Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Fyodor Golan

Illustration by Avril Kelly

There’s something about coming out of the Tube in an area where you’ve never been before. I realise this is an extremely London-centric point, sildenafil but bear with me – when you find yourself spat out onto a brand new street it’s like discovering a different city. But then you look up and see the familiar roundel and you know that yes, sildenafil it’s still London. It’s interesting how so many of us seem to come to London to experience all the variety, there only to entrench ourselves in one specific part of the city. Some (who, me?) may even develop a few prejudices about certain other parts of the city too, as if London were some sort of microcosm of the world … Actually that last bit’s about right, isn’t it. ‘There is in London all that life can afford,’ Samuel Johnson famously said, and it’s very true. But still, going all the way to Clapham on a Saturday morning? South London? Really!

But last weekend I went to Clapham for the very first time, because that’s where the Papered Parlour is and I’d been looking forward to their silversmithing class for weeks. I surfaced from the Tube at Clapham Common, curiously peeking around while the nice man with the coffee cart ground beans from scratch to make my espresso. The Papered Parlour is just up the road, hidden behind a plain door in a side street. Claire and Louise, the workshop’s founders, weren’t there, but my fellow would-be smithers and I were welcomed by Hana and our teacher, Caren Hartley.

Upcycled jewellery by Madi

Jewellery upcycling, or recycling of old items, was the theme for last Saturday’s seminar. We each poured out our bags of old, neglected jewellery, hoping Caren would be able to help us make something usable out of it. I’d brought two rings I was hoping to fix, having broken both of them within weeks of each other after having worn them every day for years. I’d also brought some broken brooches my grandma had given me, as well as a few other pieces I wasn’t wearing. Having just told the group we could not use heat on any item that wasn’t pure silver or gold, Caren shook her head at my beloved moonstone ring. ‘You can’t heat anything with a gemstone as it will break,’ Caren said. Araldite glue it is, then.

My mother’s old floral pendant also got the brush-off from Caren: ‘That’s pewter, it would melt before you could do anything with it.’ This is the main danger when working with old jewellery, as you haven’t made it yourself and hence you can’t be completely sure about the metal composition. Caren studied the pendant, curved and prone to annoying swinging, concluding: ‘You could flatten it, with the mallet.’ Mallet! I was expecting delicate tools, tiny adjustments and boiling frustration, but it turns out silversmithing includes plenty of hammer action.

Caren Hartley

The next few hours went by in a flash. After my mallet fun I got the little pliers and snippers, changing the broken grandma brooches into pendants. Rough edges were smoothed down with the metal files – silver is quite soft when you’re working with it. Silversmithing is also a surprisingly dirty activity, with the suds from my hands running black as I washed before the cake break. It can be dangerous too – judging by the fact they made us sign some sort of release before letting us use the saw.

The blue flame by Naomi Law

Halfway through the day we were introduced to the blowtorch, used not only to join pieces of metal together but also to prepare silver to be worked on. Heating up the metal to reach ‘the cherry red temperature’ loosens the molecules within the silver, Caren explained, meaning you can work on it. My main task with the blowtorch was to mend my ring, a little lady who wraps her legs around your finger. I’d got the ring half price at a craft fair nearly ten years ago, and worn it every day until the poor girl broke her leg. High street silversmiths haven’t seemed very keen on sorting this for me though, and now that I’ve seen how it’s done I can see why: it’s fiddly.

I put on the leather apron and the protective goggles, ready for the big moment. ‘Now, angle the flame away from me, as I will be holding the leg piece,’ Caren said as I lit the torch, wondering if she gets paid extra if a student maims her. But as the little lady turned cherry under the blue flame, everyone’s digits remained intact and the metal leg was back where it belonged. Okay, so it sticks out a bit more than it did before, but a little tap of the hammer and Bob’s your uncle.

