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.

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