Makers House

LDF 2016: Makers House

For me the highlight of this year’s LDF was Makers House a collaboration between the fashion brand Burberry and The New Craftsmen. Taking over the site of the former Foyles book store just off Tottenham Court Road. Part workshop, part fashion installation the event ran both the London Design Festival and London Fashion Week. On entering the space via a statue strewn alleyway visitors happened upon a verdant garden café framed by a large mural resembling the facade of Ditchley Park. Upstairs featured Burberry’s SS17 runway collection. The collection was heavily inspired by Virginia Woolf’s novel Orlando and by the work of Nancy Lancaster, an interior designer best known for running decorating firm Colefax and Fowler and restoring stately home Ditchley Park in the 1930s. It was an incredibly intimate experience to walk amongst the rows of mannequins and really get a close up look at collection. However, what really made the space come alive were craftspeople working on the ground floor. Highlights included the Sculptor Thomas Merrett and the wonderful Rosalind Wyatt, a Textile, collage and calligraphy artist who would customise one of her fabulous prints designed to accompany the show. Pindrop Studio also curated a series of live reading from the works of Virginia Woolf staged on ‘the reading steps’ created by JamesPlumb. While I was there the actress Lisa Dawn give a spine-tingling reading of a short story by Virginia Woolf. There was even a New Craftsmen pop-up shop selling homeward, vintage books and accessories. What made Makers House so impactful was both the eleven of execution and also the amount of interaction encouraged between visitors and the craftspeople. This was an incredible experience, which will stay with me for a very long time.