The date is 30th October, 2020 and its 21:30pm. The day before Samhain (Hallowe’en) and the rarity of a Full Moon on such a night of spiritual portent and mystical unveiling’s. And tomorrow, is also the night that The Foxes Curiosity Cabinet parts it’s own veils to reveal some of the magical creativity and clothing curation that has been going on behind the scenes here this past year. As we eagerly await our virtual Studio’s doors to open, I’m here now, in my Studio with the prospect of a thrilling all-nighter looming ahead. Less than 24hrs before we reveal our first hand drawn studio clothing designs and our carefully sourced Fairtrade collection. With so much more to reveal over the next few months....and beyond! And with so much more being stitched and created both here, by myself in my Coventry home studio, and by our seamstresses and pattern cutters in our ethical London hive, there is an electrical charge in the air. Excitement and anticipation is building! And I thank everyone who has taken part on this journey so far to get us back to this point, for all the support, effort and contributions. It is finally happening, after I had to close my studio doors back in March due to losing all I’d built over two years, and devastatingly almost overnight, to the global trading and financial impacts of Covid-19. To be back trading again felt like an impossibility after being cut short only months into my original planned launch. But now, with adapting to changes and putting aside dreams of physically selling my creations I have found a solace in the virtual online world and community to create the sustainable slow fashion studio I dreamed of, and the future seems a little brighter. Waves of emotion are taking hold, what a year..!
To share a little of my story with you, I dreamed I was destined to have my own ethical textile design studio as a child. Since I was little I was inspired by my mother to pursue art and create ethical textiles. She worked in The Body Shop, and would bring home stories of Anita Roddicks talks and visits, and my mother also helped out at the local Psychiatric Ward, giving women make-overs as a form of therapy. Her own love of colour, design and using it as a tool for comfort, education and healing rubbed off on me. Being from a humble inner city Coventry upbringing, the appeal of escaping out into and exploring the glory and rich bounty of nature also held a deep fascination for me. Patches of brambles and wild flowers growing behind the crumbling terraced houses of my childhood were like treasure troves of elven magic and intrigue. Watching butterflies, caterpillars, spiders and tiny birds bobbing about became a source of fascination and creative Inspiration. It was the ‘80’s and fantasy, Dungeons & Dragons, David Bowie in the Labyrinth, Froud and all things fae and fantasy were ‘in’, and I would sit stitching tiny garments out of leaves, petals and scraps of material for the elves and faerie folk, which I’d leave under bushes and plants for their potential otherworldly owners to bedeck themselves in! Later on, my parents came home with a shining new copy of The Clothes Show Magazine for me (which I still own). I was captivated by the designs and photographic compositions. It was back then that my creative dreams were awakening, and I wished for a future in textile design, illustration and photography. I was nine years old.
Fast forward; college, work experience, design jobs and a lifetime of unwavering freelancing in fashion, media & the performance arts, and here we are, I’m now 43 years old! So where are we up to? Textile design and ecology is now in a more desperate state than it was back when my mother worked for The Body Shop, people are more aware, change is coming, fast fashion and sweat shops and slave trading has and is constantly being exposed and slow fashion is becoming a strong contender for change, technology is massively evolving and eco inks, zero waste cutting techniques and ethical fibres are being developed and researched daily. Nowadays it’s all about quality, conscientious creation and human work place/natural world protection and safety. Behind every slow fashion garment, these are the highest principles we adhere to. Shopping online is convenient in the modern era, but as someone who previously ran a bricks and mortar boutique, I want to bring as much of a tactile experience as I can to our online shopping experience, especially during these restrictive Covid times. You may not be able to touch, smell and see the fabrics as you would in real life, but I endeavour to provide exquisitely detailed photographs and product descriptions to enhance your shopping experience, and I am always happy to answer your questions.
