Saturday, 28 March 2015

More Tea Vicar? Divine Inspiration for my Homeware Range

Rockwife 'More Tea Vicar?' Tea Cosy

As some of you may know, I moved Studios last month; I really love the new space, but it is very much a work in progress. I promise to post some 'Before & After' shots when there is an 'After'!
I'm sure we've all been there "Oh, it only needs a lick of paint"........

Miss Roxy Dog demonstrates her DIY skills

As you can see, Miss RoxyDog has been lending a paw. I have my cutting table and machines set up and I believe Hard Hats are terribly à la mode this season so it's all good.

A change of space and location inevitably lead to new ideas and creative challenges, and an idea that's being brewing in the dark recesses of my mind seems to finally have taken shape, possibly due to my new vista.

My new studio is opposite the Parish Church and although I've only witnessed one wedding so far, I do get to hear the quarterly chiming of the Church Bells everyday and I've also seen a Terrier in a blue coat who attends two services a week.

I've been toying with the idea of developing a Homeware range for about a year. I liked the idea of 'Homespun Anarchy', sort of Cath Kidston meets Banksy; maybe my new Atelier has provided me with some Divine Inspiration?

Rockwife 'More Tea Vicar?' Tea Cosy

I currently have a Homeware Range in development (for the record that translates as me drinking Tea and procrastinating) and will be launching the first products on April 13th via my Etsy Store:

I do hope you'll pop along and check out my wares!

Rockwife xx

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

A Right Royal Do

I can't believe I'm off to Paris this weekend, time has just flown by. Anyway (Drum Roll please) this Sunday sees the final of The Hat Designer of the Year competition at Première Classe so please keep everything crossed for me and wish me luck.

I am exhibiting three pieces that were inspired/designed for Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway.

Hand beaded antique lace and ribbon headdress. For those occasions when a tiara is too much. Perhaps a night at the Ballet or an Art Gallery opening.

Nordic inspired bejewelled hood. Suitable for cross country skiing, après skiing cocktails, and patriotic events.

Chic Pillbox with hand embroidery. Perfect for church services and civic duties.

The pattern stitched on 'Maya' is a 'Hugel Star'  which is a very elaborate Figure Skating pattern. I've become a bit obsessed with the ice since I started skating lessons last year.

And no (sadly) I can't skate one yet!

Bon Voyage,

Rockwife xx

Saturday, 1 June 2013

The Hat Designer of the Year 2013

I'm absolutely delighted to report that I have been chosen to go through to the the finals of The HAT Magazine Designer of the Year 2013 in Paris.

The design brief this year had a 'Royal' theme and was set by Stephen Jones

I chose to design my collection for Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway (inspired by an embroidered Nordic Hood I made for an exhibition at Hat Works last winter); Mette-Marit is a very modern princess, she likes clean, simple lines and neutral palettes. She seems to favour 21st Century version of the Jackie O Pillbox hats and likes headpieces.

I'll be posting some pictures of my 'Royal Collection' over the next few weeks, I hope MM will approve!

Rockwife xx

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Rockwife at Hat Works Museum

'The Curious Journey of Lavinia De La Craft' at Hat Works

We are absolutely thrilled to be exhibiting at the Hats Work Museum in Stockport. You can find the specially created 'The Curious Journey of Lavinia De La Craft' collection in the 'What's Hot' cabinet alongside 'Ascot Mohawk' and 'Jean' in adjacent cases.

The exhibition runs till the 9th March 2013 and full details about the museum can be found here:

We also delighted to have a headdress in their new exhibition 'Redesigning Fashion', here's a sneaky peek!

'Extreme Close Up!'

Want to see more? Head over to Hat Works. 'Redesigning Fashion' looks at recycling and sustainable fashion, starting with the 'Make do and Mend' movement of the 1940's right up to the modern day 'objet trouvé' work of Little Shilpa, a fascinating and thought provoking exhibition.

'Memories of Mickey and Minnie'
Little Shilpa

Rockwife xx

Hollywood Costume Exhibition

There are literally just three days left of the fantastic 'Hollywood Costume' exhibition at the V&A, if you haven't seen it, beg, borrow or steal a ticket, it's utterly amazing. Five years in the planning and spanning a hundred years of cinema, from Charlie Chaplin's 'The Little Tramp' to models from 'Avatar', every iconic outfit is gathered under one roof.

The exhibition is beautifully displayed and includes some fascinating interviews with actors and designers, explaining how costumes help with the creation and development of characters.

From the glamour of 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' to the urban grit of 'The Bourne Identity' there is something for every film fan.

Here are some of my favourites:

Lady in the Dark 1944
 Ginger Rogers wore this Edith Head gown in 'Lady in the Dark' in 1944. At the time it was the most expensive gown ever created for a movie, allegedly costing $35,000.

Gone with the Wind 1939, The Bride Wore Red 1937
On the left the infamous velvet dress worn by Vivien Leigh in 'Gone with the Wind' designed by Walter Plunkett and on the right the incredible bugle bead gown worn by Joan Crawford in 'The Bride Wore Red' designed by Adrian. This is the first time I have seen this dress in colour as the film was shot in black and white!

