No Elvish Impersonations here – Just Beautiful Original Designs From The Elvish Tailor

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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'.

14 comments

  1. Gilly I am so glad you treated yourself to something special. I think the financial sacrifice is worth it if it is something we truly love and that makes our soul sing! A bag like that will never go out of style because it is original and special. Cheers to you!

  2. The bag is absolutely gorgeous. It is so pretty with an ethereal quality, in a burnt orange colour that will go with anything. And it also reminds me of the art deco period. I too have a weakness for wearable art. I had not heard of Anthony Moorhouse before but I will definitely look for more of his work.
    Sometimes you just have to treat yourself. you know you deserve it.

    1. Hi Judith – lovely to hear from you 🙂 Yes, I think wearable art is brilliant too. You won’t have heard about Anthony because I get the impression that up until now, he has been quietly working away on commissions in a niche market for years, especially for customers in the US. He seems like quite a quiet soul who doesn’t push himself into the limelight. But he had a life changing health scare a couple of years back and he came out of it wanting to go bigger with his couture business. So although he isn’t in his 20s, he’s a rising star in the haute couture world. Hopefully he will rise high enough for more people to know his work. Hope all is well in Ontario and that spring is bursting forth – I will never forget that elation every year when the snow was finally gone!

  3. Oh my goodness that bag! Love it! What fun to get to walk through looking at all that craftsmanship up close.

    and yay, we both dusted off our blogs!

    Talk to you soon – Stef

    1. Thanks Stef! Glad you like it. And yes – blogs well and truly dust free now. I’m waiting with eager anticipation to see what Florida triggers 🙂

  4. Wow!! That bag is exquisite!!
    His family has tailored since the 1300s??? No wonder he’s so good! It’s in his DNA!!
    But where was the underwear?? I somehow missed those.
    That summer dress is so beautiful!!

    1. Hi Melinda! I know – isn’t he brilliant! What underwear? I’m ‍ confused! 🙂 Thanks for being here when I’ve been so absent everywhere else.

    1. Hi Molly – Really good to see you here – I haven’t been around much but will hop over to see you shortly. Thanks for reading – I did wonder if I would be talking to thin air after being absent for so long!

  5. Wow! That is amazing. His work is exquisite. I love the eclectic but not overbearing nature of his work. It’s delicate but bold at the same time. And I love your handbag which was clearly made for your Italian outfit. So glad you decided to push your introverted ness aside to show us some beautiful refinement. Thank you.

    1. Hi Sarah! How’s it going? Thanks for stopping by when I know you must be so busy in the new (and utterly gorgeous!) mansion. Yes, this work is brilliant isn’t it? I was blown away by the exhibition because I only knew Anthony from his apothecary skills. I must get over to see you in that new place of yours – it looks like heaven to me with all that wide open space. I often think, 12 hours and I would be there! It seems like light years since that day in Leigh On Solent. Are you coming back any time soon? Are you still writing? I will catch up with you in Messenger. Thanks again Sarah.

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