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A new shopping destination for Londoners - The Fashion and Textile Museum

23 June 2008

There's a street fast becoming known to those in-the-know as the place to go when looking for that quirky item for oneself or a unique present for that certain someone.  The place in question is Bermondsey Street in the heart of fashionable Bermondsey Village, home to the newly revamped Fashion and Textile Museum.  The museum, which is now owned and run by Newham College who took it over from its original creator Zandra Rhodes, has undergone a total reinvention including a cool, urban make-over. As part of this make-over the FTM is now home to a currently little-known shopping gem called the Shop@FTM, which supports up-and-coming designers and showcases their merchandise ranging from homewares to handbags through to hats, scarves and jewellery.  

Designers currently exhibiting in the Shop@ FTM are detailed below:   

Jewellery designer Catherine Bysheim’s work is inspired by her native Norway. With a strong emphasis on form and texture, and although pieces may share the same working process and techniques, no two pieces are ever the same. Her collections focuses on the metal to achieve a very organic feel.  

Jewellery designer, Maria Lau creates jewellery and fashion prop-accessories from an eclectic range of materials.  Her main theme is juxtaposing the ordinary and familiar with the more demure and semi-precious, using simple hand techniques that become more complex through the process of making.  Graduating from The Royal College of Art in Mixed Media Textiles in 2003, jewellery became a natural progression for Maria after experimenting with diverse materials to create hand and body accessories which were inspired by ethnic adornment, Japanese crafts and the female form. 

Textile designer, Pineda Covalin's mission is to create contemporary and fashionable textile based products inspired by Mexican Popular Art and pre-Hispanic and Indigenous Cultures, as a way to strengthen awareness of the vast diversity and beauty of Mexican and Latin American traditions and culture.  With support from the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History, Covalin designed its first collection inspired on mythology, architecture and pre-Hispanic codes.  The first collection included ties and scarves, which have become the core products of the brand.

Designers Chris and Joy Poupazis create works of art and fashion to wear and enjoy. Chris has been designing & making jewellery for 20 years, initially completing an apprenticeship in the family business. Joy has been nurturing her passion for all things artistic for many years; design, and painting with oils. Together they make and design contemporary, fashion and traditional jewellery.  

Fiona Paxton trained at the Royal College of Art and has since carved out a multi-faceted career working within the fashion and textile industry, alongside influential designers such as Michiko Koshino, Armani, Chloe and Moschino. Creating her name as a print designer, Fiona is renowned for her innovative embroidery and fabrication concepts. Her directional approach to trend forecasting has led her to design and produce her own collection, with the overseeing of every last detail to ensure an end product worthy of her history.
Fiona's debut collection is a fusion of 1920s glamour and ancient Indian artistry. Piano shawls bedecked in deco geometric patterns, reminiscent of the Weiner Bauhaus movement; silken thread fringing and intricate beadwork emanate the flawless techniques of the Rajasthani embroiderers.  Statement jewellery in the form of snake-like, fluid necklaces, are modern and masterfully created. Draped and flat to the body, each piece is crafted into tightly woven mosaics, meshed with glistening strands of silver and gold chain.  

Rachel Entwistle's range of unique and contemporary eye-catching jewellery is one to watch in 2008. Each piece of unique silver and gemstone jewellery is a work of art lovingly designed and created by Rachel here in the UK.   After a long break in Central America and Mexico Rachel launched her jewellery business in 2006 and has gone from strength to strength. The collections are inspired by her travels, the colours, forms and visual experiences that she finds in her many journeys around the world.

Zoe Beck is a textile designer/artist specialising in printed textiles using computer aided design to create art and design for home and commercial space.

Zoë is fascinated with the cultural differences across the world's cities and intrigued by how traveling contributes so much to people’s happiness. She creates bespoke textile art and design based on personal travel experiences. Her commission service creates textiles from people’s own experiences, taking their memories of favourite places and displaying them in your home or commercial space.

Candice Wren's motif designs are hand silk screen printed directly onto the shawl and Candice is there for each and every step of the printing process. Other fashion accessories by her label consist of silk scarves, and quirky printed corsages and brooches.   The concept behind the Candice Wren Label is to create quirky yet classic hand made accessories for ladies who love and appreciate print, colour and anything that catches the eye by surprise. 

Sonia Guzzo is a new designer who launched her handbags business in October 2006 and her work has proved very successful since the beginning. Sonia studied as a textile designer at Chelsea College of Art & Design and she now works from her studio in London where she specialises in contemporary fine leather handbags which are highly textural, sensuous and sculptural.

She derives inspiration in the observation of nature: at times from sea life, at others from the natural corrugations found on various surfaces such as trees, rocks or landscapes. The spiralling and circular motifs are distinctive of her designs and the way the leather surface is raised.   

If you want to be head and shoulders above the rest in the fashion stakes, then Mary Jane Baxter’s millinery could just do the trick. Trained by famous milliner Stephen Jones, Mary’s latest collection was inspired by some old-fashioned chocolate boxes given to her by a friend. The romantic pink bows and pretty colours made them hard to resist – just like the chocolates!  

Instantly recognisable, Gemma Lister jewellery creates a stylish storm wherever it is seen. After training in fashion and working for a top international handbag designer for several years, Gemma decided to set up her own jewellery business. Having made jewellery all her life she knew that was where her real passion lay.  Working with a range of materials including semi-precious stones and Swarovski crystals, her pieces take the expected and turn it on its head! Beads the size of gobstoppers, rhinestone encrusted collars, the jewellery is always bold, elegant, modern and evocative. 

Amisha Ghadiali's jewellery label launched in 2007, debuting at the British Design Pavillion of 'International Jewellery London'.  Amisha's designs are inspired by the rediscovery of child-like joy - a love of colour, self expression and her life-long fascination of crystals and their properties. Stones are selected not only for their decorative and ornamental qualities but also for their healing properties.  Ten percent of profits from each piece sold goes to carefully selected local and global charities such as Make Poverty History.

- Ends-

Notes to editors: 

Photographs of designers’ products are available upon request.

The Shop @ FTM is open Wednesday to Sunday, 11am to 6pm 

Entrance to the Shop, café and new permanent exhibition is free of charge. The current exhibition at the FTM is 'Little Black Dress' and runs from 20th June to 25th August 2008. Opening times are 11.00am-6.00pm Wednesday to Sunday. Ticket prices are £5 for adults, £3 for students and concessions, free entry for under 12s  As well as an exciting exhibition programme the FTM is also home to a new Academy providing a much-needed hub for education and professional development within the fashion, textile and jewellery sectors. The Academy will be open to all who want to broaden their skills in the fashion industries, from those looking for full-time courses, short professional courses or something more tailored for businesses.

For more information on the work of the FTM visit www.ftmlondon.org

For further details please contact Alison Lewy at the FTM on 020 7407 8664 or 07940 704 725

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