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INDULGE textiles to buy, collect or simply admire 13 SELVEDGE GIFT GUIDE Founder Polly Leonard selects some perfect presents for the holiday season 38 FRAGRANCED FIBRES Katia Johansen delves deep into the history of perfumed textiles illustration by Macrina Busato 78 ALL ROUNDER The designer Cecilie Telle demonstrates that an alternative approach is sometimes the best photograph by Richard Nicholson

CONCEPT textiles in fine art 48 DRAWN FROM ANOTHER TIME Diana Woolf admires Elizabeth Loveday’s suffragettes portraits 22 OF FLIGHT AND INDIGO An Interview with Danish Fibre Artist Grethe Wittrock by Titilayo Ngwenya 56 INTELLECTUAL BARBARIANS The Kibbo Kift Kindred the work of this progressive English organisation (1920-1932) by Liz Hoggard

INDUSTRY from craft to commerce 42 MAKING THE CONNECTION Amanda Carr explores the relationship between fragrance and fabric

GLOBAL textiles from around the world 72 YULETIDE PRESENCE Nürnberg’s Christmas Market is Nutcracker Sweet by Rick Steves, illustration by Clare Nicholas 16 CLOTH AND COLD Anne Schwalbe photographs beautiful Shibori scarves in the snowy landscape of the Black Forest in Southern Germany

ANECDOTE textiles that touch our lives 52 SOLDIERS IN PETTICOATS Dr Nicola Donovan pins down the subversive style of the Suffragettes 32 FASHIONING SILK The role of the silk trade in the birth of modern fashion by Dr Lesley Miller 44 SHOPPING FOR CHANGE Dani Trew looks at the role shopping played in female emancipation during the 18th century 96 FABRIC SWATCH Favourite Fabric No. 27: Loden cloth written by Sarah Jane Downing, illustrated by Nina Fuga

ATTIRE critical reporting of fashion trends 26 DESIGN DYNASTY The magic behind Simone Rocha’s clothes written by Kate Cavendish 69 PYJAMAS Sarah Jane Downing explores our intimate relationship with pyjamas 64 I’M FAR FROM ESOTERIC Frank Leder talks candidly about his love for the narrative behind his ingredients


Previous page: Grethe Wittrock, European Magpie (detail), 2015. New sail cloth, indigo dyed. 180” x 40” This page: Grethe Wittrock, The Black Swan, 2015. Weather-beaten dyed sailcloth. 80” x 22”. Following page: Greenland landscape with White Swan, 2015. Weather-beaten sailcloth, 1. 457 x 100cm, 2. 200 x 56cm, 3. 368 x 177cm.

These blues and whites are also a part of the birds that inspire me: the swan is a white bird, the European magpie and the Greenland snow goose are both blue and white.

I studied dyeing in Japan, and I just fell in love with indigo and all of the shades and variations you can achieve by going from white to blue. I did indigo dying in Kyoto and studied with a very famous teacher, Shihoko Fukumoto. Recently she exhibited a beautiful indigo tea-tent in the Unravelling Identity: Our Textiles, Our Stories exhibition at the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum in Washington.

TN: Why are you interested in birds and collecting feathers? GW: As a fibre artist, I’m always interested in structures in nature. Many of my previous works consist of numerous individual elements, which together make up a whole unit. For example, my wall hangings consist of thousands of pieces. I see the same design in feathers, which consist of hundreds of fibres. So the idea of taking inspiration in a bird feather to create new sculptures from used sails was a gift to me.

Susana Raab

One of my favourite paintings is Leonardo da Vinci’s Annunciation. It is an angel with a huge wing kneeling in front of the Virgin Mary. I found out that Leonardo da Vinci actually spent a lot of time studying bird wings. I had always liked that painting and somehow wanted to take inspiration from it. Similarly Albrecht Dürer studied the anatomy of birds very closely: I’ve collected many images of his paintings and his work has become an important reference point within my work.

TN: What about your own migrations? GW: My husband says I suffer from an incurable wanderlust. I have lived in five countries: Denmark, Japan, United States, Egypt and Switzerland. Japan is especially close to my heart, perhaps because I studied there and learned about Katazome, indigo dying, and papermaking. One of the things I will exhibit at Fuller Craft Museum is a kimono that I made there many years ago. I will be living in Washington DC for the next two years, while my husband works at the Danish embassy as a senior advisor on climate and energy. Although it’s great to be closer to my American audience, I prefer to create my projects at The Danish Workshop of Art in Copenhagen, it is my absolute favourite. In Copenhagen I am close to my home, materials and colleagues.

