Wednesday, 17 October 2018

The WMSC Newfoundland 2018 Slideshow!


From William Morris to Anna Wintour: How Liberty made an art out of fashion

The Liberty of London department store in 1925
It’s this crossover between art and fashion that this exhibition emphasizes. Kate Grenyer talks enthusiastically about Liberty’s first links with the Arts & Crafts movement of the late Victorian period, and how the fabrics became the “talk of the anti-establishment artists of the time”. 
Arthur Lasenby Liberty established his company in 1875. The brand’s initial success owed a lot to the era’s obsession with Japan and China, a cultural trend that could be seen as clearly in furniture and painting as it could in fabric and jewellery.  
Ianthe’ print c1902, originally by French Art Nouveau designer R Beauclair and redrawn by David Haward’s Studio
Most famously, the Victorian Libertys worked with William Morris, who designed some of Liberty’s best-known prints. There’s also a neat link here to the Dovecot, as the studios’ founding weavers learned their craft at Morris’s Merton Abbey workshops in Wimbledon, south London. The first wave of interest in Liberty fabrics coincided with the tellingly named Artistic Dress Movement, which saw women loosen corsets, bodices and waistlines in favour of the billowing, free-flowing styles whose influence could be seen decades later when 1970s hippies took up the Liberty print mantle.  
In Morris’ day, art and fashion were inextricably linked, with women encouraged to seek inspiration for the new styles in Pre-Raphaelite and Aesthetic paintings, which in turn were filled with references to Medieval Europe and Ancient Greece.   
And that’s not to mention the links between Liberty and Art Nouveau (in Italy the term “Stile Liberty” was in fact coined to describe Art Nouveau style), Liberty and Bauhaus, Liberty and Pop Art.
A 1960 Liberty silk and satin embroidered kaftan
Read the full article HERE

Thursday, 11 October 2018

An Eco Alternative to H&M's Morris Collection

By Lera Kotsyuba


Finding a Morris print has ben akin to finding a needle in a haystack. Scouring vintage and estate sales, online sleuthing, buying upholstery fabric and crafting something yourself. With Morris & Co running along the lines of interior design, how were we to show off our Morrisian pride through our fashion?

William Morris was an ardent Socialist, supporter of craft, love of labour, and worker's rights. But he could never reconcile the high prices of handmade work, with affordability for the working class. And we see this same struggle today.


Last holiday season, luxury fashion brand LOEWE launched a Morris collection. Beautiful, but with high prices and questionable ethics, as their supply chain is monitored by, in essence, themselves. And with high prices for luxury goods, how are working class Morrisians to afford LOEWE's clothing and accessories?


And this year, fast-fashion giant H&M launched their own collaboration with Morris & Co, featuring some iconic prints, and Morrisian slogans that seem ironic in context, given Morris' Socialist ideals. Polyester? No thanks! Releasing microplastics with every wash into the water? Certainly not what Morris would have wanted, and neither do we.

The Alternative?

UK-Based, Fair Trade Brand "People Tree"!


The brand has been committed to Fair Trade since 1991!
Read their credentials here.

"People Tree has been a pilot case for certification for Fair Trade Manufacture under the World Fair Trade Organisation and we were the world’s first clothing company to receive the World Fair Trade Organisation Fair Trade product mark in 2013.
SUSTAINABLE FASHION
People Tree developed the first integrated supply chain for organic cotton from farm to final product and we were the first organization anywhere to achieve GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certification on a supply chain entirely in the developing world.
People Tree also works hard to ensure that they pioneer sustainable methods of production to minimize environmental impact. Not only is the majority of their cotton certified organic and Fairtrade, all their clothes are dyed using safe and azo-free dyes. They source as many products as they can locally, choosing natural and recycled products over synthetic and non-biodegradable materials. They ship as many of their products as they can by sea, instead of air, and weave fabric by hand, reducing our impact on global warming."
Held to a sustainable and Fair Trade standard by a 3rd party organization? Check!

Commitment to worker's rights and craftsmanship? Check!

Take a Look


And while they don't have exact Morris prints, their range of V&A inspired prints will send your Morrisian heart swooning!

Find the collection here:



Monday, 8 October 2018

The Oscar Wilde Temple



3 October 2018–31 March 2019


Twenty years in the making, The Oscar Wilde Temple is a wholly immersive work of art and secular space honouring one of the earliest forebears of gay liberation whilst commemorating contemporary LGBTQ+ martyrs and those lost to the AIDS crisis.
This will be the first–ever institutional exhibition of McDermott & McGough’s work in the UK and will provide audiences with an important opportunity to experience the artists’ groundbreaking work first–hand.
For this major new commission, the most ambitious in Studio Voltaire’s history, the entirety of the gallery, a Victorian former chapel, will be dramatically transformed to create an environment that wholly celebrates the Irish poet and author. Period wallpaper, stained glass windows, hangings and 19th century chandeliers and furniture adorn the space, evoking the provocative sensuousness of the Aesthetic Movement.
David McDermott (1952) and Peter McGough (1958) have worked collaboratively since 1980, achieving notoriety in the bohemian downtown quarters of New York with their performative ‘time machine’ experiments. This all encompassing gesamtkunstwerk saw their dress, home, and art studios (down to the materials and techniques they deployed) remain strictly faithful to late 19th and early 20th centuries. By refusing the contemporary present in favour of fabricating their own queer version of the past, McDermott & McGough asserted a revolutionary queer agency well ahead of their time. Their practice is a singular and prescient voice among the numerous politicised and activist artists that emerged into the mainstream during the AIDS crisis.
Studio Voltaire
1A Nelson's Row
London SW4 7JRUnited Kingdom