Liberty London Liberty London

Posts Tagged ‘upcycling’

“Blink” Events: Fix Up and more!

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

Huge apologies that we have been a bit absent on the Blink London blog for the past week. We did leave you with a stunning #MusicMonday from Lionbabe to keep you entertained in the meantime though, as well as lots of pretty Instagram pictures, tweets and FB updates. It’s just been a particularly hectic time here at Blink Towers.

Today’s post is to get you in the loop of what we have been up to as well as giving ourselves a right big pat on the back for all that’s been achieved by the team in a very short amount of time.

Fix Up Look Sharp in aid of CLIC Sargent, cancer charity, supporting childern with cancer, upcycling fashion, sustainable fashion

Fix Up Look Sharp in aid of CLIC Sargent

So first off, last week we spent the day working with CLIC Sargent’s Fix Up Look Sharp team. We first met these guys at the official launch event for this brilliant upcycling fashion venture and were blown away by their commitment, resourcefulness and creativity. We were delighted to have the opportunity to work with them and support their efforts to raise more money for the CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, and their families. CLIC Sargent provide much needed clinical, practical, financial and emotional support.

Ruth, the creative driving force behind the Fix Up Look Sharp label, sustainable fashion, fashion designer, upcycled fashion, CLIC Sargent, childrens cancer charity

Ruth, the creative driving force behind the Fix Up Look Sharp label

The Fix Up team, most of them voluntary, spent the day with us last week so that we could work with them on how they could further spread the word about their fabulous upcycled, sustainable fashion collection to a wider audience through blogging and social media. I can’t wait to see the results. Guys, I will be checking up on you!

Blink London's 'Intro to Blogging and Social Media' workshop, learn about blogging, social media, London based blogging class, fashion blogging, lifestyle blogging, beauty blogging

Blink London’s ‘Intro to Blogging and Social Media’ workshop

Actually this proved a great practice run for our ‘Intro to Blogging and Social Media’ workshop that we are running for the first time this year from tonight. We’ll be at Parlour Kensal Green for our sold out session so there has been lots of prep to do to make sure this runs perfectly. You can read more about it here. We still have spaces on our May 5th and 6th session so email us if you’d like to come along.

I’m also giving at talk about social media at the rather fabulous Electric House, so if you are a member please do come along and listen. It’s only an hour so you can all feel empathetic workshop attendees who are with me 7 hours!

Know your @ from your #, my talk at Electric House

Know your @ from your #, my talk at Electric House

On top of all of this we have also been overhauling our reporting service. As the fashion world is becoming more globalised, and there is more and more free information available on the interweb, the fashion industry’s support services, like Blink London, have had to redirect their efforts and find new ways to work with clients.

'Blink Instants', Blink London's brand new monthly publication, fashion forecasting, fashion inspiration, gashion news, British fashion,

‘Blink Instants’, Blink London’s brand new monthly publication

Blink Instants is a brand new approach for us, moving away from simply retail reporting and in to something that is far more unique, exciting and diverse. This has been created with the fashion womenswear market in mind but the diversity of content means that this could be a wonderful tool for any creative industry or service (interior design, product design, visual merchandising teams etc).

We are planning this report will only be available as a soft copy to capitalize on the nimble, swift and ‘instant’ way we work as a small boutique-style service. We are keeping everything crossed as this is a big change for us. As soon as we have more to share with you we will be updating our The Reports page so keep an eye out for that.

So I hope that you’ll forgive us for leaving you hanging, but we will be resuming your usual fabulous service on the blog very, very soon!

“Blink” Inspiration: Pet Lamps in Merci

Friday, October 18th, 2013
PET lamps, Merci

PET lamps, Merci

When I spotted these in Merci I was charmed by the grouped display, the kind of handmade wonkyness, the colour and pattern. Then I saw the sign explaining that these were called ‘PET lamps’. Ah, sweet I thought, lamps that are pets. I’m not sure what that means to have a lamp as a pet, but somewhere in that name there had to be a cute and heartfelt sentiment.

So, I read further and discovered what a soft-hearted fool I am. The name is not actually ‘pet’ but ‘PET’, as in polyethylene terephthalate, as in plastic bottles. These lovely, crafty looking lamp shades have been made in Columbia, by recycling and re-purposing waste bottles and blending them with the local artisanal tradition of weaving. The cap and neck of the bottle join the shade to the electrical elements of the light fitting, and then the body of the bottle is incorporated into the weave.

