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Tag Archives: London Design Festival

Tormented Textiles Podcast with Freddie Robins + Martina Margetts

8 October 2018

As you may know, this year is the fifteenth birthday of my brand, and we celebrated last month with a pop-up shop as part of Shoreditch Design Triangle, where we set ourselves the challenge of hosting fifteen events (I think we made it?!).

One of the main events was a Tormented Textiles panel discussion, where I was joined by textile artist Freddie Robins and contemporary craft expert Martina Margetts for a panel discussion on the trials and tribulations of living a creative life. As Martina pointed out at the start of the talk, we’re all connected by the Royal College of Art – both Freddie and Martina have taught there, and it’s where I studied for my MA in Mixed Media Textiles, which brought about the start of my career.

As artists and designers working with textiles, Freddie and I have had quite different, contrasting careers. Whilst I’ve spent the last fifteen years building a commercial brand, Freddie is an internationally renowned textile artist, educator, researcher and writer, whose work challenges the idea of knitting as craft. As one of my tutors at the Royal College of Art, and she gave me the confidence to approach the very first store to stock my Donna Dolls, Couverture and the Garbstore in West London – without Freddie’s encouragement, I would have probably been too shy! She’s continued to be an inspiration throughout my career, so I was thrilled that she could join me to reflect upon the last fifteen years.

As the editor of the Craft Council’s Crafts magazine for nine years and postgraduate teacher at the Royal College of Arts, critic and theorist Martina Margetts did an amazing job of leading the discussion, asking lots of thought-provoking, challenging questions.

What draws us all together – and what I hope comes through in our discussion – is our passion for crafts and making.

Here are a few soundbites starters, and you can listen to the full conversation and Q&A session on Soundcloud via the link below – special thanks to Alice Williams for the audio recording for this podcast, and also for my How to Start a Creative Business podcast with Yiying Wang of Noodoll.

There’s an issue of textile art not being valued as highly. We had a really big tapestry on display in the window [of the pop-up shop]. When the artist told me it was worth around £2,000, I thought ‘wow, that’s quite a lot of money’ – but if it were painting, no one would blink an eye. I think if people see how something’s made, and they see the time it takes to make it, they might have more respect for the value that’s put on it. – Donna Wilson

I don’t think there was anyone in Crafts Magazine’s Power List who worked specifically in textiles. The people at the top of the list, who were seen to be the most powerful, were writers – or if they were makers, they were makers who wrote and were very well published, like Edmund de Waal, or makers who make in hard materials. That tells me that textiles is still not received or heard as well as it should be. For me, that was a bit of a wake-up call. – Freddie Robins

The game is being raised all the time, from our release from a sense of automatic understanding of everydayness – because textile is textile – into a really carefully inflected appraisal of what textile is offering us. Even though we’ve got Grayson Perry and Tracey Emin, both heavily engaged in textile, we’re still not quite there yet. – Martina Margetts

I should also mention that Freddie collaborated with me on a gorgeous pair of gloves for my new Autumn Winter collection – the All the Time Gloves – and as a special treat, you can use the code TICKTOCK20 for 20% off via my online shop.

Donna x

Donna Wilson - All The Time Gloves - Caspian

All the Time Gloves - Appear Here

How to Start a Creative Business – Donna Wilson + Noodoll

3 October 2018

Thank you to everyone who joined us at our Shoreditch Design Triangle Pop-up shop last month to celebrate our 15th birthday – it was so great to meet so many of you!

One of my highlights was a session on ‘How To Start a Creative Business’ with my friend Yiying Wang, the creator of Noodoll. I met Yiying when I was studying at the Royal College of Art, and we’ve since worked together a few times, so it was really great to look back over the last fifteen years and reflect on how both of our businesses have developed and grown.

We had a full house, but for those of you who couldn’t make it we recorded discussion, along with the Q&A session afterwards – a big thank you to Alice Williams for making this possible! You can listen on Soundcloud via the link below – and if you have any questions for either Yiying or myself, leave them in the comments below.

And if you enjoy this, you might also enjoy listening to my Tormented Textiles podcast with Freddie Robins and Martina Margetts, also on Soundcloud.

Donna x

Donna Wilson & Yiying Wang

Donna Wilson & Yiying Wang

 

 

Donna Wilson at LDF 2016

15 September 2016

Hey everyone! LDF week is fast approaching and we wanted to share some of the fantastic events we are involved in.

At SCP East, Donna Wilson will be showcasing alongside designers Piet Hein Eek, Hannah Waldron and Roll & Hill. Donna’s exclusive window installation will interpret symbolic totems into tall towers of colourful knitted pouffes, featuring friendly motifs and animal faces drawn from nature. These will be produced by SCP, upholstered with a special combination of patterns created exclusively for LDF. Each special edition pouffe will be in knitted wool made in Scotland and available to purchase in the store. Come by and grab a great coffee too.