Caren and Eva by Avril Kelly

I left the Papered Parlour with eight new pieces of jewellery, having altered or mended old things I either couldn’t or wouldn’t wear. My hands were aching as I counted up change for another espresso from the cart, about to go back to the familiar side of the river. As I stood on the platform waiting for my train, I absent-mindedly ran my thumb along the lady-ring. She’s back, and I fixed her all by myself.


The Papered Parlour is in Clapham: 7 Prescott Place, London SW4 6BS. For more information about the spring workshop schedule see our listing – there are more silversmithing workshops to come, plus printmaking, sewing, photography, quilting and how to make your own shoes. Also, the Papered Parlour is putting on two mini-festivals at the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green this spring: ‘Ethical fashion in the age of austerity’ is tonight (3 March) and ‘It’s your write!’ is next month (7 April) – for more details see our listing here.
My first experience of London fashion Week was less in at the deep end with the big kids, this site and more of a splash about in the shallow end with armbands on. And actually, I found it a rather favourable place in which to position myself.

My task was to skulk around the Esthetica and Eco-Luxe show rooms and report back on some of my favourite designs, a task I undertook with gusto. Anyone who reads my personal blog will know that I adore beautiful ethically made clothes. So I jumped (/squeeled) at the chance to meet some of the designers and see the clothes up close. I have been watching the rise and shine of some of the new ethical designers with awe, having been introduced to many of them via Amelia’s book (which of course you have bought, yes? Yes?)

My first hurdle in getting to Esthetica involved ‘borrowing’ a friends pass and hoping that no one would look at the name on the badge and question my gender when I beeped in. I was a tad nervous approaching Somerset House, but was buoyed on by ‘West End Girls’ which popped onto shuffle at the most opportune moment for the final bit of the walk. I bloody love it when shuffle gets it right. So it was with a strut that I entered Somerset house aided by the Pet Shop Boys, my trusty Spanx and one too many soya latte’s.

My second hurdle was actually finding the room. Directions typically included: “You’re in entirely the wrong place. You need to turn round, go back downstairs and outside, then enter through one of two doors, left again….” I think I went cross eyed. It was located in a particularly awkward spot, which was a shame as the rooms contained some marvellous work. But the getting lost, trekking up and down stairs, being stomped on by lethal platform wedges was worth it. The quality of some of the designs was inspiring and innovative, easily rivalling their ‘non ethical’ neighbours.

I had kind of hoped that I’d be able to blend in with the crowd, take notes and snap pictures before skulking on, but I quickly realised that this would be nigh on impossible.  I soon found myself confabulating with some of the friendly designers and PR people. I was repeatedly asked if I had a card. I didn’t. Rookie error. Lesson learned for next time.  Stall holders craned to read my badge as I smiled sheepishly and surreptitiously covered it with my scarf. I was nervous so wondered around with a slightly creepy perma-grin, but thankfully most of the participants had heard of Amelia’s Magazine so far from being rebuffed, I had a very warm welcome. PHEW.

Ok- on to the clothes. I met lot of lovely people and saw some beautifully crafted clothes, but here are just a few of my favourites.

The jewellery of Little Glass Clementine caught my eye before I had even entered the room, and like a magpie, I was beckoned in by it. Necklaces are made from a marvellous concoction of found objects; from bird skulls and bottle tops, to bath plugs and plastic toys.  They are totally unique, slightly mad (in the bestest of ways) and utterly covetable. Little Glass Clementine is featured in Amelia’s book. See an extract of the interview here .

Goodone pulled me in next, with their soft jersey bodycon dresses and thick woollen belts that begged to be handled. I loved the combination of figure hugging dresses with drapey, overized pieces too, all made from recycled, end of roll and salvaged materials. Feminine yet bolshy. Ace. Goodone are featured in Amelia’s book, see an extract of the interview here:

Illustration by Natasha Thompson

There is something irresistible to me about Joanna Cave’s delicate filigree jewellery.  Inspired by ballet and old Art Nouveau costumes, the pieces are delicate and girly yet dramatic and bold. They are made from recycled sterling silver, ethically sourced pearls and vintage ribbon.  Joanna cave jewellery is featured in Amelia’s book, see an extract of the interview here:

Actualy, I was pretty spoiled on the jewellery front. Kumvana Gomani uses old bottles and recycled aluminium to create gorgeous long necklaces and pretty earings.

