For this spring and summer the Finnish textile company Marimekko has created a new contemporary dimension to the print, called Marimekko Kioski, it is a curated collection of gender-neutral street-wear.
Marimekko was founded by the late Armi Ratia in 1951. It is best known for a giant sized asymmetrical poppy design, Unikko- which means Poppy in Finnish. The design was created in in 1964 at a time, when the company’s collections featured mostly abstract prints. Designer Maija Isola wanted to create something interesting from this organic theme and designed an entire range of floral prints. Today, the iconic flower represents creativity.
The collection encapsulates Marimekko‘s values of creative courage and the act of living, not pretending, by presenting its most iconic prints in a range of wearable staples.
In Marimekko’s creative community, doing things together has always been key to innovation and originality. The iconic patterns have been reborn and reworked time and time again in thousands of imaginative color palettes. The Kioski collection was initially created to introduce Marimekko’s Unikko to a new, urban crowd and younger market.
For their Spring/Summer collection Marimekko collaborated with some of its favourite members of the vibrant Helsinki community of young doers and makers, and created a campaign celebrating creativity together with them.
’’For this new edition, we really wanted to celebrate the creative youth around us. The collection pieces are worn by some of the early adapters of what we’ve come to call Helsinki’s ‘Unikko streetwear phenomenon‘.’’ says Marimekko’s ready-to-wear head designer Satu Maaranen.
Although Armi Ratia died in 1979 her company is still embracing her ideas. She was a trailblazer who made Marimekko a way of life, an attitude, a phenomenon embracing the everyday and the extraordinary.
As part of its ambitious sustainability agenda, one of the key objectives of Marimekko is to continuously increase the share of sustainable cotton and more sustainable materials in its products and packaging. With this in mind that have started using the new material Spinnova. It is a wood based fiber that contains no harmful chemicals. This method of production puts considerably less strain on the environment than, for example, viscose or cotton. The manufacture of Spinnova fiber consumes 99% less water than cotton production.
The company produces both fashion and home wares collections. I think they are fabulous I hope you do too.
Tom Dixon has created a new range of products made by beating, banging and bashing large sheets of annealed brass .
BASH is inspired by the desire for more organic, spontaneous and unpredictable design in a world swamped with mass produced, consistently well-finished objects. Smacked, beaten and hammered into abstract shapes each one bears the imprint of the tools and the personality of the craftsman.
These hand-made bowls are surprisingly delicate given the aggressive hammering that is necessary for their crafting. BASH Vessels are treated with a wash which renders the surface of the brass matt and is not lacquered or treated with any sealant. This means the objects oxidise over time to create a unique patina. To prevent this, use it for decorative purposes only and protect the object from humidity and liquids, which will accelerate the process.
BASH is one of our most appropriately named products – beaten, banged and bashed from large sheets of annealed brass – they functioned so far as great bowls or serving dishes but we were missing over-scaled platters and vases. These are something to put a cherry blossom branch in, to use as an umbrella stand, or even a most extravagant waste paper basket. The tray allows for bigger parties and more ceremonial snacks.
Visiting trade shows always sounds exciting, but for those of you who have been to the likes of the Ideal Home Show and The Country Living Fair, you will know just how exhausting it can be. I recently wrote a piece on new spring and summer 2020 trends. This post is different as it is about my pick of the designers, often sole traders sometimes a partnership, who also show at the big trade fairs. Their stands are usually much smaller than the large flash companies, but this is where you will often find the truly innovative and inspiring products.
Before we get down to specifics, and despite it being a trade show, it is worth saying that the buzzwords this year are ethical and sustainable. So as well as wanting originality and good value for money the general public are less prepared to purchase at the expense of the environment and those trying to make a living in poor communities.
Many companies support charities, for example ‘Spice Kitchen’, a family-owned artisanal spice and tea company run by mother and son team Sanjay & Shashi Aggarwal (aka Mamma Spice & Baby Spice!) What started as a discussion over the kitchen table on Christmas Day 2012, Spice Kitchen has developed into a thriving small business that has never lost touch with its roots.They support the charities FRANK Water who build sustainable water projects in India and Nepal and Find Your Feet who help families in Asia and Africa build a future free from poverty and hunger. They produce small-batch, freshly ground spice blends and tea blends. They source the freshest raw spices from around the world, and then hand-blend, hand-roast and hand-grind them to authentic recipes. The containers they come in are covered in old Sari’s.