Fortunately I have always been fascinated by flying – it involves a lot of white and blue! I love looking down at the landscape of Greenland when I fly from America to Denmark. I’ve been observing that landscape, and I want that presence to be in the room. I hope that when you enter the room at the Museum, it conveys the feeling of the sea and of flying above the Nordic countries. Titilayo Ngwenya Nordic Currents is on until 31 January, Fuller Craft Museum 455 Oak Street, Brockton, MA 02301, USA


The magic behind Simone Rocha’s clothes DESIGN DYNASTY

Although Simone Rocha’s smart, feminine, and highly conceptual clothing is immediately recognizable as her own vision, this young designer keeps her family – both biological and symbolic – close at hand for inspiration.

The daughter of designer emeritus John Rocha (he retired in 2014), Simone was born and raised in Dublin, where her father settled after leaving his native Hong Kong. Rocha père began designing in 1980 after giving up a career in psychiatric nursing, and Simone, born six years later, apprenticed in his studio, learning to knit, to dye fabric, to organize a fashion show. Indeed, a cycle of life informs the Rocha family’s creativity. Odette, Simone’s Irish mother, partnered with her husband in his business until his retirement; she now manages sales and production for her daughter. John closed his Dover Street shop and Simone opened her first freestanding shop on Mount Street during London Fashion Week this fall.

Simone Rocha’s designs often pay loving homage to her extended family. She has said that both her Irish and Chinese grandmothers ‘creep’ into every collection; she dedicated one to the late Professor and OBE Louise Wilson, her beloved – and legendarily influential – mentor from Central Saint Martins. The sculptor Louise Bourgeois is also cited a subject of Rocha’s senior thesis at The National College of Art and Design Dublin. But Rocha has forged her own path, being named a finalist inthe prestigious inaugural LVMH prize,

and receiving the 2014 British Fashion Award for New Establishment Designer. Her feminine yet unfussy perspective is as recognizable as the Perspex heels on the brogues she sends down the runway. Rocha’s father says that her vision is more ‘youthful’ and ‘edgy’ than his; indeed, Rocha has enjoyed a highly successful collaboration with the U.S. denim label J Brand even though, as the company’s president told the New York Times, ‘She’s never actually owned a pair of jeans.’

Rocha’s Fall/Winter 2015 collection includes undulating padded velvet curves that sweep across the bosom; three-dimensional red flowers on sheer white represent breasts as well. The collection reflects that genial tension between influence and individual vision. In her Show Notes, for instance, she credits Bourgeois’ L’Araignée, the 1991 sculpture of pink breasts floating horizontally on a wall. And indeed mamelle-shaped protrusions float from the hips of pink dresses. Similarly Rocha acknowledges the influence of Bourgeois’ L’Araignee et les Tapisseries (The Spider and the Tapestries).

Bourgeois knew tapestries well: her family showed antique tapestries in their Parisian gallery and later engaged in tapestry restoration in a suburb of Paris. She brought tapestries into her darkly modern antiMiss Muffet sculptures, where a tapestry upholsters not a tuffet but the human-shaped cephalothorax of a spider. Rocha honours

Bourgeois’ rich history by reappropriating tapestries, even sourcing her material from a historic maker in France. She rolls up her models inside stiff fan-like capes of chenille, their solid forms softened by Rocha’s signature ruffles. She enjoys playing with the tension between the weight of the fabric and the feminine form – bronze-on-black tapestries glide off one shoulder; a ‘stiff suit’ becomes a visual pun via a long fitted jacket and skirt that reveal the model’s curves. Her black-on-black tapestries are cut into a body-skimming turtleneck dress or a dramatic cape, punctuated by jet beading and a snip of horsehair, matching the model’s mane-like coifs. The clothes evoke grand country homes, but the models aren’t blending in with the furniture; rather, they’re revitalizing traditional mores, like a rebellious daughter in Downton Abbey.