Illustration by Alison Day

The North Circular, an ethical knitwear company, inhabited the corner of one of the rooms, filling it with an impressive alluring installation involving a huge bundle of sheeps wool and TV’s. Apparently the video was showing a piece called ‘metamorphosis’ with Lily Cole in it, but I managed to miss it. Truthfully, muted colours are not my thing, but the pieces were luxurious to feel and beautifully crafted, using British ethically sourced wool.

Illustration by Alison Haines

I loved this bright Pink Ciel dress. Just the right balance of smart and sexy.  All Ciel fabrics are carefully sourced to be as ethical as possible. Sarah Ratty, the founder of Ciel and chair of the Ethical fashion Forum was warm and friendly, and a long time friend of Amelia’s Magazine. She is featured in Amelia’s book, you can read an extract of her interview here.

Illustration by Avril kelly

I have to say that, despite the fact that the person in the stall seemed too busy to talk, I fell in love with Max Jenny. My favourite pieces were their colourful cape’s, for the following reasons.  They are waterproof; this satisfies my northern fell-walking roots. They are capes; this satisfies my Drama Queen roots. Amazingly their products are made from recycled PET bottles, which satisfies my inner hippie. Tick, tick. tick. Max Jenny is featured in Amelia’s Compedium of Fashion Illustration.

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Lu Flux’s designs also caught my eye. I have always loved their use of colour and therefore loved this colourful leather rucksack. By working with salvaged, vintage and organic fabrics, that combine pleats, knitting and patchwork, the collection makes something new out of something old. . Lu Flux is featured in Amelia’s Compedium of Fashion Illustration. You can read an extract of their interview here.

Photograph by Damian Ucieda Cortes

Tara St James made use of copper pipe work in her gorgeous, chunky jewellery, and I also loved the blanket capes too. Chic and snuggley. Good for campsites and cocktails, bonus.

Photograph by Lauren Bilanko

And then I was out the door again, navigating Somerset House’s warren like corridors. I presumed I’d be surrounded by long egged, anorexic, bitchy looking women. I did see some ultra skinny, unhealthy looking people, which will always sadden me, but there were also plenty of healthy looking amazingly dressed people there too. In fact, I enjoyed the London fashion Week street style stuff as much as the main show photo’s (perhaps sacrilegious?). But what really struck me was that people were, well, NICE. And mostly normal. Which I have to say I wasn’t expecting.

Next up, I’ll be reviewing Eco Luxe.

Illustration by Gemma Sheldrake

It’s always a treat to see a brand new designer launch at London Fashion Week – there’s always one that you get tickets for and have never heard of but really stand out in a sea of similarity. This season, viagra it was Fyodor Golan.

Fyodor Podgorny and Golan Frydman make up this design duo – and this debut collection, viagra romantically titled ‘Pagan Poetry’ was a real treat.

Sarcasm alert: I do rather enjoy sitting on the front row with somebody who is so desperate to capture what they are seeing with a Blackberry or video camera that they lean forward so much that they obscure the view for everybody behind them. I’ve had this a lot this fashion week – I guess it’s inevitable, with the internet now saturated with fashion blogs, it’s only a matter of time before almost everybody has a decent camera and is trying to capture the action as it happens. I’ve heard stories of people taking photographs with one hand and Tweeting with the other. When will it end?! This guy I was sitting next to at Fyodor Golan was beyond ridiculous. Armed with a teeny tiny video camera, he moved backwards and forwards like he was directing a Hollywood blockbuster. I jabbed him a couple of times, with a helpless ‘PLEASE STOP DOING THAT!’ look on my face. It didn’t make the slightest difference. He continued to capture, with his shakey hand, every detail of every look. Gah.

