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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Feeling Sheepish? Try Izzy Lane

This ethical knitwear company proves you can do it yourself!

Written by Ali Schofield

technology will save us stall
Simian Mobile Disco has made a career of writing sharp, case economic dance tracks. Their release last year of Temporary Pleasures showed that they could still fill up dance floors, and they enlisted the help of some of their musical peers.

New single Cruel Intentions features The Gossip’s Beth Ditto on vocals. Singing over a simple synth loop the minimal sounding track has Ditto’s voice front and centre throughout she is either singing a song about finding love, or losing it. It manages to highlight how effective her singing voice is and why she is so respected within the musical community.

As seems common for dance bands lately the track has a strong 80’s vibe to it but it doesn’t make it sound dated and cheap.  I can imagine dragging myself onto the dance floor during the closing minutes of a club dance and shaking my booze dullened body in time to the beat, and I mean that in the best possible way
A La Disposition SS 2012 by Faye West
A La Disposition S/S 2012 by Faye West.

À La Disposition return to London for their second season at London Fashion Week this September with their S/S 2012 collection mECHANICAL fAILURE, click inspired by the shapes of propellers and the mechanics of flight. Time to find out what keeps American husband and wife team Lynda and Daniel Kinne ticking… and why they’ve decided to make London their new home.

a la disposition mECHANICAL fAILURE by Gareth A Hopkins
À La Disposition mECHANICAL fAILURE by Gareth A Hopkins.
 
Last season we were wowed by À La Disposition for the first time at London Fashion Week – what was the reception like and why have you decided to return for a second time to show in London?
Thank you for the kind compliment. The reception we received was a great one: very warm and well spoken. It has always been a dream of ours to live in London because it is a great source of inspiration, and it is where we received very crucial and formative parts of our training.

A la disposition by Alice Nyong
À La Disposition S/S 2012 by Alice Nyong.

What other things did you discover and fall in love with at LFW?
What is truly unique about London Fashion Week and what we love most is the creative expression, not just the designers but also the people. London has a great mix professionalism and wit. We also find a positive vibe here that is truly its own.
 
A La Disposition by Yelena Bryksenkova
À La Disposition S/S 2012 by Yelena Bryksenkova.

Where is your studio based and what would it look like if I were to pop around for a cup of tea right now?
We are currently looking for a studio in London, or at least we will be after London Fashion Week. We hope to be based near our new home in Southwark. If you were to drop by right now you would find a very industrious scene of somewhat makeshift workstations and busy last minute adjustments. You would be treated to a deep malty cup of Assam taken with little sugar and much milk and nobbly biscuits.

A la disposition by Alice Nyong
À La Disposition S/S 2012 by Alice Nyong.

You are a husband and wife team – what came first? The working together or the romantic relationship? And how do you manage to separate your different work and private lives?
There always was an attraction from the first time we met at fashion school. It developed from a passion about the same things to working together to a passion for one another. There really is no division to our work and personal lives they are so harmoniously intertwined.

A La Disposition by Gilly Rochester LFW Sept 2011
À La Disposition S/S 2012 by Gilly Rochester.
 
For S/S 2012 I believe we can look forward to contrast in the form of voluminous gowns and graphic sternness, with shapes reminiscent of propellers – where did you find the inspiration for this collection and how did you research ideas?
It is always difficult to articulate our inspiration ideas. The collection is a journey which flows from a story Daniel develops as he sketches. This season’s story involved the mechanics of flight. Although we do not research images or ideas for each particular season we have an extensive library of fashion and art books and we are always gathering ideas from everything around us.

À La Disposition S/S 2012 by Alice Nyong
À La Disposition S/S 2012 by Alice Nyong.
 
It sounds as if your colour palette will be as bold as it was last time around – army greens combined with rich yellows and purples. How do you put together a colour range and then source the fabrics or dyes to make this a reality?
This is Lynda’s territory in the brand development. The colour range is developed in conjunction with the fabrics we source as the season organically develops. The punchiness of the colour card, the signature textures and the stripes are all Lynda.