The Kindness Co-op
The Kindness Co-Op, is an online clothing and gift store for children aged 0-14 years started in 2014 as The Wee Store. It was re-launched and re-branded by Lucie Carr and her business partner Charlie in September 2018 in an effort to become more socially responsible, for example sourcing organic clothing that has been locally screen printed with their own designs. The brand makes a donation to the charity Young Minds for every piece of own brand merchandise sold. https://www.thekindnessco-op.com/
One of my favourite brands is
lllustrated Stories by Kay van Bellen I love the quirkiness and originality of her work.
Netherlands-based ceramics brand, Illustrated Stories, was founded by British-born artist and illustrator, Kay van Bellen in 2019. The brand story emerged from her Dutch heritage and her love of Delft Blue ceramics and the stories that unfold behind each delicately painted image. The pieces in the inaugural collection are made from old, found objects which Van Bellen screen prints and hand decorates to create new narratives. Illustrations are witty, humorous and often sinister, each individual piece is a work of art to hang on the wall.Kay has worked with brands such as Converse, Universal Works and Size? She has recently had a solo exhibition of her work at Pols Potten, Amsterdam. Her latest commission was was to design and produce a range of bespoke giftware with Nottingham Lakeside Museum. https://www.kayvanbellen.com/
AMPellegrini Art & Design was founded by London based designer-maker Anna-Maria Pellegrini in 2019. Her passion for printed textiles, nature illustrations and homeware products developed during her Master studies at UAL, where she fell in love with designing homeware and illustrating the natural world. She mainly draws inspiration from the nature surrounding her to create storytelling designs, reflecting the biodiversity on our planet. Anna-Maria exclusively works with UK based companies only, to ensure all elements are sourced and produced ethically to the highest standards. The current product range includes tea towels, tile coasters, giclée prints and tote bags. https://www.ampellegrini.com
Shortbread House of Edinburgh are known around the world for the quality of biscuits that they produce. In 2018 they again won more Great Taste Awards than any other shortbread producer. However it was the Sables not their shortbread that makes me love them, they are delicious. Pea Green Boat Cheese Sablés. are made using a wonderful blend of Scottish Cheddar and Italian Parmesan, the Fennel & Chilli flavour won the Golden Fork Award for best Scottish Product at the 2019 Great Taste Awards.
Poppy Treffry is a Cornish based company, producing a range of quirky textile based products. They have been going a few years now but always come up with new products of a high standard. These include bags, rucksacks, totes, purses, tea and coffee cosies and much, more. Their latest exciting product is a reusable sandwich wrap.
www.materiarica.com are a husband and wife design team who laser cut walnut which they are then paint to make very imaginative jewellery. Their motto is Choose Your Style, Wear Your Story. Here is their story :
Destiny united the paths of Marta, a Polish artist who lived in London and painted pictures of peculiar characters, with Joan, who was passionate about both design and technology and was running a laser cutting company for creative projects. Together they began to transform Marta’s illustrations into small works of art to wear: brooches, earrings and necklaces, which Marta sold in local creative markets in the English capital.
In 2014 Marta and Joan set sail for the Mediterranean and founded the Materia Rica brand. In recent years the growth and international projection of the project have allowed the team to grow, incorporating Oscar, Clara and Sonia.
British Colour Standard was originally conceived in 1931 by the British Council, cloth -bound earthy green ‘dictionaries of colour’ crammed with 100’s of brightly dyed ribbons were created to standardise colour reproduction throughout the British Commonwealth.
When the art/design team of Jackie Piper & Victoria Whitbread discovered an old colour dictionary in an Oxfam shop, they began a journey to re-establish this long forgotten brand.produce a range of products based on the book of coloured ribbons. They were original colours not used since 1958. The designers turned entrepreneurs now produce paints, ceramics, basket work glasses in bright colours www.britishcolourstandard.com
Rye and Moor were another fabulous find. They are a partnership who have designed a collection of contemporary furniture, textiles, home wares and prints using their own prints. As it says on the tin. Simply Designed. Thoughtfully Made. Remarkable objects for modern living. www.ryeandmoor.co.uk
As you may have gathered I love quirky and one of the originators of this genre is Donna Wilson. She produces strange cushions, animals, toys, many knitted and felted. She has recently added platters, trays and mugs to her range. www.donnawilson.com
As a replacement for cling film, Beeswax wraps have been round for a while. wwwprettybeefresh.com have come up with a new and fun idea, a DIY box with everything in it to create your own beeswax wraps. They too, are supporting a charity and have teamed up with www.workforgood.com For every purchase of on of their larger packs a tree is planted.
