fashion on the blog. Across the four main exhibition venues as well as the countless showrooms dotted around Clerkenwell, either for personal consumption or just as a visual treat, there was plenty to see and makes you understand why more well established events such as Salone de Mobile, Frieze, Art Basel and London Design Week warrant “fashion” coverage of sorts.
Architects Cousins & Cousins’ jewel-like glass installation on St John’s Square
At the Additions fair, Gemma Kay Waggett‘s patchwork textiles caught my eye, not just in the composition of pattern but in the colour combinations as well. Her work was hanging up as part of Stroud International Textiles (SIT) Select‘s showcase. Currently freelancing for Clarks, Waggett will also be putting out a collaboration with the classic shoe brand next year.
I’m a fan of cray-cray patterned wallpaper and Bologna-based studio All the Fruits with their awesome geometric whimsicality was a good find. Just need to figure out how to stuff yet another pattern into the house…
When I was in the markets of Mexico City, deliciously colourful Guatemalan textiles kept on popping up, and London-based interiors brand A Rum Fellow has found a way to match up the best of weavers in Guatemala with quality furniture makers in England. Unlike many of the cheaper mass-produced prints that are “inspired” by this part of the world, A Rum Fellow’s fabrics feel special and authentic.
At the Craft Central studio, textiles designer Kate Lewis was selling examples of her work. Lewis has created textiles for the likes of Chanel, Calvin Klein and Louis Vuitton and one peek at beautiful pieces like the rainbow netting or the tightly pleated organza and you can see why.
Also at Craft Central was Argentinian London-based jewellery designer Francine Oeyen‘s fiesta-themed cardboard pieces.
From the latest crop of new wave furniture designers from the London College of Furniture, some interesting textures came to the fore in the shape of Matteo Pacella‘s recycled paper pulp chair and Isabel Farchy‘s ceramic tables.
Icon magazine had their own Clerkenwell Design Week venue at the beautiful and rarely-seen Sessions House. The peeled and stripped walls are especially Insta-worthy.
With a similar veined-surface, I loved Ikuko Iwamoto‘s knobbly grainy textured ceramics at Craft Central.
Depicting dusk until dawn, Whitebeam Studio‘s delicately painted ceramics are also on my radar.
A wallpaper for my eyes only as all the flora and fauna of this ‘Ecclesiastical Botanica’ print by Kit Miles would give Steve a headache.
Ok terrariums and neon hanging planters are a bit of an interior ‘trend’ item but Geo Fleur in London has a point of difference with their way of presenting cacti and other hardy plants with their geometric structures.
You’ll have heard of Quill London if you’re a stationary freak. It’s hard to resist their meticulous displays of lovely typefaces, copper accents and marble prints. Pressie options aplenty here.
I love my Falcon enamelware (yet another interior cliche…) for baking but love these Dyke & Dean splatterware enamel plates and serving platters even more. They have a comprehensive online store with a brilliant pick ‘n’ mix lighting fixture shop too.
UK studio Dorothy combine wit and nostalgia in their prints and objects. Their series of ‘Lost Destination’ prints are well-observed as is the nan clock with the endearing expletive, which caused a mini-debate on my Instagram. Love the knowledgeable peeps that piped up to say that the C word in fact has a hefty history behind it.
Learnt that a ‘Lekk’ is the Wolof word for a tiny gardens tended mainly by women all over Senegal. In collaboration with Italian furniture maker Moroso and landscaping firm Uncommon, a wonderful ‘lekk’ was created inside Sessions House, draped with African Queen Fabrics.
I had to shuffle very quickly past all the lush furniture but at Stellar Works‘ stand, this series of ‘Blink’ furniture designed by Yabu Pushelberg was hard to resist. It was refreshing to see a touch of the cute pared with minimal lines.
Away from the architects, flooring and office furniture showrooms, bag label M.Hulot and shoe brand Ops&Ops joined forces to present a group of independent product designers that could be classified as fashion but also sit just as well in amongst the design scene. David David for instance with his geometric prints has managed that crossover well over the years with his foray both into fashion and interiors.
M. Hulot‘s made-in-UK leather goods designed by Anna Kreeger:
The simple and graphic forms of Karin Andreasson‘s jewellery:
Eleanor Bolton‘s coiled and handstitched rope jewellery:
I know I talked about plumping for homewares when making the choice between buying things for the wardrobe or the house but as a flats aficionado, I had to get a pair of these Ops & Ops 60s-tinged patent flats in sky blue. A newish shoe label created by Teri Olins and Steph Jones, the duo were inspired by a vintage shoe from the 1960s and set about remaking it with quality and comfort in mind. Thus their No. 10 shoe shape with its mould-to-feet feel and lightly cushioned sole was born. It’s only the beginning for Ops & Ops but they’ve happed upon a shape that can be rendered in a variety of materials, prints and patterns. I’ve been wearing mine all weekend and they’re pretty hard to part your feet from. An investment flat for the future.