This is just the kind of exhibition that comes up once in a blue moon and I just HAD to see it. I was planning a trip to London for a few meetings and I made it all work so that I could also take a trip to Bermondsey and spend a couple of hours at the Fashion and Textile Museum. For a fabric designer this exhibition is heaven and whilst I had seen most of the fabrics before in books, there was nothing like being able to actually see them in person. I had been excitedly waiting for this exhibition for many months and I wasn’t disappointed.
The Fashion and Textile Museum always has amazing exhibitions but this was far the best I had ever seen. There were many different pieces and both fashion and interiors fabrics were very evenly covered so there was enough to satisfy both interests. Of course it was the interior fabrics that fascinated me the most but I loved being able to see the fashion prints, especially those that were shown as they were made to be seen, on the wonderful fifties and sixties clothes. The Horrockses dresses were so beautiful, I was happily daydreaming put them on and strutting around the exhibition hall. As a collector of vintage silk scarves, seeing some of the beautifully printed scarves in the exhibition was a real treat.
It was lovely being able to see some of my favourite fabrics up close. These were fabrics that I had poured over in books for their design beauty, but now I could study the skilfully printed fabrics and their wonderful texture. Apologies to anyone who was getting frustrated with a small blonde who had her face inches from the fabrics, I did try to not get in the way but I just had to see the fabrics up close. Two of the highlights for me was seeing some of the Edinburgh Weavers fabrics and also the beautiful printed Picasso fabrics.
The study room had a wonderful mini exhibition celebrating the Collier-Campbell archive which was a lovely addition to the show. I always find the study room a lovely treasure trove and this look at the work of sisters Susan Collier and Sarah Campbell was no exception, showing a range of mood moods, drawings and fabrics from the collection and accompanied by a video about the sisters work. Susan sadly died in 2011, Sarah continues to work as a designer, you can see her work here.
I would highly recommend a visit to the exhibition, whether you are a designer, printer or just fabric obsessed, you will love it. Take a look at the website to see related talks and events that will be running alongside the exhibition. Artists Textiles runs until the 17th May 2014.