The Pazuki Blog
Pazuki Workshop April 17 2014, 0 Comments
Last Tuesday we were really lucky to have Susie Galbraith hold a brain storming workshop at Pazuki HQ. A mix of people related to the Pazuki brand attended the session, varying from our new work experience girl – Angela (it was only her 2nd day working at Pazuki, talk about being thrown in at the deep end!) - to our SS14/AA14 photographer Stewart Bywater.
The day started with Maisie taking centre stage on the table in front of us all, almost like she was rounding up the troops for the busy morning ahead.
Maisie on the table
After Maisie had got us all fired up we introduced ourselves, saying our names and little about ourselves, showing the group our favourite item of clothing and giving an explanation as to why we loved it so much. We followed this by admitting to a “media secret”, a guilty pleasure that we enjoy on television for example - (we discovered a lot us enjoy some truly awful TV!).
Next we were divided into groups to complete some tasks to help us to recognise Pazuki's customer range by creating our own little make believe people, with make believe lives and back stories – I think we all rather enjoyed creating someone’s life!
All working hard
Camillie presenting to the group
We don’t want to give too much of the workshop away for two reasons...
1. If this all sounds extremely exciting then you should contact Susie yourself and organise a workshop for your brand, (it comes with the Pazuki seal of approval!)
2. We don’t want to spoil what’s to come from Pazuki in the near future.
But here is a little insight to how the rest of the day went -
Sarah presenting her group's ideas to the rest of the room
We finished off the day the only way we know how... With a fantastic feast of course! All that thinking was hungry work :). Pookie cooked us all up some homemade vegetable and chicken soup accompanied by farmer's market cheeses and fresh bread… And let's not forget Pookie's famous homemade houmous… it's to die for!
Pookie's mini photoshoot
Before Stewart headed off he took the opportunity to take a couple of quick (and lovely) shots of Pookie in the sunshine (She's always avoiding the camera during Photoshoots!).
Contact Susie - https://www.linkedin.com/pub/
Lightning visit to Paris October 08 2013, 2 Comments
Astier de Villatte Ceramics
I haven’t been to the fabric show Premiere Vision in Paris for years, as I get Pazuki fabrics specially woven and do all my own prints, but when Camilla Ridley of Milliemanu said, do you want to come for the day? I immediately said yes. We hadn’t had a good chat for ages, so although sleepily getting into the car at 4am, we embarked on an intense chattathon that kept us wide awake from Barnes to Luton and then to the exhibition for a 9am start. First stop is always the forum in Hall 6, where selected fabric swatches from all the manufacturers are grouped in themes. There were large blocks of colour on boards and everyone sat around watching a film. I was encouraged to see many of the inspirational photos were not far from some creative avenues I have been down recently. Amazing how we all tune in to the same stuff.
We popped in to say hello to companies we knew of old, including Bouton Renaud who weave beautiful narrow width jacquard velvet on old looms in Lyon; Johnstons of Elgin from whom Camilla buys tweed and whose cashmere socks I happened to be wearing, (and always am wearing and can’t get enough of as they make your feet feel divine); and lovely to see Jamie, still at Henry Bertrand the London silk supplier. Camilla mainly uses Liberty prints for her childrenswear, so we had a good look at their new designs, as ever beautifully coloured and printed. Although I was an early convert to digital and bought my own printer around 2000, I still love and appreciate the art of screen printing. A new Eastern European supplier for Milliemanu boys’ shirt fabric had the most expertly screen printed geometrics using fine mesh screens. It was a joy to see such high quality fabrics from both these companies.
After a quick wizz around Modamont , that has every zip, button or trim you could possibly wish for, we decided we had got enough ideas and were magnetically pulled to travel down to Paris for a late lunch. “We cannot not go into Paris”, we both wailed. Emerging from the metro at Chatelet we dived into the first appealing brasserie we saw and ate piles of salad. Strolling down the Rue St. Honore we felt quite nostalgic for all the years we both used to show at the accessories show Premiere Classe, in a long tent in the Tuileries gardens. There were some striking shop fronts: Chantal Thomas, Roger et Gallet, Penhaligon and beautiful decorative table-ware store, Astier de Villatte -a shop with décor after my own heart, in its original state with old wallpaper, as if we were back centuries. We trudged around the famous store Colette, totally packed out as it’s one of the destinations for the fashion crowd here for PV, and pawed all the top designer gear.
