Monday 26th, 2016

Hi there! It’s technically Saturday Oct 1st, but pretend Talia didn’t shamefully fall behind in her diary writing and that Tuesday-onwards hasn’t happened yet ☺ The post for this current week will be coming shortly.

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If you don’t know what the Red Carpet Green Dress Campaign refers to, who Nido Collection is, or why an Asian lass and a flock of sheep are atop the London Bridge, please refer to “Diary, Pt 1.” Otherwise, entry numero dos proceed!

This week, there were four birthdays in the Westwood office and no one throws a classier office kitchen party than those enlisted in fashion.

2When one runs out of plates, toilet paper becomes a rather handy backup.

3The employees, well… they like to keep things unpredictable.

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The Gold label intern crew from the left: Avishay, Cecily, Mel, Hannah, Me, Rene and Kat.

The office is in the midst of preparing for the SS17 runway show at Paris Fashion Week. Which means three days from now I will be aboard the Eurostar train to assist backstage. Can you believe it only takes 2 hours to get to Paris from London? It takes me nearly four hours just to exit state lines back home. Hannah, a fellow Gold label intern has spent the past few days Googling “cool things in Paris” and informed us that a vampire museum and pet cemetery outing are in the works. (Assuming that late night prep work for the show doesn’t completely wipe us out before then!)

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As the sky turned a drowsy midnight blue and everyone in the office could not be bothered to cook, the good folks of Dominoes Pizza were summoned.

In addition to the Paris show preparations, this week was chalk-full of events.

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On Friday, Campaign Director Samata (Pictured Left) and I headed to Hackney Downs Studios, a hip collective of 100 independent businesses and artist studios in Hoxton, for an interview with fashion broadcaster Stefanie Jones. Stefanie is a veteran to the London fashion scene and correspondent for international red carpet events. Her affable personality and the chill vibe of the studio made it easy to slide right into conversation. The audio, as well as some behind-the-scenes pics of Samata, Stefanie and I chatting about the RCGD Campaign over a few bottles of Supermalt, can be found on the Nido Collection’s Instagram. Take a look!

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London Design Biennale (embed link: http://www.londondesignbiennale.com/) at Somerset House concluded its with a panel discussion titled “Back to the Future: Sustainability in Contemporary Textile Production.”

8The tickets were sold out when I arrived and I must have had the most dejected look on my face for the event manager let me sit next to her in back row. My entrepreneurial icon, Safia Minney was speaking along with Selvedge magazine founder Polly Leonard and two local British designers.

“There are so many steps involved from seed to garment.”

“When these people retire, a working lifetime of knowledge will disappear.” [In reference to the dwindling number of textile mills left in the UK]

“It’s not just the politician or the shareholder of these fashion companies, it all goes back to personal responsibility. What are you buying for your children? How are you educating them? Fast fashion is aimed at teenage girls. Don’t let them be insecure enough to let them believe that they need ten different outfits in a week to be happy.”

“I don’t sell my products online because online shopping is geared towards speed. You can’t see the material, the quality, the embroidery, or the smell from images or videos… Feel the textiles!”

“The flavor of a product gets lost in mass production. Downscale rather than upscale to conserve integrity.”

“People have this idea that I’ve got an elite list of clients lined up, waiting to buy my products. The reality is that it is incredibly expensive to be an ethical designer in the UK, let alone [just] a designer. It costs a lot to make quality products, but people don’t want to pay.”

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At this point, I was on the edge of my seat, restraining myself from leaping in the air crying “here here!” While this is not the time to delve into a 5,000-year history lesson on the cultural and technological significance of textiles, To Die For, Is Fashion Wearing Out the World by Lucy Siegle is a good starting place if you haven’t given much thought to this topic. I thanked the moderator Polly at the end of the panel and learned that her son had visited the RISD campus this past August on a university tour. As Safia headed out the door with a slew of people trailing behind her, I managed to call out, “I wrote about you in an essay I used to apply to my university’s textile design program, thank you for the talk!”

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Helidon Xhixha’s “Bliss” installation on display in Somerset House terrace.

On Sunday, I visited Southwark Cathedral resting beside the Thames.

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Inside was filled with incense and parishioners, repeating the same melodic hum of prayers as the earliest members did some 1,400 years ago. A section of the church is dedicated to Shakespeare, a rumored attendee back in ye olden days. His brother Edmond is buried underneath.

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Spotted: Gothic ribbed vaults! Art History 101, you’ve done me well.

After the church, I moseyed over to the London Bridge to witness the Great Sheep Drive, a 12th century tradition that marked the start of sheepherders entering the city via the oldest crossing point without paying a toll to trade their goods. On the other side of the bridge was a marketplace selling all things sheep-related from various regions in the UK.

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Throwback to my “Fibers and Dyeing” class with that drop spindle and castle wheel.

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I bought a few lavender-filled sheep-shaped puffs from Liz, of Ewenique Furniture Flock. Souvenirs for the RISD textile crew back home.

Next weekend marks the second welcome night event for new Nido Collection residents, so I’m looking forward to meeting new faces. We, the flatmates of 608 Camden wing, welcome you, new students of the 608 Camden wing, to our humble WhatsApp group.

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Lol the Germans 😛

In other matters of the domestic kind, I pushed all thoughts of doing laundry aside until I was down to my last pair of clean socks on Sunday night. In haste, I mistakenly chucked my detergent bottle in with my clothes and watched in horror as the bottle thumped helplessly against the drum of the machine. Unable to open the water-locked door, I prayed to the holy heavens that the bottle cap wouldn’t pop o- ….oh….

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I was preparing myself for Titanic Part II. Luckily, the bottle was small and the machine handled the suds like any other wash. Nido Collection, your washing machines are miracle workers. Though I must have knocked down half the riders on the Tube today with the overwhelming scent of Lemon Verbena emanating from my clothing.

Ending on a high note, here are more doodles around the Westwood office.

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Studio mascot “Super Sheep.” There seems to be a theme of the wooly-kind running through this post.

Till next time!

Talia

Read Part 3, now live here.

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