Design-Detective

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Tin Horn Holiday by Saul Steinberg

Bermondsey street in London is always a joy to walk along. There are fashion designers, interior shops, good resturants  and cafes. On Fridays there is an antique market and the street is home to White Cube Gallery. Enough for an afternoon out which blends into an early evening tapas followed by a stroll up to tower bridge, london bridge or a view from the shard.

Its vibrancy is the perfect location for the Fashion and Textiles museum, a regular haunt of mine,  show casing small exhibitions of great designers.

Last year (Jan – May 2014)  they held and exhibiton, artists and textiles.  The exhibiton showed examples of fabric designed by prominant artists for mass produced dress fabrics in the 1950’s era.  Also representing  key European and American  art movements, enabling ordinary people to have access to to modern art. The post war era was an exciting time for manufacturing. These fabrics were mass produced for ladieswear and home furnishings. For many of us to (and to this day) its an opportunity to own something created by someone as great as Picasso, Matisse and Warhol. We tend to think of these artists only in the big world of art,  accessible in museums and or with a high price tag. Therefore its interesting to see that these big players were happy to be part of the new design revoluation.

Garyson Perry would be an example of prodcuing work today for all price points. From a tea towel or scarf to a museum piece.

I was looking at a version of the Tin Horn Holiday, by Saul Stiengberg,  featured in the exhibition and thought how great it would be to own a piece like this, where do you find it?  There was over 200 rare pieces in this exhibition, most have never been on show before. So you can imagine my excitment to see this full size skirt length in excellant condition on ebay, yes thats right.  The seller says its a rare survivor and would make a wonderful framed wall panel (which it would) or an important addition to any collection or museum, which is my intention. Happy to show and tell and lend to interested parties.

Saul Stienberg was an artist and illustrator and worked for the New Yorker magazine. In 1946 he was exhibited in the critically acclaimed “Fourteen Americans” show at  MOMO and had a  retrospective in 1978 at the Whitney Museum of America, followed by a posthumous one at the Institute  for modern art in Valencia, Spain.

This piece shows both humor and satire. Illustrations depicting holidays in Palm Springs, of girls in cars wearing funky specs, rodeos and ‘weekend’ cowboys.  Neon signs, Very smart and sophisticated.

For more insightful reading to this fabric I high reccommend this blog by thevintagetraveler.wordpress.com

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Mirror in the Bathroom

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Orbit mirror designed by Rodney Kinsman RDI designed in 1984 and available to buy through his company OMK. That said I came across this one at the shop Two Columbia rd, London. Situated closer to Shoreditch high St, but only a short stroll along from Columbia rd flower market on Sunday. Two Columbia rd is a fantastic shop and a treat to visit, however it’s top price, absolutely no bargains to be found here but it’s all high end and genuine. Along the stroll from the flower market (Sunday’s only) you will pass the impressive Leopold buildings which are a gem of a previous era Victorian flats built for the poor and now looking spectacular.

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I digress, but each find has its story.

The mirror has a revolving double sided smaller mirror set in a revolving frame around the large mirror. I just felt that this would be perfect for a small space, along with my impending  need for a magnifier.

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I wanted to create a contemporary space in this tiny room (140 cm x 210 cm) but also to capture the original sense of the period, flats built at this time (1938) were all about a new era, and something glamorous.

I kept the bath and laid cubism art deco style tiles in grey. Replaced the sink and went for new chrome fittings The walls are tiled in sage metro tiles and above the tiles the walls are painted in a compliments eggshell acrylic paint.

I had a narrow shelf made to run underneath the boxed in boiler flue from the adjacent  kitchen. The shelf is just deep enough for three down lights on a dimmer, bright for over the mirror and dim for a relaxing bath. A little bit of space for storing essential oils and other small items.

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How Did I get here?

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Two years  ago I had the random idea to sell our family home. The idea came from nowhere but it was inspired. It was time for a change, I was approaching 50 and having created a working life based around my family needs, my family needs had changed, the kids were becoming independent and I had time on my hands. I didn’t want to change my work commitments but there was a gap of time that only so much dog walking could fill. Not quite a mid life crisis but a need to change. I began to think about how I wanted to live and what I wanted to do and then how I could create all of this. There is a phrase ‘pre retirement’ it seemed to tick the box. People who aren’t ready to give up work but are reducing their commitment to work and making time for something new. Time I have realised is a luxury and it was the thing I had the most of. I Wanted to re connect to the passions of my younger years whilst I have the energy to be that passion. These being my former career as a designer, vintage collecting of fashion and textiles, traveling and being involved in the arts. Communicating and engaging in a world outside of school routine, work and family commitments. It’s a liberating thing to let go. When I moved from our family house of 17 years I had edited my life to a few boxes of memories,  five years of business accounts, and the things that I needed. My daughter was about to leave home and my son who at 14 wasn’t ready to give up on his childhood and  brought the most with him. We downsized from a Victorian London house into a 1930’s period apartment block, that bit sounds cool. Our apartment though had not been cleaned or changed since 1975 (40 years). And so the story begins.

Hello world!

Welcome to my blog.

Fabulous Nelly is a mid century girl, collecting and reworking mid century textiles. Inspired by city living, fashion, interiors and the arts.

Living in London, always on the look out for new finds, from vintage to contemporary design for interiors and  happy to share the experience of sourcing and re working the finds.

Lucienne Day Apex print for heals Lucienne Day Apex print for heals  (Found in Edinburgh a 3m piece unused in perfect condition). Reworked  into cushions.

On the move to other European cities (and beyond) always searching and enjoying meeting new people who are doing something interesting and creative with their time.

My aim is to share my finds, sourcing and experience from trips.

Keen to collaborate with other designers or interested parties.