Illustration by Abi Daker

Despite this monster I was determined to capture good photographs of this stunning collection. The inspiration had come from Renaissance and Regency periods, and with heritage in Latvia, Russia, Israel, Morocco and Germany, Fyodor and Golan certainly have a enormous amount of cultural references to draw from.

Illustration by Spiros Halaris

Long, elegant silhouettes dominated the catwalk, spiced up with ruched details and voluminous elements. High waisted skirts were teamed with cropped bolero jackets with flamboyant layering to start with, extremely wearable and somehow classic and contemporary at the same time. Contrasting textures such as organza and cotton were married together in geometric patterns.

Illustration by Ella Masters

Futuristic tailoring appeared on floor length jersey skirts – intricate panels had been applied to waists, and hems were elasticised which allowed models to swagger intently.

The collection then took a very dramatic turn with some amazing conceptual pieces that had everybody raising their cameras in unison. Architectural frocks made in leather and goat skin appeared – one dramatic piece featuring a short, short skirt with layered pleats, another floor length where the leather had been treated to look organic and made the model move like an animal. Other pieces saw organza take twists and turns around models’ figures in muted lilac and beige, having an exotic, romantic flavour. There was so much going on here, but for the final walk-through, somehow it all seemed to fuse together perfectly.

Idiot With Video Camera continued to capture every piece in motion, much to my dismay. I saw him on the Frow a few times during the course of the week. He’s probably really famous, and I’ll never work again. But he drove me insane! And the end of the show, he’d dropped his mobile on the floor. Being a kind and considerate individual, I returned it to him as he legged it out of the venue. ‘Thanks!’ he said, ‘And sorry if I got in your way before!’ ‘Yes, you did!’ I barked, ‘…but I’m over it now.’ He offered me some pictures from his ‘official photographer’ but I declined. I think I did okay – it’s not difficult to take good pictures of great clothes.

Categories ,A/W 2011, ,Catwalk review, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Fyodor Golan, ,Fyodor Podgorny, ,Golan Frydman, ,Idiot With Video Camera, ,London Fashion Week, ,Pagan Poetry, ,Regency, ,renaissance, ,Trace PR, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Prophetik (by Katie)


Orla Kiely LFW A/W Collection, search stuff illustration by Joana Faria

Initially I got stuck in the lift with a delivery man, information pills and then a very tanned lady. Apparently you are not supposed to use the lift at London Fashion Week. I don’t normally use the lift (thighs), pharmacy but to be honest, I was unsure as to how to get to the Portico Rooms, where Orla Kiely was showing her short films, and there was an arrow towards the lift. Anyway, tanned lady assisted me in getting in and consequently missed her lift and was forced to take the stairs. She was lovely. I entered the little room to find three sheds, twig trees, pretty stools, lots of stuffed birds (real?) and strange bird/nature music, wafting.


Orla Kiely LFW A/W 2011, illusration by Matilde Sazio

I wish I could say that I wafted around the room, and I tried to put be exhibition faced, but I had to move around people, twigs in my hair and face and then birds – just there. *SQUAWK* Perhaps now would be the time to say I am scared of birds.


Orla Kiely LFW A/W 2011, illustration by Avril Kelly

A dyed, dark haired boy with a strong side parting came up to me, straight backed and carrying a tray of champagne. Luckily for him the tray had little grooves so the stems came out the bottom to avoid spillage. Sadly for me, I couldn’t see how to access le bubbly. “How do I… ah, thanks”. I clutched my champagne at its stem. Although I saw most people holding their glasses around the fatter bit. I was told this was wrong to do by a man at a ‘ra’ party when I was 15. I also thought this was wrong/bad etiquette/heats liquid with hand warmth? But it does look better, holding champs at the fatter bit…rearrange hand. I smiled at a lady who had a few people round her and was smiling in my direction. She saw me though, and it vanished. Denied! I later heard her say she was the Editor of a Homes magazine and she got her photo taken amongst the twig trees. My time at BBC Homes and Antiques, as an intern, came rushing back to me.