Back down the metro to St.Paul to meander around the Marais district, we were so tuned in to the trends, we noticed every doorway was painted next season’s Plum, Green, Burgundy, Cobalt and Midnight Blue. Congratulating ourselves on how brilliantly we were doing on 4 hours sleep and how much we had done, we decided dinner at Chez Janou around the corner from Place des Vosges would be nice. Camilla had a large steak and I had moules, then we dashed for the 9.45 plane and just made it, back home at 11pm. What a great day. We’ve decided day trips are the way to go, to have a change of scene and get inspired.
1. Chantal Thomas
2. Roger et Gallet
3. Astier de Vallette
Eclair Shop in Marias
Moules and Steak
Seats on Metro
Jamin Puech bags in Marais
A Weekend Away, from Suffolk to Norfolk September 20 2013, 0 Comments
First stop Aldeburgh...
I find Aldeburgh has been a constant source of inspiration. As soon as I step out of the car, my whole being relaxes. Some sort of simplicity or purity - I can’t put it into words. An unpretentious town, in stark contrast to the busyness and relative trendiness of neighbouring Southwold.
We always head to the Market café for fresh fish or a coffee, sitting outside on the main street people and dog watching.
Next stop is the bookshop - always have to buy something here – this time a large paperback volume of Grayson Perry’s work –as a textile designer I love his stunning use of colour and pattern and am fascinated by his uniquely personal drawings.
Wherever you are in Aldeburgh you’re always incredibly aware of the sea. I was devastated to miss “Grimes on the Beach”, the Benjamin Britten opera recently staged outdoors for his centenary – apparently it was magical. They used the real boats on the beach as part of the set.
I love how huge hollyhocks seem to sprout from every crack in the pavement and along the flint walls and the pastel, ice-cream coloured houses, except please can the person who painted theirs swimming-pool blue have a re-think.
Next morning off to the North Norfolk coast.
We drop our bags at the White Horse pub in Blakeney where I am pleased to see they have cushions and lamp shades from my old friends’ Lush Designs.
From here we go and explore the moonscape marshes at remote Burnham Overy Staithe – swirling flocks of birds and the setting sun glistening on the water and mud. Also a visit to Burnham market, peering through the window of Ruby and Tallulah who stock Pazuki. It’s a stunning village – but it’s had a severe attack of the Farrow and Ball’s and we spotted too many London types wearing Barbours out walking their Labradors.
The next day we visited the windmill at Cley, set by a sea of tall rushes that made a soothing rustling sound in the wind, with the odd cry of a seabird overhead. Beautiful flint walled cottages, how I would love to own one, however small, even a little hut somewhere here.
We had a long walk out to the sea at Holkham Beach in bright sunshine, collecting shells and paddling in the warm sea, empty apart from a few families with buckets and spades. A breath-taking stretch of sand, the wind skimming and swirling the sand, stinging your ankles and looking like dry ice.
Norfolk is wonderfully remote and free of people - simplicity, big skies, space to think. The light is different so therefore the colours look clean and sharp. Can’t wait to go back.
(Please don’t all stampede there and spoil it!)
Helen's Garden September 16 2013, 0 Comments
Helen McConnell left Catford in South East London when the opportunity arose to rent a small flat in a Quaker community in Wells-next-the-Sea, North Norfolk. Her health was deteriorating in the big city.
Here she has created a beautiful garden in peace and quiet – which she uses for her work – carefully pressing flowers and leaves and making them into artwork.
The previous occupant was a sexton, who put a few old gravestones in the path for decoration. They merge beautifully with the flowers and plants, adding mystery, and merge beautifully with the pots and sculpted heads Helen brought with her from South London.
