14 April 2019: Weekly Round-up

In this blog series, I will share the latest resources I use for my work, and in my ethical consumption activism. If you ever have issues getting hold of these materials, just drop me a line and I’ll share mine with you!

Sanjukta

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Department Stores are Dead? Nobody told Primark (Op-Ed), by Business of Fashion

Some more Brexit doom-and-gloom, but it’s also an interesting preview of the future of British retail, and retail overall in its conventional sense. As we move more and more towards online retail, large department stores with their huge physical presence are making shoppers feel uncomfortable and alienated, as it turns out. This could be good news for smaller retailers and names to step in and take over!

I’m breaking up with Sustainable Fashion by Eco Warrior Princess

More than just a fantastic headline (this plays on the popular #breakupwithfastfashion), this thoughtful piece from industry leader EWP talks about how the movement towards sustainability and ethics is starting to look more and more like the fast fashion options it replaced. This is a great discussion to have now as we see more and more greenwashing in the public sphere - brands falsely claiming they pay their workers well, or use organic materials that aren’t certified.

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Non-Fiction:

‘Fashioned from Nature’, the official book accompanying the V&A exhibition last year - I’m still reading it, since there’s just so much to learn!

I also borrowed 'The Art of Manipulating Fabric’ by Colette Wolff, a fantastic resource! There are plenty of tutorials and exercises to practice everything from projected pleats to corded embroidery. It’s given me tons of ideas, and Colette writes in an easy-to-understand way. I’m a visual and kinesthetic learner, so the combination of her words and the images were perfect for me to learn from.

Articles:

‘Three Embroiderers’ by Selvedge Magazine

A profile of three of the most influential embroiderers in the craft space - Richard SajaElaine Reichek and Jordan Nassar.

‘Living Colour’, also by Selvedge

In 2006 we featured the work of Japanese master dyer Yoshioka Sachio (read the article here) and I have followed his work ever since. Last week, I was lucky enough to meet him at the opening of his exhibition, Living Colour at Japan House. The exhibition recreates the language of Kasane, a concept of layering colours first seen in the court fashions of Heian-period Japan (794-1185 CE), which still resonates with Japanese sensibilities today and the desire to reflect the changing seasons.

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Podcast of the Week:

‘Sustainable Sewing with Megan Nielsen’ by Love to Sew Podcast

Megan Nielsen is a huge source of inspiration to me, and I love her approach to her work. This dedication to thinking about sustainability in design, pattern construction and engineering inspires my own work, and along with everything else it’s just great to have someone to look up to who genuinely loves her work and wants to share this passion with our amazing community.

This talk with Megan feels like a chat with a fellow maker, which it technically is but it’s rare to find a business owner with so much joy and passion for knowledge. I’m sure you’ll love it!

‘Episode 46: Journey to the Crossroads’ by An Unexpected Podcast

This isn’t a fashion or textile podcast, but since you know by now that I am a big nerd, I love listening to podcasts while I sew your pieces.

This Lord of the Rings podcast is my absolute favourite. ‘An Unexpected Podcast’ goes chapter by chapter through the book in a book club format, linking events to Middle Earth history, comparing it to the movies, and discussing fan theories. It warms my heart no end - the hosts, Lane and Ezra, feel like the friends I grew up with. They regularly read reviews and comments from the community so it feels like we’re all connected and part of a community.