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti, author of Novel Interiors: Living in Enchanted Rooms Inspired by Literature, sees a literary connection in these tapestries as well. ‘Simone Rocha’s clothes evoke the sumptuous interiors in novels by Marcel Proust, Oscar Wilde and Joris-Karl Huysmans,’ she commented.‘In these authors’ highly aesthetic worlds, colour and pattern are emotion made visual. There’s a similar attention to detail in Rocha’s designs. Her ornate brocades ooze drama. The finely wrought beading and embroidery hint at corruption. Black is shadowy and elusive and a little bit dangerous.’




Diana Woolf admires Elizabeth Loveday’s contemporary portraits of the suffragettes

Cornish textile artist and illustrator Elizabeth Loveday delights in the weird and wonderful and admits she’s generally attracted to dark, slightly odd or disturbing subjects. She makes surreal, often bizarre pictorial textiles inspired by local folk tales and her work ranges from images of mad-looking clowns, mournful performing half human beasts and real life, political activists. ‘I don’t want my work to be cute or beautiful,’ she says, adding, ‘I like things to be a bit dangerous and I want to challenge people’s ideas about what textiles should depict.’

It is unsurprising that Loveday’s Suffragette series, a group of textile portraits of some of the movement’s key figures, is a long way away from the group’s conventional depictions. The images are not direct copies of photographs but rather show Loveday’s imaginative interpretation of the Suffragette experience (both emotional and physical). In the process she turns this pantheon of political heroines into a series of real-life women.

For example, instead of showing figures such as the formidable Millicent Fawcett as calm and heroic in the face of masculine intransigence, she pictures her as tired and vulnerable, her hair a bird’s nest of grey and her mouth bruised. Loveday’s cameo of Flora

Stevenson is haggard with violet shadows under her eyes – possibly an incipient black eye - and her image of

Frances Buss shows the great advocate of women's education with a gaping hole where her mouth should be, perhaps in recognition of the way women's voices were silenced at the time.

‘The Suffragettes weren’t necessarily beautiful, perfect people. They were real people, fighting. They might have been heroic in their actions but they weren’t once they were in Holloway, and in the end many of them were quite damaged – they were really mistreated and battered – it was appalling,’ she explains.

Loveday started her Suffragette series after she came across some of their old marching songs and poems. Intrigued, she researched further, reading up on the movement and searching out old photographs of the women as well as pictures of non-political prisoners in Holloway at the same time.




The Kibbo Kift Kindred

The men in hoodies and belted tunics, clutching totem poles, could be Shoreditch hipsters. In fact their faces stare out from a photograph taken in 1925. As part of their programme of curating exhibitions from archive material, the Whitechapel Gallery is celebrating the work of the progressive English organisation, The Kibbo Kift Kindred (sometimes dubbed ‘the radical Boy Scout rebels’). ‘Kibbo Kift is little-known, which is one of the things that makes them exciting,’ says Dr Annebella Pollen, co-curator of the Whitechapel show. ‘They have been written about in terms of youth movements of the 1920s, and political campaign histories – but never from the point of art and design.’

Previously unseen woodcarvings, furniture, ceremonial dress designs, hand-decorated tents, banners, set designs, and archive photographs taken on parades and camping trips present a forgotten moment in British social history which continues to resonate today. Pollen, who is Principal Lecturer in History of Art and Design at the University of Brighton, has organised the show, Intellectual Barbarians: The Kibbo Kift Kindred, with Dr

Nayia Yiakoumaki, curator of the Whitechapel’s Archive Gallery. As a textile historian, Pollen first came across Kibbo Kift when her daughter joined the youth movement, Woodcraft Folk – and she became fascinated by ‘these archaic rituals and strange languages’. As she looked further back in the archive she came across the eccentrically attired Kibbo Kift. ‘I thought these are like modernist constructivist avant-garde costume, this is not Brownies and Guides,’ she recalls. ‘Many of the images are so contemporary in terms of fashion,’ agrees Yiakoumaki. ‘It’s totally coincidental but if you look at music videos with hipsters wearing foxes’ tails and masks, some of these images could have been taken last year.’

The movement, which only ever had about 500 members at any one time, was started by artist, writer and pacifist, John

Hargrave – after he became disillusioned with the perceived milituristic sympathies of the

Boy Scout movement. He created the progressive,

back-to-nature Kindred in 1927 hoping to train




Black, in Rocha’s vision, comes in many different tones and textures as well. Her collection is a master class in how to interpret black – she puffs out balloon sleeves on wool coats; she shows black chenille outerwear that conjures the high-gloss coat of a thoroughbred, a compliment to the horsehair accents throughout; she cuts governess-style dresses in a silky fabric that resists any notion of prim; she pairs the tenderest eyelet with sheer and toughens them both in black.