Orla Kiely LFW A/W 2011, illusration by Matilde Sazio

I meandered about. LOVED the girls in Orla Kiely outfits, plastered to the walls. Although Orla Kiely heavily reminds me of women in Clifton (affluent part of Bristol), and Bath, sauntering about, I think her designs look excellent on younger women. With 60s influences, and pretty detailing, they’re perfect and easy to wear creations, that are FAR from some of preconceived ideas. Most of the aforementioned women only ever really wear the bags, to be fair. And to see the full outfits, with the pretty shoes, natural colours and high hemlines, I was in lust with Orla! Less the birds.


Orla Kiely LFW A/W Collection, illustration by Joana Faria

I had a little chat with the champagne boy, as I had no chance of speaking to Ms Editor, she wouldn’t appreciate one of my own designed business cards (they’re amazing). He said the films had been on rotation since 7am, which is fiiiine, but the soundtrack (i.e. birds), was a tad repetitive. We discussed our day. He asked if I was in ‘the business’. I replied: “Mmmm, writer.” I felt bad for not asking him if he was in the business, but as I sat on an Orla bench, decided that he was a poet who had escaped Burnley.


Orla Kiely LFW A/W 2011, illustration by Avril Kelly

I saw that the films were being shown in the sheds. I considered leaning on the side of the shed, as no one seemed to be sitting inside them. But instead decided to sit inside, on a stool, in the shed. It felt like one of those watch places you find on walks. Then: ARG!! A MASSIVE stuffed OWL was looking straight at me. Out the shed.


Orla Kiely LFW A/W Collection, illustration by Joana Faria

The video was purposefully flickery and sweet, with the models in greens and creams, wandering about their vintage filled houses. I won’t lie; I wanted the house/clothes dearly. They looked so contented, slightly robotic, but perfect.

Orla Kiely LFW A/W 2011, photography by Amelia Gregory

It seems that lighter, floatier fabrics took hold for Orla Kiely’s S/S 2011 collection, as Orla said: For ready-to-wear, there is silk organza mesh partywear; sheer fabrics have played a large part in the collection. Some prints also have abstract references to apples and pears. Within bags and accessories, I have designed leather backpacks and my debut sunglasses range.” But, heavier fabrics have returned for A/W, with beautiful, thick coats, short, wool dresses and A Line skirts, knitted skirt suits and 70s influenced belted loose jersey dresses and bell sleeves. All worn with black socks and ankle strapped shoes. Thick knit long cardigans or 60s trenches also feature, whilst the make up is subtle, allowing the deep teals, greens and light browns to take the focus. And of course promoting the simple, pretty, easy to wear, natural style of Orla Kiely.

I was transfixed by the video for a little while – the music was quite liable to do this – and then, although tempted to sit and drink more champagne on a pretty stool, I wandered off out the correct door.

Joana Faria’s Illustrations can also be found in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, available here.

Illustrations by Ankolie.

Even the invitation to this show had me excited; detail of a vintage toile print on a fabric corset lined with vintage style brass buttons and the byline ‘inspired by the court of Louis XV when art became frivolous’ grabbed my attention. Because all of this is frivolous, visit web isn’t it? We’re in the middle of a recession and yet here we are, still feeding are obsession with fashion and art because it has become such an integral part of our lives. Combining fashion and music is a big part of my job as a stylist to musicians, so opening the show with Analize Ching on the violin was a big hit with me, followed by wonderful orchestral music that evoked the atmosphere of a French royal court.

I’d been a little underwhelmed by a lot of very drab Autumn/Winter collections, where hues vary only from black,to greys, some cream and back to black. The colours Prophetik used are all natural, with plum shades blended from madder root, rumex, logwood and indigo, and burgundy mixed from madder root, curled dock and gallnut. Adding yet more splashes of colour and prints were the quilted pieces, handed down from Jeff’s grandmother Lola from Tennesse. Hemp, cactus silk and ostrich feathers provided stunning texture and shape to the pieces. Accessories label ‘Dotted Loop’ provided reworked vintage accessories and even the shoes were made from vegetable-tanned leather.

