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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Presentation Review: Ascher Scarves

Iconic scarf label Ascher, famed for its work with the likes of Christian Dior and Hubert de Givenchy, returns after a thirty year hiatus, featuring designs inspired by the company's illustrious history

Written by Naomi Law


Prangsta, ailment illustrated by Joana Faria

Now, ask here’s a treat. Hopefully you caught Georgia Takacs’ wonderful insight into the awe-inspiring world of Prangsta Costumiers last week: the celebrated (if somewhat unconventional) Alice in Wonderland-esque bazaar in New Cross.

Now I would never in a million years suggest that readers of Amelia’s Magazine come to the site just to look at pretty pictures, rx what with our bursting-at-the-seams stock of fabulous writers, but in order to bring a little sunshine and entertainment to a so far grey Wednesday, feast your eyes on some glorious images and illustrations from Prangsta.

Georgia, who wrote the article, took part in a shoot with the team there, capturing the many faces that pass through the doors and even more of the craft-packed corners of this wonderful find. So here they are. I’m convinced you could look at this place all day and never get bored – I hope you agree!


Illustration by Krister Selin

The latest shoot focuses on a somewhat macabre Snow White, shown with an array of weird and wonderful friends:






Illustration by Rachel de Ste. Croix


Prangsta, story illustrated by Joana Faria

Now, medical here’s a treat. Hopefully you caught Georgia Takacs’ wonderful insight into the awe-inspiring world of Prangsta Costumiers last week: the celebrated (if somewhat unconventional) Alice in Wonderland-esque bazaar in New Cross.

Now I would never in a million years suggest that readers of Amelia’s Magazine come to the site just to look at pretty pictures, what with our bursting-at-the-seams stock of fabulous writers, but in order to bring a little sunshine and entertainment to a so far grey Wednesday, feast your eyes on some glorious images and illustrations from Prangsta.

Georgia, who wrote the article, took part in a shoot with the team there, capturing the many faces that pass through the doors and even more of the craft-packed corners of this wonderful find. So here they are. I’m convinced you could look at this place all day and never get bored – I hope you agree!


Illustration by Krister Selin

The latest shoot focuses on a somewhat macabre Snow White, shown with an array of weird and wonderful friends:






Illustration by Rachel de Ste. Croix

Prangsta also worked with ethereal fashion photographer Ellen Rogers, and the result is astonishing. Rogers’ photographs make heavy use of photographic techniques from long ago, evoking (for me at least) images of Marlene Dietrich in Hot Venus and the eery portraits of death popular in the Victorian age. Whatever they evoke, this marriage of Prangsta and Rogers is incredible.




Photographs by Ellen Rogers

To read the original article about the wonderful world of Prangsta, click here.


Image courtesy of Ascher

On Tuesday I went to see a beautiful collection of scarves from Ascher London, order presented in a suite at Number One Aldwych. Marking their first collection of scarves in thirty years, the collection consists of some brand new designs sitting alongside classic designs from the Ascher library, reworked in new colourways.

Ascher was founded as a fabric house in 1947; their fabrics graced the catwalks of an amazing list of couturiers including Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Givenchy, Schiaparelli, Lanvin and Mary Quant. A husband and wife team, Lida designed and Zika printed the fabrics.


Rose Pom Pom, designed by Ascher studio, was featured prominently in a collection of dresses in Christian Dior’s 1954 collection

Fabric shortages during the Second World War lead to a rise in the popularity of colourful headscarves as an easy way to liven up dull uniforms. During the 1940s Ascher took advantage of this trend, initially reproducing nineteenth-century prints in vivid new colourways.


A selection of scarves from the Ascher archive

Later, they became the first studio to approach and join forces with artists to produce scarves from illustrations and paintings, boasting another impressive list of those involved: Matisse, Derain, Berard, Moore, Cocteau, Nicholson and Sutherland.


Image courtesy of Ascher

Sam Ascher, grandson of Lida and Zika, talked me through the current collection along with some vintage scarves and artwork from the Ascher archive. This included a rare opportunity to see some original and never-used ink illustrations by Cecil Beaton, complete with his handwritten instructions outlining the repeat pattern.

All of the scarves are made in Italy using luxurious silk twill, silk chiffon, cashmere and modal with hand rolled edges and the quality is immediately apparent.

Screen printing (rather than digital printing) allows the designs to be reproduced exactly, so that each design is as perfect as if it had been hand-painted. Some multi tonal scarves are produced using up to ten screens, ensuring each of the artists’ original brushstrokes is retained in perfect detail. There is definitely no cutting of corners where Ascher is concerned.

The collection look book features an illustrated guide of How To Wear Your Ascher Scarf. Names like The Sports Car and The Parisian Loop conjure up images of glamorous femme fatales racing around the Home Counties in classic cars. The whole collection captures the optimistic glamour and elegance of the post-war era.


Images courtesy of Ascher

One of the scarves designed by Henry Moore is described in the look book as Bridging the gap between fashion and fine art, Aschers designs are described as equally at home in a frame or worn on an evening out.

The designs were celebrated with a retrospective at the V&A back in 1987 and they are still held in many museum collections, evident by the two Henry Moore wall hangings on display, which I was told had been unexpectedly sent over by the Tate that morning.

All photography by Naomi Law, unless otherwise stated

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