Issue 73 Decorative
AS SOMEONE WHO IS DRAWN to a natural sparse aesthetic, bling can be a bit of a challenge. But it is good to step out of your comfort zone once in a while and Christmas is the time do it. In this issue we embrace hedonism and indulgence. We take inspiration from the most decadent of decades; the 1920s, with a new exhibition The Jazz Age at the Fashion and Textile Museum, whose curator Dennis Nothdruft introduces us to the glitz and the glamour. Dani Trew examines how contemporary designers are taking inspiration from the era. Any magpie would tell you that the appeal of the shiny is not new and Sarah Jane Downing traces the history of the sequin from Elizabethan times to the present. Further back we discover Opus Anglicanum, the height of English embroidery and the ultimate mastery of goldwork. Today in the age of digital embroidery it is exciting to see designers such as Alice Archer interpreting the art form in a new and relevant way.
We look behind the scenes at the detailed costumes made for TV and film by Cosprop as well as their hard-wearing yet equally impactful designs for staged productions. On another scale entirely we talk to the costume designer Deborah Cook who designs in miniature for animation, an approach not dissimilar to that used for fashion dolls since the thirteenth century. Finally Jane Brocket reflects on the symbolic power of embroidery in literature and we celebrate the work of Dorothy Whipple in a soon-tobe published compilation of her short stories, offered to our first one hundred three-year subscribers from Persephone books.
I wish you a sparkling Christmas and hope to see you at our Advent Festival.
Polly Leonard, Founder