A La Disposition by Gilly Rochester LFW Preview Sept 2011
À La Disposition S/S 2012 by Gilly Rochester.
 
Last season you created a wonderful dual perfume for the show (which I wear quite a lot!) – can we look forward to any other special collaborations for this season?
So glad to hear that you like our perfume {{intangible}}. It has been received very well. There is a smaller version of the perfume in the works to more easily distribute it. We also are working with Anastasia Radevich to design our shoe range again and are very excited about what she has designed for us.

a la disposition mECHANICAL fAILURE shoe by Gareth A Hopkins
a la disposition mECHANICAL fAILURE shoe by Gareth A Hopkins.
 
The styling of last seasons’ show was quite spectacular… you memorably used coloured contacts to give red eyes. Will there be any other surprises in store this season?
There are a few possibilities in the works. As long as it works with the collection we are willing to give it a go.

A La Disposition Dress by Claire Kearns
À La Disposition S/S 2012 by Claire Kearns.

À La Disposition will be showing their S/S 2012 collection on the catwalk on Tuesday 20th September 2011 as part of Fashion Scout.

A La Disposition Outfit by Claire Kearns
À La Disposition S/S 2012 by Claire Kearns.
So…my first post as editor of the Earth section at Amelia’s Magazine! I’ve been preparing some posts for the listings page, stuff overwhelmed with news of meetings and events, but here’s an overview of some of the Climate Camp gatherings going on in the next week.

photo courtesy of Amelia
People’s Assembly outside the gates of the Bella Centre in Copenhagen
(All photographs courtesy of Amelia)

Copenhagen may have been a predictable let-down, but it is also a wake-up call to creative and motivated individuals everywhere. Environmental decisions cannot just be left to politicians – any real change in our economic system, which at the moment is gnawing away the ground beneath our feet, has to come from the roots up. The real climate ‘experts’ are the creative people on the ground learning about and participating in environmental and social initiatives, setting up meetings, and taking practical steps to move away from fossil-fuel consumption (such as the Transition Towns springing up left, right and centre).

Lilo bridge built by climate campers crosses the moat at the Bella Centre, CopenhagenLilo bridge built by climate campers crosses the moat at the Bella Centre, Copenhagen

It would be convenient to believe the hype of the green-wash advertising that surrounds us, but any real success has to come from individual and collective creativity and hard work, not from glossing over issues and adding 1% of ‘natural organic ingredients’ to endless environmentally-harmful products. After the media circus that was Copenhagen, the focus now has to be firmly on local groups, meetings, film screenings, courses, and above all creative people using their skills to build and inspire a more sustainable way of living.
Meeting at the school in CopenhagenMeeting at the school in Copenhagen

This month I’ll be going along to the Climate Camp regional meeting in London on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th January at Tottenham Chances, 399 High Road, Tottenham, London as well as some of the regular meetings at SOAS. Since the first meeting in August 2006, Climate Camp has quickly gathered a huge level of participation. This means that that the gatherings are now regional, and not national as they have been previously, allowing an even greater number of people to take part. To check out your nearest gathering click here. The meetings in London this weekend will address the failure of Copenhagen and the debate and action it should now inspire. They will include:

* What was good and what was bad in 2009, from the G20 to Copenhagen?
* What should the climate justice movement do next – in London, the UK and internationally?
* What are our goals for 2010?
* How should we organise to meet them?
* What should we organise together?
All the proposals for the regional meetings can be seen on Climate Camp’s discussion board.

Amelia’s brilliant band Green Kite Midnight will be performing at the London gathering on Saturday, 8.30pm, and there will be more music afterwards!

Tomorrow, Wednesday 13th Jan, the Workers Climate Action meeting is taking place in the Grafton Arms, Grafton Way (nearest tube is Warren Street) at 7.30pm. The group aims to add a firm working class perspective to the debate and action. Find out more at http://workersclimateaction.wordpress.com/.

photo courtesy of Amelia

 

There is wide disagreement on whether we should be protesting or working through the already-established political route, but I believe this misses the point. Without everyone empowering themselves with knowledge on how environmental problems can be solved and taking it upon themselves to be creative, we will only be taking symbolic pigeon steps while political and publicity campaigns continue swirling around us with empty words and soft-focus pictures of countryside scenes. Going to meetings and sharing ideas is a great way to realise we can stop relying on other people to make decisions for us, so I’ll hopefully see you this weekend and at future events!

