Madame 01 Plumo Fold-up Boxes, £10, T: +44 (0)870 241 3590, www.plumo.com 02 Khadi and Co stitched towel, £45, Livingstone Studio, 36 New End Square, London T: +44 (0)20 7431 6311 03 Khadi and Co Scarves, from £115, T: +44 (0)20 8341 9721, www.selvedge.org 04 Sophie Digard Necklace, 85cm, £115, T: +44 (0)20 8341 9721, www.selvedge.org 05 French General Stationery box $14.95 each T: 08450 262 440, www.chroniclebooks.com 06 Cath Kidston Stationery boxes, £9 each T: 08450 262 440, www.cathkidston.com 07 Vintage Chocolate Buttons, £6, T: 08444 932 323, www.hotelchocolat.co.uk 08 Fabric covered notebooks, from £5, Few and Far T: +44 (0)20 7225 7070, www.fewandfar.net 09 Ellie Evans Pin Cushion, £28, T: +44 (0)20 8341 9721, www.selvedge.org 10 Tokyo Milk Soaps, £12, Few and Far as before




01 English Willow Fishing Creel, £285, T: +44 (0)1497 821205, www.greatenglish.co.uk 02 Red Hunter Wellingtons £60, T: +44 (0)131 240 3672 www.hunter-boot.com 03 Tamielle Scented Pouche, £25 for 3, T: +44 (0)1628 783255, www.tamielle.com 04 Vintage Chocolate Buttons, £6, T: 08444 93 23 23, www.hotelchocolat.co.uk 05 Iris Hantverk Shaving Brush, £45, T: +44 (0)20 8341 9721, www.selvedge.org 06 John Arbon Alpaca Knitted Tie, £25, T: +44 (0)20 8341 9721, www.selvedge.org 07 Dog Lead and Collar, £25, each T: +44 (0)20 7739 4237, www.lovemydog.biz 08 Tamielle Scarf, £50, as before

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down by the lake. and sooner or later I know deep

inside what my next step is going to be.”

Ewa i Walla is now represented in over 300 shops,

in 18 countries. She still lives at the old farm with her

husband (yes, he is a farmer). Once in a while she

visits her sons in Stockholm and every year she travels

to India, where Eva i Walla produce most of their fabrics.

“Look at this new pattern,” she says and holds a fine

block print. Its origin is an early 19th-century wallpaper

but here it is printed on voile. “This pattern is important

to me because it comes from a wall in my house. It was

originally created and put in place more than a hundred

years before I moved in. I like it when things look worn,

used. with faded soft colours, perhaps a little torn here

and there. But in a nice way. That’s what I aim at.”

Delicate dilapidation... ••• Cia Wedin

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a t t i r e




St Catherine’s Day




ay with the w ‘ A SAMANTHA BRYAN’S FL

. airies.. f IGHTS OF FANCY


Photography Jonas Wa

s e l v e d g e . o r g

A grey day in Paris. Sky, Seine, streets—shades of

soot. Young women stream through streets around the

Opéra. Colourful chapeaux atop their têtes.

The young women pour from Paris’s legendary

ateliers. House of Schiaparelli, House of Lanvin,

House of Patou. It’s 1930. Patou’s popular. They

parade down Rue de la Paix toward the Avenue des

Champs-Elysées. Tourists snap them as they pass.

The women work as seamstresses, an exhausting

occupation and poorly paid. Days spent stitching lapels,

plackets and pockets for others to wear. This day is

different. They sport hats they’ve sewn for themselves.

Arm in arm in arm they march, singing, giggling.

“It is probably the prettiest and most characteristic

sight,” wrote E.I. Robson in A Guide to French Fetes,

“which Paris, in its most Paris mood, can offer to the

tourist.” It’s November 25th, St. Catherine’s Day.

Catherine of Alexandria died in Roman times.

Executed by an Emperor she refused to wed. Milk

flowed from her wounds. She became patron saint of

unwed women. In the Middle Ages, St. Catherine’s

Day was an obligatory observance in France.

Cathedrals conducted Mass and families feasted. By

the 18th century, Mass was no longer mandatory. St.

