Issue 18 Island
OURISLANDLIFE ISSUE revolves around a seasonal triumvirate of lace, linen and linear patterns. Putting together this issue we found we just couldn’t avoid them.Dappled sunlight through a lace curtain, white canvas sails and a striped bathing suit...these things sum up a certain kind of island holiday.Undoubtedly the quality of light is part of the special spirit of islands, it reflects off the sea, making colours clean and true. Peninsulas have the same quality and one finds artists’ colonies clustered on them around the globe. Years ago I read an article by Angelo Taranta in which he described “the double life of islands”. While cultural isolation can intensify an island’s traditions it also makes them attractive to those looking for alternative ways of living, as Taranta puts it “A certain distance from the mainland maybe symbolic of a certain difference from the mainstream, a greater likelihood to inject surprise or marvel: an essential ingredient of all art.” Among those drawn to island living is Flick Ekins who adopted and restored a villa on the Greek Island of Symi.One of the things Flick admires about the island is the lace making tradition ,the work produced is usually kept within the household but there are wonderful examples in the collections of the V&A in London. Ismini Samanido charts the evolution of this delicate fabric. She was drawn to the subject by her Greek heritage.Tracing the roots of something that appears simple and straightforward has its own particular thrill. When we decided to look at stripes it was nothing more than their enduring charm and fresh feel that sparked the idea. Little did we know we would become enmeshed in their fascinating history and meaning. Sailor’s spring to mind at
the mention of stripes so it was a natural progression to look at marine and nautical textiles.Linen is our third summer staple, it has helped us keep cool in the sun for centuries but it was in the 1970s that Dr Vittorio Solbiati inspired Giorgio Armani to give the fabric a new lease of life, in fashion. Make it part of your holiday wardrobe...
Polly Leonard, Founder