Julia Craig has a rare and in-depth knowledge of period textiles and haberdashery; the evidence of which can be found in her London boutique store, Skinny Rich Fairies. In this – by appointment only – treasure chest. Julia has a collection of materials and trims from the last 200 years which are reinvented with Julia’s keen eye for drama and detail. French passementerie, silk and wool gauzes, embroideries from the Far East, French metallic lace and cut velvet devore are just a few of the rich textures on display, ‘I have whole rooms of fabrics I’ve collected, all waiting to be used’.
Every gown on the rail is a one-off, tailored design made using a careful amalgamation of different vintage fabrics to combine timeless glamour, french seams and a modern edge. ‘I hate it when people say ‘it looks like the real thing’,’ Julia explains, and for good reason, these aren’t replicas of period fashion but original designs more akin to couture than vintage reinterpretation.
With fellow fabric lover Meg Lake, whose career began working with Thea Porter in the early seventies and later as a Court dressmaker making clothes for the aristocracy, including Princess Margaret, Together, Julia and Meg realised that these fabrics and workmanship were far superior to their modern day equivalents and were therefore worthy of beautiful garments in a more modern design. The inspiration begins with the nature of the fabric and every stitch is thought about in order to do justice to these fabrics is key as they will become the couture collectables of the future.
Extract from the Surface issue. Photography by Craig Fordham.