I’d like to profile groups and individuals working on sustainability from the roots up, so please contact me on earth@ameliasmagazine.com with information if this is you, or if you’d like to contribute to this section with articles and interviews.
———————————————
Climate Camp London Gathering
When: 10.30am to 6.30pm Saturday, buy 10.30am-5.30pm Sunday
Where: Tottenham Chances, ask 399 High Rd, malady Tottenham, London N17 6QN
Nearest tube: Tottenham Hale or Seven Sisters (Victoria Line)
———————————————

So…my first post as editor of the Earth section at Amelia’s Magazine! I’ve been preparing some posts for the listings page, overwhelmed with news of meetings and events, but here’s an overview of some of the Climate Camp gatherings going on in the next week.

photo courtesy of Amelia
People’s Assembly outside the gates of the Bella Centre in Copenhagen
(All photographs courtesy of Amelia)

Copenhagen may have been a predictable let-down, but it is also a wake-up call to creative and motivated individuals everywhere. Environmental decisions cannot just be left to politicians – any real change in our economic system, which at the moment is gnawing away the ground beneath our feet, has to come from the roots up. The real climate ‘experts’ are the creative people on the ground learning about and participating in environmental and social initiatives, setting up meetings, and taking practical steps to move away from fossil-fuel consumption (such as the Transition Towns springing up left, right and centre).

Lilo bridge built by climate campers crosses the moat at the Bella Centre, CopenhagenLilo bridge built by climate campers crosses the moat at the Bella Centre, Copenhagen

It would be convenient to believe the hype of the green-wash advertising that surrounds us, but any real success has to come from individual and collective creativity and hard work, not from glossing over issues and adding 1% of ‘natural organic ingredients’ to endless environmentally-harmful products. After the media circus that was Copenhagen, the focus now has to be firmly on local groups, meetings, film screenings, courses, and above all creative people using their skills to build and inspire a more sustainable way of living.
Meeting at the school in CopenhagenMeeting at the school in Copenhagen

This weekend I’ll be going along to the Climate Camp regional gathering in London on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th January, at Tottenham Chances, 399 High Road, Tottenham, London, as well as some of the regular meetings at SOAS. Since the first meeting in August 2006, Climate Camp has quickly gathered a huge level of participation. This means that that the gatherings are now regional, and not national as they have been previously, allowing an even greater number of people to take part. To check out your nearest gathering click here. The meetings in London this weekend will address the failure of Copenhagen and the debate and action it should now inspire. They will include:

* What was good and what was bad in 2009, from the G20 to Copenhagen?
* What should the climate justice movement do next – in London, the UK and internationally?
* What are our goals for 2010?
* How should we organise to meet them?
* What should we organise together?
All the proposals for the regional meetings can be seen on Climate Camp’s discussion board.

The London meetings will go on from 10.30am to 6.30pm Saturday, and 10.30am-5.30pm on Sunday.   There will be a KidSpace at the gathering so parents can leave their children to play while they attend meetings.  If you want to help out in the KidSpace, email london@climatecamp.org.uk  – the more people help the more can attend meetings!  Vegan food (and cake) will be available for a donation for Saturday lunch and dinner and Sunday breakfast and lunch.  It’s best to  email if you plan on coming, that way the organizers can get an idea of numbers for food.  Amelia’s brilliant band Green Kite Midnight will be performing at the London gathering on Saturday, 8.30pm, and there will be more music afterwards!