There are lots of stationary designers around but I was particularly drawn to the work of Scarlett Josse. Her work is whimsical feminine and romantic. All made in England and her greetings cards either come wrapped in compostable plastic sleeves or naked. www.byscarlett.com
I definitely have a thing for blue which given it is Pantone colour for 2020 is probably a good thing. So my next recommendations are all have blue elements. I met Robert Goldsmith from Selborne Pottery. He makes beautiful hand thrown and curated stone ware. He has used some beautiful blue glazes. on his work. www.selbournepottery.co.uk
I like be meeting makers, and Lisa Reddings of www.indigowares.com was no exception, particularly as she was her hands were covered in indigo dye, and her work is beautiful. She runs workshops and sells her goods at shows and on line.
Another lover of blue is Hayley Potter RCA. She works from her studio in Dorset creating works on paper and ceramics inspired by the wild, folklore and magic. She uses the image of the hare in much of her work. www.hayleypotter.co.uk
I love lino-prints as a medium and particularly these made by Sarah Cemmick her work consists of original Lino cuts of predominately British wildlife with exclusive editions of only 25.
Each print is produced by hand in Sarah’s Cumbrian studio. Designs are printed on Japanese tissues and traditional printing papers which are then tinted with watercolours. A range of 90 art cards detailing the lino cuts compliment the original prints. They are produced in England on recycled board with recycled envelopes and biodegradable cello bags.
Using the brand name My bear Hands Sally Holyoak hand makes silver jewellery from re-cycled silver. www.mybearhands.co.uk
This is her mission statement:
‘As a maker, I want my jewellery to be beautifully designed and well made. But I don’t want this to be at the expense of the earth or people who live in it. Jewellery is a luxury item, and there is really no justification for damaging natural environments or exploiting workers in it’s creation.’
The final company I am writing about is Roka. They have just celebrated their second birthday. They create practical, colourful, beautiful ruck sacs and bags. I have bought many of them in different colours from my favourite emporium ‘ Live Like This‘ in Cowes on the Isle of Wight. For any stylists out there they look great in shoots.
A yellow Roka rucksac stars as a prop on a shoot.
This bag is made using 12-15 recycled bottles.
In order to reduce waste in the ocean, Roka has created a new line of bags. Made using 12-13 recycled bottles, the Sustainable Finchley iThe production of this bag not only uses recycled materials, but also uses less energy than traditional production methods.
This week Olympia hosted ‘Top Drawer’ the show where the buyers go to source new, unearth the latest trends and discover emerging talent, and buy for the coming season.
According to Flamingo Trend Predictions , there are four key trends this season the first being Playful Chromatics. Described thus, as a fun filled palette of block colours that bring modernity through mid tone brights. Varied hues are achieved through mixed material densities.
A key colour is neo mint and it adds a fresh and positive start for 2020. Kat Burroughs, Interiors Journalist of the Times, mentions in her predictions for 2020 the Pantone colour of ‘Classic Blue’, which is more or less Royal Blue, and also lilac being used in some home wares.
Blue also features in another of her 2020 predictions, chintzy china. There was a great deal, of that old favourite, blue and white china, much of it with a modern twist.
The second predicted trend is ‘Rare Bloom’ powerful, pigmented florals grounded with soft brown leathers. Florals add deep intensity of reds, oranges and purples clashing with acid lime, and tempered with soft peachy coral.
The show certainly had many surface designers who have taken their inspirations from nature with fine examples of flowers and insects.
‘Mad About The House’ journalist Kate Watson Smythe, in her predictions for 2020 describes how we are turning away from the minimalism of recent years and embracing pattern, particularly with a new take on English country style with layers of colour and pattern.
Unadorned Tactility is the third trend and that is formed from new interpretations of traditional materials. Organic prints and textured layered on to geo shapes give a bio-futuristic look.
The fourth trend is Serene Warmth. Described as dappled sun warmth and cool shade, colours are juxtaposed in the raw fabrics, rich prints and smooth pale marble and concrete.
This warmth aspect of this trend fits in with Kate Watson Smythe’s prediction that ‘the fashion for brown furniture, which I wrote about last year, has now become part of the sustainability movement and will, rightly, continue to grow in popularity. We will buy more from eBay and vintage stores, we will paint and customise and up cycle more and we will continue to reupholster and repurpose.’