The genius idea for this project was born in 2011, when Spanish industrial designer, Alvaro Catalán de Ocon, attended a workshop on environmental liability in Colombia. From an interview with the designer shown alongside the product in Merci, he explains:

“… we looked to fuse one of the most produced industrial objects with one of the traditional crafts most rooted to the earth.”

We think that the results are beautiful, and show that creative problem solving is critical in resolving the issues around sustainability and ecology. It also really perfectly reflects the desire to celebrate heritage and tradition in fresh and relevant ways, as I’m always banding on about in my trend seminars!

For more on lifestyle, just take a look here. If you’d like to see more from our travels, take a look here.

“Blink” London Fashion Week: Introducing Liora Lassalle

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

I am a huge advocate of working sustainably and ethically, and with that in mind, I am always excited to see what’s happening in the Estethica section of the LFW exhibition. Honestly, it’s not always the treat that it should be. To me, I feel like I see lots of collections aesthetically driven by their decision to create an ethical and sustainable label, rather than their collection’s handwriting being driven forward by their creativity and fashion vision, and then translated in an ethical and sustainable way. It’s kind of like the tail wagging the dog; it’s just the wrong way round. People buy fashion because they like the way it looks, how it reflects their character and attitude, and I would suggest that the ethics come second in the decision. Even if a shopper is committed to only buying ethically, they will be making their selection from that pool of brands based on the aesthetic that resonates with them, not by who has created the most highly sustainable and ethical collection.

Right, with that all out of the way, let me introduce you to Liora Lassalle, who we discovered in the Estethica section of the LFW exhibition, and who, for us, has created a label that brilliantly responds to our fashion desires and also fulfills an ethical and sustainable brief. Perfection!

Lassalle recently graduated from Central St Martins, and has already made great headway establishing herself on the British fashion scene. In her SS’14 collection, Lassalle up-cycles denim in to super cool, fresh and exciting shapes, detailed with leather trims and coordinated with printed hemp and silk blend pieces. The collection feels youthful, energetic and exciting. Lassalle herself, in our brief chat, seems to be very clear in what she is aiming to achieve and committed to her ethical approach. We expect to be seeing more and more of this talented young designer.

Liora Lassalle's SS'14 collection at London Fashion Week

Liora Lassalle's SS'14 collection at London Fashion Week

Liora Lassalle's SS'14 collection at London Fashion Week

Liora Lassalle's SS'14 collection at London Fashion Week

Liora Lassalle's SS'14 collection at London Fashion Week

Liora Lassalle's SS'14 collection at London Fashion Week

Liora Lassalle's SS'14 collection at London Fashion Week

Liora Lassalle's SS'14 collection at London Fashion Week

For more news on new designers, just click here. For mroe from London Fashion Week, have a look here.

London Fashion Week: Estethica Review

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

We are always excited to spend time in the Estethica section at London Fashion Week‘s Somerset House based exhibition. This season there was a great buzz as the great and the good of the international fashion pack attended the champagne brunch for the official launch of this season’s Monsoon sponsored selection of brands. To become part of the Estethica family, brands must be working with Fairtrade, organic and/or recycled and upcycled materials. Its an amazing opportunity for the best ethical fashion businesses to be showcased at the heart of London Fashion Week. Here we feature some of the brands that we particularly loved this season.

Estethica at London Fashion Week

Goodone is a contemporary womenswear brand with a distinctly London feel. Using pre and post consumer materials alongside new British textiles, all manufactured in the UK, they create a really energetic feel to the collection that features colour blocking and artfully mixed textures. Body con shapes offset oversized silhouettes. Bold brights interplay with softer neutrals. Thanks to the founder and creative director, Nin, who talked us through the AW’11 offer.

Goodone, worn well by the founder, Nin Castle

Partimi‘s AW’11 collection of poetic prints on soft and subtle silhouettes is a continuation from the theme of her first collection for SS’11 called ‘Dieu Bleu’. The Autumn collection is called ‘Garden’ and draws inspiration from childhood memories and lush winter gardens. Striking prints sit with sustainably sourced organic wool, silk and linen to create a soft and subtle yet luxurious offer. Thanks to Eleanor, the founder and designer of this label, for spending some time to talk us through the range. Do also check out Partimi’s stunning video showcasing the new collection.