Dates and Location
17-25th September

SCP East
135-139 Curtain Rd
London EC2A 3BX
Click here for map

SCP_LDF event

 

As you may know, Donna is a bit of a cat lover. She was so honoured to be one of ten designers to contribute towards Heal’s centenary celebration. It’s seemed like a purrfect project!

Since the completion of the Heal’s Tottenham Court Road flagship store in 1916, the Heal’s Cat has remained a feature of the famous Cecil Brewer staircase. To celebrate the 100th anniversary Heal’s has teamed up with Orla Kiely, Mia Sarosi, Louise Lockhart, Cressida Bell, Zoe Bradley, Ikuko Iwamoto, Squint Studio, Sunny Todd, Rachel Cave and Donna Wilson to create a series of specially designed cats for The Heal’s Cat Trail.

Visit the store during London Design Week in September and find these felines around the historic building. They will go into a live charity auction in November in aid of the GOSH Kiss It Better appeal.

Heals_Cat

Donna Wilson at London Design Festival 2015

1 September 2015

Hello everyone,

This year for London Design Festival, we present a week-long installation and pop-up shop at Studio 1.1 Gallery on Redchurch Street.

The gallery space will be transformed into a woolly, cosy snug– a peaceful and idyllic hideaway for some quiet time away from the hustle and bustle of design week. We invite you to sit back and relax on our lambswool-lined walls, have a chat with a friendly Capybara bean bag, take a catnap on a comfy cushion, or roll about in the knitted hills and mountains in the land of Donna Wilson. Come take a woolly break with us!

And be sure to stop by our opening night, 6-8pm on Tuesday 22nd September.
Refreshments will be served, alongside Cyril biscuits by the lovely BKD London.
You can RSVP at our Facebook event page here.

Select products from Donna Wilson’s new autumn/winter collections will be available, along with classic pieces from our signature range.

Location
Donna Wilson’s Snug
Studio 1.1 Gallery
57a Redchurch Street
Shoreditich, London E2 7DJ
View on GoogleMaps.

Dates and Opening Hours
Press Preview: Tuesday 22nd September (12-1pm)
Tuesday 22nd September (4-8pm)
Wednesday 23rd September (12-6pm)
Thursday 24th September (12-6pm)
Friday 25th September (12-6pm)
Saturday 26th September (12-6pm)
Sunday 27th September (12-6pm)

This event is part of the Shoreditch Design Triangle. For more information and details about other participants of this event please click here.

Donna Wilson + Smug, LDF 2014

28 August 2014
Mark your calendars!
In addition to our Rainy Day Pop-Up Shop in BOXPARK over London Design Festival, you’ll find Donna Wilson at Smug, a long-time friend and stockist in Islington’s Camden Passage. For London Design Festival this year, Smug will be offering exclusive knitted fruits from Donna Wilson!
Join us for Islington Design District’s kickoff event at Smug, with the launch of exclusive products including Donna Wilson knitted fruit! Enjoy fruity cocktails from Kamm & Sons and delicious canapés at Cafe Smug, and you can even have your fruit portrait drawn by illustrator Ruby Taylor!
For the opening event, an embroiderer from the Donna Wilson team will be at Smug to personalise your knitted fruit!
Here are the details!

SMUG
13 Camden Passage, Islington, N1 8EA
Closest tube station: Angel
Tuesday 16th September, 6:30 – 9:00pm
RSVP by emailing info@ifeelsmug.com.

We look forward to seeing you there! x
 

 

Donna Wilson’s Rainy Day Pop-up Shop / London Design Festival

11 August 2014

Mark your calendars!
During London Design Festival this year we will open a week-long installation and pop-up shop at BOXPARK in Shoreditch London!

The space will be transformed into a Donna Wilson wonderland, featuring an overhead installation of hundreds of soft raindrops, murals and panels showcasing Donna Wilson’s first ever collection of fabrics, a “selfie station,” knitted creatures everywhere, and limited edition products made especially for London Design Festival. A special event will be held each day of the week at the Rainy Day Pop-Up Shop, including an ice cream party, a darning workshop, a film screening, an embroidery service, and a book signing with Donna.

Select products from Donna Wilson’s new autumn/winter collections will be available, along with classic pieces from Donna’s signature range.

Location
Donna Wilson’s Rainy Day Pop-Up Shop
BOXPARK / Unit 26
2-10 Bethnal Green Road
London, E1 6GY
Click here for a map.

Dates and Opening Hours
Tuesday 16th Sept (11-7pm)
Wednesday 17th Sept (11-7pm)
Thursday 18th Sept (11-8pm)
Friday 19th Sept (11-7pm)
Saturday 20th Sept (11-7pm)
Sunday 21st Sept (12-6pm)

This event is part of the Shoreditch Design Triangle.
For more information please visit www.donnawilson.com and www.boxpark.co.uk, and check out our Facebook events page for updates and sneak peeks at special products and the installation! https://www.facebook.com/events/696543700399425/.

See you there!! x