Tuesday, 8 April 2014

London super quick trip

I managed to squeeze in a packed trip to London last weekend, precipitated by Chinelo Bally: Sewing Bee winner-to-be? (*Edited to add* after some rather shouty comments from people who thought I had given away some TV secret: I am very sorry if you thought I had, I would never do such a thing, it was rather badly written- this is only a guess, I have no idea or pre-knowledge that this is the case and Chinelo certainly did not say a thing about the bee other than to mention that Claudia bakes great cakes and that she had discussions with Patrick about tailoring.  I will be watching tonight with my fingers firmly crossed for her) and free cutter dress maker, running a half day free cutting course in East London.  It was the end of term and the start of a couple of weeks free from the day job, I could not resist.  More to come on the free cutting class.  It was fascinating and I had the added bonus of meeting up with Rachel again there and meeting new sewing ladies, great, great fun!


I was staying with my brother with the luxury of visiting his new flat for the first time.  He knows London well and saves up activity ideas for me each time I visit and of course, there is no shortage of stuff to do.  This fence was near Brick Lane.  There are raffia hearts woven on too as well as the crocheted granny squares.


We wandered through the tourists and bizarre mix of food, bric-a-brac/tat, bikes, and hipster clothes on Brick Lane, then onto Columbia Road where Sunday is flower market day and everyone is walking round carrying either a substantial plant or a bunch of sunflowers.   I looked round for Beyond Fabrics which is at the far end, and bought these pretties.


Then on to the The Geffyre Museum of the home which is a lovely Sunday afternoon place to visit, packed full of middle class urban period drawing rooms/parlours and living rooms from the 17th century through to the 20th century- much of these can be seen on their website.  It had free entry with donation boxes to add your support to, and is charming museum full of period details.  The garden is a treat, recently reopened for the spring/summer season and replanted in many areas, it is just starting to burst with spring blooms and there is an imaginative choice of flowers and herbs, all beautifully displayed in a mix of styles.  I was very taken with the Auriculas and the eighteenth century style Auricula theatre, a traditional ornamental way of displaying flower in pots:


On our way outwards, this took my eye…


We headed off in the late afternoon for the Design Museum to see the Paul Smith exhibition.  This was fascinating, much more interesting than I thought it would be and said more about design and creativity than I imagined it would.  Hugely stimulating and a great visual treat.  There were two large walls facing each other, covered in images that inspire him, a mock up to what he has in his studio.

Two walls of exquisite menswear and women's wear.  With Paul Smith, the devil is the detail: tiny twists and turns to cuffs, buttonholes, linings and the highest quality fabrics throughout. 


Wonderful sculptural sleeve pleats in this women's military coat.


I also loved the subtly of the Shadow Lapel men's jacket- the shadows under the lapel and pocket flaps are actually very dark navy fabric- brilliant!



 A mock up of the working studio with textile samples and threads everywhere.


This method of creating stripes makes perfect sense.


What I came with most of all was from listening to the audio that was part of the exhibition.  Paul Smith described how he likes to travel, often spending only 24 hours in one place but going away with many sights and experiences.  He constantly takes photos of new colour combinations and recommends that to be creative we stick to what we like and not pay too much attention to what others are doing, even actively avoid looking.  This belief is very close to my heart.  Sadly, I find that Pinterest, although useful as a pinboard for specific tutorials and ideas, is also a sucker of originality and a rather bland similar aesthetic can result from the same pins recirculating and been reinterpreted and remade.  Its a difficult and potentially thorny topic, but I am sure you understand and maybe share my stance.
Thankyou to my lovely brother for his generous hosting as per usual x It was a great trip, packed into less than 48 hours.
sib blog

26 comments:

  1. Oh hell - I hope that's not a spoiler for tonight's programme!

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    1. Absoultely not, I do not know who wins the bee, all I was inferring was that I thought she would. I obviously didn't make this clear in the post and I have edited to add that it is only a guess. I have no prior knowledge whatsoever.

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    2. Thank goodness - for my suspense and for you I think looking at subsequent comments..phew!

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    1. I have no idea- all I was implying was I thought she would win- she didn't say anything, no body asked and I know nothing

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    2. Thanks for amending your post and making it clear it was an opinion and not a fact.
      It's going to be a great show tonight!

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  3. Gutted you just said that :( :(

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    1. It was not a spoiler, I have no information of any kind- I have edited the post to make this clearer. Sorry that you thought so, I would never do such a thing

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    2. Wheeew Just wording, not to worry..back to suspense :)

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  4. Looks like a fun weekend all round :o)

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  5. She was robbed! Although Heather's dress was rather wonderful...

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  6. Looks like a great weekend Kerry! Wish I could have attended that class, I'd really like to be able to free hand cut and sew like Chinelo does. I'm looking forward to hear more about what you learned!

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  7. Looks like a very enjoyable weekend! My daughter used to live in Hoxton, very close to The Geffyre Museum and so I got to know that part of London well. Have you considered entering The Sewing Bee yourself?

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  8. You've got me itching to go to England now. That museum looks fabulous. It's bookmarked for a future trip and that aricula theater as well. Something to plan for my own home someday.

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  9. Sounds like a great weekend, we missed you on Sunday! I agree with your thoughts on Pinterest and try to only use it to 'store' stuff! Looking forward to hearing more about your class with Chinelo. We're just trying to work out what sights we can squeeze in to our trip to London with 3 children!

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  10. Sounds like you had a wonderful time Kerry! Paul Smith is an absolute hero of mine (and my DH), wherever we go in the world we always visit the Paul Smith shop (if there is one). Very important point about sticking to what you like, and trying not to pay too much attention to what other's are doing, in fact I think it is a survival thing for me as I get so overwhelmed by all the stuff that's out there. I have never really bonded with pinterest, and only used it for a few days before abondoning it. Though saying all that it's good to get inspired by others too!

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  11. Kerry--I love, love, love the photo of the pots in the cabinet. I want to duplicate it! Actually, I want my husband to do it for me, lol. It's beautiful. Sounds like you had a great time!

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  12. It sounds like you had a great trip, Kerry! Paul Smith's working space looks so great!

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  13. I was interested in what you say about creativity. I think it is true that those who are brimming with ideas don't need to look at other people's but for myself, I do find seeing what others have done and trying to copy them helps bring out and nurture a latent creativity...I suppose what I mean is that one way of learning how to express yourself is to see (and in my case marvel at) what other people have done.

    Pauline

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    1. I totally agree Pauline, and I know I do that too. I think the important thing is to understand what has informed your creativity- credit where credit is due, and learn and progress your own creativity along the way.

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  14. I like looking at inspirations for sewing things. I like to look at different disciplines as well such as graphic design, painting, ceramics, classic art, magazines. All sorts of ideas and styles can spark my own ideas. I do like Pinterest but don't know that I've made anything directly from it.

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  15. Gorgeous photos. I'm so jealous you got to meet Chinelo, I so wanted her to win. I've got to get myself down to the Paul Smith exhibition. It's on my list of things to see.

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  16. I love your photos of the things that caught your eye - especially Blooms Piano Perfection! I agree with you about Pinterest, though I find it's seductive, and about finding your own voice - there are some creative blogs I have to avoid because I know their influence would be too strong:-)

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