Friday, 26 February 2016

My tattoo Unveiled & Fabulous Clothing Launch!

So, I just know you have been DYING to see my tattoo haven't you? Well ok then! I can't have you dying on me, that would be heartless and cruel...

Action shot of tattooist Tracy D...


This is the first part of a 2 part process so you're only seeing the outlines and shading, the colour happens later...

It's my steampunk Phoenix bird!

I met Tracy a few years ago when we decided to collaborate on a collection together, so I took her tattoo designs and turned them into cool stuff...
Check it out!


Now the other super exciting thing is that we launched a bunch of glamorous yet comfy clothing at Formex tradeshow recently and I've just added it to the Van Asch webshop.


This is a collaboration between me and a designer called Malin from label E.MallaS. She is best known for her one-off glamorous gowns worn by various Swedish celebrities and women of impeccable taste...I would tell you who, but I'm too classy to namedrop ;-)

So whether you are shopping for new clothing, hanging out with celebrities (yeah as if!) getting tattooed or just talking a walk in the forest or baking a pie, whatever you are planning for this weekend, put your whole heart into it, be in that moment and enjoy every second....




Thursday, 18 February 2016

London, Curiosities, Art, Taxidermy & Tattoos

As you may or may not know, I was just away in old London town this last weekend to get a tattoo and see my mates and to fill up my soul with arty weirdness. I did all these things and more...there was also kittens, oh yes, but more about them later...

So I started Saturday morning with a proper full on dose of arty weirdness, starting at GUEST PROJECTS, SUNBURY HOUSE, 1 ANDREWS ROAD, LONDON E8 4QL, UK meeting up with an old friend I hadn't seen for nearly 20 years who works in the gallery. There was 1 piece that really spoke to me, by artist couple Carl Haycock and Zareen Rustom.


Their collaborative piece uses notes from their 'brain games' after Zareen had a brain haemorrhage and they had to work together, over many years, to regain her cognitive abilities. There was so much love and devotion and hard work within this piece, very powerful stuff



After I said farewell to my lovely old friend I walked along Andrews Road until I got to a most peculiar establishment called Viktor Wynds Museum of Curiosities This is small part groovy cafe upstairs and larger part subterranean weirdness of a rather macabre sort. Well, it is funny and awful and fabulous by turns. It makes no sense but is unmissable.

Where in the world could you possibly see a deep sea spiny worm next to a brass Victorian ...um...I don't know what that is...next to a 24 carat gold plated Hippo skull? Yep, that there hippo skull belonged to Pablo Escobar, the Columbian drug lord that was shot dead in 1993. In life though, this ludicrous character decided to set up his own zoo complete with elephants and giraffes and all kinds of illegal exotic animals. Over the years some of his hippos escaped and bred and now Columbia boasts the only wild hippo colony outside of Africa.

The museum is weirder than it is funny, but it has it's moments...




There really isn't any kind of organisation and very few labels... I'm not sure if you'll learn much and it is not for those easily offended but I thought it was brilliant fun. After the glories of Viktor Wynd's, a friend and I went for a walk down Columbia Road which was full of the most fantastic shops. There was not one single thing for sale on that road that you had to have, but a great deal you might want to have. And, it was not cheap neither. Take for example, this little shelf of old rubbish, or should I say, highly desirable antique items with personality? I don't know, but those little crappy tins, nice enough, but £18 each? Hmmmm I don't think I'll be buying.



                                                                         

I discovered a fabulous shop called Wall & Jones selling the most deliciously rock 'n roll jewellery by Rosita Bonita and Halo Jones  alongside up cycled weirdness and clothing by Ali Wall. So much gorgeousness....
There was a fabulous art print shop on Columbia road and art just happening out on the street...


We ended our pilgrimage of eccentric weirdness at the House of Hackney store on Shoreditch High street and then dinner at a Peruvian restaurant called Andina which is a total must if you're ever round that way...
The following morning I went to get the first bit of my tattoo done by Tracy D Tattoos but you will have to wait until next week to see it!
I did promise you kittens though, and true to my word...Here are the little beauties I was staying with...I could pick them up and snuffle their tummies and they thought that was good, and I thought that was good. It worked out well for all parties concerned ;-)

Have a wonderful weekend!
                                                                                         

Friday, 12 February 2016

My Days in London Visiting the Tate Modern & Stuff

So, if you haven't figured it out already, I do my blog post on a Friday afternoon, but this Friday afternoon is not like most because I'm in London and have just got back from my visit to the Tate Modern. I've been doing proper touristy stuff all day and I'm cream crackered (knackered).
 I had a good look around the Tate. I went there just because I love modern art but mostly because I have a new collection to design and I want to fill my eyes up with interesting stuff, inspiration.
These were a couple of my favourites...


I also really loved the photographs of old mines and industrial constructions. They remind me of the beautiful drawings of classical buildings but instead there are what would normally be considered rather ugly things. I love the contrast of boring or everyday or ugly things made beautiful and fresh.

