Thursday, 23 February 2012

The Way We Live Now

The Design Museum has marked the 80th birthday of British designer and entrepreneur Terence Conran with an exhibition celebrating the contribution he has made to contemporary British design.


Born in 1931 in Kinston Upon Thames, Conran studied textiles and design at Central St Martins in London.  One of his tutors was Scottish sculptor and artist Eduaordo Paolozzi.  Conran's first professional work was for the Festival of Britain in 1951 when he was working for an architectural company commissioned by the festival.
Original Advertistment for Habitat, c1960s
Conran set up his own company in 1954 and opened the first Habitat store in Chelsea ten years later.  Habitat revolutionised the UK high street during the 1960s and 70s, with chains opening throughout the country. It was the first time modern and intelligent design was made accessible to the general public.  The Conran Shop was setup much later, along with Benchmark Furniture, a bespoke furniture makers that champions quality craftmanship and sustainability.

Conran's iconic 'Salad Ware' designs for Midwinter Pottery, c1955.
Most notable in Conran's career are the successful partnerships formed with other British manufactures, designers, and companies, including numerous hotels and restaurants.  From the start of his career Conran has strengthened his brand through working together with others.  From his iconic designs for Midwinter Pottery and a shop for designer Mary Quant in the 1950s, to creating the restaurant Bibendum and Bluebird Garage in Chelsea.  Conran also had a major role in the regeneration of the Shad Thames area near Tower Bridge, with the Design Museum itself being managed by The Conran Foundation.

1950s textiles, furniture and ceramics by Terence Conran.
A replica of Terence Conran's workspace at his home.

Terence Conran received a knighthood in 1983 and after 80 years is still passionate about design and continues to work at his studio in London and at his home in Barton Court.  The Conran Group now encompases architecture, interior, product and graphic design, as well as the operation of shops, restaurants and hotels.

A selection of various Conran products on display.
Conran's philosophy has always been the same: "that good design gives you pleasure and improves the quality of all our lives through products, buildings or interiors that work well, are affordable and look beautiful." -

You can find original Conran designs at Alfies, in particular 1950s Midwinter ceramics. Have a look at Robinson Antiques on the ground floor and with Ian Broughton on the second floor.

The exhibition 'The Way We Live Now' runs until the 12th April at the Design Museum, Shad Thames.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

One of Alfies Hidden Gems...

Sometimes our dealers at Alfies come across the most unique and wonderful items. Whether it's an object with a brilliant design or a rare piece in perfect condition, often it's the history or story behind it which makes it so interesting and desirable. Probably the most magnificent piece at the moment is an original Pablo Picasso suit from Tin Tin Collectables (Stand G38-42). This suit is a stage costume that has been worn during the Moulin Rouge Revue Show in 1924. It was designed by Pablo Picasso and made by the in-house costume department.

The suit is handembroidered on a cotton base.

Picture of performers wearing the costumes at the Moulin Rouge in 1924.

Tin Tin Collectables offers one of the finest selections of vintage clothing and accessories in the world. Handbags, dresses, coats, shoes, hats, gloves, costume jewellery, suit cases, chests and trunks, from the Victorian Era to the 1970s.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Valentine's Day

Find a unique Valentine's card for your loved one,  East West Antiques has a fabulous selection of vintage cards...

Put it in the post. Goebel Hummel 'Postman' figurine, East West Antiques.

Going on a date? Get ready in style! We love this glam 1920s German porcelain figure, original swansdale powder puff, unused. From Carole Collier.

And for the men, 1920s grooming set from Ian Broughton.

Your outfit will make his heart skip a beat! 1950s Velvet heart skirt from The Girl Can't Help It.

Gentlemen, make sure you're looking dapper! 1930s Cartier cufflinks from Kieron Reilly.

When the moment is right, surprise her with a ring. 1920s 18ct white gold and platinum, sapphire and diamond ring. From Gareth Brooks.

And finally, celebrate your day in style with these Victorian thumb press cocktail/champagne coupes, from Robinson's Antiques.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Imprint Festival at the Centre for Possible Studies

On Friday 27th January the Serpentine Gallery's Centre for Possible Studies on Edgware Road hosted artists, performers and writers from the art collective Fabelist who have been working with residents of Alfies local neighbourhood, Church Street, NW8. 

Church Street Library Workshop (Image: Francesca Goodwin)

Imprint Exhibition at the Centre of Possible Studies (Image: Francesca Goodwin)
You may have seen members of the collective at the Alfies Christmas shopping party back in December, when they held a workshop here.  Since then they have been busy collecting and documenting stories for the collaborative arts project, Imprint, inspired by the Church Street community and neighborhood.  The resulting festival and exhibition captures the past, celebrates the present and introduces the future through a range of media, from music and art to spoken work and gastronomy.

Poppy's Paper Doll Parlour (Image: Carlos M Burgos)
Story Salon (Image: Edible Art Movement)
You have a chance to visit the exhibition until the 4th February and see individual and collaborative imprints from Fabelist's established artists and writers and discover the results of the collaborative work with the Church Street Neighborhood.

Location: The Serpentine Gallery’s Centre for Possible Studies, 21 Gloucester Place, 
London W1U 8HR

Exhibition runs until: 4th February (opening hours: 1pm-5pm)

For more information, please see:
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...