PIVOT is a social enterprise set up by Alice Moxley to give young people work, pay them a living wage and to help them out of poverty. As she says we create British handmade goods with clout. We are a social enterprise which aims to alleviate long-term tenures in temporary accommodation by bringing enterprise and opportunity into hostels. We provide part-time, flexible and meaningful employment for those experiencing homelessness whilst co-designing tailored strategies to help individuals get back into work and into permanent accommodation. Every piece of jewellery bought takes our makers one step closer to their goal of leaving the hostel.
The number of people experiencing homelessness in the UK has reached unprecedented levels. Homelessness does not just mean those sleeping rough, it also includes those living in temporary accommodation. Where a person declares themselves as homeless to their local authority, they have the right to housing. However with local authorities forever squeezed, in many circumstances are unable to provide permanent housing. As a consequence, many are placed in temporary accommodation, awaiting access to social housing or the private rental sector. Often people find themselves stuck facing long waiting lists for social housing and discrimination to access the private rental sector.
57,890 Households were accepted as homeless last year
65% of people living in temporary accommodation in London stay for over 6 months
30% of people living in temporary accommodation in London stay for over 4 years
We are at the very early stages of this exciting journey and are learning a lot. If you would like to know more, or would like to offer help in any way, we would love to hear from you!’ Alice Moxley
We are very excited to announce a collaboration with Crisis. We have been invited to set up shop at their Elephant and Castle shop. 223-225 Walworth Road, London, SE17 1RL
Come and meet some of our makers and buy some Christmas presents!
In the past 2 weeks Pivot have sold over 100 pieces of jewellery, creating more than 50 hours worth of work for four unemployed Londoners living in temporary accommodation.
“This weekend is the final opportunity to buy the last of Pivot’s first line at Crisis Elephant and Castle. We’ve only got a limited amount left to sell ,so get it while you can! All made by homeless Londoners earning London living wage. I’ll be at the shop 10-7 Saturday and 11-6 Sunday. “
This post is a quickie and more visual than word inspired. For Autumn /Winter 2019 Anthropologie are getting cosy, the Scandinavian way, with natural woods and welcoming – home warmth. A contrast of textures, weaves and fleeces and velvet are used in abundance.
There are some beautiful metallic small home accessories including flickering lights, organic scents and subtle glimmer.
Beautiful bedding includes layers of plush and pin tucked texture for a guaranteed good night’s sleep.
Lovely sitting room furniture and accessories including sumptuously deep cushions and a Kershaw chair.
The Monroe Accent Chair comes in two different shades of velvet teal as shown here and also silver grey
I, like many of you, am saddened by the downward spiral that M&S seem to have got themselves into. Apart from Bra’s and pants, nothing in their fashion range has appealed to me for a long time. However they have excellent food offerings, and their interior products and furniture are stylish well made and well priced.
With the changing season as we move towards Autumn, we instinctively feel the pull towards a cosy, welcoming space to withdraw into.
Whether your interiors preferences are inspired by rich colours, warm tonal shades or restful neutrals M&S Autumn Winter collection offers simple stylish updates for any home to create that perfect retreat from the busy day.
Contemporary designs are blended with classic influences to create a timeless collection that will give your home enduring style.
Decorative accessories and statement textiles offer an instant interior refresh alongside modern upholstery and furniture designed with on-the-go family living in mind.
Seasonal colour highlights of peacock tones, sea foam and teal are paired back with an accent of warm nectarine to kick off the new season. Classics are re-imagined in casual shapes and textures, while layered textiles and metallic accessories offset easy living with a soft, modern glamour.
Decorative florals adorn plush velvets for a new take on maximalism, while delicate blush corals are paired with deep aquamarine and petrol tones for a bold yet sophisticated interior.
Underpinning the colour stories for the season, this new take on cleansing neutrals creates a stylish canvas on which to layer your favourite pieces- creating an oasis of tranquil, that will always remain timeless. Yet again it feels as if the Scandi look is a strong influence.Casual layering and relaxed textiles in calming tones of ecru and warm grey make for easy styling and create a war, serene palette for the home.
This Autumnal story of rich mulberries spans a jewel-toned palette of deep boysenberry, rich oxblood and delicate heather.
Highlights of dark charcoal and black give this classic colour story a contemporary feel, while statement prints in casual fabrics are juxtaposed with marble and brass accents for a glamorous feminine collection of seasonal pieces.