Mother of Pearl – London Fashion Week Collections

Take a step back into 80’s film nostalgia and you will find the inspiration behind ‘Mother of Pearl’s’ latest collection. The fashion brand which was recently shown at London Fashion Week prides itself on sportswear, with a touch of sophistication. The latest collection embodies a flare for 80’s dropped waists, flared bell sleeves and floral prints, taking ideas from ‘New York Stories’. The film trilogy ‘New York Stories’ was directed by Francis Ford Coppola (written by Sophia Coppola), Woody Allen, and Martin Scorsese with the vision to embrace New York with three different stories set in the 1980’s. ‘Mother of Pearl’s’ collection captures the essence of these stories showcasing femininity, sexuality, and youthfulness.


Founded in 2002 by Maia Norman, Mother of Pearl has grown from strength to strength appointing Amy Powney as Creative Director in 2015, which has pushed the brand forward. Working for Mother of Pearl since 2006 Powney knows the brand inside-out. Being at the heart of the fashion brand Powney knows the style and values it aims to enhance and she has achieved this in her latest collection. The cut of the garments are exquisite whilst remaining fun and sporty. Each garment from the collection allows for movement so women can feel free and feminine.

Spring/Summer Collection by Mother of Pearl (shown at London Fashion Week September 2016)

Photos by: Catwalking

Trace Exhibition

‘Trace’ is the new exhibition showcasing at Corridor Gallery in Brighton. The exhibition runs during August and has three different aspects all relating around natural patterns, either physical or psychological. The artist, Emma Clear tells us more about her work.

1) Can you tell us about your work, your inspiration?

With “Trace” I wanted to explore questions around behavioural pattern, linking the lacework of neural pathways in my brain to patterns of thought and patterns in my history. Looking at how I see myself, how I behave and where that comes from. ‘Pattern’ is a big word when it comes to my artwork. It links all the elements of the work together. In the physical elements of the pieces I wanted to convey this through the delicate patterns created by the white body casts, the wire lines and the techniques of crochet which uses one line of thread, knotted over and over to create a design pattern which has a historical and feminine value to it. Line and shadow are important elements of the exhibition, referencing positive and negative behavioural patterns and the repetitive quality of thought. The linear way a drawing is formed compliments linear ways of thought and how lineage influences who I am.

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2) Parts of your work are influenced by your grandmother and culture, can you tell us about that?

There is a long history of lace and crochet in female history but not only that, it has a long industrial history in my home town of Limerick in southwest Ireland. Limerick was famous for lacework  along with the silver industry, which both died in the early 1900’s left the city quiet poor and the city has not completely recovered even now. It is not necessarily that my grandmother influenced the work directly.  I have never met her. She died before I was born. But in the attic in my parent’s house in Ireland, in drawers and dressers, are the remnants of my grandmother’s creativity. This is a house that my grandfather build, where my dad and his siblings were born and there is history in there, in the cupboards. The “Cailleach” crochet work in particular is about tracing (to use the title) the history of the women in my family. My grandmothers and their grandmothers have influenced who I am as a woman in my creativity, my genes and in my patterns of behaviour which has come down through my blood-line.


3) What materials do you use and how do you make the body casts?

There are three elements to the show and each element uses different techniques. Starting with the first element, “Maighdean”, the white body casts, the process is not all that labour intensive. It requires making moulds of my body with plaster-of-paris and then using threads, wool and string dipped in a strong glue and feeding it into the moulds, allowing it to dry before taking the casts out of the mould and painting them white. They are very light and still have a little flexibility but the long pieces of string are quite affective in creating the delicacy and shadows I want with the work. The second element of the show is the wire armature “Mather”. Originally these were made to create a frame work for the thread work in an attempt to construct fully 3D thread pieces, but having made a couple of them and playing with the shadows they cast I realised that there was so much room to explore line and shadow in a very interesting way to me. The wirer work is incredibly labour intensive. It begins with a photograph and working out the angles and focuses of each pose. I construct from the head down attempting to create a linear structure, working out proportions and wire tensions as I go. Each of the pieces are life size and built to convey the seen elements of the poses from the photographs. Long and laborious, but really fun! It’s like life drawing in 3D. When my friend Henry first showed me how to use wire in this way I felt it was exactly what I was looking for to bring drawing down a different path. The Third element of the exhibition in Corridor Gallery is the crochet pieces “Cailleach 1 & 2”. The crochet pieces were made by my grandmother more than likely in the 1030’s. I deconstructed sections of her work and reconstructed free-form crochet in those areas. I love crocheting and during times when I have felt less creative with my artwork I have often used crochet as a way of continuing to create even when I feel uninspired.