I returned to my pocket handkerchief sized garden in Barnes full of inspiration, even buying a spiral hose like hers that hugely impressed me, but my expertise at gardening has a long way to go before it matches Helen’s.
Where Do You Get Your Inspiration From? September 11 2013, 0 Comments
Pookie's bicycle in the garden
Everywhere…….just looking out of the window at my garden right now, the rusty old bike with a wire shopping basket on the back, leaning up against the apple tree and dandelions growing out of the path.
I’ve always loved juxtapositions and contrasts that are unusual and quirky, coarse against smooth, precious against rough.
I think it all started at college (Camberwell School of Art and Crafts). My favourite print for my degree was of crocodiles whose mouths were tied up with stripy ribbons, I even had a screen made up that was just for printing the crocodile’s teeth, soft against spiky and scaly.
The best inspiration can be found in the most unlikely places; train journeys are mesmerising, all the colours whizzing past, telegraph poles, goods yards, trees, streaks of bright yellow rape seed fields.
My work has developed hugely over the years. I used to painstakingly draw everything and now with the digital revolution everything has speeded up and become more photographic. Anything is possible now - too much in a way - it’s easy to forget the beauty of simplicity. I love the sophisticated aesthetic of Japan - I spent 3 weeks there in the late 80s and it had a huge effect, the subtlety of colour they use and the stylisation of nature.
Travel is very important, even if it’s just getting on the train to Waterloo! It jiggles everything, seeing the unfamiliar.
Pookie in Arizona
Now I take trips deliberately to look for new ideas. The current summer collection was inspired by a trip to Arizona, the extraordinary plants and vast spaces, the Grand Canyon and the open road. Winter 2012 it was Paris, but the un-obvious things, the underbelly of the city, often the seedier side, neon lights in Pigalle, floating bottles and leaves in a fountain, layers of stickers on lamp posts, graffiti.
A weekend in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, was inspiration for another summer collection. As a townie, it was totally not how I imagined the seaside to be. It had a beautiful bleached out simplicity and many unusual, not obviously pretty, things - the beauty of a thorny bush on a pebble beach, peeling paint on the side of a boat.
Sometimes it’s a risk, working in this way. “Occupy” – inspired by the protestors at St. Pauls, their amazing hand painted banners, knitwear, tents and alternative lifestyle - was not a success with UK stores but ended up being my bestseller as it sold really well in Japan, and surprisingly, Belgium.
When I was studying at Camberwell the tutors would go into ecstasy about things like torn posters. I can remember carefully working on my 10 screen fabulous (I thought) print onto pinned out silk and being so happy when a tutor came across to admire my work. “Beautiful”, he said with a look of rapture. He was referring to the places where the print had gone onto the backing cloth over faded out layers of other prints and blobs of dye. I now appreciate what he was showing me.
Pookie's Crocodile Print Camberwell School of Art and Crafts
Pookie on the beach in Aldebrugh, Suffolk
A Weekend in Budapest August 30 2013, 0 Comments
Budapest was grander than I imagined. Tall buildings and wide boulevards, with incredibly elegant street lamps. It seemed to be saying, I’m a very important city. I thought about the past and how opulent it must have been. This city is not somewhere they have held back when it comes to decoration! What’s so beautiful now is its faded worn look and I love the apricot and peach colours they have used on the facades. I was lucky enough to see inside some of the magnificent old apartment buildings which had elaborate curling cast iron bannisters and marble mosaic floors in the foyers.
I do hope it doesn't get too spruced up, a lot of big brands have glossy stores there but they are still side by side with some original shops, some of which I would like to present with the most unappealing shop window display award.
My favourite drink
The old Jewish quarter is now full of bars, clubs and restaurants, some open air with hammocks. Heaving with foreigners there for the weekend, I did get the feeling the city had been colonised. Every time I went past someone I thought looked typically Hungarian I heard them speaking English, Italian or French and was proved wrong.
