Thursday, 1 August 2013

The I Love Markets Pop-UP

28th July 2013 at Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket

After weeks of planning, hours of making bunting and a few last minute balloons, the I Love Markets team were thrilled to get our hands and feet on a dedicated space at the famous Brick Lane Sunday Up-Market. A regular outing for locals and a stand-out hub for tourists to flock to. The Up-Market is a labyrinth of eclectic and eccentric products and people - which suits ILM just fine! After a couple of alarm clock disasters we beautified our space and were ready to chat markets, markets, markets!

We love markets!
As well as our good selves we brought with us 14 of our finest stallholders. Our aim was not only to tell the whole of Brick Lane that "We love markets" (and why) - we were also dedicated to achieving a community between all our lovely traders and the customers who come to meet them. Hopefully our carefully planned pairing lead to some life long friendships!
Goose Retro with Postcode Prints and Wheels & Butterflies with Lil3birdy
The aesthetically amazing stall next to ours was that of fashion and accessory designers Tiny Track and Eleanor Bret-Day. Ina Shin of Tiny Track specialises in unique collars and necklaces that first caught our eye at Netil Market a few months back. According to her, collars can "brighten up an outfit easily, with a few splashes of colour - you could be wearing a plain t-shirt but then feel totally different". When I asked her who could wear one, she said that "everyone could enjoy wearing their collars - girls, boys and of course dear puppies!" We agree Ina!
Tiny Tracks' awesomely quirky stall and one of her Detachable Collars, £32
Whilst Tiny Track is influenced largely by use of material, Eleanor Bret-Day finds inspiration from films, photographs and works of art. "I always use the same process: painting something, then digitalising and creating a print from a reasonably abstract starting point." 
Eleanor Bret-Day's stall and her beautiful Digital Print Crop Top, £45

As a person who lives in East London, I had to ask Eleanor, a fellow Eastern dweller, what she thinks is so creative about this side of the compass. Speaking about the creatives who moved here years ago for the cheap rent, she said, 
"once the creative community is formed, it just continues to grow. We all work off each other and collaborate across different creative industries, whether it be fashion, photography, or fine art. It just causes the creative community and area to grow." 
We're glad it has!

Someone who might speak for a different side of the river could be Paul McBride of Postcode Prints. Paul creates charming prints of London scenes that are instantly recognisable to the locals. Regular visitors to Clapham Common, West Norwood Feast or Brixton Academy will empathise with his love of the South. But there's something for all Londoners, with Camden Lock and Hackney Empire standing proudly on the stall, with more locations to come, I'm promised!

Brixton Ritzy Print, £30, and some of the delights at Postcode Print's stall

 Paul's stall buddy was Tammy Tawadros of Brixton Market's Goose Retro. Our resident vintage trader for the day. Tammy's passion for what she did was clear and lovely to see. 

"I have been an avid collector for most of my life!" she says. 

Tammy has a strict rule to only sell things that she loves and that she thinks others will love too. Sourced at Norwegian flea markets to vintage markets in Alexandria and anything in between. I aasked her what her favourite era is, 

"The 1970s colours and designs are fantastically strong and earthy. Dark greens, mustard yellows, browns and purples" all illustrated in her wonderful stock. Although she also loves the 30s, "I love deco design for its strong and bold colours and lines cobalt blues and canary yellows and allusions to ancient Egyptian art".

Beautiful bargain scarves by Goose Retro and some 70s Salt and Pepper Shakers

Lil3birdy and Wheels & Butterflies had a very busy stall. Although Clare Shields and Vicky Tippell's styles are totally different, what they did with their stall space was beautiful and a great example of how different creatives can come together. Vicky of Wheels & Butterflies specialises in upcycled jewellery, from disused typewriter keys to old watch parts:

"I often find it saddening that technology seems to replace craft in today's society. Although I do believe that technological advances are very important to our future, I find it vital that we also celebrate our past, and the skill and time taken in crafting objects. Typewriters have been replaced by computers, often watches are now battery operated, and the beauty in the object itself has been lost in favour of cheaper designs. By taking broken or discarded items, one can celebrate the beauty of our industrial past by simply appreciating their aesthetic"

Wheels & Butterflies and her unique Typewriter Key Bracelet £15

Our sentiments exactly! