Issue 45 Ingenuity

£9.95 GBP

March/April 2012

I HAVE BEEN LOOKING OUT of my window at a bare lavender bed for what seems far longer than a few months. I can’t wait to see the purple flowers with their heady scent filling the garden again. The sight always lightens my mood. We know many of our readers are facing dull days as the economic crisis stretches on and on but this issue we are determined to lift your spirits.

No one sets a better example than the Gentlemen of Bacongo, whose gloriously colourful clothing are a visual demonstration of triumph over adversity. Photographer Daniele Tamagni has documented their way of life in images that are alive with optimism. These brave, bold ensembles are a defiant reaction to the terrible conflicts they have witnessed.

In comparison it seems laughable to describe fashion as ‘fearless’ but designer Mary Katrantzou, is not afraid to mix patterns and palettes that others might consider dangerous. Her S/S 2012 collection, photographed by Erik Madigan Heck, is a riot of unrestrained colour. Gorgeous though they are we are not all comfortable wearing clothes that catch every eye. Some of us prefer to express a love for colour in our interiors. In Denmark Rie Elise Larsen, has created a bright and welcoming holiday home with few resources. This thrifty style is something we can all aspire to and is echoed in our How to, vintage dish towel bunting from Nikki Trench. If you enjoy patchwork then make a note that Nikki’s book A Passion for Quilting will be launched at the Selvedge Spring Fair.

By ‘being clever with your hands’ you can transform the world around you – a little curiosity has the same effect. Combine the two and and you can create inventions that put your name in the history books – not always for the reason you intended. Eighteen-year-old scientist William Henry Perkin, accidentally discovered a vivid mauve dye while attempting to find a lifesaving treatment for malaria. His discovery changed textile production but until recently Perkin was all but forgotten. The Hidden Heroes exhibition, at the Science Museum shines a light on influential but everyday objects that are often overlooked; plastic clothes pegs, poppers and zips. These inventions make daily life a little easier though we rarely appreciate their ingenuity. For clothes peg collectors Gad Charny and Yoav Ziv, they are much more – they are a route through the mundane to the marvellous. These men find something spectacular in simplicity... that’s probably the best way to brighten your day – every day!

Polly Leonard, Founder

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