January 5, 2011

A little while ago, my friend Nyla Free wrote a post about cultural influences, and if or how they were reflected in your personal style. I have been thinking about that post for awhile as I had a very visceral response to the question.

My parents emigrated to Canada from England 3 years before I was born. They left both of their families, and embarked on a new adventure together. Growing up, we were surrounded by lots of other families that were the same. My parents friends were from all over the UK, and I have many fond memories of those gatherings. We also had the opportunity to travel overseas a couple of times, and it always had a sense of going home. And as a kid growing up in Saskatoon, I really held onto my British heritage as something to set me apart from the rest of the homogeny. While the rest of Canada can cite it's multiculturalism, Saskatoon sure wasn't a shining example at the time.

So in honour of my British roots, I have pulled together some of my favourite UK artists and designers, and I thought I would share them with you over the next couple of weeks. I will start with Becky Oldfield from Lost and Found Design.

To quote the website: "Lost and Found Design marries the traditional with the contemporary to create an original yet evocative range of stylish interior products."

Becky gathers vintage textiles, trims, military memorabilia, and other items of iconic imagery, and repurposes them to create fantastic new pieces. Her work has this wonderful sense of historical whimsy. Pieces are manipulated into new purposes, whether it's flags reconfigured into pillows, quilts, or lampshades, or her lightboxes made of old bus blinds. Her work preceded and heavily influenced the popularity of both these items in recent years.

See more of Becky's work on her website.

image credits: union jack, remaining images from Lost and Found.


Fiona Cartolina said...

That's an interesting and familiar story. We left Scotland in the early 80s. I was 18. My dad got transferred to Calgary. It was a total (lack of) culture shock for me. But because I wanted to fit in I gave up most of my British accent and habits pretty quickly. Thanks for these great links I really enjoyed them. Perhaps we will meet some time. Will you be going to ICFF in NY this year?

Jacqueline Corea said...

I had no idea that this trend could be attributed to Lost and Found. The English have always been known for their style setting interiors (think Chippendale, English Country, Kelly Hoppen...) and this new take on British style is very modern and cool. I'm looking forward to more posts on this series. Great job!

Darrell Morrison said...

Nice of you to share some of your heritage, I look forward to the future posts. Lost and Found does an amazing job with the textiles pulling together the old with the new.

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