|Simeon Farrar at The Basement Gallery, in a t-shirt of his own design|
|The paint dripped shed forms the centrepiece of the exhibit, inside are Simeon's sketches of models.|
|A shopper from Simeon's weather themed SS12 collection- image by Richard Lonsdale|
|The t-shirt which accompanies the exhibition: £50 at The Basement Gallery|
|A halo print by Simeon Farrar. Available to buy from a selection at the exhibition|
|Kate Mouse at Net-a-Porter £50|
He has thrown himself behind efforts to fundraise for those affected by the earthquake, perhaps because a number of his stockists are in Japan. His right hand woman- womenswear designer and pattern cutter Mika Haverly- is also Japanese so the label has close ties in the country. I love the video below, by Richard Lonsdale, of the screen printing event he did back in April at Johnbull in Tokyo. Each of Simeon's t-shirts (his collection can be found at Young British Designers) is washed after printing so that the pattern becomes becomes completely unique. We compared some t-shirts when I met with Simeon and it really is amazing how the colours can blend so differently each time. This is one of the reasons why Farrar keeps all his printing in-house at his studio in Shoreditch; it is details like these which demonstrate the art aspect of the Simeon Farrar brand which he is determined to keep at the heart of what he does.
Simeon Farrar: Japan 日本 2011. John Bull, Daikanyama from The Field Office on Vimeo.
One of my favourite parts of the exhibition were the perfume bottles which Farrar originally created as part of an installation for Lane Crawford. He was interested in the way that smells jog our memories. One of my favourite literary moments ever comes in Proust when the smell of madeleines (little french cakes) cooking takes the narrator back to being a child. Perfumes are particularly good at evoking such remembrances, possibly because we tend to attach their smell so much to the person we know who wears it. Simeon asked people to write down the thoughts they had when they remembered the smell of somebody special. He then trapped these written thoughts into the bottles as he made them. There are also delicate scraps of fabric in the bottles, making for a quite beautiful and emotive display. Simeon has melted the bottles so that there is a sense of decay as they drip over the edge of the table and shelf on which they are displayed.
For Lane Crawford, the bottles were made into a chandelier which became a window display. Farrar is enthusiastic about the effect art like this can have on democratising fashion. 'People waiting at the bus stop outside the store would be looking in at the chandelier, trying to read all the little messages on the bottles' he told me, 'they would never have looked in that store otherwise, thinking it was beyond their reach'.
|If you like the look of the bottles then purchasing them is up for negotiation.|
Simeon Farrar: Of Rainbows and Halos is on at The Basement Gallery at 10 Newburgh Street until 24th November.