Monday, 15 November 2010

J&KE Collection of Curiousities Shop - The Private Launch

Fashionstrand were back in Fashion's capital, London, on Thursday 11th of November for J&KE's private launch party of the Collection of Curiosities Pop-Up Shop. 

J&KE is made up of the three design graduates from The University of the Arts London; Joyce, Kethi and Emma. The Pop-Up Shop, situated on Theobolds Road in Holborn, was generously lent to them through the Camden Council , allowing their ambitious project to take place over 12 days, in order to showcase pieces from the most inspiring yet unseen designers London has to offer. 

The J&KE Thursday cocktail in a cup!
Whilst sipping the cocktails and munching of french fancies, Fashionstrand caught up with J&KE and the other designers featuring in the shop, to find out more about London's best kept designer secrets...

Joyce-Addais Davis, part of J&KE, specialises in woven textiles for couture clothing. After having a studio for a year from being a winner in the Cockpit Arts Awards, she explains that since starting her work she's done a '360' with tailoring and woven textiles. However, as she's progressed, her collection of weaving machines and patterns have equally increased.

Have you always been interested in fashion?
I used to hate fashion actually (she laughs). I studied Fine Art, but after a while that led into my interest for couture clothing, where I was trained by a woman who had 40 years of experience in the industry within pattern cutting.

What is your business ethic?
Well since couture has become a prominent part of my work, the fitting of the garment is absolutely essential. I'm inspired by the fabric, the structure and the colour.

What's the best part of being a designer that's experienced having a studio for a year?
The freedom, definitely. I love being able to play with beautiful fabrics.

To see more of her designs and what Joyce gets up to check out her blog


Kethi is a multidisciplinary designer who combines screen-printed graphics with three-dimensional paper sculptures and public participation projects. Her work uses humour to engage with an audience with the belief that there is no limit to the
tools that can be used for communication


Emma Hamshare aims to create bespoke pieces that blur art and fashion. The Swedish designer finds inspiration from musical notes and her childhood, with laser-cut fabric and 200 year old lace.
The London college of fashion BA graduate is the one of first to use digitally cut pattern pieces, by printing the pattern onto the fabric in the pattern piece shape.

What's your favourite piece?
The intricate white laser-cut dress (pictured above) which embodies my Swedish heritage.  In Sweden, as well as having birthdays, we have name days, so basically the laser-cut material on the dress is chained stencils of that.

What's the inspiration behind the hanging bottles?
The textile installation (pictured above) was directly inspired by my Grandad, as he always used to make us watch beautiful black and white1940's videos of him at work, he was a bottle blower. I also wanted it to represent the conflict of alcohol, as it's essentially bad for your body, but by making the bottles out of lace  the beauty contrasts with the conception of a drug.

It appears that art and fashion are combined in your work, do you always intend to create an intention for your pieces?
Even though behind my work there is definitely a clear intention, I've become more open to the fact that people interpret it in different ways. For example at any one's degree show, they are so worried to the reaction of what everyone might think, but now I'm happy to listen to other people's opinions. However, now I try to incorporate conceptions whilst keeping my designs commercial, as at the end of the day they have to sell. Business vs Art is a very hard skill to master.

Casper Chan, graphic designer and illustrator for Disinlok, happily told us of the excitement of graduating from his MA course at LCC on the Thursday! The designer actually originally studied his Grand Design BA in Hong Kong, drastically changing his career as he was spotted by LCC to come and study in London. Casper describes London as 'fashion-dominant' and 'refreshing'.

There's a lot of diversity within illustrations, How would you describe your work?
I focus more on the handwork, rather than fancy additions to illustrations. Sometimes my work can be graphic with various dynamics but mainly I like to be poetic so I draw in black and white.

Despite graduating on his MA that day,  Casper Chan has already contributed to Wallpaper* magazine and continues to make his mark on fashion...
Early today actually, I saw a scarf that I have illustrated as a collaborated with a Vienna designer, Anna Aichinger. It was really exciting to see it full scale!

Now you've graduated, what's in store for the future?
At the moment I've been chosen along with 10 other designers to rework the backpack company, EASTPAK. I'm also collaborating with a Dubai graduate Salma Khan, to create a unique design. Our aim is to differ away from ordinary patterns to create an interesting more couture backpack, for example with lace sewn on in places, that kind of thing.

