Sculpture in the Home // Pangolin London

On Friday Amy and I went to the preview of Sculpture in the Home courtesy of The Guardian.

It’s a dynamic exhibition celebrating not only beautiful British sculptures but also interior design by Amelia Mcneil, textiles and architecture. We were lucky enough to have a talk by the curator Polly Bielecka, where she told us how the exhibition had been given a modern makeover from its original post war state. It was amazing to hear all the ‘behind the scenes’ details. When you initially walk into the exhibition the first thing that hits you is its harmonious appearance, with each different medium of artwork complimenting the next. Listening to Polly delve into the secrets of curating really puts things into perspective especially with regards to just how much thought goes into creating such unity, giving a whole new level to the exhibition experience.

So if you can get yourself down to Pangolin London, you won’t be disappointed. The exhibition features works from Barbara Hepworth, Sanderson, Robert Day, Geoffrey Clarke and many more. And if you can’t, well here’s a few pics…

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Fashitecture // Contemporary North Yorkshire Exhibition, Harrogate

Wow isn’t Harrogate posh?! You can really tell the wealth of a place by the pavement. No offence to my beloved University city – Liverpool, but it had pot holes and unadopted roads aplenty, worlds apart from Harrogate’s smooth (as GHD straightened hair) paving, it really was a lovely place.

I was in Harrogate to see the Contemporary North Yorkshire exhibition held by North Yorkshire Society of Architects at St Peter’s Church Gallery.The church was fantastic, a brilliant choice to hold an event which is celebrating current designs, a complimentary fusion of past and present. The exhibition photos also showed a selection of new additions to old buildings.

Let’s see what outfit fusions the Architects were wearing…

Ruth and Rachel

Ruth and Rachel

Ruth Donnelly (Doma Architects) is championing the bootcut jeans which are a really great cut, brilliant too if you’re sick of skinny jeans. Her waterfall leather jacket is from Sydney and her zebra print scarf is from Primark. Her favourite Architect is Sverre Fehn and her favourite clothing brand is Label Lab (HOF). You might recognise Rachel from the launch, she’s got her favourite M&S on again and some beautiful pearl earrings from Leeds market.

Emma Smetham

Emma Smetham

Emma teaches interior design and architecture at both Harrogate college and the HSAD. She’s gone for what I would describe as the Saint Ives’ look, I can just imagine her walking along the beach in this outfit from East and Gap.

Elizabeth Motley

Elizabeth Motley

This is Elizabeth from Integreat Plus or as I call her…mum. She’s pretty much head to toe in her favourite brand NOA NOA, apart from the bracelet which was a gift from New Zealand. I asked what she thought the parallels were between fashion and architecture:

“I believe both are equally meaningful and influential in respect to society and culture.  Fashion appears to change more quickly and whimsically but in many cases both industries reflect what is happening politically, culturally and economically at that time.  Fashion is probably more experimental in both design, materiality and colour – however, if you don’t wear something because it is unwearable then no-one is really harmed – a building which fails technically is another matter. Fashion can be created faster and thrown away faster.  Both architecture and fashion appear to follow cycles where ‘eras’ become repeated but re-interpreted – such as the Victorian neo classicism.  Both can be designed bespoke or ‘off the peg’.   Both require a real understanding of construction in 3D.”

Diane Pitchford

I noticed Diane’s shoes (The Shoe Tree) the minute she stepped in the door, they’re just fantastic! The shape is similar to the Victorian style but the vibrancy of the colours bring them right up to modern day.

Graham Boyce

Graham Boyce

I couldn’t have picked a better outfit myself, Graham (Seven Architecture) has nailed the ever challenging ‘smart-trendy‘ look with ease, combining Reiss trousers and Cos grandad collar shirt. His jacket is from China. I think his minimalist, sophisticated clothing style is also echoed in his favourite choice of Architect: John Pawson. He would also like to point out that he got his Belham Ross watch before it got popular. 

James Mate

James Mate

Last but by no means least, meet James Mate (Wildblood Macdonald & Vice Chair of NYSA). He’s wearing a jacket from Next, I love the elbow patch details! His jumper is from Spain, his shirt is Paul Smith,which is his favourite fashion brand. He looks effortlessly stylish mixing designer with high street. James’ favourite building in Yorkshire is the Whitby visitor centre. He finishes the look off with the most wanted accessory of the moment: the clipboard.

Fashitecture // The Lego Challenge

Saturday morning I headed to the Lego store in Meadowhall to take part in the Lego challenge as part the Love Architecture festival.

