Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The Knitting and Stitching Show

See how behind I am? It feels like I went to this most awesome of shows about a million years ago, and yet I'm only just getting round to writing about it.

Of course, it wasn't that long ago at all; I went on a girl date to Alexandra Palace with Mrs Becci Augur, stitchin' queen and goddess of all things groovy. She gently eased me through the day as I was suffering a little from an overhang due to green cocktails the night before (see my previous post).

First up, I have to say it was massively inspiring. I discovered new textile artists that have such an architectural quality to their work I am constantly googling them to discover more - I want to be just like them when I grow up. And I made one of my all-time favourite purchases ever.

Where to start? OK ok, I'm starting with the purchase :-) LOOK AT THIS BEAUTY:

Chinese Miao Pleated Apron Skirt

This, my friends, is a Chinese Miao pleated apron skirt. And I'm totally in love with it. I saw it at the beginning of our way around the show and had a great chat with Sally Chang, the stall holder, about all her wares. She sells indigio based fabrics and items from Southern China and Thailand and is just the most lovely woman.

Becci and I wandered off and starting looking at all the other stalls but after about 20 mins I had a sudden rush to the head and knew I had to go back to Sally and make that skirt my own. I am going to get it framed because there is no way I can wear it and retain its pleated glory. (However, I suspect it is going to cost a small fortume to frame, so shall start saving up pronto.)

Chinese Miao Pleated Apron Skirt

How gorgeous? It is hand-dyed, includes lovely batiq elements and small squares of bright red and maroon that have been hand-sewn on to create those lovely flashes of colour.

Chinese Miao Pleated Apron Skirt

And the thing about Sally, not only did she sell me the skirt, she followed up with a lovely letter and print out about my skirt, the traditions behind it, where it was made and so on, which in my book, is the most fabulous customer service. Brilliant.

Then I discovered Chunghie Lee. Wowzers. Becci and I had a difference of opinion on this one as I just totally fell in love with all her work. Photos weren't allowed but I sneaked a few because I was beside myself with desire, and typically, karma (and my slightly DT hands due to overhang) delivered completely blurry photos. Not a single one in focus. So here are some examples from around the internets:

Images from:

I love the architectural quality and delicate nature of the structures. The use of a single colour is so powerful and allows the construction of the piece to be as important as anything else. Totally jaw dropping. I shall be having a think about how I can bring some small element of this into my work.

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