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Girl on Kingsland Road

Buying the Guardian on a Saturday is sometimes as close as I get to all the major exhibitions I want to see in London. But this weekend I am making the effort to go to the National Portrait Gallery where my amazingly talented friend Ashley has her very own image in the annual Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition. Pretty amazing really. Her image, ‘Girl on Kingsland Road’ feels beautifully spontaneous yet at the same time manages to capture that sense of ‘mutual awareness’ between subject and photographer where an ‘understood’ pose is representative of a socially visual generation. Never without her camera, friends, myself included, are well accustomed to being snapped at on random outings and finding ourselves on her blog. Always beautifully executed though Ashley is like the Polaroid camera, she has that unique eye and talent to make everything just look beautiful! Cool Hunting recently interviewed her, but make sure you pop to the NPG Gallery before February 14th to see not only Ashley’s entry but the other entrants and winners of this year’s competition.

Filed under: ashley jordan gordon, cool hunting, girl on kingsland road, national portrait gallery, taylor wessing photographic portrait prize

Foale & Tuffin: Made in England

Sixties- a decade of optimism and hope, bright colours and refreshing modernity. No surprise really then that London is currently hosting two major exhibitions that look back to this era in a time when our present decade is in much need of all of the above. The National Portrait Gallery has gone with Beatles to Bowie as well as photographic display of the cultural icon herself, Twiggy. Meanwhile, opening today, the Fashion & Textile museum presents Foale & Tuffin: Made in England. We popped along yesterday to the press view where the adorably cute Marion Foale and Sally Tuffin were there themselves, sporting matching glasses and some great checked trousers- not quite the picture of Ian R. Webb’s description of “…cocky, feisty, bolshy…” but adorable nonetheless.

The intimate space has been curated around the theme of ‘recreation’ for a personal, nostalgic image that recreates their boutique, showroom and design studio.

The humble execution fits well with the equally ‘rags to riches’ style story that accompanies these two women who set off on a trailblazing career with just 200 pounds in their pockets!
Having met at Walthamstow Art School in 1955, the pair went on to study at the RCA before embarking on their own business venture that led them to their own boutique just off Carnaby Street and a credible amount of fans including Manolo Blahnik, Paul Smith (who’s supporting the exhibition), Mary Quant, Jean Shrimpton, Barbara Hulanicki and Terrance Conran.

The success of their label was propelled by their appearance in Vogue magazine. Old covers line the walls with much of the imagery showcasing the early works of photographer David Bailey.

A sixties soundtrack on repeat keeps you rooted in the decade, the clothes and imagery taking you back to the days of miniskirts, A-line dresses and bob-cut hairstyles. We cannot help notice though how many of the pieces would fit perfectly into Topshop right now. Our favourite was the Domino print dress (print designed by Zandra Rhodes):

An amazing belt…

Crazy print trousers!

Foale & Tuffin: Made in England runs from now until February 24th.

Filed under: beatles to bowie, david bailey, fashion and textile museum, foale and Tuffin, marion foale, national portrait gallery, paul smith, sally tuffin, sixties exhibitions, Topshop, twiggy