British Design Innovation in the Modern Age 1948 – 2012 (years between the two Olympics hosted by London) is the perfect show for anyone visiting the capital this summer.
It showcases the best of car design, street signs, china, poster, fashion and furniture. Right at the start you are introduced to Robin Day’s chairs and benches he did for the 1951 Festival of Britain, bit further down you can admire his wife’s, Lucienne Day’s, most famous textile pattern – Calyx. They were to Britain what the Eamses were to America.
There are beautiful couture dresses by Galliano and Kane, and Mary Quant minis. Examples of Wedgewood’s Homemaker china, which is always funny to see because I have a plate from the line and you can often find it in antique shops as well as buy the reproduction and various modern spin-offs.
For anyone visiting from abroad and loving design this is a must see (apologies for going so late, it ends on the 15th). If you miss it here are my top picks from the shop.
The kiddie souvenirs:
Keep Britain Tidy print £9.50
Matt Sewell’s Little Owl £85
Just like the Homemaker plate, I have seen it all before, well, almost. There were two artists who attracted me: Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden. I absolutely loved seeing their prints which I have only seen in books, I was taken back in time to London streets buzzing and the old-fashioned shops, that disappear every day, still full of life.
Eric Ravilious prints and book.