It’s rare that I can get at all excited by menswear, but the pieces in this collection spoke to the avid period-drama fan inside me. Military inspired jackets and riding boots? Phwoar. Yes please. Jeff himself appeared at the end showing how the look can be worked, though I’m sure he could probably get a way with wearing pretty much anything and still look like he just finished writing poetry/surfing/horse-riding; all listed as his hobbies. Only someone this comfortable with his masculinity could design coats for men made out of pastel pink quilts.

Corsets, tailored jackets and voluminous skirts; Jeff is very good at designing clothes for real women’s bodies. He recently dressed the lovely Livia Firth for the 2011 Golden Globes, and I can only imagine that his celebrity following will continue to increase. The final dress, ‘Mrs Moulton’ features ostrich feathers that shed naturally twice a year (from the ostrich, not the dress-that would be a high maintenance frock indeed) hand sewn on white silk and organza – I can totally picture this as a celebrity wedding dress. Watch this space.

I’ll leave you with Jeff’s take on Renaissance Art. I think it’s very interesting considering our current pre-occupation with all things vintage:

‘Renaissance art is not a rebirth as one implies, but freedom from the past. Unconcerned with what has been said or done, living in the present with an immediate relation to all things…achievement does not birth beauty but raw effort confessing its own failures and in the confession is the beauty of Art.’

All photography by Katie Antoniou.

Categories ,Ankolie, ,Ethical Fashion, ,Jeff Garner, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week A/W 2011, ,Louis XV, ,Prophetik, ,renaissance

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Amelia’s Magazine | Folded Beauty: Masterpieces in Linen, Exhibition Review

Holburne Museum Illustration of the Holburne Museum by Hannah Smith

I’ve never been very napkin friendly. By which I mean, at meals, rather than lay one on my lap, I’m substantially more likely to leave myself open for the peril of meal related stains. A little tomato sauce here, some balsamic vinegar there, it all comes out in the wash in the end, right?! Although my napkinophobia is more likely down to remnants of childhood indignation than a genuine dislike of linen, it is with the interest (and hesitation) of a non-napkin user that I attended the Folded Beauty exhibition at the Holburne Museum in Bath to see the artworks of a genuine napkinophile.

Folded Beauty
Folded Beauty

Joan Sallas is the go-to guy for historic linen folding, and this exhibition is the first of its kind in the UK. Recreating examples of table decorations from high society in days gone by, these pieces offer a glimpse into the elaborate creations of napkin foldings past. Sallas’ interest in the art of textille folding was brought about through a fascination with the Japanese art of paper folding and there’s a definite appeal to this unique art, which Sallas has almost single-handedly revived. Centrepieces in the style of those that graced dinners in Royal European Court way back when make for dramatic art. These banquet-side fabric sculptures are based on designs and patterns that go as far back as Renaissance Italy and as far forward as the 17th Century when this dinner-table decoration practice reached its peak. Whether it’s a pair of doves with their beaks pressed together in comfort, or a griffin towering above the tabletop, the variety and skill in the pieces is the most impressive part of this exhibition. Animals and architecture are just a few of the things recreated through folds in this exhibit. Sallas, a Catalan cartoonist and origami artist, created all these works using ancient techniques and patterns with the help of his lovely assistant and a heavy dose of research.

Taking place between the 2 February 2013 and the 28 April 2013 this exhibition is part of Bath in Fashion and there’s a whole host of other stuff lined up on the calendar for this festival. For more information you can check out my listing for Bath in Fashion here.

Folded Beauty
Folded Beauty
Folded Beauty by Gareth A Hopkins
Folded Beauty by Gareth A Hopkins

Although before I entered this exhibit I imagined that it might be a little stuffy for Amelia’s, once I’m here, I understand the playfulness of the art form. Napkins and linen are shaped into snakes, tortoises, forts and even mountains as part of this renaissance of the Renaissance art of napkin folding. I’m a sucker for all things cute, and any exhibition that can put a historical context onto a fort filled with bunnies and birds is OK by me. The birds and bunnies are there as a nod to a particular fancy meal in 1593 where live creatures were captured inside a castle decoration and the gates opened so they could escape as the guests entered the room (accompanied by music and fireworks of course).

