Issue 24 Indian Summer
MY HUSBAND IS PASSIONATE ABOUT HERBACEOUS BORDERS and I have spent many summer afternoons admiring them, NGS‘yellow book’ in hand. He loves Vita Sackville-West’s whitegarden at Sissinghurst Castle and the long border at Great Dixter. I, however, am no gardener and digging around in soil rather takes the glamour out of the experience for me. I prefer my flowers carefully arranged in a vase or distilled into a bottle of Chanel no 5. If you prefer roses that don’t wilt then enter the world of Bruno Legeron. This family company have supplied silk flowers to the greatest couturiers since 1880. Annabel Lewis, founder of renowned ribbon emporium VV Rouleaux, understands their appeal and this issue we have arranged a special event that includes a tour of Annabel’s trade vaults and a trimming masterclass.Flowers have the ability to inspire great passion as can be seen in the Marianne North Gallery,at The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. Marianne was a Victorian painter who traveled the world recording the flora native to the countries she visited. Her extensive portfolio of over 800 paintings inspired Graham Hollick, to unearth this season’s finest embroidered fabrics. The block prints of Joy and Toy Singh, and of Brigitte Singh, also show the benefits of detailed observation. Both translate their floral favourites into the worlds most beautiful block prints. And in the bougainvillea scented rose pink city of Jaipur we find the Anokhi Museum, and a community keeping ancient textile traditions alive. The Jaipur foundation are committed to safeguarding the traditions of this city, but artistic communities exist around the world, Catherine Calvert’s round up of international artists’ colonies is delightfully illustrated by Clare Nicholas.
The relationship between fragrance and fashion is a close one with profits from perfume sales often funding couture collections. The relationship between the economy and fashion is even closer according to George Taylor’s ‘hemline index’ which asserts that when stock prices fall hem lines will follow. It’s an amusing idea but the role fashion plays in the national economy is often overlooked – far from frivolous the fashion industry generates around £14 billion each year. We will have to wait until September’s London Fashion Week, to find out if we will spend summer 2009 swathed in metres of fabric; so enjoy this summer and spend it in shorts – just in case...
Polly Leonard, Founder