London Fashion Doll Festival Sunday Salesroom

Sunday Salesroom at the Festival – £6 entry at the V&A Museum of Childhood in London.

ShimmyShim will be exhibiting at the festival on Sunday 9 June at the Sunday Salesroom I’m busy out in the garden sewing up some prototype T-shirt designs for the Friendly Collection. And some silky stuff possibly to be the Cafe Culture Collection.

I plan to offer ‘make your own’ kits as well as ready mades.

Feedback welcome as these collections are in development.

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London Fashion Doll Festival Facebook page – stuffed full of fab pop culture posts

Pepperland – Carnaby Street inspired creativity

Pepperland by Mark Morris Dance Group

This looks rainbow enough for me – and very much how Sindy, Barbie and Ken might look, if they formed a dance troupe and synchronised like Pans People.

Here are Pans People, silver booted in 1970

and rainbow in 1973

The crumpled silver foil on the Pepperland set reminds me of the lo-fi dioramas in Sindy knitting pattern illustrations.

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Might catch Pepperland this week at Sadlers Wells dance theatre in London’s Islington. A show “visually on the cusp of Carnaby Street and Woodstock” and a “tribute to of one of the best-selling albums of all time: The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”.

The Mod era seems to be all the rage again – Carnaby Street is also the theme for this year’s Fashion Doll Festival (second weekend of June this year at the V&A Museum of Childhood).

NOTE 21 March – went to see Pepperland yesterday. It was nice but I wouldn’t especially recommend it. The costumes were good but no surprises – all was revealed in the trailer. Likewise the set was the tinfoil around the edge and didn’t change. The music was a rough re-make of the Beatles album which was a bit disappointing. However, soundwise  the warpish sound of a theremin was a highlight and we could see it being played from our lofty location in the second circle. The dance seemed technically amazing with a slightly floppy style (can’t think of any other way to describe it). Some fab bits which are hard to describe. Good but I wouldn’t shout about it from the rooftops.

IKEA and now

Sindy disco flat pack every girl's dream
80s Twister game slogan the game that ties you up in knots
Were IKEA going for a bit of irony with this?

I went to the IKEA house party on Greek Street in London’s Soho today*.  Loved it! They’ve taken over a whole house and recreated a room from each decade on each floor, starting with the 80s.

Entering the 80s room, I just totally mainlined on nostalgia. It was extraordinarily palpable. Recreated around me was an era I lived through without a smart camera. Moment by moment, lived spontaneously and immediately forgotten. Never revisited until now.  It’s a strange feeling to walk into the re-creation of an era you lived in the moment and haven’t been back to since. The effect was just like sniffing a bottle of the 80s. In fact, if they had worked on the scent in the room, I might literally have teleported back.

I’m a huge fan of IKEA. It’s form and function in affordable harmony. Before that cheap furniture was MFI: tacky, beige, lowest common denominator. MFI never struck out with any kind of aim to fly high and as the Guardian quipped it fell flat on it’s back. IKEA has vision. It sells to millions of people and yet it’s still possible to own a piece of IKEA furniture that none of your friends have. Because they make short run lines as well as classic repeats. I have a slim chest of drawers made from naked wood that I’ve never seen anywhere else. It’s great for storing necklaces, earrings and balled up socks.

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On each floor of the house is a room from a different decade. They’ve all been styled perfectly and with humour. Next to the disco in the 80s room is a Twister game laid out on the floor with the slogan ‘the game that ties you up in knots’. Perfect, perfect slogan for an IKEA flat pack instruction manual with tangled up people clearly drawn by the same illustrator.

Climb up the house through the 90s, through the present to arrive at the future. Here is a responsive room with a vegetable garden. In 2025 ‘smart assistants’ are less of a novelty and we’ve stopped asking them silly test questions and posting the silly answers on YouTube. Hopefully they’ll be able to tackle aphid attacks and manage sprinkle systems because we don’t have gardens anymore and our living rooms are furnished with lettuce.

IKEA future room vegetable incubator

Likeable. Anything could happen really. Smart assistants would be handy, even essential  for some people. My friend is currently trying to figure out how Alexa or Siri can help her mother who is unable to move after a stroke but can speak clearly.

Postscript

*Actually the IKEA house party was 18 October 2017 – I’ve only just got round to finishing this post. It finished that weekend but if you’re interested, head over to the Geffrye Museum in Hoxton (London UK) as the whole museum is based on the same rooms through the ages premise. With easier access as you move along through the rooms rather than up and down stairs.