Folded Beauty
Folded Beauty
Folded Beauty
Folded Beauty
Folded Beauty

There are children here, I know there must be before I actually see any because I hear a parental voice repeat “don’t touch anything” at least three times in the same number of minutes. As I crouch down to take a photograph of the fabric snake below the main display table a little girl points at the snake conspiratorially and looks at me. “Ssssss,” she hisses and giggles. “Snake,” she says. She presses her hands against the glass and I imagine for a second how she might see the monochrome exhibition: as a Ballroom sized zoo. I hear her mother say one last time “don’t touch anything,” and they are gone.

The exhibition reminds me that fabric has a tang of cardboard-box-possibilities about it. In the same way a simple brown cube can become a space ship, a cave, an oven or even a submarine on a journey to the centre of the earth, these napkins have become creatures, mythical beasts, flowers and (humping) chickens. It reminds me of coming back to a hotel room after a long day at the beach and finding hearts or crocodiles made from towels on your bed. When I was little, a towel-made mother swan and a hand-towel baby signet were smuggled back in a suitcase by my parents for me, they still sit on my dressing table today. Such is the magic of creating something from nothing, and the potential lasting appeal of a fabric creation. Probably because of those two swans, this exhibition resonates with me in an unexpected way.

Folded Beauty by Louise Smith
Folded Beauty by Louise Smith
Folded Beauty by Louise Smith

Working from engravings and records, this virtuoso folder has brought alive, not just the art-form, but the napkins themselves. The centrepiece of this exhibit is a 1.5m high table fountain surrounded by marvelous heraldic beasts. All the elements of the napkin creations that appear in the exhibit are taken from designs from the Baroque era. It’s great insight into the elaborate dinners of ye olden times and a brilliant example of the potential of fabric. There’s even the opportunity to have hands-on group lessons from the artist to shed light into how these wonderful linen beasts are made.

Folded Beauty
Folded Beauty
Folded Beauty
Folded Beauty

When you sit down and write exhibition reviews, you discover that if there’s one thing that museums don’t actually provide all that much of, it’s information. This might sound like a strange observation, but when you’re writing a review, a few sentences hardly seems long enough to satisfy your own interest in a piece, let alone the readers. Especially when museum info sheets have been oversimplified to such a degree you can usually count the facts you’ve learnt on one hand. We leave at closing time and when I ask about the possibility of more information, the staff, all around my age, just look at me slightly flumoxed. “We have postcards,” they say. I politely decline.

Folded Beauty by Karolina Burdon
Folded Beauty By Karolina Burdon
Folded Beauty by Karolina Burdon

This show is in partnership with Waddesdon, Nr Aylesbury, Bucks which will host the exhibition from from 22 May to 27 October 2013, meaning that if you’re not located in the Bath area, you might still get a chance to see it. Although the exhibit is moving to a different museum later in the year, once his shows are over Sallas is known for unfolding all his pieces and starting again. This reminds me of short story The Destructors, which I haven’t read, but is infamously mentioned in Donnie Darko. In the story destruction is suggested as its own form of creation. In the same way, the destruction of each of these napkin creations, leads to a new set of wonderful linen beings and objects.

As we exit I fold the exhibition pamphlet in my hands, running my fingers across the paper until it resembles an airplane. I wait for the first gust of wind and I let it go. I don’t look back.

Folded Beauty
Folded Beauty
Folded Beauty

The Folded Beauty exhibition at the Holburne is part of Bath in Fashion and is open between 2nd February 2013 and 28th April 2013. This exhibition is free.

Categories ,Bath, ,Bath In Fashion, ,fabric, ,Folded Beauty, ,Folding, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Hannah Smith, ,Holburne, ,jessicasrcook, ,Joan Sallas, ,Karolina Burdon, ,Linen, ,Louise Smith, ,Napkins, ,origami, ,renaissance

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