Fashion design graduate, Alicia Rose, uses her love of textiles to create illustrated cards from embroidery. Alicia explained to Fashionstrand the delicate beauty that comes from embroidery that "you just don't get with pen and ink". From being "hooked" on the technique at school, Alicia has gone on to experiment with an interesting range of media, as she's discovered dissolvable fabric. After the thread is merely left and she compares the final product to being 'almost like a skeleton'.

Have you always been creative with cards?
Yes I have always given handmade birthday cards to my family-once I even made a whole book for my friend! While I was at art college I used to go to charity shops and buy old clothes to customise. And then then was the very unfortunate incident where I cut up my mums favourite skirt because it was made from such nice fabric!

What inspires you?
Ooh all sorts; I have an obsession with flying things at the moment, so I created the hot air balloon design. Often my designs can be so far away from my initial inspiration, for instance I looked into 20s flapper style, which linked into art deco, then deco houses which I then made fly with hundreds of birds (James and the Giant Peach style). This then lead me to create my LOVE card, which shows a big pink heart being held up by birds.

What's the best thing about being a designer?
The best thing about being a designer is the blur between work and play, even visiting a gallery could be classed as research! I work everyday but being a designer is exciting, you are always looking for new inspiration to create new designs and you never know what's around the corner!


Para Manko has come a long way from graduating at LCF.
You'll find her clean line garments on Asos and she has interned with the smaller highly regarded fashion houses of Johnathan Saunders and House of Holland, adding that hands-on industry experience is essential besides creativity.
At both, she experienced various offerings of fashion, from the lead up to the collection to actually being involved in Fashion Week.
Para tells us the best part of being a designer is essentially the excitement of waking up and not knowing what your hands would have created by the end of the day.

Have you always been interested in design?
Yes, from a very young age I have been drawn towards the use of colour in different aspects of design from painting to fashion. I would travel a lot with my family and was always interested in visiting galleries and museums and seeing art from different cultures.

What are you favourite fabrics to work with?
My main focus is on print design, i love creating surface pattern on silks. Colour and feel of the fabric are important to me as i find that is what draws someone into wanting to interact with something hanging on a rail.

Who do you design for?
Anyone who has a genuine feel for what they wear, its not about definitions but more about the personal effect the piece has on the wearer.

As you are well aware, MA graduate Nicole Murray is one to watch, with her recent collection in Harrods and the designer signing with a PR company that morning, we expect her glamorous garments to be must-haves for seasons to come.
Click here to see our interview with the designer, and photographs of the garments from Autumn/Winter 2010 and Spring/Summer 2010.

Emma Ashford creates quirky, desirable reinventions of Britain's favourite neck wear, from slim-line ties to eccentric dickie-bows. Emma uses an eclectic colour palette to make these patterned pieces the perfect addition to any shirt. Her designs are inspired by London's multicultural  scene and historical fashion cults. Fashionstrand loved the embroidered tea pots in different shades of glorious green!

Watch this space as the interview will be coming soon..

Bodhi P

A playful mixture of colours, electric blue being key.

Kaleidoscopic prints on luxury fabrics.

The extravagant bows and candy colours reminded us of the playful designs from Fashion House Mui Mui.

Fabric oragami!

From left to right: Kethi, Joyce and Emma
 J&KE: the designers and organisers of the Collection of Curiousities Pop-Up Shop
 J&KE met at the Cockpit Arts competition, where they chose 10 designers to win the opportunity to create their pieces in a loft space for a year, due to their design talent. During the course of the year the lucky few experience business training to help their business as an artist become animate. “What was nice is the experience wasn’t lonely, but we were all working individually on our own crafts.”
By January they were working tightly together, and they first thought of the idea of opening a Pop-Up shop due to the fact “ I always see these empty shops and we all thought ‘I want one’.”  The space was lent to J&KE by Camden Council, after approaching them for a business proposal for the shop. “We’ve learnt there’s other ways of doing things, without money.”
J&KE offered all the designers in the Pop-up shop advice which they had learnt through Head for Business training. They explained to Fashionstrand that many artists price their work too low due to self-doubt. J&KE offer help to designers who they feel can learn from J&KE’s experience, as after a year of training they feel “we know what we are talking about”.

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