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Posts Tagged ‘Selvedge Magazine’

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Princess Anne, illustration by Zoe Taylor, Selvedge magazine. 

Anne is the very epitome of cool. An androgynous, horsey dude who looked killer in a pair of jodhpurs, and whose extraordinary up-do (I think the technical term is ‘the onion’) has become part of the Royal Family’s mythology. Princess Anne has followed her mother’s footsteps by hanging on to her innate sense of style – namely jodhpurs unless harangued into wearing something else by family commitments – e.g. royal weddings. But she always manages to keep to the English rule of looking slightly unkempt in everything. 

Luella Bartley – English fashion designer and fashion journalist.

This quote is from the May/June 2011 issue of Selvedge magazine. The theme of this issue is all things Britannia and Ms. Bartley was asked to choose six women who reflect the British unique and quirky sense of style.

Ms. Bartley is speaking of Princess Anne, Queen Elizabeth’s only daughter. The princess certainly marches to the beat of her own fashion drum. Like her mother, she always looks appropriate and put together. Unlike her aunt, Princess Margaret, who was the fashion plate of her day, she stays with the traditional British country look. I understand Ms. Bartley’s point, that there is something cool about a woman who sports a sort of “unfashionable” style and looks good doing it.

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Mary Quant. Illustration by Zoe Taylor. From Selvedge magazine.

Miss Mary Quant – how could I have imagined a career in fashion without Mary Quant? She created the miniskirt for heaven’s sake. Forgive me – where would Topshop be without her? She also created the idea of Saturday night dressing, making things ‘upstairs’ that literally came off the machine and into her King’s Road shop that day in order to serve her adoring fans’ weekend characters. 

Luella Bartley, English fashion designer and fashion journalist.

This quote is from the May/June 2011 issue of Selvedge magazine. The theme of this issue is all things Britannia and Ms. Bartley was asked to choose six women who reflect the British unique and quirky sense of style.

Mary Quant was on her list. Check back for some of the others in the weeks to come.

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Lady Sybil Crawley (Jessica Brown Findlay) shockingly sports Harem Pants, in season one of  Downton Abbey, 1913.  I think of  Paul Poiret, who was cutting edge in fashion design at the time. Costumes by Susannah Buxton.

Many people won’t realise that it can take six or seven specialist skills to create a costume, often including millinery, corsetry and tailoring. We might have five or six fittings if it’s a complicated costume and each piece can take at least a week to complete, depending on the intricacy of the design.  

Susannah Buxton – British costume designer. This quote is from an interview with Selvegde magazine. (The Brits spell realize with an s.)

Ms. Buxton has been working in costume design for 30 years having won many awards including a BAFTA and an Emmy. She’s known for her work in television PBS shows such as Downton Abbey and Poldark.

She is also one of the co-founders of Costume Symposium –  three days of lecturers and workshops for costumers and students. Masters in their craft teach workshops on making corsets, embroidery, millinery, gloves and more.  Ms. Buxton says as her generation retires these necessary tools of the trade are dying out and resources for teaching such are limited. She wants to help pass along these skills and techniques to the next generation.

The annual event is new since 2018 and has so far been held during the fall in different locations around the UK. Because of the pandemic, this year has been cancelled but there are plans for spring 2021. Click here for more information. 

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Illustration by Zoe Taylor. From Selvedge magazine.

I buy most of my clothes at agricultural shows, and good stout things they are. After agricultural shows, Marks & Spencer is the place to go shopping, and then Paris. Nothing in between seems to be much good. 

Deborah, The Duchess of Devonshire (1920-2014).

The Duchess was the youngest of the six Mitford sisters, who were famous English aristocrats in the 1930s and 40s. Among the pretty and adventurous Mitford sisters was an author, two Nazi sympathizers, a communist, another quiet aristocrat, and the Duchess.

In 1950 she and her husband, the 11th Duke of Devonshire, took over and renovated the family estate, Chatsworth. The Duchess was involved in much of the work and the mansion was decorated to her taste. After decades of such estates being of little to no interest to the public, Chatsworth became a major tourist destination. It still is.

I love the unexpected practicality of the Duchess when it comes to her clothes. It’s humorous that she touted M&S, as the British department store is known for its stodgy selection of clothing. But then the Duchess was also a fan of Paris fashion. Her closet must have been an interesting mix.

 

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Orla Kiely’s iconic pattern called Stem.

Fashion is both fascinating and contradictory. It creates trends and follows them, it welcomes and rejects; it judges. I love the fact that I am a part of it but I also relish the knowledge that my design language is different. I can be an outsider. Incapable of following trends just for the sake of it, I’m not in the business of reinventing myself to be this year’s sensation. My need is to feel both inspired and satisfied by what I achieve. I do my own thing. I love fashion but I would never want to be its slave. 

Orla Kiely – Irish born fabric pattern and fashion designer.

This quote is from an article about Ms. Kiely in Selvedge magazine, a British publication covering “The Fabric of your Life: Textiles in Fashion, Fine Art, Interiors, Travel, and Shopping.” Each issue has a theme and this one is Britannia (Issue 40 May/June 2011).

I like what Ms. Kiely says here and I believe there are many ways to live fashion. She and I share a desire for independence.  I’m not into trends or brands or what I call corporate fashion. Still, I follow it all and forge my own path.

Here’s to independent spirits in fashion!

 

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IMG_20200220_120019Check the label for natural fibers – blended fibers break down more quickly. Check the stitching is secure and straight – holes are better avoided than repaired. Check that patterns match at the seams. Check the garment comes with spare buttons- you may be thankful for this later. Avoid over-washing and air dry rather than tumble dry, as the lint you take out of the dryer is actually your clothes disintegrating. Ask someone to teach you how to sew on a button and darn a hole to extend the life of your clothes.

Selvedge Magazine 

Selvedge Magazine is a UK publication dedicated to “exploring the culture of cloth.” Launched in 2004 by textiles enthusiast and teacher Polly Leonard, Selvedge is published bimonthly (every two months) and each issue has a theme covering international fabric topics. The current issue (#93) is all about repair, recycle, and encouraging “no waste” in fabric manufacturing.

But there’s more! The team also sponsors or organizes events, including the upcoming World Fair in September. For three days fabric artisans from around the world will gather in London to show their beautiful wares.

Back issues are often on sale so … I couldn’t resist picking up the May/June 2011 issue, which focuses on British textiles.

Even the newsletter is special. I recommend signing up for that – find the subscription box on the bottom right hand side of the main page.

 

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