Addams Family Values 1993

Anjelica Huston wore this gown in 'Addams Family Values' it was designed by Theoni V Aldredge.

Tippi Hedren discusses 'The Birds'
I must also say how much I enjoyed 'The Birds' installation; incredibly inventive and enthralling to hear Tippi Hedren and Edith Head discussing this movie.

I think it's safe to say that the 'Hollywood Costume' exhibition is a truly extraordinary event and one I shall remember for a very long time!

Rockwife xx

Monday, 27 February 2012

The Oscars 2012

There has been, of course, a huge amount of media coverage over the last few hours about all things 'Frock' related at the Oscars; it's like drowning in a sea of sartorial opinions.
In old black and white movies, journalists would often be depicted scrambling for a telephone booth to break a story to their editor; that's how Twitter feels when there is an important event on; a sort of avalanche of information, but one particular comment really stood out for me:

And you know what, it's kind of hard to argue with that statement......

Glenn Close in Zac Posen

I was also rather amused by Bruce Oldfield's observations on the BBC's 'Breakfast' show this morning; he was explaining that most of the gowns on the red carpet had come straight from the runway and the ladies of Hollywood, although sharing the same dress size as models, are usually shorter and that quite often you see them standing with a 'puddle of dress around them' as there hasn't been time to alter the hem. Fair enough. He then went on to add "Apart from Jennifer Lopez.....someone's done her hem........BADLY!"

Shall we check it out?

Jennifer Lopez in Zuhair Murad

Well, I think it's safe to say nothing gets past 'ol' Hawkeye Oldfield'; heads will roll!

He also noted that Gwyneth Paltrow's cape remained him of the one worn by Anne Baxter in 'All About Eve'; which seemed to be a very fitting reference.

I have to say I thought Gwynnie look absolutely stunning in Tom Ford and she definitely made it onto my Best Dressed list along with Rooney Mara in Givenchy and Princess Charlene of Monaco in the Swiss Designer Akris.
This year I'm really feeling the simplicity, clean lines and neutral palette.

Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford

Rooney Mara in Givenchy

Princess Charlene of Monaco in Akris

Ladies, you all look ravishing, but when it comes to scene-stealing, you would all do well to remember the old adage "Never work with Charming French Men and Animals".....

Rockwife xx

Thursday, 16 February 2012

A Moment in Time: The Illusion of Theatre

So we all know that Theatre is in my blood, blah, blah, blah and that I've been involved with it in some capacity since I was three years old, blah, blah, blah but that I haven't worked in it for several years having decided to concentrate on Millinery, blah, blah, blah and that if I had a penny for every time somebody had asked me if I missed it I would be a very wealthy woman.

Do I miss it? Well, I loved it and it formed a huge part of my life and without a doubt has had a massive influence on me as a designer, but I like new challenges and I like having a bit more control over my life.
I always loved touring, but you do live in a bubble, and that's not always terribly healthy.

So, for those reasons, I tend not to be one for Nostalgia, I think too much backward glancing can become rather suffocating and that dwelling on the pain and glory of one's own personal history is not particularly  helpful or fulfilling.

However, as we all know, life has a way of biting one on the derriere and so, last Friday, whilst visiting the 'Theatre and Performance Galleries' at the Victoria and Albert Museum (for the first time in their new home) I ran smack bang into my past and a huge emotional jolt.

There we both were, exiles from our own youth, me and The Theatre Museum (formally of Covent Garden) reunited in the eaves of the V&A, but with extra Adam Ant; we didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
I had stumbled upon my first true love, entombed in humidity controlled glass cabinets, an incredibly poignant moment; I felt like I'd come home to a Ghost Town of myself.

I could feel the tears welling up, but decided that, with just me and a Museum Assistant present (the fact that the Gallery was empty and stuffed in the attic at the V&A probably explains why The Theatre Museum was forced to close it doors due to lack of public interest several years ago), having some sort of emotional episode/possibly being sectioned in front of Margot Fonteyn's Tutu wasn't necessarily a good look.

I did hold it together, but spent a long time in a somnambulist trance wandering around the exhibition, experiencing a combination of awe, wonder, pride and humility. It made me realise how truly magnificent, inspiring, powerful and magical great museums can be.

One of the first companies I ever worked for at the first Theatre I worked for, although not in 1961!

Black and Silver Odile Tutu worn by Margot Fonteyn in 1964, designed by Nicholas Georgiadis

Kylie Minogue's Dressing Room (exact replica) for the 2007 tour 'Showgirl:Homecoming'

Prince Charming Costume worn by Adam Ant 1981
Designed by Yvonne Swinden and Adam Ant

Valkyrie Showgirl Costume from 'The Producers' stage musical 2004
Designed by William Ivey Long
Star Trap Door
Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London 1800-1900

Purple Velvet Showgirl ensemble, designed and worn by Annie Lennox
"No More I Love You's" Music Video 1995

Set Design for Ewan Hooper's 'Martin Luther King'
Roger Butlin 1969
Set Design for 'Rusalka'
Stefanos Lazaridis 1983
Goodnight Darrrhhhliings; I love you all!

Rockwife xx