Catherine’s Day had disappeared from the Breviary of

Paris. It continued to be marked in the countryside

with folk customs. Celebrants came in three

categories: Maidens were unwed women under the

age of twenty-five, spinsters were unwed women over

twenty-five, and the third category, women who were

exactly twenty-five years old...Catherinettes.

In 19th-century France, St. Catherine’s Day

involved sewing. Maidens dressed St.Catherine in hats

and prayed: “Donnez-moi, Seigneur, un mari de bon

lieu!” “Please send me, Lord, a well-to-do husband!”

Catherinettes didn’t sew hats. They wore them.

Women who turned twenty-five that year donned white

paper bonnets. Coiffer Sainte Catherine. “To wear

Catherine’s coif.” The saying has a second meaning: Left

on the shelf. Unwanted. Spinsters had their own prayer:

“Un tel qu’il te plaira, Seigneur, je m’sen contente!”

“Send whatever you want, Lord; I’ll take it!”

At the start of the 20th century, unwed women from

across France flocked to Paris to find work - sewing at

upscale ateliers and at downscale factories. Midinettes:

seamstresses who toiled in the needle trades. Many

were Catherinettes who carried folk customs with them.

In the 1900s, ateliers staged sham weddings on

November 25th. Bosses “married” Catherinettes. “Brides”

wore bonnets made by other midinettes. Bosses kissed

them, pinched them and proclaimed them old maids.

By the 1920s, the day assumed a suffragist aspect.

Young, old, wed, unwed – they made a day of it. Stitched

themselves haute hats and paraded through Paris.

Maidens chased men, pinching them, appalling the

press. Newspapers organised races. Races, they hoped,

would burn off the women’s wanton energies.

With the Second World War, the parade part

disappeared. St. Catherine’s Day became a festival of

fashion. Milliners showed new hat designs, designers

staged parties, and Catherinettes drank, dined, danced.

Mingled with higher-ups, hierarchies went out the

window. The designer was a guest at his own house. A

photo from the 50s shows Lucien Lelong meeting and

greeting his midinettes. He looks utterly uncomfortable.

The day’s still celebrated. ••• Derek McCormack

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c o n c e p t


Whisper the word fairy and it conjures up all that is

pretty, prim and pink. If you find that all a little

cloying, and you probably will if you are over six, then

cleanse your palette by spending some time in the

company of Samantha Bryan’s creations. There is

nothing insipid or insubstantial about these sprites.

Other fairies may spend their time languidly wafting

around their local glade practising the fairy version of a

minuet and sipping on nectar, Bryan’s are far too busy.

These workman-like little figures have a job to do, and

when it’s done they probably prefer a pint.

Samantha admits her work is not typically feminine

and explains that this androgyny combined with their

wondrous gadgetry makes her sculptures surprisingly

popular with male collectors. Their intriguing ‘Fairy

Aiding Inventions’, devised by Samantha’s alter ego

‘Brain’, have their roots in questions about the practical

necessities of ‘fairy life’. Where does fairy dust come

from? How is it collected and stored? Clearly there is a

gap in the market for ‘Brain's portable fairy dust

collector’, which looks like the unholy offspring of a

bagpipe and hand-held Hoover.

Her fairies seem to need most help with flight;

Aerodynamic Flight Wear, Lift Generating Apparatus,

Fins ‘to improve directional and lateral stability’

and not forgetting Impact Reducing Footwear, ‘to

facilitate safe landings’. It seems soaring and gliding

doesn’t come naturally to the little folk. But whatever

their purpose these ‘machine-like contraptions’ seem

to give men in particular ‘permission’ to like them.

Samantha is keen to avoid being pigeon-holed by

her subject matter. In a way it was her desire to avoid

being limited by subject matter or materials that lead

Samantha to her current occupation. She chose to

study at Hereford College as it offered the only course

of its kind not to insist on specialisation. Samantha

wanted to experiment with materials and she still does.

Each figure is assembled from organic matter,

paper clay, sheet metal and wire, leather and knitted

elements. The construction is labour intensive. Wire

skeletons are overlaid with bodies stitched from fine

leather or fabric and embellished with tiny, found

objects for helmets, ear muffs, goggles and wings.