What can you expect from The Foxes Curiosity Cabinet? In a nutshell, a lot of love for the countryside, myths & legends of the United Kingdom and a lot of passion for my Romany, Eastern European & Celtic heritage, creativity, fashion history and ecology. We would love this studio to be a vehicle for artistic creation but also for our customers to engage with us, to unite the like minded and individual souls of this eclectic island. We want our studio to encourage and inspire positive and creative movement and action, and we want to make you smile ‘within’ and shine ‘without’ when you adorn yourself with our garments and jewellery. We have, and are, enjoying creating our ‘21st Century Pre-Raphaelite’ collection immensely and what you will be seeing from tomorrow is the culmination of everyone involved, not just myself as I sit proudly in my Fox Den. For all future clothing launches to come, this will always be the case, United we stand!
In this launch, we were lucky to create with Berkshire artist & musician Richmond Harding. He gives me inspiration both as a fellow artist and as an artistic muse and you can see him in our photo stories and look books wearing our latest curated attire. Richmond also created some stunning Pre-Raphaelite style art work that has been carefully crafted into forthcoming garments awaiting their reveal in the coming months. Our ‘My Wild Love’ collection, was inspired by the year 1967 and all things psychedelic. We shot a beautiful photo story to accompany our in-house designed paisley garments featuring two artistic male & female models, Andrew & Jack, local to Coventry.
Also in our studio we will be unveiling our Art Gallery section in December, where myself and our featured artists Richmond Harding and Jack Truman will share their prints, available for purchase to adorn your walls. We will also be announcing some intriguing photography competitions in the New Year, celebrating our fashion creations, nature and ecology. This is only the beginning....these are just a couple of the exciting creations and activities we will be bringing to you!
We support international, Fair trade, small, independent family businesses as well, these dynamic and inspirational male and female creatives bring you hand stitched cloth beads, elaborate silver and gold jewellery, materials made from recycled plastic bottles, and elegant bespoke up-cycled saris. They all help to make the world, and this island the special place it is.
Now as time ticks on it’s with a glowing heart I say ‘thank you’ dear reader. We wouldn't be here without you and we thank you all for having patience and faith in what we are creating and bringing to life in our studio (& beyond). In all our present and future endeavours, and the whole journey of The Foxes Curiosity Cabinet, we hope that you will grow with us and enjoy becoming a part of our Foxes Den!
Thank you also to our Twitter and Pinterest supporters who have been with us right from the start of this journey, please follow us at Twitter: @TheCuriousFoxes and Pinterest: @TheFoxesCuriosityCabinet
We want this Studio to represent all that is free spirited, the magic & mythology of our glorious countryside, Pre-Raphaelite, historic and psychedelic creativity, and expressive freedom. We have our own inspired style, which is something I feel very passionate about and have been personally looking forward to after two and a half decades of designing for other clients and companies with rigid and restrictive branding and rules. We want to give The Foxes Curiosity Cabinet the freedom to live its own expressive organic and fluid expression. It already has a strength and personality all of its own, and just like the seasons of Nature, and us all, it will change and grow, which is an exciting thought in itself!
As William Morris said: “I want a real revolution, a real change in society: society, a great organic mass of well-regulated forces used for the bringing-about a happy life for all.”
I hope that you enjoy our first collection posts. There are many more to come. And everything you see from the garments to the photography have been created with a lot of love, to be treasured and to honour the environment as fully as we can. If you wear our garments until their breaking point in years to come, and feel the need to let them go, then why not up-cycle them and share them here with us, and turn them into something wonderful and unique. We would be honoured to share ways that you have contributed to keeping clothing out of landfill and helped to make garments and accessories last a lifetime.
We welcome all feedback, constructive and positive, so let us know what you think of our studio. Equally if you have any photos of yourself wearing our clothes or accessories then email them over to us. We are already working on more creations to share with you! Join us in opening the doors of The Foxes Curiosity Cabinet and unleashing our Slow Fashion Revolution
Let us all Love the world & Unite