Plus he’s organized monthly Virtual Paintouts where any painter can join in. (This month everyone is painting London.)
I have resisted until now writing about what I think is the most exciting purchase in planning your wedding. The Dress. This is the one day you get the chance to wear something truly magnificent that makes you feel like a million dollars. In this month’s Cosmopolitan Bride there are some fabulous dresses featured from the catwalks in New York for the 2011 bridal shows earlier this year. Whilst there are some aspects of the dresses available off the rails of bridal shops that you may like, there are probably some that you really dislike. Another option is to have a dress designed and made just for you, either by a family friend or a member of your family or you can seek out a designer to work with to produce ‘your dress’.
Kate Halfpenny is a wedding dress designer based in London. Also with many years experience as a celebrity stylist and an impressive academic portfolio in textiles and design, including a BA Honours in Fashion Marketing and Manufacturing and holds a prestigious MA in Design for Textiles Futures from Central St. Martins College, London.
As a child Kate Halfpenny grew up in a creative environment, her mother was a talented knitwear designer and her father was qualified graphics and craft designer. This led her to try many arts and craft mediums including pottery, printing, jewellery design and fine art before following her passion in textiles.
By 2000 Kate Halfpenny’s knowledge and passion for the history of fashion and her ability to turn an idea into reality meant she was in demand as a costume designer for many brands, including Pepsi, Honda, Ghost and Hugo Boss among others. Kate has also styled many celebrities including Twiggy, Shirley Bassey, Daisy Lowe and Pixie Lott and Emilia Fox has even modeled dresses on Kate’s website. Kate Halfpenny has also made a dress for Kate Moss to wear for her 35th birthday celebrations.
Yet even with celebrity credentials Kate Halfpenny can design and create a beautiful dress for you. From her London studio Kate offers a bespoke dress making service so that you really can have the dress that your heart desires.
All images are taken from Kate Halfpennys website www.halfpennylondon.com with her full permission.
It’s no surprise that London has its fair share of fantastic crafters! A real stand-out spot, however, is The Make Lounge. A former magazine journalist, Jennifer Pirtle created The Make Lounge for the modern woman:
Some wanted to make things but didn’t know how. Others simply wanted something different to do on their own or with friends. For each of them, she created The Make Lounge, a stylish, welcoming space featuring short-term, project-oriented craft workshops.
It’s October, which means only one thing in Manchester – the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair is coming! During 22-24 October, a wide range of British designer-makers will descend on Manchester’s Spinningfields to showcase their talents to an incredibly captive audience, me included of course. I’m so pleased that my city is playing host to such a great event, as it really emphasises the growing handmade community outside of London.
The inaugural GNCCF was held at Manchester Grammar School in 2008 and relocated to Spinningfields for the 2009 event. Organisers Ann-Marie Franey and Angela Mann came up with the idea for the event during their visits to London’s annual Chelsea Craft Fair (now Origin). They felt that there should be an event of similar standard in the North, and just a short while later, when their children were older, the idea of GNCCF came into fruition. Ann-Marie and Angela spent more than a year carrying out market research with potential exhibitors and visitors before deciding to go ahead.
Manchester was chosen as the fair’s venue due to its ease of access to visitors from Cheshire, Yorkshire, Merseyside, Derbyshire and Lancashire. Hosting the GNCCF in the city centre also helps to boost the local economy, and moving the fair to Spinningfields proved to be an excellent business decision as it doubled the audience to over 6500 in 2009. 8000 visitors are expected to attend this October.
Applications to exhibit at the fair are invited from designer-makers of ceramics, glass, textiles, furniture, wood, metal, jewellery etc. and exhibitors are chosen by a panel of industry experts. GNCCF has already built up an excellent reputation in the UK and this year’s show was vastly oversubscribed, with 160 exhibitors making the final cut.
Ann-Marie and Angela undertake most aspects of the organising themselves, and with five children between them it’s no mean feat! However, the long hours spent working on the event paid off in 2009 when they saw the queues of visitors excited to get in and received excellent feedback from exhibitors and visitors alike. The ultimate payback for the pair is that they get to share their passion for contemporary craft and hopefully engage new audiences.
I’m certainly looking forward to this year’s fair, as it will be bigger than ever before with two show pavillions. One area will be entirely dedicated to Great Northern Graduates, a showcase of the best graduate students from the region’s craft and design courses. There will also be a jewelry making workshop – I’m off to check that out!
What do you think makes a great craft fair? I’d love to hear about your experiences – post here or send me your tips for making the best of an event via Twitter to @elliethouret. I’ll include the best tips in an upcoming post!
MissMalaprop.com is where modern handmade meets sustainable design. On my website, I spotlight the best in independent designers & artists, eco-friendly and sustainable products, New Orleans & Gulf Coast based businesses and issues, and people & organizations who are working to make the world a better place.
My own creations reflect those same principals. I began selling my creations under the name “dismantled designs” in 2004, after arriving home from a study abroad program in London where I saw the amazing artists at Portobello Market and where I was inspired to begin selling my own reconstructed clothing & accessories.
My designs are all one-of-a-kind, handmade and original. Most are made from used or vintage clothing, or remnant fabrics and trims. Each piece is meant to have a slightly unfinished, rough-hewn, well-loved look about it. I hope you enjoy!