Samantha is inspired by Victorian gadgetry and it is

tempting to imagine a Wallace and Gromit-style studio

full of steam driven inventions. “It’s a mess!” smiles

Samantha. “It’s full of half-finished fairies but there’s no

Heath Robinson style equipment.” ••• Beth Smith

s e l v e d g e . o r g

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c o h a bit







imon Up


Eccentric circles


In 1997 the fashion designer J Morgan Puett quit her life in New York to

establish an artists’ colony in Pennsylvania. Ten years in the making and

continually evolving, Mildred’s Lane is a modern take on simpler times.

Nothing in J Morgan Puett’s life goes unstyled. A trip cross-country

begins by dressing up the car. ‘I travel in quite a baroque way,’ she says.

‘I take all my silver and glassware and my vintage fabrics. My luggage

has to look gorgeous.’

At home in Pennsylvania, even the fridge contents are corralled into

arresting arrangements. Today’s composition includes a head of

broccoli balancing on a silver candlestick and carrots cascading out of

a tool bag, the shelves covered with antique tablecloths. ‘It’s a great way

to use your grandmother’s linens,’ Puett, 51, explains. ‘Conservationists

freeze textiles to protect them, so it’s a very practical thing to do. You

can preserve them and show them off at the same time. And you will

never be embarrassed about your fridge again.’

Everything Puett touches has her own indelible mark. In the 1980s

and 90s, when she designed fashion in New York, people loved her

stores as much for their idiosyncratic decor as for her original and

eccentric clothes. In one venue she featured a cement-mixer and a

charred wooden bed; in another she covered the floor with dirt and

relished the fact that her customers (who included Brad Pitt, Michael

Stipe and Suzanne Vega) got covered in muck while trying on her

Amish and Depression era-inspired clothes.

When her fifth and final store closed in 1997, she petrified all the

remaining clothes in beeswax and transformed them into still-lifes

(today sold as art works by Alexander Gray Associates in New York).

Then Puett, who trained at the Art Institute of Chicago (where she is

now a faculty member) and her partner, the artist Mark Dion (whom

she refers to as ‘Peabody’ and whose work is collected by the Tate),

embarked on a new project. They decided to create an art colony –􏰀

s e l v e d g e . o r g

Contents INDULGE textiles to buy, collect or simply admire 13 Joyeux noël Gifts for all your friends and family 96 Conservation area The V&A’s recently restored War of Troy tapestry

INDUSTRY from craft to commerce 41 COVER STORY Spangles, sequins and stars Herbert Lieberman’s glittering career 44 Crystal clear The history of Swarovski 70 COVER STORY Away with the fairies Samantha Bryan’s flights of fancy

ANECDOTE textiles that touch our lives 31 The handmade’s tale Our nine-page guide to ‘making’ the holidays a pleasure 62 COVER STORY St Catherines’s Day “Please send me lord, a well to-do husband”

CONCEPT textiles in fine art 48 Shiny, happy people The art of Geraldine Larkin, Ann Carrington and Donya Coward 69 Wit and wisdom Our word perfect competition winner reveals the work of Richard Saja

ATTIRE critical reporting of fashion trends 22 Plain speaking Poetic fashion from Swedish designer Ewa Iwalla

COHABIT stunning interiors beautifully photographed 72 COVER STORY Eccentric circles J Morgan Puett’s simple life in Mildred’s lane

GLOBAL travel destinations and ethnographic textiles 55 Ghulam Sakina and Wales Red dragons, blue hills, green valleys


in f o r


INFORM the latest news, reviews and exhibition listings

04 bias /contributors 05 correspondence 07 news 11 sustain 19 how to... knit a pair of gloves 52 COVER STORY Tinsel 84 international listings Exhibitions, fairs, events 86 read Books for fashionistas,

adverturers, dandies or homebodies who have everything. 88 view Eva Hesse, Maharajas, Thomas Wardle, Rijswijk Textile Biennial 93 resources 80 subscription offers Savings, gift subscriptions and a pretty calender from Egg Press for subscribers and renewals

81 SUBSCRIBE TO SELVEDGE 83 Selvedge event Join us at our London shop for an advent celebration. Enjoy glass of ginger wine and spiced biscuits while you shop. Free gift wrapping on the day... 95 coming next The Altitude Issue: Classic and rarified textiles

SELVEDGE ('selnid3) n. 1. finished differently 2. the non-fraying edge of a length of woven fabric. [: from SELF + EDGE]

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