Tomorrow, Wednesday 13th Jan, the Workers Climate Action meeting is taking place in the Grafton Arms, Grafton Way (nearest tube is Warren Street) at 7.30pm. The group aims to add a firm working class perspective to the debate and action. Find out more at their website.
photo courtesy of AmeliaBike Block at the Candy Factory in Copenhagen

There is wide disagreement on whether we should be protesting or working through the already-established political route, but I believe this misses the point. Without everyone empowering themselves with knowledge on how environmental problems can be solved and taking it upon themselves to be creative, we will only be taking symbolic pigeon steps while political and publicity campaigns continue swirling around us with empty words and soft-focus pictures of countryside scenes. Going to meetings and sharing ideas is a great way to realise we can stop relying on other people to make decisions for us, so I’ll hopefully see you this weekend and at future events!

I’d like to profile groups and individuals working on sustainability from the roots up, so please contact me on earth@ameliasmagazine.com with information if this is you, or if you’d like to contribute to this section with articles and interviews.
DSC01604Isobel Davies pictured. All imagery courtesy of Izzy Lane.

It’s the kind of cosy image national companies clammer to purport in adverts. The Warburtons trudge around the countryside apparently oblivious to factories and the Shreddies knitters bash out a few more tiny square masterpieces to satisfy the deserving masses. But for Isobel Davies’ North Yorkshire fashion house, clinic the image is a reality. Employing a network of handknitters (no, pharmacy really) who work to patterns in their homes, visit this and using locally spun and dyed wool of sheep rescued from slaughter, Izzy Lane is the kind of business other companies pretend to be like.

Page4

Pieces range from Luella-ish riding jackets and heritage-style pencil skirts, to chunky men’s cardis, hot pink cashmere dresses and vegetarian shoes. Prices are fair to surprisingly low; you can pick up the cutest of berets for just £22 and that pink slouchy cashmere number is £175. And ethically speaking, Izzy Lane’s collections are priceless.

Page1

Richmond-based vegetarian, Isobel Davies enjoys a mutually beneficial relationship with her flocks of Wensleydale and Shetland sheep; she scoops the rare breeds from the hands of abattoirs and gives them good, natural lives in return for some of the finest wool. Apart from these 600 strong flocks – looked after by one-time dairy farmer, turned shepherd, turned vegetarian Ernest Ayre – British Cashmere goats are employed, most of which reside in Scotland. They provide a scant amount of wool (around 100g per year, per goat) but Izzy Lane refuse to use more prolific, less ethical, imported wool.

DSC02495

It’s a relationship which has been recognised with several awards; Davies was recently named Re:Fashion’s Re:Designer of the Year 2008 and Small Fashion Retailer winner at the RSPCA’s Good Business Awards. Davies came up with the idea for Izzy Lane while running the first ever organic home delivery company, Farmaround, in London, through which she learned British farmers were paid a pittance for their wool. Most farmers would simply burn it while, controversially, much of our wool is imported from Australia and New Zealand. Since rescuing her first four Wensleydales in 2002, the fashion line has proved hard work, but perhaps ultimately more rewarding for the Izzy Lane team than if it had been plain sailing.

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Davies says, “Most designers will go to a fabric fair in Milan to choose fabrics for their collection but I have had to learn firstly how to care for the sheep and then the long process of how to turn that raw fleece into cloth through the scouring, combing, spinning, dyeing, weaving and finishing. It is all very technical but at the mills they are very skilled and knowledgeable and have taught me a lot.”

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“We are working on our AW10 Collection at the moment to show at Berlin Fashion Week and then London Fashion Week. I have designed all the coats, jackets and skirts and I have invited a great designer to do the knitwear this season.”

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Their most recent London Fashion Week saw Izzy Lane team up with super-model Lily Cole on hand-knitted accessories label The North Circular, and Davies has been exploring the possibilities of Arctic dog hair, so who knows what might lie in store yet for the label.

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2 Responses to “Feeling Sheepish? Try Izzy Lane”

  1. [...] Goodone who collaborate with Heba Women’s Project on Brick Lane, and Lu Flux. Kudos also to Izzy Lane with their beautiful wares and their strong animal welfare message (they use wool from sheep that [...]

  2. [...] Goodone who collaborate with Heba Women’s Project on Brick Lane, and Lu Flux. Kudos also to Izzy Lane with their beautiful wares and their strong animal welfare message (they use wool from sheep that [...]

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