Fashion Open Studio 2018 Roundup

By Tamsin Blanchard

5 months ago

The week’s events kicked off at the V&A Museum, when Katie Jones and Phoebe English took a taster of their crochet and patchwork workshops to the opening of the museum’s ground breaking exhibition Fashioned From Nature. Phoebe, who has been nominated for the 2018 Fashion Awards for Emerging Talent Menswear, hosted a Quilting From Waste workshop at her Deptford Creek studio complete with a poetry reading by Wilson Oryema who recited from his book Wait (you can listen to him reading here). It was a wonderful day spent stitching together patches of Phoebe’s many shades of black remnants, and talking to the designer about craft, making, and the issues around waste in the industry.

Every Fashion Open Studio event is different and it’s up to the designers to decide what they want to do and for the public who visit to ask the questions they want to ask. Congregation showed their collection made by a cooperative of designers as part of a dance performance by the contemporary dance duo SistaSista. Congregation’s workshop the following day resulted in two one-off T-shirts made specially for Fashion Revolution. Elvis & Kresse demonstrated how they make finely crafted accessories out of discarded fire hose and rescued Burberry leather at their beautiful mill in Sittingbourne, Kent. John Alexander Skelton and Roberts|Wood discussed craft, technology and limited production at the Sarabande Foundation.

For the dynamic design duo, RCA alumni OneByMe it was an opportunity to launch the #BirthOfANewMovement. Their HOWWILLYOUMAKEIT? event took the form of a workshop where participants made their own ONE-Piece Tee under the supervision and guidance of the designers at their studio space in Stepney, east London. This was followed by a party with their signature cocktails made using their own home grown basil (it’s grown using the compost from the wormery which is fed by their textile scraps) and amazing musicians featuring Rosanna Bass.

Other highlights included the launch event hosted by Chelsea College of Arts in partnership with I Love Linen. Textile students showed off their experiments with linen – in a specially grown field of flax – while Fashion Open Studio curator Tamsin Blanchard spoke to Patrick Grant of Community Clothing and Caren Downie of ByOcular about nurturing jobs in clothing and accessories production and keeping manufacture local. We partnered with the online resale platform Depop to host a Nothing New workshop making keyrings from discarded odd trainers with Helen Kirkum; Vivienne Westwood’s couture workshop talked about their processes to a crowd eager to hear about the craft of tailoring so key to Westwood’s work and Christopher Raeburn hosted Raeburn Repairs, a day of free repairs at his Hackney studio.

We are looking forward to announcing the line-up for Fashion Open Studio 2019 – the alternative to fashion week, which shines a light on best practice and innovative systems, techniques and processes. Follow us on Instagram @fashionopenstudio and Twitter @fashopenstudio and sign up for the Fashion Revolution newsletter to be the first to know about upcoming events and workshops.