It has been many years since I last attended the Top Drawer gift trade show at Earls Court, and the scope of what is now on offer is daunting to say the least: it’s no wonder it has recently split off into the separate Home London event and now Craft London. Having already visited those two I only made it around half of Top Drawer, missing out on much I’m sure. Oh well, there’s always next time.
Over in the greeting cards section it was great to meet the talented Polly and Chris from Wrap Magazine, who have produced a wonderful stand alone wrapping paper range to compliment their beautiful publication – it’s a natural move for this twosome, who have done a remarkable job of creating both a magazine and a product by harnessing the talents of the illustrators that they feature. They have a great aesthetic that is similar to my own and their unique commissioned designs stood out a mile at Top Drawer. You can read our recent interview here.
Over at the 1973 stand a collaboration with cult fashion designers Eley Kishimoto caught my eye. Graphic patterns with names like Waltzing Vases and Naked Herrings feature signature colour ways that are unlike any other. Just fabulous.
I love brightly coloured and patterned socks. Snowflakes and Sunflowers specialise in ace affordable designs for kids, available in a boutique near you.
It was very exciting to finally meet illustrator and entrepreneur extraordinaire Jennie Maizels, whose expanding line of iron on patches now includes these brilliant letters, which can be bought separately to construct the words of your choice.
This is so cool: a gear puzzle from Plan Toys, a Thai company which specialises in ‘sustainable play’ and great design.
This fun bone china tableware range for kids is by Colourful Dove.
Seal felt slippers designed in the UK and handmade in Nepal by Sew Heart Felt are extremely cute, dontcha think?!
Beautiful unusual shaped paper lanterns by Nkuku would look wonderful hung from the ceiling at any time of year. This company specialises in ecodesign and fair-trade gifts.
Over in the new Craft London section I loved these handmade oxidised gold and natural diamond rotating rings by jeweller Susi Hines.
Finally, Sarah Straussberg is a young designer who recently graduated from Brighton University. Her really clever range of jewellery is all based on a very simple seed pod form. Loved it a lot.
1973, Brighton University, Colourful Dove, craft, Craft London, Cuddle Bear, Diddywear, Earls Court, Eco-Design, Eley Kishimoto, Elks and Angels, fairtrade, gifts, Home London, Jennie Maizels, jewellery, Naked Herrings, Nepal, Nkuku, Plan Toys, Report, review, Sarah Straussberg, Sew Heart Felt, Snowflakes and Sunflowers, Susi Hines, Top Drawer, Trade Show, Waltzing Vases, Wrap Magazine
- Top Drawer at Olympia, January 2015: Review
- Review: Renegade Craft Fair in London, 2013
- Best New Designs for the Home: Home London January 2014 Review
- Renegade Craft Fair in London 2011 Review: Jewellery
- East London Design Show: Christmas Gift Ideas 2013