The challenge: to build Nelson’s column out of Lego, the Architect went first and then it was our turn beat their time. Think it sounds easy…well it wasn’t, they set the precedent at 1 min 16 secs, I came nowhere close at 1 min 57 seconds…

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Top: Zara

Luckily Architects Emily, Adam (Integreat Plus), Dan (Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson www.hcd.co.uk) and Martin (MAD Architects LLP) were on hand to help out…otherwise my time would have definitely been a lot worse!

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Photo by Martin Rix of MAD Architects LLP

Photo by Martin Rix of MAD Architects LLP

The event was a great success, children (and parents) were queueing to take part (and then re-queueing to try and beat their previous times). The lucky winner would get to take home the leaning tower of Pisa from the Lego Architecture range. I think it’s a great way to encourage and recruit the future designers, architects and engineers of the future.

I spoke to Phil Armstrong who was at the store with his two boys Miles and Lloyd.

Shirt: TM Lewin

Shirt: TM Lewin

Phil is a huge fan of Lego, two nights a week he encourages his children’s creativity by constructing buildings out of Lego. Teaching them that if they use the power of their imaginations they can create reality, in the form of physical Lego structures. Phil leads by example, he assembles a Lego building and then the boys recreate it. Infact they are halfway through building an entire city of of Lego, with a Lego replica of their real house in the centre of it all!

This is Wayne from the Lego store attempting to beat the Architect..I was more interested in his Lego watch though!

Photo by Martin Rix of MAD Architects LLP

Photo by Martin Rix of MAD Architects LLP

One thing I did notice is that the youth of today are definitely a lot more fashionable than back it my day. My 10 year old self in my casper leggings and Reebok hoodie would have been very embarrassed standing next to the stylish Sophie Pearman in her denim skater dress with lace detail and her on trend flower headband, even my 24 year old self had style envy!

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(Please note all photo’s were taken with parents consent and signed consent forms)

Fashitecture // The Festival Launch, York // Part two

The Nest, situated in Sheffield, is an interior store brimming with quality, individuality and most importantly great contemporary design. Therefore it seems only fitting that they should sponsor the launch of Love Architecture Festival. The Nest sources and provides original designs and products from all over the world, they do the hard work for us.  We just have to visit their website and that beautiful Poltrona Frau chair which started it life in Italy will end up in our humble Yorkshire living rooms.

The staff were equally as stylish…

Tom & Ashlee

Tom & Ashlee

006The Nest is big on those all important details and finishing touches. It seems Tom is too, as he revealed that the tie pin is what he loves most about his Next shirt. Ashlee is wearing a beautiful vintage dress, a hand me down from her sister,Toni, who also works for The Nest. 

Toni and Chris

Toni and Chris

009I loved Toni’s 70’s vintage dress (ASOS Marketplace) and necklace from Made.co.uk, her hairstyle was the perfect accessory to the look. Toni’s career at The Nest started as a Saturday job but Christian Hawley must have great eye for talent as well as furniture, as she has now become the marketing and communications manager for the brand. Chris from the warehouse department, was dressed head to toe in Zara. Not simply because it’s a great brand but because he use to work for them and as anyone who’s worked in retail knows, the staff discount is a great perk! I thought Chris’ transportation from fashion to interior design shows the similarities and transferable aspects of both disciplines. These careers both demand an ability to visualise and create.

Unleash your inner child with tomorrows blog post on the ‘beat the Architect’ Lego challenge…

Fashitecture // The Festival Launch, York // Part 1

On Friday I travelled to the beautiful city of York to attend the Love Architecture festival launch at the City Screen cinema. The beautiful building designed by Panter Hudspith Architects, with its large window overlooking the river was flooded with sunshine, it was a picture perfect summer evening.

I have to admit that as this was my first time event blogging I was slightly apprehensive, I soon learned I had nothing to be nervous about though as everyone was more than willing to pose for photos and answer my questions. (Thanks everyone!)

Not everyone was an architect, I met councillors, artists, engineers, economists. People came from all over Yorkshire with one common cause: celebrating great design.

Now it’s my turn to celebrate their style…

(From left to right) Emma, Rachel & Cathy

(From left to right) Emma, Rachel & Cathy

Emma wears a beautifully tailored Jaeger dinner jacket, Mango top and a bracelet from one of my absolute favourite jewellery shops Collard Manson. Rachel channels the ethnic look with her vibrant top from M&S perfect for the sunny day that it was. While Cathy wears one of this seasons key trends: the smock and it’s not just any smock it’s vintage Chloe.

