Elvish Adventures Haute Couture
Elvish couture has never featured in my life - much like high fashion in general really, as anyone who has seen my wardrobe will tell you.Elvish couture has never featured in my life - much like high fashion in general really, as anyone who has seen my wardrobe will tell you. Click To Tweet
At best, my fashion style can be described as Mish Mash Abstract (yes, I made that up, so don’t even bother, ok?)
So it may come as a shock to my friends when they see the designer handbag I just bought.
An original handmade handbag by Anthony Moorhouse - The Elvish Tailor
The handbag came from an exhibition of work by up and coming designer Anthony Moorhouse, The Elvish Tailor.
Ok, so it wasn't part of the main exhibition. It was in the section for people like me whose credit card winces at the really high ticket stuff. Anyway, I had to have the beautifully embroidered bag. I suspected it may go with my favourite, fall back, every occasion outfit, a gorgeous Italian two piece top in burnt orange with a matching scarf. (See above image.)
And I was right - after being undecided about which of the wonderful one-off handmade Anthony Moorhouse bags to have, I chose this one because it's made in my perfect colours.
When I got it home, I dashed upstairs to check how well it would go with the outfit.
It looked so perfect, I just left it hanging in my dressing room in full view, with the bag, where I could see it and enjoy the rich autumnal tones.
Really not like me at all to use clothes and bags as ornaments. Even my husband looked sideways at me when I showed him.
"Why do you want a designer bag?" he said, looking suspiciously at the delicate silky fabric with its beautifully embroidered Sutton Hoo Anglo-Saxon influenced design (which I had to explain).
"You won't be able to fit three cameras in there", he helpfully observed. "Or your screw driver set. Or a tripod. Or stuff you find on the beach."
Some men just don't get the difference between a functional handbag that frequently explodes under pressure and something that's just, well... gorgeous.
And just because I usually shun gorgeous stuff in favour of functional, it doesn't mean I won't have those moments when I buy a designer bag. I mean come on, time is running out!
I'm guessing he's forgotten about the beautiful Italian leather boots that caught his eye in Brighton. Well ok, caught my eye and I made him buy them.
"Anthony designed and made a hat for the Queen" I said. "That she actually wore." I added triumphantly. "So now I own a handbag made by a designer who once worked for the Queen's milliner."
"You don't like the Queen".
"Well, at least one woman at the exhibition said Anthony's work is like Alexander McQueen - and I liked him."
Silence. Game over. I think I won that one. Or maybe conversations about handbags burnout quickly with him. Yes, um, that one I think.
I mean - it's just beautiful!
Anyway, Anthony is someone I know from going into his Apothecary and Esoteric Supplies shop since the 90s.
He owns and runs the Ipswich shop, Sacred Earth, with acclaimed author Nigel Pearson.
You can find more about Anthony and Nigel’s extensive professional credentials and, about their shop, by clicking the Sacred Earth link above.
When I saw the recent publicity about Anthony Moorhouse,The Elvish Tailor and his imminent exhibition, 'From The Corner of My Eye', I was intrigued and made a note in my diary.
And I still nearly missed it!
The problem is, I'm an intovert and most of my friends are introverts and we all love being alone in our creative places, chatting now and then about getting together to do stuff.
By some miracle, I actually made it to the exhibition with a friend I haven't seen in the flesh since ooh, about the 1930s (that is a slight exaggeration - we weren't actually born then, but that's how it feels).
And I am SO glad we did. The exhibition, in the Pond Gallery at the prestigious Snape Malthings was a breath of fresh spring air.
It's the culmination of 3 years work by Anthony Moorhouse - The Elvish Tailor and it made such a change to see a different kind of creative talent at Snape.
Snape is not an easy exhibition venue to be accepted into. With a well-heeled, discerning clientele, many creatives would love to exhibit there. But the bar is pretty high.
It's all credit to Anthony Moorhouse's work that he got to exhibit in a place where many artisans would love to be seen.
The fabrics and threads Anthony uses are exquiste. I just wanted to touch everything! It's very easy to see why he has commissions from all over the world.
The instant I set eyes on his 50s summer dress, I saw it on Paloma Faith. It looks as if it was made for her. And who knows - maybe it was.
A few more things about The Elvish Tailor...
...the needle magic he weaves can be traced back to the 1300s. Anthony comes from a very long, unbroken line of tailors stretching back to 1360. That's a loooooong line.
And here is a link to Anthony Moorhouse'a website - theelvishtailor.co.uk Ok - that's enough words. You need to see Anthony's work.
Click on any of the pictures below to see some of the shots I grabbed at the spring exhibition.
And look for the amazing representation of a Koi Carp underwater - it's an incredible, filmy piece that really feels as if you are looking into a pond, watching a fish moving silently just under the surface.
It does give insight into the imagination of the Elivish tailor and how he uses the most delicate fabrics to portray the things he sees - 'From the Corner of My Eye'.