As I mentioned in my catch up on Monday, I was very honored to be asked to get involved with a special exhibition at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills recently. My dear friend Melanie at the UK Fashion and Textiles Association (as well as the marvelous Mellie J Show Room) asked me to help curate and design the installation, which UKFT were spearheading with help from the British Fashion Council, the British Footwear Association and the Designer-Manufacturer Innovation Support Centre at London College of Fashion.
The concept was to build awareness for the contributors and highlight the wealth of manufacturing and design talent in the UK. The venue was the BIS public foyer, right next to Westminster Abbey, so it was an amazing opportunity for all involved to show off their skills to the public, as well as those working at BIS and other Government Departments nearby. As part of my ‘pitch’ I came up with this little story….
“With a growing public conscious for supporting British businesses, as well as a greater respect for sustainable and ethical production, ‘Made In Britain’ is this year’s most fashionable label. Representing innovative processes, inspirational design and traditional skills, the Made in Britain banner is one to be proud of and to covet.
Showcasing the best of Britain’s design and manufacturing, this installation will convey the pride and respect felt for the Made In Britain label, creating feature garments crafted from the very label itself, and teaming them with British fashions against a backdrop of heritage fabrics and a narrative of archive quotations.”
In addition to the props and accessories I made using Made in the UK labels, I got to play with (I mean, professionally merchandise) contributions from Henry Poole, Mannequino, Peregrine, Daines and Hathaway, John Smedley, Dents, Johnstons of Elgin, Lochcarron of Scotland, Fox Umbrella, Moxon, Taylor & Lodge, Begg Scotland, Bower Roebuck & Company Limited, Dr. Martins, Church, Barkers, Gaziano & Girling, Jeffrey West, John Lobb, Loakes, Trickers and CocoRose, amongst others!
I fell in love with all the stunning Begg cashmeres and the incredible heritage fabrics I used to drape the place……not to mention the incredible orange Fox umbrella and the bright yellow Dents gloves! I was also super impressed with the cleverly designed ‘flat pack’ mannequins from Mannequino, which are amazingly light-weight and really easy to dress.
I had so much fun meeting to plan the installation, and even more fun on the day setting it all up. Everyone seemed pretty pleased with how everything had come together, and I was certainly pretty proud to have been involved. We also got coverage in Drapers Magazine, Fibre2Fashion, WWB and Just Style!
It’s open to the public until the end of today if you’re nearby, but otherwise, here are some photos to snoop at…!
Photos are courtesy of UKFT and the talented Freya McLeod-Turner.