Misshapes at the Lethaby Gallery
"Misshapes, mistakes, misfits."
With our Crafts Council Misshapes: The Making of Tatty Devine exhibition opening at The Wilson, Cheltenham tomorrow, we thought it was only fair we took a quick trip down memory lane to its first location: Central St. Martin’s Lethaby Gallery. A labour of love, long nights and LOTS of sifting through our 20 year, 6,000 piece strong archive, Misshapes tells the story behind Tatty Devine, our Co-Founders Rosie Wolfenden and Harriet Vine, their friendship, entrepreneurial nature, and design process. Think wishlist wonders, rare gems, paraphernalia from the early days and sketchbooks tracking designs from page to Perspex!
So, let’s take it back to a hot July night when we were finally able to reveal all our hard work to friends, family, collaborators and of course, Team Tatty past and present.
Rosie and Harriet, is that you? Guests were greeted by two vintage rag dolls, made by longtime friend, Rachael Matthews of Prick Your Finger!
We get by with a little help from our friends, so of course, collaborations with the Fawcett Society: the UK’s leading charity campaigning for gender equality, craft superstar Poppy’s Papercuts and fellow East End-based artist, Rob Ryan, to name just a few of our joint projects are on display for all to see!
Tatty Devine... dresses?! We relished the chance to finally showcase 'Unreal Life', a capsule collection designed to show at Fashion East alongside Jonathan Saunders and Roksanda Illincic way back in 2003. Inspired by woodland nymphs and pop art graphics, think mini dresses adorned with laser cut wooden toadstools and screen printed eyes - each model even wore little pixie ears... aww!
"Hello? Serious bangers calling..." DJs Nervous Stephen and Rocky served up an all-vinyl setlist, frequently punctuated by “oohs” and “aahs” as guests flocked to each display. Perusing statement jewellery to a soundtrack of Pulp, Frankie Knuckles and the Las Ketchup song? Only at a Tatty Devine party!
“Strike a pose...” Peep our talented Kent makers & make-it-happeners posing with the GIANT jewellery commissioned especially for the show. Don't worry team, these supersized pieces are for display purposes only, phew!
“We don’t see Tatty Devine as a job – for us, it’s a way of life, and we are so lucky that we get to share it together... We’re two sides of a coin!” Rosie and Harriet wowed the gathered crowd with a heartfelt speech, including thanks to friends, collaborators, customers, and family, without whom many early schemes, ideas, and fantastical creations would never have left the ground.
Our brand new Misshapes collection (just launched that morning!) was in full force as Rosie worked the Brushstroke Drop Earrings with a technicolour pleated Kitty Joseph ensemble. Harriet’s pick? It had to be the Ooohhh Necklace layered over an orange cord Vampire’s Wife dress and DM’s.
So... much... jewellery... Everyone was decked out in their favourite pieces: spot our lovely Rachel in a sample Parakeet Necklace, red and black fanatic Ellie in the Magpie Statement Necklace and a vintage Party Crown and Melissa keeping it cool in the Fallen Leaves Earrings and Fallen Leaves Statement Necklace...
With over 100 objects, two new films, a jewellery designing workshop station, dancing and reminiscing to keep our guests busy, we needed a little refreshment...
Enter the lovely folks from Longflint, whose Rose Hip Gin and Tonics kept the party raging until 9pm, as the dancing carried on out into the fountains and down the canal!
Makers gonna make! A week later, Team Tatty headed back for a couple of very special jewellery making #tattyworkshops within the exhibition space itself, from our classic Bunting Necklace to a *one off* Giant Dinosaur Necklace in a shimmering foil acrylic. (📸 - Sarah O'Brien)
Before we knew it, we were back again to Craft Council’s YCC Gallery Takeover for a day of making with Poppy Chancellor, a tour around the exhibition complete with insight from Co-Founder Harriet and talks from Brand and Sales Manager Amy D, Marketing and Event Executive Charlotte and author/superfan Jools Walker. Don’t panic, we’ll be featuring each talk on the blog so you can get the full scoop from your front room. First up, it’s Amy D!
It’s almost time to welcome Misshapes to a brand new venue: The Wilson, Cheltenham. Tap here for all the info you need to plan a visit, here to get your hands on the MISSHAPES book, here to shop the Misshapes collection and here for all future venues.