Emma – favourite building – Nottingham Contemporary (Caruso St John) or anything concrete.

Colin Briggs, Chartered Architect

Colin Briggs, Chartered Architect

Colin doesn’t put a blue foot wrong in this outfit, a Burton cardigan, blue vintage shirt and ochre trousers from Australia (General Pants Company). He draws his architectural influences from the senior architects in the practices he’s worked in. He enjoys challenging himself by imagining how he would improve the new buildings he sees around him.

Helen & Robin

Helen & Robin

Helen (Bloom Arts Management) and Robin (Architect at Bramhall Blenkharn) look like they’ve walked straight out of the stylish set of Mad Men. Helen’s dress draws attention to her narrow waist, resulting in that famous 1950’s alluring hourglass shape. She finishes the look perfectly with red lips and white stilettos. While Robin goes for a steel grey 2 piece with matching shoes and belt.

Favourite places in Yorkshire- Yorkshire Sculpture Park (they love the combination of the modern artwork against the natural landscape.) – Castle Howard (for it’s interiors and of course the peacocks!)

Mark Skeels

Mark Skeels, Project Architect

Mark‘s Portobello road market satchel is both stylish and functional. He said it was looking a bit worn but I think that only enhances the vintage feel of it. His shirt is from River Island, blue shirts seem to be very popular amongst male Architects, his watch is Timex. 

Favourite buildings in Yorkshire – Hepworth Gallery & Broadcasting Place (Leeds).

(From left to right) Tracey, Lucy & Sarah

(From left to right) Tracey, Lucy & Sarah

Tracey (Deputy leader of York City Council) wears an a-line skater dress from New Look and earrings from Sweden. Lucy (YAA) wears a French Connection ombre shift with leggings. Sarah, an Architect from Whitby, looks great in this Holly Willoughby tea dress.

Charlotte Harrison & Helen Whittiker

Charlotte Harrison &                 Helen Whittaker

Charlotte’s a ray of sunshine in this Sarah Coggles dress, Helen’s nautical jacket is from M&S. Helen works in stain glass (http://www.helenwhittakerart.com/) an interesting and unusual career, it was really motivating for a recent graduate like myself to learn of her career journey. Her historical influences also show in her favourite building which is the Norman church of St. Michael’s in Garton on the Wolds.  

Tomorrow’s blog will be all about the sponsors of the event The Nest, featuring some great vintage outfits so don’t miss out!

Ask Estelle…

Just a short one today, I’m very busy fussing over what to wear tomorrow night whilst simultaneously planning some provoking questions to pose to the architects. Which brings me on nicely to a new page I have set up on my blog called ‘Ask Estelle’ (you’ll find it on the homepage – next to the Style Gallery tab). It’s a chance for you to put your style dilemmas to me and for me to solve them…I love a challenge! I also thought this would fit in nicely with Love Architecture Festival– any questions you want to know about Architects or architecture then let me know and I’ll find someone with the answer…

So go on, what are you waiting for?…

An introduction to Fashitecture

Love Architecture festival is designed to show what architecture is, does, and also the effect it has on our everyday lives. Through educational, interactive and fun activities such as constructing iconic buildings out of Lego (!)..sorry I’m getting all excited and digressing. The festival emphasises the importance of this long standing profession and shows just how important it is to each and everyone of us.

As a classics grad, I know that long after the people have gone it’s the items that are left in which we define the civilisations that came before. The built environment is possibly the most lasting and real impression we have. We judge them on the buildings they designed, the city landscapes they produced- it’s no coincidence that the most talked about societies are those with the most impressive architectural array. Think of the Egyptians and what pops into your head…yep the pyramids. What about the Victorians, or the Georgians, or the Ancient Greeks and Romans?

Current government policies and initiatives are not encouraging real investment in the built environment, or insisting that the contribution and quality of today is as meaningful as the past.  This would be a great shame to our heritage, for years to come, and for our future legacy.  If you want to see the architects of the future, go and have a look at the graduation shows at the schools of architecture – most of them are on show just now.

As Love Architecture week is all about reaching out to people, I have decided to use this opportunity to bring architecture and fashion together. Being the daughter of an architect and an urbanist I was born with a love for good design. I have often thought there was a strong connection between fashion and architecture and wondered how these ‘masters of design’ design themselves through the clothes they wear. These next few Fashitecture posts will answer such questions and more.

I am starting at the opening event in York this friday…now what do I wear?!

(For events in your area click on the Love architecture icon on the right of the home page)

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Emma England (regional director for the RIBA Yorkshire) for her help and support with this.