With the Diamond Jubilee only just round the corner, it’s the perfect time to get in touch with all things British. And what better way to celebrate the UK’s rich culture of craft and creativity than at the country’s premiere design museum, the V&A?
To celebrate its summer exhibition, British Design 1948-2012: Innovation in the modern age, the museum opened its doors last month for Britain Is Making It, a special late-night event of workshops and talks exploring the uniquely British approach to making and creating…
Being a Friday night there were of course drinks and tunes on tap too, and the grand hall of the V&A boasted a pop-up cocktail bar and DJs Joe and Will Ask? spinning some records. William Richard Green – one half of the DJ duo – runs his own menswear label by day, and later that evening paraded his Autumn/ Winter 2012 collection. Called Hooligans Against Acid, it takes inspiration from UK youth cultures of the 1980s, such as football hooligans and ravers.
For those keen to get a bit more hands-on there were also plenty of workshops to get stuck into. Product designers Bethan Laura Wood and Fabien Capello impressed with their session on pattern design, encouraging visitors to create mini masterpieces on tiles. Shapes and symbols made from sticky back plastic, inspired by objects and surfaces they had come across in the museum, were provided to create patterns with.
The two workshops leaders were keen to demonstrate their passion for taking inspiration from the world around them, encouraging attendees to consider how their surroundings can influence their work.
Another highlight of the evening was a textile printing session with hot Brit fashion designer DavidDavid. (Featured top.) Famed for his bold, geometric prints, he demonstrated a simple technique for creating striking effects without the need for expensive screenprinting equipment.
Participants were shown how to use masking tape to create patterns on textile surfaces, painting in the ‘gaps’ with brightly coloured fabric paints. Pull off the tape, and you’re left with a bold, professional-looking print. The paint is then set with heat, using an iron or a hairdryer.
Adding a good dollop of British humour to proceedings, the workshop was followed by a ‘Pants Parade’ in which visitors strutted their stuff in their decorated pants – or bras, or t-Shirts – with David and the V&A’s contemporary curator on hand to pick their favourites.
If you’d like to delve into some British inspirations, then head down to British Design 1948-2012: Innovation In The Modern Age is showing at the V&A until 12 August this year. And keep a look out on its website for other Friday Night Late events throughout the summer.
Guest blog post by: Jessica Bateman