Great British craft and Great British fashion will coalesce this London Fashion Week in Soho. Makers House, the venue for Burberry’s catwalk show, will be open to the public on September 21-27 to highlight some of the UK’s finest craftspeople through a changing daily exhibition that is set to include bespoke portraiture, limited-edition paper goods, ceramics, jewellery and textiles – all for sale.
Curated by British and Irish craft concept store The New Craftsmen, the retail space will feature original pieces that complement the designs in Burberry’s new collection, which is inspired by Virginia Woolf’s Orlando. The exhibition also “sets out to honour the many skilled craftspeople who work on Burberry's iconic products”, says Christopher Bailey, Burberry chief creative and executive officer.
Look out for unique “hot” vessels (from £1,200, first and second picture) by silversmith Grant McCaig, crafted using molten iron covered in gold and silver leaf, and gilded and lacquered cork vessels (£985-£3,600) in shell-like shapes by historic paint specialist Pedro Da Costa Felgueiras.
Stitched love letters by “scribe in residence” Rosalind Wyatt take centre stage in a special gabardine tent. Some will be inscribed with quotes from exhibition visitors, others include historic love letters such as that penned by Lord Curzon to his wife (£5,000, third picture). Other tactile pieces include silk cushions (£325, fourth picture) featuring floral paintings by Rose de Borman.
Special exhibition commissions include a limited line of aprons in Burberry gabardine by tailor Patrick Thomson and designer Sue Skeen; as well as miniature portraits by Holly Frean that will be available for commission on the day.
“Just as Woolf's Orlando is both a love letter to the past and a work of profound modernity, this week-long exhibition aims to nod both to the design heritage that is so integral to Burberry's identity, and to some of Britain’s most exciting new creators, and the innovation and inspiration behind their work,” says Bailey.