Have you ever truly thought about the craftsmanship that goes into your favourite products? This London Craft Week, we are invited behind the scenes for a glimpse of how the most talented craftspeople at the world’s most beloved brands fashion their wares. Celebrate the work of these anonymous talents as London shops and studios throw open their doors for a rare access-all-areas look.
London Craft Week, 3-7 May 2017
1. Pointe shoe-maker’s Freed opens its factory in East London to demonstrate how much work goes into making 40 pairs a day. A must see for any shoe lovers. 3 May.
2. Behind the Scenes: The Art of the Vivienne Westwood Corset explains the engineering that underpins the grace of grand dressing at the Vivienne Westwood Davies Street boutique. 4 May.
3. British perfumer Floris will offer guests the chance to learn the history of bespoke perfume creation with Edward Bodenham and Nicola Pozzani. Guests can smell a batch of the latest By Request collection created during the evening for them to take home in a 20ml bottle, hand labelled and dated. A must for beauty buffs. Call to book, 15 places, £60 + vat, 033 0134 0180.
4. With over 100 years’ experience watch the tailors at Dunhill work and see how bag embossing is executed or how to mark up a suit pattern. This is an exclusive opportunity to gain an insight into your favourite tailoring. 4-6 May.
5. Meet the shoemaker, Edward Green‘s master hand-sewer, Andy Peach, in the Jermyn Street shop for an education on shoemaking and to see just what still goes into a well-shod foot in 2017. 4 May.
6. At Aston Martin, the designers begin with a clay model and then scale up to create some of the world’s best luxury vehicles. Learn from the masters themselves this Craft Week. And if you have the means, why not turn up in your own Aston? 4 May.
7. Grayson Perry and Frances Corner will be in conversation at London College of Fashion discussing workmanship. Get your tickets here. 4 May, 18:30 – 19:45.
8. As Ettinger celebrates its 20th anniversary as a Royal Warrant holder (for the manufacture of leather goods) to HRH The Prince of Wales, enjoy a demonstration of its highly specialised leather and wallet-making skills in the Craft Residency in St James’s Market Pavilion. 4 May.
9. Georg Jensen will be hosting one of their master silversmiths, Tina Bentzen on Thursday 4th May in our Mount Street boutique and then Friday 5th May at the Victoria & Albert Museum for the Silver Speaks Series: live public silversmithing demonstrations at the V&A’s prestigious Silver Galleries. Tina will expose the handcrafted techniques behind the making of the Bernadotte cocktail. Thursday 4th May – 10am – 6pm at Georg Jensen Flagship Store www.georgjensen.com and Friday 5th May – 10am – 4:30pm at Victoria and Albert Museum, www.silverspeaks.co.uk.
10. The Royal Gardens Commission by the Art Worker’s guild at Fortnum & Mason will have a free exhibition (3-6 May) of new work inspired by the Royal Gardens at Highgrove at St James’s iconic Fortnum & Mason. There will also be a tea hosted by the milliners Noel Stewart, Edwina Ibbotson and Rachel Trevor-Morgan; 20 places, £60, email email@example.com to book.
11. Also part of the St James’ series for London Craft Week is The Bespoke Shirt at Turnbull & Asser. Enjoy a tour of the Bury Street store accompanied by champagne and canapes. Experienced cutters and sewers with give live demonstrations. £50 per ticket goes towards any bespoke shirt purchased on the night. 3 May, 6.30-9.30pm, turnbullandasser.co.uk.
12. Aquavit, the new Scandinavian restaurant hosts a special dinner curated by Flow Gallery. Nordic ceramicists Maria Kristofersson, Anna Kantanen and Lars Soendergaard will discuss their work over dinner and have produced limited edition tableware specifically for the event. 4 May, 7pm, space is limited to 30 people, £130, flowgallery.co.uk.
13. Pop to Orange Square on Pimlico Road to see Tom Raffield’s installation, ‘Lighting up the Square’ launching The Grosvenor Series as part of London Craft Week. The installation is made up of 70 of his steam-bent ‘pendant’ lights, and is placed at the heart of London’s design district, Orange Square on Pimlico Road in Belgravia. It will stay illuminated until the last day of the craft festival.