I'm staying with a friend and they have just got 2 kittens. I can't tell you how delightful they are, just too sweet for words. I can't have kittens because half my family is allergic to them and plus my dog wants to bite the wee cats more than anything else in the world...it wouldn't be good. So I have to get my kitten snufflings where I can.
She likes me a lot. I think she things my trousers look like mummy 😉
Anyway, I'm going to see lots of art and weirdness tomorrow, I'm visiting Viktor Wynds museum of curiosities so I'll tell you all about that next Friday afternoon. 
Have a wonderful weekend...




Friday, 5 February 2016

Pantone Colour of the Year Pink & Blue

So I wanted to talk a bit about the Pantone colour of the year, which is actually 2 colours this year, for the first time ever...

Firstly lets hear what Pantone have to say about this...

Well that's nice.. They also go on to say
 ...'In many parts of the world we are experiencing a gender blur as it relates to fashion, which has in turn impacted color trends throughout all other areas of design. This more unilateral approach to color is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity, the consumer's increased comfort with using color as a form of expression, a generation that has less concern about being typecast or judged and an open exchange of digital information that has opened our eyes to different approaches to color usage.'

They also go on to talk about mindfulness and relaxation which pleases me a great deal. Mindfulness is about the most important thing for us as individuals in my humble opinion. I mean look at the opposite, that would be mindlessness...if we all went around mindlessly doing whatever we wanted, bumping into things, we'd all be in some kind of hell. Conscious thought about who we are, why we are and what we are doing in the now, is the only sensible way to be happy and a generally good useful person. 
So, after I shoehorned my little opinion in there, lets get back to colour...

I feel passionately about colour, almost like a synethesiac, you know, those people who have their senses wired up weirdly and so experience sound as colour, or smell as words or whatever... Well, I can almost hear colour. I can certainly feel very strong feelings in the presence of colour... There are a couple of colours that make me feel disgust..very strongly. I know that sounds weird, but what can I do? I just feel yucky when I look at them... I'm going to see if I can find them and I'll tag them on the end, just for fun.

                                             So do we like it? Do we like the pink and blue? 
Pic from sousou-diysign.de





















Well, I do like the pink very much and have been a keen fancier of this colour for many years. I also really like blue but prefer the more quiet versions of this colour.



And Pink with grey is especially lovely...

Pic from dustjacketattic.blogspot.ca

I notice that these colours team up really well with rose gold or pink brass accessories

This is the Pink Salon at GörvÀlnsslott in Stockholm and you can just about see one of my handmade cushions peaking out behind the coffee table. This pink is such a fabulous colour, warm and bold but still calming and kind..


Ive been loving the pink and blue for many years, so even if Pantone think it is 'this year' I think of it as a colour combo from about 4 years ago when I did a collection in softest pinks and blues. This was my mood board...

And these were the cushions that I designed from the above mood board...
Available to buy from my shop here

One last nod to the loveliest that is pink...before I leave you with my top 8 disgusting colours of all time...

And here is a buffer between all the loveliness and the oncoming colour yuckiness... if you want to see more beautiful pink colour inspiration, check out my Pink boards on Pinterest

       My Pink & peach board on Pinterest
     

Don't look at these if you suffer from colour ikkiness disease...

1. is pooh brown and makes me feel sick
2. artificial bright green, can almost not look at it, its so disgusting.
3. insipid lemony yellow. Makes me feel like I've sucked a lemon flavoured rubber glove, blurgh!
4. Bright salmony crab colours. There was a big fashion for these colours a couple of years ago, I almost had to stay home!
5. Rusty red...makes me feel dirty.
6. clear bright purple. It's the colour of madness and I feel like someone is shouting at me when I look at it. Just calm down!
7. The colour of my old school uniform, need I say more?
8. 1970's dirty mustard orange makes me feel suffocated under the weight of decades of dust and neglect. Awful.



Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Interiors Trends for 2016 Formex Tradeshow

It has been a bit quiet round these here bloggy parts... I was at Formex (Scandinavia's biggest interiors and gifts tradeshow) for a week, then as soon as that finished I promptly got the worst case of flu I can ever remember! A week on from that and I am just beginning to feel a bit better, so this is my blog for last Friday being done today now that my mind isn't addled by fever...

I didn't get much of a chance to look around Formex, I never do, but I did check out the lobby display done by the Oddbirds ladies and was very impressed with it. Greys and muted natural tones combined with jewel tones are still huge, circus lighting is still big but I notice the prices are coming down a bit now that there are more companies offering choice...


I really loved the display they did and a lot of the treasures they curated, especially the giant macrame weaving thingy...


Van Asch was in the trend zone done by designer Jan Rundgren in the back & White section (another one of my cushions was behind, on the sofa, but the chair obscures the view in this pic)

It's funny how you notice the things that a relevant to you and filter everything else out, without even noticing you're doing it... well I had my eye open for the things that interest me so I saw a lot of cool huge black dream catchers and feathered things. My colleagues at BVN Design (who make the chairs with my fabrics on) ordered some great silver dinosaur skeletons and octopuses in bell jars, for their webstore, that I quite fancied on my mantle piece at home! I did also see a lot of that pale pink that I keep hearing is the Pantone colour of the year but I feel that colour has been a popular one for the Spring/summer season for many years now... more on that in my next blog.

For now, I'll leave you with a few pics from my stand...
 Here is my clothing collaborator Malin modelling one of our Kimonos