Thank God they know how to feed people, there are some excellent inexpensive restaurants. Our favourites were The Big Fish, you pick your fish and sea food, they cook it in front of you and serve with salad. The Két Szerecsen bistro is great for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is where I spent time sketching the décor and customers while my boyfriend worked on his film scripts. My favourite drink was their delicious fresh pink grapefruit juice. Another life saver was the Culinaris Deli that had a better tea selection than Waitrose.
On the hottest day of the year (42 degrees) we did a real tourist thing and took an open top bus tour of the city – with bottles of water, headphones and straw hats supplied, Tim looked particularly fetching in one with a polka dot bow, (all the more masculine ones had been taken). The best thing was seeing the amazing view of the vast Danube river and Pest from the top of the hilly Buda side of the city.
Budapest is of course famous for its baths and the biggest one was just up the road from us. A huge complex of pools of different temperatures and treatment rooms surrounded by park, where I was rather alarmed by middle aged men with large stomachs playing table tennis in tight speedos, but, what the hell, it’s their city.
I wouldn't hesitate to go back, so much more still to see, but I would wish for slightly cooler weather.
Too hot and tired to eat!
Art Deco Cinema
A Creative and Inspirational Trip to Barcelona June 05 2013, 0 Comments
Casa Battlo, Barcelona
Why Barcelona? I needed some sun and colour to get inspired for my 2014 Spring/Summer collection. I wanted to go somewhere with a different atmosphere to London or Paris or more northern cities, and I was the only person I know who had never been there so off I went a couple of weeks ago.
In my imagination I thought it would be more modern but it’s quite traditional – so many old buildings and fascinating alleyways, you get a strong sense of history.
Unfortunately we only had two days so decided it was best spent mostly outdoors soaking up the atmosphere, our eyes on stalks looking at every detail, so different from our everyday London life.
The Boqueria Market, Barcelona
The colours are bolder – strong primary colours: in the adverts, the Picassos, flower stalls along the Ramblas, the Boqueria food market with its brightly coloured sweets, fruits, strings of chilli peppers, the giant Miro sculptures. Desiguel stores on almost every corner shouting colour and prints, elegant neoclassical plasterwork allover buildings and even some of the pavements had patterns embossed into them. We had trouble progressing from the metro, there were so many interesting textures, patterns and colours. No surprise I bought some bright red desert boots and some wavy striped Miro shoes!
Too long a queue to go into the Sagrada Familia, we sat in an outdoor café looking at the scaffolding and sculptures of saints at the front and then did a circuit, discovering the melted stonework of the older building at the back. I know Gaudi always intended it to be a work in progress but I rather wish it had been left as it was, I’m not sure about the new editions, but still, what a great idea, an amazing project gifted to future architects and artisans.
Casa Battlo, Barcelona. I loved the coloured glass, organic forms and mosaic
The Casa Battlo was 20 euros entrance fee and crammed with people but it was still worth it. I loved the coloured glass, organic forms and mosaic, though a little bit creepy as inspired by animal bones. Totally bare of furniture now, it seems the family it was built for didn’t quite get it as they filled it with traditional bourgeois pieces.
We met up with an old school friend of mine who had lived there 20 years and now worked as a film soundtrack composer. He appeared outside Café Zurich with his 14 year old son, on scooter and skateboard and took us away from the tourist zone through the maze of backstreets to a great restaurant. We plugged him for insider info on life in Barcelona and caught up on 30 years, reminiscing about boho London in the 70s.
The food delicious and again full of colour – from the deep red of the tomatoes to the silver sardines. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much fishy food in two days. Restraining myself from doing a seafood design!
Back to rainy London too soon but full of ideas.
Miro Sculpture, Barcelona
Clams in Barcelona. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much fishy food in two days. Restraining myself from doing a seafood design!
Chilies, just look at the colours!
Picasso Art in Barcelona
Traditional Wall Patterns in Barcelona
Brightly Coloured Clothes Pegs
Map Reading (Broken Horizon scarf & Tara shirt peeking out bottom of jumper)
The ongoing saga of the Sagrada Familia
Where has my boyfriend gone