Issue 55 Treasure (digital only)
“WHERE IS HE WHO HAS BEEN BORN KING OF THE JEWS? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him....Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” Matthew 2:1-2
I’m fascinated by these mysterious visitors, not only because they clearly have the best costumes in any nativity, but also by the strange gifts they presented. But perhaps, in our post crash society, it’s another character we can relate to; “The Little Drummer Boy” who, in the classic carol, who offered only his skill. It’s nice to think that more and more of us are recognising that time is the most precious gift we can give. Perhaps we no longer define ourselves quite so much by what we own? There are a raft of publications to teach us how to live life more simply and the craft movement has taken hold. I certainly believe handmade gifts have greater resonance – it’s just finding the time. If you have an hour or two to spare we have a charming Antique Silk Wheat Warmer, for you to sew. But if shopping is your solution don’t be down-hearted. There is a real boom in the kind of personal service only independent stores can provide and a selection of these special places are highlighted in Jane Audas’ feature Quality Street.
The holidays are an opportunity for a little escapism, whether it’s a stay in one of Kit Kemp’s beautifully decorated hotels, or the chance to enjoy some of the wonderful textiles on show this winter; such as the intricate weaving of madder red shawls in Norwich and the Persian-inspired carpets on display as part of the V&A’s Jameel prize. We allow ourselves a little fashion escapism this issue as Kate Cavendish explores the religious iconography found on the garments of Dolce and Gabbana A/W 2013 collection. But even these stunning textiles are given a run for their money by glorious silk Ikat coats from Uzbekistan, (I like to imagine the Magi wore these with stylishly wrapped turbans). In reality Phillipa Watkins worked tirelessly for five years to re-establish the Ikat weaving industry in the Fergana Valley.
Finally I hope to welcome you to the Selvedge Winter Fair at Chelsea Town Hall. Bring friends and make it the start of a new Christmas tradition...
Polly Leonard, Founder