Eleanor of Partimi with the AW'11 collection

Next to Partimi at Estethica, was Joanna Cave‘s collection of stunning jewellery. Joanna and Eleanor have been working together to accessorize the Partimi collection to great effect. Joanna’s collection of recycled silver and ethically sourced farmed pearls is produced in Athens where Joanna’s aim is to support an ancient, yet sadly dying tradition of expert jewellery making. The AW’11 collection is inspired by the delicateness of ballet, balanced with a strong Art Nouveau aesthetic which is particularly visible in the amazing headpieces.

Joanna Cave and her collection at Estethica

Joanna Cave's collection at Estethica

We also love the jewellery collection of Little Glass Clementine, the creation of Clementine James. We spotted her work first of all as part of Selfridges ‘Bright Young Things’. The AW’11 collection, titled ‘Beautifully Dismantled’ showcases a range of pieces that come with the unique history attached to the collection of found objects that are merged to create small pieces of accessories art. James takes what she calls “broken treasure” and gives them a new life in combination with carefully selected recycled materials including memorial china and discarded love notes.

Clementine James with the Little Glass Clementine collection

Lu Flux has developed her unique and wonderfully playful handwriting in a new direction for AW’11, channeling a sea style theme with her ‘Sea and be Seen’ collection. The Lu Flux collections are handmade in the UK, principally from carefully sourced vintage fabrics. The Autumn offer brings gorgeous tweeds, rich velvets and chunky wools into the mix with artfully sketchy embroideries of fantastical sea creatures. We particularly love the almost architectural shift dress with the clam inspired hemline!

Lu Flux with her collection at Estethica

Finally we have Michelle Lowe-Holder who’s AW’11 collection is a brilliant extension of her origami style, intricately folded accessories collection. This season plaids and prints layer into the collection, along with flashes of metallic foiled sections. The range is created from hand cut or crocheted pieces interlaced with off-cuts of previous collections, end of line ribbons and cuttings sourced from local factories. An additional layer of texture and colour is introduced with bold and bright flocking which has been applied to charity shop finds as well as pieces designed and created specifically by Lowe-Holder.

Michelle Lowe-Holder at London Fashion Week's Estethica exhibition

For more on London Fashion Week, just click here. Enjoy!

Blink Events- Vintroville

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

At the end of May, “Blink” was very cordially invited to the opening of the new Vintroville store on Hackney Road.

Vintroville is all about carefully selected vintage clothes chosen by the two owners, Meryl Fernandes and Laura McAlpine, combined with a few one-off pieces by a handful young designers who upcycle and rework vintage.  We particularly liked the lovely embroidered vintage knitwear from LauraLaura. The selection includes glamorous dresses, classic blouses, cool jackets, accessories as well as some menswear, and all of the vintage is cleaned and pressed to sweet smelling perfection before being sold. Something many musty and dusty vintage boutiques should take note of! The stores handwriting, across both the vintage and reworked items, is delicate and quite feminine (in a cool Shoreditch way…), and feels really well edited.

This delightful little treasure trove of a shop is located at 205 Hackney Road, next to Columbia Road and a two minute walk away from Shoreditch High Street.

Thanks for the invite ladies, and we’ll be back to do some more shopping very soon! Thanks also to Asta for pulling this post together.

Meryl and Laura, outside Vintroville

LauraLaura knitwear



Blink Inspiration- Upcycling with the Skip Sisters

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Here we have another guest post, this time it’s thanks to our brilliant “Blink” contributer, Amy Becker Burnett:

Make do and mend is well on trend for 2010, and that makes the Skip Sisters ahead of the curve. Six creatively energetic South London based artists formed this design group three years ago and have been lovingly restoring, recycling and re-creating from unwanted things ever since. Ranging from  cuff links made from old stamps and tiny toys, handbags made from vintage underwear and cushion covers embellished with antique medals and broach’s, their work has kitsch, quirky and retro feel. It’s quaint without being twee.

A Skip Sister’s exhibition is a treasure trove of vintage dresses, unique home wear and contemporary art pieces. You’ll find anything from clocks made from 70’s vinyls to abstract paintings in sardine tins and beautiful felt bird sculptures with kitchen fork claws and grater tails. In such a throw-away society, excessive production and increased availability of cheap products means we’ve lost incentive to repair or recycle. As designers and makers, this fashion forward six-some are spot on with their waste not want not approach to ‘upcycling’, art, fashion and interiors…

Check out the girls at