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4) Did you study sculpture?

I did study Sculpture, in Ireland, way back in 2000 in Limerick School of Art and Design. I completed three years of a 4-year course there but I felt that I was not at a maturity level to finish out such a creatively intensive course at that time. I decided to take 4 years out and I then applied to the Fine Art department at Falmouth University in 2007 to finish my BA. These two years, I believe, were invaluable to my creative practise. Actually this is where the artwork I am making now began its journey. Falmouth gave me the time to really explore materials and what I wanted to say with my work. I have always found that approaching my creative practise has started with a question. The work that follows explores the question in an attempt to resolve and communicate to others a message that I find interesting. In my case this question revolved around thought patterns and how we might identify them as part of us. When it has come to the physicality of making work I would say that it is largely self-taught. I have a deep interest in exploring materials and finding out ways of utilising materials to convey the message. Mostly though my work has stemmed from drawing the human figure. Years of learning and practising drawing figuratively and teaching life drawing classes has hugely informed my work. Having learned the techniques of life drawing approaches, I spent time exploring deconstructing and picking apart my drawing style, using different materials to draw the body in varying ways and more recently using wire to draw figuratively in 3-D. A combination of being taught techniques and exploring and developing drawing has brought about this work and I strongly believe it will continue to influence the work I will make in the future.


Teetotum – Mind Your Teeth

M&B had the pleasure to host Teetotum at our event earlier this year, the bands (Ross Robertson, Larry Marks & Simon Gledhill) live performance was full of soul and energy with a up-beat Rhythm & Blues sound and enigmatic stage presence. After their performance we were intrigued to find out more so we caught up with the vocalist and rhythm guitarist to ask about their influences and the new EP ‘Mind Your Teeth’.

1) How would you describe your music?

We have a lot of influences in the band but we all enjoy big riffs and great harmonies. A lot of the sound reflects early to mid 60s Rhythm & Blues as well as the later Garage and Psychedelic aspects. We’ve always maintained that this is not a “retro band”we just tend to wear our influences a bit more on our sleeves.


2) What music inspires you? Any other artist’s?

As previously mentioned we have a lot a various influences. I would say the early sound of The Who and 13 Floor Elevators were big inspirations on sculpting our sound. Also early 50s/60s vocal bands such as The Everly Brothers and soul groups like the Temptations. In terms of harmonies they haven’t been surpassed in my opinion. When we play our vocals and harmonies come first, the music and rocking out comes a very close second.


3) How did the band form? Where are you all from?

The band formed in the summer of 2015. Me and Si had been chatting about putting something together for about a year or two prior to Teetotum but nothing came of it. I had been session drumming in a project with Mark (playing bass) and he wanted to get involved in something new as well. I had written a few songs acoustically on guitar and Mark had written some, as well as some ridiculously great riff ideas! So we just all got involved and started writing together!

4) Where are you playing this year, any exciting news in the pipeline?

We have just finished recording our new E.P called “Mind Your Teeth”. We shall be releasing it in the next month or two with an E.P launch. We also have a few great gigs coming up this month including supporting Cat Black for the New Untouchables up at The Blues Kitchen in Camden on the 11th and supporting Sweat at The Green Door Store (Brighton) on the 12th for Club Psychedelia. We also do a monthly acoustic residency at Artista Coffee House in Hove. For anymore gig information be sure to check out


Photos by: Keira Cullinane

Art Work by: Martin Ross Butler

Lizzie Lock Millinery

Lizzie Lock Millinery is designed by Brighton based designer, Elizabeth Lock. Her designs are elegant yet modern with ethical origin. Lock told us about her travels and how her experience helped expand her design process.

