LAUNCH OF BRITISH ALPACA FASHION

     

 Jane Holmes, Annette Drake and Sophie Khawar - Raffle draw                           Jaya Misra and her models

The British Alpaca Fashion Society held its first Summer exhibition of Fibre Arts and Fashion on 10th June 2011 at the Phyllis Court Club, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire. The exhibition showcased fashion styles which incorporated elegant wear from East to West. The theme of the Summer Exhibition of 2011 was “From East to West in search of lustre cloth

The exhibition reflected three years’ work in the research and development programme to explore the export potential for British Alpaca. The exhibits were an amalgam of the traditions of cloth making over centuries:

  • Lace making
  • Shetland Knitting
  • Traditional knitting
  • Weaving
  • Felting
  • Fine Arts

The artists, fashion designers, weavers, felt makers came from Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the UK. The oldest exhibitor was 90 and the youngest 20 years old.  The high light of the exhibition was the lustre cloth which had been made by the Whitchurch Silk Mill in the tradition of the Victorian lustre cloth.

All the artists and designers have worked on the basis that:
  • designs are required to have an element of British Alpaca and in this case, the alpaca from our own home county Berkshire – Tippens Wood Farm; and
  • whilst all designs are based on traditional skills all designs have to be suitable for 21st century fashion which reflects our times and changing society …………..a fusion fashion East to West.

Fusion fashion enables British Alpaca to develop a product range which will meet the demands of the international market. British alpaca products need to be unique and acceptable for the textile industry from Europe to Asia. The British Alpaca Fashion Company has therefore with fashion designers and artists from various parts of the world.

At the exhibition selected fashion artists and designers from the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Switzerland, Russia, South Africa, New Zealand, India, Bahrain and   Sri Lanka showcased their designs and work. All artists incorporated some aspect of the “British alpaca” in their work to demonstrate the versatility of alpaca for the fashion and textile industry.

There was a true spirit of co-operation between several designers. Sri Lanka Fashion Designer Sonali Dharmawardena worked with Russian designer Iryna Burgess to create evening wear with an Eastern flavour. Sonali also worked with UK weavers Alison Daykin and Jan James to create some exciting salwar kamees outfits. The famous Indian fashion designer Jaya Misra made two Indian style jackets from the alpaca silk herringbone cloth made in the UK for the exhibition.  

Her collection showcased bespoke Eastern clothing like saree, salwar kameez, gargra choli, and also western clothing like dresses and jackets, couture tops and bottom for evening and occasion wear. The Youngest fashion designer Alex Woolf made a controversial piece in alpaca knit called the spider web which he modelled.

The exhibition and fashion show was a truly remarkable collection of varied designs for the 21st century based on design ideas from the diverse cultural traditions, but always in keeping with the focus “British Alpaca Fashion”

At the exhibition there was also a display of traditional Indian textiles and clothing. There was an original pashmina woven from Kashmir wool from the Moghul period showing the paisley pattern in its original form which had been brought specially for the exhibition on 10th June 2011. All exhibits were specially selected and brought for the exhibition by designer Jaya Misra from Kolkatta, India.

EXHIBITION

"FROM FIELD TO FUSION FASHION"

The inaugural exhibition of the British Alpaca Fashion Society displayed the traditional craft of spinning from alpaca

 

Jan Shailes and Tanya Marsh demonstrated the art of spinning alpaca at the exhibition and displayed traditional garments made from alpaca yarn.

INDIAN TEXTILES

 

At the exhibition there was also a display of traditional Indian textiles and clothing. There was an original pashmina woven from Kashmir wool from the Moghul period showing the paisley pattern in its original form which had been brought specially for the exhibition on 10th June 2011. All exhibits were specially selected and brought for the exhibition by designer Jaya Misra from Kolkatta, India.

There were many hand woven fabrics used for saree from India. These pieces were selected as they show the influence of Asian design in modern European textiles.

ARABIC DESIGN AND TRADITIONAL CRAFTS

The exhibition also had a section on the artistry of Arabic weaving and embroidery from Bahrain. The pieces for the exhibition had been selected by artist Weaam Sperinck

 

SHETLAND LACE

There were 2 hand made Shetland shawls by artists Joan Phillips and Carol Sheasby.