Wednesday, 28 October 2009

The Wool Pack - six week knitting club starts today!

Wednesday evenings
28th October - 2nd December, 6.30 - 9pm

This new club at the FTM is aimed at those who have little or no knitting experience but who have always wanted to learn the lovely art of knitting. Taught in a relaxed environment you will learn the basic techniques and stitches required to knit. Once you have mastered the basics you will put them into practice on a class project which will mean you have a finished article at the end of the course.

Needles and yarns are supplied for use in the first class. Participants will need to acquire their own needles and yarns for the following classes and projects.

Cost: £110

For further information and bookings phone 020 7407 8664 or email - or book your place online from We Got Tickets

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Jacqueline Groag at the Fashion and Textile Museum

23rd October – 20th December


Jacqueline Groag was probably the most influential textile designer in Britain in the post WWII era and the FTM is pleased to be showcasing a small selection of her work from October until December 2009.

Originally Czech, Groag studied textile and pattern design in Austria and during the late twenties and early thirties designed textiles for the Wiener Werkstatte in Vienna. However, she and her husband were forced to flee to London in 1939 by the political situation in Europe. This didn’t stop her work and throughout the forties she was the leading designer of textiles in Britain and much of the contemporary style of the textiles and wallpapers shown at the 1951 Festival of Britain were heavily indebted to her influential designs of the previous decade.

Her work and influence included large corporations and exclusive couturiers but was familiar to the general public through stores and companies such as John Lewis, Liberty of London, David Whitehead, Edinburgh Weavers, Sandersons, Warerite and Formica.

Jacqueline Groag died in London in 1986 at the age of 83 and this small but insightful display provides a glimpse into the work of someone who was incredibly influential in shaping post-war design and is accompanied by a book Jacqueline Groag, Textile & Pattern Design; Wiener Werkstatte to American Modern. There will be a booking signing by the authors on Thursday 29th October.

Authors of the book, Geoffrey Rayner, Richard Chamberlain, and Annamarie Stapleton will be discussing the life and work of this talented and influential designer, the historical context in which she worked and the milieu of modern design of the era.

Saturday 5th December / 2 - 4pm

The Jacqueline Groag display is staged by the Fashion and Textile Museum

Exhibition opening times are 11.00am-6.00pm Wednesday to Sunday. Last admission 5.15pm
For further information about the FTM and its activities visit

Image reproduced from ‘Jacqueline Groag’ published by ACC Publishing Group

Friday, 23 October 2009

Today – ‘Foale and Tuffin – Made in England’ is open!

Last night saw a fantastic crowd at the Fashion and Textile Museum for the official opening of the FTM’s newest exhibition ‘Foale and Tuffin – Made in England’.

With the spirit of the swinging 60s in the air, guests were thrilled to see the exhibition officially opened by Sir Paul Smith who, with lighthearted prompts from Marion Foale and Sally Tuffin, recounted his awe as a young man from Nottingham, meeting the two talented designers for the first time at their boutique in Marlborough Court where his “girlfriend from London” Pauline, now his wife, was then working. “[Foale and Tuffin] were such pioneers. It was so revolutionary what they were doing” praised Smith.

There was much admiration for the inspired layout of the new exhibition, which recreates both the Foale and Tuffin boutique and their original workroom, right down to their original rolls of fabric. On the ground floor, a signature red and blue Foale and Tuffin sign illuminates the way for rails of fun and flirty dresses in bright pop colours, whilst upstairs old workbenches boast swatches, buttons, sketches and magazine cards charting their success.

To the right on the top floor, we are brought back to the present day with Marion Foale’s stunning, on-trend hand knitted garments, hats and scarves and Sally Tuffin’s striking hand thrown vases. Guests were thrilled to find many of these items also available to purchase in the popular Shop@FTM which did a roaring trade all evening.

Today, Friday 23rd October, the exhibition opens to the public – head down and get inspired!

all images courtesy of Kirstin Sinclair
filed by Rebecca Kingsland, blog editor

Friday, 16 October 2009

Opening Next Week - 'Foale and Tuffin - Made in England'

Foale and Tuffin – Made in England

New retrospective exhibition of Sixties design duo at the FTM -

23rd October 2009 until 24th February 2010

From October 2009 the Fashion and Textile Museum is staging a retrospective exhibition of Foale and Tuffin – two influential designers who were at the heart of the cultural explosion in London in the Sixties.

Many things have been written about fashion in London in the Sixties but one of the most overlooked stories it that of Marion Foale and Sally Tuffin, part of London’s ‘Youthquake’.

The Foale and Tuffin label was what cool girls wore – colourful, pop-inspired mini-dresses and trend-setting trouser suits were just some of the key pieces that were ahead of their time in developing popular, desirable fashion.

After meeting at Walthamstow Art School in 1955 and then studying together at the Royal College of Art, they embarked on a lifelong friendship and a trailblazing career. Their boutique off Carnaby Street was at the epicentre of the new fashion scene and these two friends reigned supreme as the queens of cool, wearable fashion from 1962 until 1972.

Foale and Tuffin – Made in England will present a vibrant and inspiring representation of two key British fashion designers of the 1960s and the part they played in creating the changing London scene. It will revisit the Sixties vibe by recreating their boutique, showroom and design studio and chart the very personal story of two women who set up on their own with just a lot of courage and £200 pounds in their pockets!

Surrounded by a throng of creative friends throughout their career Foale and Tuffin successfully tapped into the mood of the moment and were at the forefront of ideas – it is easy to forget that once it was unusual for women to wear trousers but the trouser suit became one of their key pieces and changed the way women dress forever.

Their talent and success is modestly summed up by Sally Tuffin  - ‘We made our own clothes and we realised that there was a gap. So it was very much that people would make their own clothes, people would dress themselves and style themselves with bits and pieces, and that was what was happening then and we just sort of jumped in and made the bits and pieces for them’.

Both are still great friends and very much involved in the design world – Marion Foale has a successful knitwear business and Sally Tuffin’s pottery is sought after by collectors around the world.