The F Factory – LIMITED EDITION experiences

Fendi will be playing quite a role in the event this year, introducing the F Factory, a limited-edition retail project in the Miami Design District’s Moore Building (home to Zaha Hadid’s “Elastica” permanent exhibition), starting November 30 2009 and running until Christmas.


The shop will feature the brand’s most coveted bags, complete with Fendi’s Roman craftsmen on-site to personalize each one. But in true Basel form, art and culture will infuse the retail. Graffiti artist Andre is creating three needlepoint panels live in three 60-minute “performances” in the space, which will then be stitched into a unique Fendi bag.

You can buy your own Fendi Baguette Needlepoint Stitch Kit, designed by Silvia Venturini Fendi for $995!

Other collaborations include Moritz Waldemeyer’s collaboration with Fendi to create six custom-made Gibson guitars with Silvia Venturini Fendi, which will project lights on the walls when played by American band OK Go.

The Limited Edition Experiences program in the Miami Design District. Launched by Dacra, a real estate company that owns 80% of the 18-block area that constitutes the Miami Design District, Miami’s Limited Edition Experiences program brings together designers like Cynthia Rowley,Duncan QuinnChristopher RossMaison Martin Margiela, and Marni, all of whom engage consumers with a series of initiatives ranging from pop-up stores to limited-edition wares, in-store events, documentary screenings, and more.

Luxury fashion engaging in experiential goods and services… could this be the new Eco Luxury market of the future? I can’t wait to see how these pop up projects proceed!

For more info visit website

Make Do & Mend

Sandra Backlund – Slow Stitches in Time

I have been observing and admiring the work of fashion knitwear designer Sandra Backlund for some time and I think its a good representation of what it means to combine the words ‘slow’ and ‘fashion’ together in the same sentence. I have been thinking a lot lately about about the word ‘slow’ and its relationship to fashion.

Sandra Backlund studied at Beckmans College of Design, Stockholm and she formed her own label in 2004 immediately after graduating. Her knits are all produced by hand and she constructs the sculptural forms as she works, allowing herself the freedom to improvise as and when she likes. She begins her process with the same patterns blocks and then builds upon this structure to create new 3-Dimensional forms. Each piece takes hours upon hours of hand knitting skills, she is said to spend up to 20 hours per day locked away in her studio knitting and produces two amazing ten piece collections per year!

Her work is constantly changing, shifting and re-forming and I am truly inspired that each piece is crafted by hand. She stated in an interview with BLEND that she was taught to knit as a child by her grandmother and often gets her mother to help out when pressed towards deadlines.

I love the idea of skills being handed down between generations and re-interpreted. Backlund says “my work is very personal to me… I am fascinated by all the ways you can highlight, distort and transform the natural silhouette of the body with clothes and accessories… The handicraft process and the handmade feeling is also significant. I do experiment a lot with different materials and techniques… but its through my heavy wool collage knitting that I have found the ultimate way to express myself. ” The time, precision and quality invested in each piece can make it very difficult to categories her collections – are they truly fashion wearables or art forms? And how do you market or put a price tag on such a high level of innovation and craftsmanship? She could be labeled as a knitting visionary as she pushes the boundaries between traditional hand craft by creating fashion forward garments that are truly iconic and cutting edge. When asked to explain her thought process she explains there is no formula to it… she just experiments through the stitches. Once the panels are formed she pins and constructs them in front of a mirror to shape and form. It’s an interesting discussions as sometimes designers find it difficult to explain their method behind the process, it is an intrinsic part of the design process that is unexplainable and can not be taught.

I think investing lots of time and energy allows us to perfect and reflect a technique but I think there is also a little magic behind the new thoughts or concepts that emerge. I love Sandra’s work. I have linked to her website to view the 2009 collections. If only we could all use hand knitting in such an inspiring way we would have the answers to slow fashion at our fingertips!

Slow Textile Workshop

I recently attended a “Slow Textiles” workshop by Dr Emma Neuberg.

I arrived with an embroidery hoop in hand at a lovely studio space in West London. Emma introduced Chinese Floral Embroidery and showed us some images to introduce the theme and provide inspiration.

An intro to the historical context gave me a greater sense of purpose and I began to associate a deeper symbolic association with the craft and process. After being introduced to satin stitch I attempted to apply the technique to upcycle some fabric. It was great being in a nurturedenvironment to sew collectively. There was lots of discussion around slow textiles, symbolism and sustainable thinking.

All participants were encouraged to bring a garment or piece of cloth with them for discussion and I really enjoyed this part. Some vintage clothing was used and each piece had a story or detail which reflected something special. 

I left feeling inspired and continued to sew all weekend. I loved working within a shared space and it sparks all kinds of conversations. I think this is a great way to share knowledge, skills and expertise in an interactive way.

Dr Neuger will be hosted a series of new workshops and forming “The Slow Textiles Group” visit her blog for more info.



 will be continuing a series of workshops and forming the slow textile group, visit her blog for more information.

Bag It Design Competition

The Textile Directory have launched a competition to design an Eco shopper bag in collaboration with Bishopton Trading, who provide work for tailors and hand loom weavers in rural India.

The competition calls entries  under the theme of ‘India’ all applicants are challenged to submit an imaginative design in one colour. The deadline for applications is the 30Th April, all entries will be uploaded to the Textile Directory Website with the winner  announced on World Fair Trade day – 9Th May 2009
The bag’s will retail at £4 and £1 from each sale will be donated to the Fairtrade Foundation.
Visit the website or contact Sara Drinkwater for further details
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The Handmade’s Tale

I love this video – its captures the essence of Etsy by showing the makers, the workshops, and the products.

I find their discussion around craft and technology really exciting, as they talk about the web creating new opportunities to connect people globally. This allows makers to produce bespoke goods that are an alternative to mass production.
They also talk about a “new movement” of young people engaging in craft and one maker says she finds it exciting that young people know how to sew! I find it inspiring that people are applying handcraft on such a large scale…

Fashion Hactivism

I have been following the work of Otto von Busch, designer, theorist and activist. Hew has just completed his PhD entitled Fashion-able, Hactivism and Engaged Fashion Design at the University of Gothenburg.

Through self passage he collaborated with other designers to challenge traditional fashion design through a series of workshops to produce a series of open source toolkits of a “how to nature” – inspiring people to hack traditional fashion methods.

His work is provocative and inspires people to actively engage in the fashion cycle to take ownership. By making things our own – we can create new ways to produce, consumer and adorn fashion. I find his work empowering and his approach challenges us to re-evaluate fashion and find ways to relate to our clothing at a time when we are becoming disassociated and things convey less value.

I love his newly coined terms of Craftivism (craft meets political activism), Shopdropping (the art of reverse shoplifting), or Swap-o-Rama-Rama workshops.

His thesis and toolkits are available to download via