Rocha has also been developing red as a signature colour. This hue has become iconic for many designers: there’s Valentino’s red, Christian Louboutin’s red soles, Revlon’s ‘Cherries in the Snow’, and now what might be dubbed ‘Rocha red’ – a flame red that makes brief but memorable appearances in Rocha’s collections. Fall 2014, for instance, showed thick red chenille windowpane embroidery on sheer tulle and a red seersucker tartan; Spring 2015 threw a garden party of madcap red chintz dresses and polka dots on sheer; this collection revisits those earlier reds via outrageously oversized windowpane tweed tartans and red flowers seemingly painted onto crisp white, a bouquet of Flames Boyantes.

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Virginia Postrel, author of The Power of Glamour: Longing and the Art of Visual Persuasion, notes that red is often associated with glamour. ‘Glamorous reds are usually crimsons, inclining toward purple rather than orange on the color wheel,’ she wrote. 4


The result was a shift in her perception. ‘Previously I had thought the Suffragettes were really strong, but then I realised that they were also very feminine and still wanted to be wives and mothers but just find a voice and political equality through the vote.’ And it’s this femininity – and vulnerability – that Loveday captures in the series.

Although Loveday says that she loves drawing, she adds that she prefers to draw with textiles rather than any other media because they afford a particular transparency and nuance of meaning that, for her, are absent elsewhere. Moreover, Loveday’s work is lent a particular poignancy by the prominent role that textiles played in the Suffragette’s endeavour to secure voting rights.

Each of her Suffragette pieces is made using her preferred technique of collaging layers of different patterned and textured vintage fabric together and then over-embroidering the details. She loves working with old fabrics because of their inherent history – she actively relishes old stains and mends – and enjoys marrying the textiles to her subject matter to give an extra layer of meaning. Here Loveday has used delicate Victorian handkerchiefs as a background or canvas, deliberately contrasting their fragility, conventional feminine prettiness and ‘domesticity’ with the women’s striking, harrowingly realistic faces. ‘I wanted to draw attention to the powerful, strong, defiant faces by using this contrast of strength and delicacy,’ she says. Diana Woolf


Previous Page: Holloway prisoner mug shot

Below: Ethel Smyth

Following Page Left: Frances Mary Buss Following Page Right: Millicent Fawcett a body of people that would lead a lost society back to health and prosperity, after the horrors of the First World War. Their ethos was based on a shared appreciation of nature and handicraft, as well as a commitment to world peace.

The group was open to every age and gender and allowed men, women, boys and girls to camp together, which was rather controversial for the time. ‘It was founded by a man but about half the membership were women,’ says Pollen. ‘The women were the ones who were doing costume and banner making and embroidery. There were a number of interesting women involved in it who were themselves highly skilled practitioners.’ Notable members and supporters of the group included suffragettes Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence and Mary Neal, scientist Julian Huxley, social reformer Havelock Ellis, novelist H. G. Wells and the surrealist photographer Angus McBean, who learned his skills in photography, set and costume design while he was in Kibbo Kift. It’s rumoured that Mellors, the gamekeeper in DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s

Below Left: Surcoat (Herald) , 1920-1931 Costume 100 x 70cm Below: Surcoat (Blue, Skein of Emblazoner), 1920-1931 Costume 91 x 87 cm

Following Page Left: Lodge Signs Following Page Right: Lian Hodges SS 2015


Lover, is actually based on John Hargrave. ’They were forward thinking, socks and sandals wearing, sometimes vegetarian, and were also very much pro women’s liberation; so a lot of former Suffragettes joined because they saw an opportunity for women to be involved in this organisation where they might have more of a participatory role that was equal.’

Kathleen M Milnes, aka Blue Falcon, designed the group’s Kinlog, a huge illustrated history of the movement which is in the Whitechapel show. While the Skein of Emblazoners (the embroidery section) was headed up by Hargrave’s wife, herself a leader of camp groups before Kibbo Kift started. ‘The detail and execution of the embroidery on the archery items for example, is remarkable,’ says Pollen, showing me a blue surcoat from 1920-21 decorated with an abstracted image of a woman working on an embroidery screen.

Woodcraft and outdoors pursuits like hiking and camping, even sunbathing, took on a kind of spiritual importance for the group,4


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