This week we are happy to have a piece written by Neil about his passion & adventure in getting to see the Brintons/Westwood carpet dress.
To illustrate that they could make anything with carpet, in 1993 Brinton’s collaborated with Vivienne making some of her classic designs. In 1995 they collaborated again & produced the 1783 Brinton’s calendar (1783 is when Brintons first started their carpet business in Kidderminster).
At 44 years of age I decided to follow up and complete my textile degree. This is studying with the O.C.A so working full time and studying is a work and life balance.
I recently moved to Kidderminster which is or was the heart of the carpet Industry and was once the richest working town, and leading the way, the famous Brinton’s Carpets of very high quality and of English heritage.
A brief was set – archive textiles. It was obvious that carpets and their design would be my subject matter, knowing very well that my assignment would include researching THE VIVIENNE WESTWOOD CARPET DRESSES and the advertising campaign she worked on alongside with Brinton’s, a new collection and photographs by Lord Lichfield.
I have had a consistent love for Vivienne’s works over the years. At 18 years of age I purchased my first Westwood item, Harris Tweed Armour Breeches from The Worlds End Shop.
Ever since, I have been collecting and building up my own archive of clothes for me to wear, enjoy and to bring the pleasure of being part of the enchanted world, art, history and works of an iconic person.
Studying hard and gathering my own research, and with help from the volunteers of the museum I managed to piece together stories and pictures, but it was apparent that Brinton’s had no interest in the educational side with students, so I persisted emailing and pestering until out of the blue Brinton’s head office here in Kidderminster replied.
Yvonne, head of the archive department honoured me to visit and take pictures of the manikin that stands in their office reception wearing a Westwood carpet dress.
The day came and I felt excited. Somehow it’s bizarre when you’ve seen something in glossy pictures/magazines and then seeing the carpet dress in real life was just, for me personally amazing. It logged a memory as it was not just a dress, but a timeless piece of art and to see the grandeur of nostalgia was awesome.
Yvonne proceeded to inform me that there were other items. Carpet shoes and other garments, but with a ‘But…’ declined my cheeky ‘Can I’!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So the answer was no.
I studied the dress with my camera quickly to the intolerance of Yvonne and I have the pleasure of sharing my pictures for all of you out there to enjoy.
The dress held a presence of Royal opulence and yet innocence. A dressing up dress made out of carpet.
Glad I witnessed the dress and it took pride of place in my assignment.
Also a BIG thank you to Ben for putting this on to the Westwood Blog.
P.S. seeing, I didn’t post a picture of one’s self I thought I would send these instead