Wednesday, 30 July 2014

... a good yarn ahead.....

At the beginning of October we will be welcoming back the ebullient and irrepressible Marion Foale who will be here to lead a second knitting workshop for us (she only leads workshops for us!).  Such was the success of her first teaching event ever, that many participants from 2013 will be also be returning.  In the unlikely event that you haven't heard of Marion before, we thought you might like a little background on this vivacious, creative lady and her 1960s partner in crime, Sally Tuffin.

British fashion designers Marion Foale and Sally Tuffin were part of a movement known as “Youthquake”, a 1960s fashion, musical and cultural movement. It was the era of the Beatles, mini-skirts, trouser and jump suits (the world's first supermodel Twiggy who modelled some of their designs at the time, has been the subject of an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery), and Foale and Tuffin were the inspiration of people like Mary Quant as well as 70s shops such as Biba and Bus Stop.

Marion and Sally met in 1955 while attending Walthamstow Art School . They subsequently studied together at the Royal College of Art under Professor Janey Ironside and in the 1960s, the pair established their own fashion company, “Foale & Tuffin”, located in Carnaby Street, in London's West End with a budget of less than £200. Together with their contemporaries, Ossie Clark, Zandra Rhodes and Bill Gibb, all graduates of the Royal College of Art, they had a massive impact on the fashion scene of the 'swinging sixties'.

Their dress philosophy strikes a chord with the current passion for home dressmaking and knitting, as well as well as our enthusiasm for recycling clothing and accessories whenever possible.  As Sally describes in the definitive book about them, Foale and Tuffin:The Sixties. A Decade in Fashion by Iain R. Webb
"We realised there was a gap in the market.  People would make their own clothes, dress and style themselves with bits and pieces, and we just sort of jumped in and made the bits and pieces for them."

Forty years on and Marion is still renowned for her highly fashionable, highly collectable, classic hand-knitted and feminine designs, though now they are often inspired by the glamour and chic of the forties with her own exquisite range of yarns some of which she will bring with her to the workshop in September.

Marion Foale current designs

Marion Foale Yarns

"What a fabulous week we had…it was so great to knit alongside such creative people and spend time doing exactly what we love in such a beautiful setting.  Marian was inspirational!  The experience will long live in my memory and I'm so looking forward to coming back to Les Soeurs Anglaises to enjoy their beautiful hospitality next year,  And of course to learn more, share our year's accomplishments and enjoy another incredible week!!"  Dianna K, USA

Our favourite photograph of Marion teaching last year (hope she wasn't laughing at Carol's scarf!!)
Marion's workshop for this year is currently full, but if you would like to go on the waiting list (or put your name down for next year), please get back to us.

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