Saturday, 11 May 2013

Kaffe Fassett at the Fashion & Textile Museum

I have been meaning to visit this place for about nine years so was very happy to finally get here today with Liz from Knitting on the Green. This is the second exhibition we have been to together (the first being the A-Z of Crime) and it is so nice to have someone who knows what you mean when you remark on what he did for introducing large motifs into fairisle. The exhibition itself was quite splendid.
Kaffe Exhibition Upstairs
You started downstairs with a small room of historical bits from his early years and then were straight into the good stuff. As Liz pointed out, they hadn't been precious about grouping his work by when he did it or by which collection it came from (or from which book it was in). This was a celebration of his work and the only groupings I really noticed were that downstairs was more the warm reds and jewel colours while upstairs was more greeny. Quilts hung alongside knitting and embroidered panels. Glass cases showed waistcoats beautifully made up alongside professionally handmade slippers.
Kaffe Shell Waistcoat
Kaffe Waistcoat
Huge pillars downstairs (no idea of these are always there or were there for use in this way) were delicately wrapped in panels demonstrating his designs, such as these beautiful wonky mitred blocks.
Kaffe Wonky Mitre Square Blocks
You could also see both sides of a lot of pieces. Years ago I read a criticism of a V&A exhibition of his knitwear saying you couldn't see what he'd done with his ends. Well, none of that here.
Kaffe Crazy Patchwork Chair
Liz said how it was like he'd left that cardigan on the back of the chair and would be back with it in a minute. This section was my favourite - a few 'props' like carlton ware teapots and layering of the textiles made it look extremely voluptuous.
Kaffe Sampler
Kaffe Cat Cushion

The exhibition was a really good size. You didn't find yourself getting used to the beauty and the curation has been done so that the feel upstairs is very different to downstairs which is very effective and engaging. It was definitely inspiring and a good way to start the build up to the Festival of Quilts in August.
Kaffe Autumn Slippers
Kaffe Longstitch Flower
These were hanging downstairs and the next two photos are closeups of them. The backs were all visible too - lovely machine quilting. 
Kaffe Quilts
Kaffe Diamond Quilt Detail
Kaffe Hexagon Quilt
This one was a tapestry hanging and about 2 metres tall. 
Kaffe Shell Tapestry
This one greeted you on your way in. I think most of us can imagine thrifted men's shirts being turned into a bit of this. 
Kaffe Shirt Blocks
Lastly, what really caught my eye - so silly when you consider the size of some of the things - was this tiny pin cushion tucked inside a slipper!
Kaffe Crazy Slippers
I adore all the colours on it. I would definitely recommend this to anyone with 2 hours to spare near London Bridge. £8 to get in and on until 29th June.

1 comment:

Liz said...

Your photos are SO much better than the ones I took - fabulous round-up and it was lovely to go round the exhibition with you; weren't all the buttony things amazing! Echo the recommendation - it was such a well-arranged exhibition and exactly the right size...

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