1) How would you describe your millinery designs, what inspires you?

Millinery for me is about exploring a traditional hands-on craft, whilst bringing great and wearable shapes & designs into our contemporary society. I like to make fancy every day hats, and simple occasion headpieces. I think a hat should be considered and chic, and the idea of easy glamour is an integral one to LLM – the wearer should feel comfortable and at ease in one of our pieces.

I also love the wild mass of ideas that come out at festivals and parties – so everything really!


2) Are your designs sustainable?

We use straw and felt bought from our Luton suppliers, and source fabrics and embellishments from as ethical a place as possible. I am a magpie at thrift stores and antique markets and we re-use materials as much as possible.

I also travel for my design beliefs – I went to the Philippines a few years ago to find the source of a particular type of weave and straw. I saw the tree that the straw was grown from and met the people that produced and weaved it – it was an incredible experience and a wonderful feeling knowing that I could trace every single part of the hat, and knew I had paid a fair price for it all!

3) You have been traveling a lot sourcing fabrics and materials, can you tell us a bit about your experience?

The Philippines was fantastic as I had a great contact within an ethical crafts company, who took us on a journey by plane, bus and jeepeney up into the jungle. We were walked through huge green leaves and trees to a house where the producer, Miss Montanas, made us a strange but delicious lunch, and then we walked to where the raffia was made. Her son then scaled a banana tree to get us our dessert! It was a very welcoming and eye-opening experience.

More recently I traveled to India to source fabrics and embellishments. My friend and I went to Rajasthan which was just fantastic for ANYTHING textiles related. I came back with a lot of fake (gold) and bags of fabrics. Whilst we were there we came across the ancient craft of block-printing which we completely fell in love with – enough to start up a new company CHHIPA! India has a special place in my heart – it feels like anything is possible there!


4) Where are you based?

I’m based in a wonderful studio in Hove called Albert Mews, and share the space with two very good friends and fellow designers, Martha Mitchell Design and Joanna Corney. I make all my hats and headpieces there, calling in help when I have a big order on. It’s a fab place to work, bright and beautiful and just one street up from the sea!

5) Where did you study, and when did you decide to create your own brand?

I went to Nottingham Trent University and studied Decorative Arts. I discovered millinery in the second year when I found an un-touched draw of these strange wooden blocks of wood (which turned out to be hat blocks) in the fashion department. From there I worked for amazing milliner Vivien Sheriff for a year, then moved back to Brighton to start up on my own in the mews.


6) Where can we find your work?

Come and see us at Albert Mews! We open up twice a year for the open house festival, and I’m in most of the time, my website is –, and follow me on instagram @LLMillinery

Photos by: Alex Thirlwell

Model: Jacinta Thirlwell

Interviewed by: Danielle Timms

Modern Love by Jo Thorne Photography

Jo Thorne create’s fashion images with a different perspective, her work always captures the atmosphere with a edgy and mystical sense. She has worked with many fashion brands such as  Hope & Harlequin, Peculiar Vintage and Modern Love to create innovative visual concepts.

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Thorne photographed one of ”Modern Loves’ collections, the photos embody the brands vibrant prints and artisan style. Modern Love creates fashion garments and interior design such as wall paper, cushions and furniture. The brand is founded by former British Ellle Magazine director, Kim Hunt and wovem textiles designer, Sarah Arnett. Their aim is to challenge the concept of the fashion industry with “A collection which embraces a desire to create individual pieces which can be viewed and collected in the same way one would with vintage pieces.”

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While the photos clearly capture the garments, they also create strong fashion imagery with a editorial style. Thorne has challenged the notion of what you see is what you get and created a optical illusion effect.

Photos: Jo Thorne

Written by: Danielle Timms

Make and Believe Magazine – Fashion, Culture, Vintage