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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

London Fashion Week A/W 2010 Presentation Review: Eley Kishimoto by Amelia

A review of the Eley Kishimoto "Pattern Lab" presentation in Kingly Street during London Fashion Week, Autumn/Winter 2010, and including lots of squirrels...

Written by Amelia Gregory

Eley Kishimoto by Celine Choo.
Eley Kishimoto by Celine Choo.

Eley Kishimoto have always been high on my list of must-see fashion shows, but this season they were instead presenting a small exhibition on a side street in Covent Garden. I don’t know why they had chosen to do this but would speculate that perhaps Eley Kishimoto have been less than able to cope with the rapid expansion of their small company during the recession – in recent years they have produced collections for shoes, homewares and furnishings. A lot for a small team to cope with in tough times!

Eley Kishimoto Pattern Lab 2010
Eley Kishimoto Pattern Lab 2010
Eley Kishimoto Pattern Lab 2010.

So it was on Sunday that I took the trip along to their “Pattern Lab” showcase in a shopfront on Kingly Street, wherein they had installed some rotating print-covered hexagonal prisms surrounded by racks of what looked like exercise books. At first glance this seemed unusually reserved for such unabashedly decorative and playful designers, even as it detailed their supposed process of design: from simple question mark into squirrel, into 70s inspired psychedelic neon swirl. Is this really how they design their inimitable textiles? Or merely a clever idea to reveal how at ease they are with the process of producing designs which happily mash different graphic styles together? With my current predilection for all animals of the forest (foxes, mice and squirrels all live in close proximity to my house) I was particularly drawn to their preoccupation with squirrels, shown in both a bold graphic design and a more opulent arts and crafts based textile.

Eley Kishimoto-squirrel print
Eley Kishimoto-squirrel print
Eley Kishimoto squirrel prints.

Down a spiral staircase a small room was attended by a beautiful red-lipped woman, and featured two rails bulging full of the new collection. Too much really for me to take in so I picked up a copy of the simple foldout lookbook to peruse, with girls in fringes placed simply against a blank wall and holding up graphic posters, delightfully water coloured to resemble old photos.

Eley-Kishimoto showroom

Eley Kishimoto by Celine Choo.
Eley Kishimoto by Celine Choo.

Eley Kishimoto Pattern Lab A/W 2010
Eley Kishimoto Pattern Lab A/W 2010
Eley Kishimoto Pattern Lab A/W 2010.

On my way out I was given one of the enigmatic grey exercise books lining the walls, a beautiful limited edition example of the hands-on screen printing that has made the Eley Kishimoto brand such a success. Their Autumn/Winter collection suggests that for now they’ve decided to concentrate on what they do so very well – producing cute, bright, fun clothing. If only I could afford some for myself.

Eley Kishimoto limited edition book A/W 2010
Eley Kishimoto limited edition book A/W 2010
Eley Kishimoto limited edition book A/W 2010
Eley Kishimoto limited edition book A/W 2010.

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