gilhoolie gets out

Tricia Guild at the London Fashion & Textile Museum

A couple of weeks ago I visited the lovely Fashion and Textile Museum in South East London with a friend. What a treat for the senses! It was well worth a trip even though my mind was begging me to stay home and snuggle up on the sofa in the warm.

Bermondsey is a hip and vibrant area, buzzing with bars, cafes, restaurants and shops. A place where young Londoners hang out in wine bars after work and where tourists wander and admire the architecture with the Shard looming above. I just love places like this and am thankful that I live so close by; it’s just a short train ride away from rural Berkshire.

It’s worth going just for a meander through the streets, popping into the art galleries and delis along the way. We couldn’t resist the traditional British grocery store, The Giddy Grocer for some sourdough bread and tasty veggie hummus, but there’s plenty to choose from. There’s an amazing glass blowing studio (London Glassblowing) where you can gawp in awe at the skill of the artists when they’re working. Oh, and there’s even a small independent cinema showing arthouse films (Kino) too, love it.

If you can drag yourself away from the wonderful streets of Bermondsey you’ll find the equally inspiring Fashion and Textile Museum, tucked away in a pretty little side street, just a short walk from London Bridge tube station. I visited back in May 2017 to see an exhibition on the textile designer Josef Frank (see my blog post here).

This time around, we were lucky enough to see a talk by Tricia Guild OBE, followed by a walk around the displays of her textiles in room sets, adorned with ceramics and furniture from her own personal collection. The exhibition took us on a journey from her original block printed wallpapers and fabrics (inspired by a trip to India), through to the painterly effects and digital prints in her latest collections. I loved that despite all her amazing success in the industry she talked about making a home somewhere you feel happy to walk into at the end of the day.

Tricia Guild is a true inspiration to women today, with her passion for pattern and her entrepreneurial spirit. She is still heavily involved with the Designers Guild business and design studio even at the age of 73; a sign that she really love what she does. Don’t miss the captivating video of Tricia talking if you have time, with the backdrop of her amazing house and gardens in Tuscany, a live canvas for her collections.

Tricia has written nineteen books, the latest called ‘Out of the Blue’ available from Amazon here. And Designers Guild have recently launched 156 paint colours, click here for details.

The Designers Guild exhibition, ‘Out of the Blue – Fifty Years of Designers Guild’ is running until June so still lots of time for a visit. I highly recommend it!

And there are lots of interesting creative workshops at the museum too, from pattern cutting to fabric painting to hand embroidery with the Royal School of Needlework. Now I wish I lived around the corner so I could go every week…

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