Wool House III + Tom of Holland

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My last few pictures from Wool House (sigh!).

More sheep, some wool couture and a darning session with the very delightful and diligent Tom of Holland. Holey socks, darning thread and mushrooms at the ready, he showed a flock of wool enthusiasts the power of darning. There was much lamentation and sympathy over the destructive capacity of clothes moths, but not enough to dampen spirits, darn it!

Inspired, I’m determined to a) fill my wardrobe with sprigs of lavender against the winged wool nemeses and b) scour local charity shops for a darning mushroom of my own.

wool12wool13wool14wool16Goodbye Wool House! Until next time…(there will be a next time yes?)wool11wool17

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Wool House II

After quite a busy week I’ve finally got round to uploading my pictures from a second visit to the Wool House, last Friday. I’ll try to be better in future, I promise.

The rooms of Wool House were put together by different artists and designers, with a bedroom, lounge and nursery, amongst others.

These were my two favourites, Natural Room by Josephine Ryan and Nursery by Donna Wilson. I liked the first for its fairytale-like sinister edge (Little Red Riding Hood’s Grandma’s woodland cottage), the second for it’s soporific dreaminess (the designer’s alternative to adding brandy to the baby’s bottle) and both for their all-encompassing warmth and imaginative design. Walking into them practically felt like being hugged by the fleecy walls.

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Wool House

woolhouseYesterday I chanced across the ‘Wool House’ at Somerset House. The week-long exhibition and series of events set up by the Campaign for Wool is dedicated to all things wooly. During my brief visit I had a spinning lesson with Sheila from Dovecot Studios and bumped into a familiar face from The Handweavers Studio. I’m going back this morning for more, armed with a camera. I’m just so sad to have missed the sheep parade!

The exhibition finishes this Sunday, 24th March. Go to the Wool House‘s or Somerset House‘s website for more details. Catch it before it goes!

Creative Curating at Somerset House

valentinoToday I visited two exhibitions at Somerset House on the Strand – Tim Walker: Storyteller and Valentino: Master of Couture. Both struck me as particularly imaginatively curated.

At the Tim Walker exhibition the curators took the playful nature of the photographs and extended them into the space of the gallery – some of the fantastic, often gigantic props used in the fashion shoots are displayed alongside the images. A giant replica of a spitfire appears to have elegantly crashed through one room, whilst in another a menacing, monstrous doll looms over visitors – as it did over a model in Walker’s original photographs. In yet another, the sand in an image literally spills into the gallery space.

The larger (paid) exhibition devoted to the career of Italian designer Valentino also takes the visitor into the world of fashion. In the main space, the gowns are displayed on mannequins standing and sitting either side of a central aisle. Roles are reversed, as we, the visitors, walk down the catwalk observing the anonymous, glamorously-dressed spectators around us. A selection of samples and short films also provide an awe-inspiring glimpse into the creation of Valentino haute couture by nimble-fingered seamstresses.

Tim Walker: Storyteller is on at the East Wing Galleries until 27 January 2013, FREE.

Valentino: Master of Couture is on at the Embankment Galleries, South Wing until 3 March 2013, £12.50/ £9 concessions.