Last week London was in the wake of Fashion Week, and to help it get over its hangover- it celebrated some more with London Design Festival! With every venue of interest putting on amazing installations, craft fairs and events, LDF is the perfect time to top up on your Culture. It’s a time to visit your old favourite haunts, where you might enjoy a pompom making workshop alongside your usual order of cocktails. But it’s also a great excuse to visit new places which have been on your hit list for ages but which you’ve never quite made it out to. So, with a long itinerary of places to visit, little sister in tow, we set off…
PHASE ONE: The Islington Design District. Starting at nearby Angel Underground we headed to the holy grail of stationary stores Present and Correct. Here we took advantage of the LETTER RACK, where visitors were invited to build their own letter from start to finish using the most amazing paper goods! Graph papers, circular envelopes, pastel colours, stamps and of course washi tape. So much fun!
Pink map in hand, our next stop on the IDD circuit was I Feel Smug on Camden Passage. It was a dependably tip-top Smug sandwich: Upstairs there was an exhibition of exquisite ceramics and cacti, downstairs the Café Smug and in the middle there was classic Smug, full of wonderful delights! Only in Smug can you get this excited about fluorescent petri dishes and handmade plant pots! Featuring ceramics by Lenneke Wispelwey and Geo Fleur and group show
P L A N T P O T upstairs all felt like a riot of glazed miniature sculptures. Wafting up from Café Smug was the scent of glorious Ozone coffee, and being sold in especially designed Design Fest packaging by none other than Smug Mother Lizzie Evans herself.
Next stop on our trail: Aria which featured a joyful Camille Walala takeover. Possibly London’s current favourite street artist, Camille is cheering up London one building at a time and this window installation was everything I knew it would be. A Walala sitting room, complete with adorned cigarettes and ashtray, nothing had escaped her patterns. This was also a chance to check out Walala’s homewares in person, which –amongst many other lovely things- could be found inside.
After refueling at nearby Wahaca (fish tacos!) we hopped on the Underground and resurfaced at Old Street Station for PHASE 2.
5 minutes later we are in what is possibly the most famous Walala building; Splice HQ. Displaying a small but perfectly formed table of art goodness in their lobby, surrounded by more Walala on the walls, as we learn that the resident artist decorates the entire inside of the building too! Next we went to something that wasn’t on the Shoreditch Design Triangle trail but nonetheless whet our appetites: A shoe sample sale at The White Pepper HQ. Yes, you read me right. Apparently this is a monthly thing and it’s a great chance to try things for size and grab some serious bargains!
Then it was on to our THIRD and final PHASE; Sketch. I must admit, the fact that this venue was on the Design trail and had some amazing furniture exhibited was scarcely the reason for putting it on the agenda. The fact that it’s filled with art and cakes might have had more to do with it, lets be honest. Rose velvet rooms, jungle deco rooms, space age bathrooms, filled with cake and cocktails! It was heavenly, but made even more so that by the fact that we were utterly spent by this point. A great ending to a great day sightseeing around Town!
COMING SOON – my Day 2 of LDF!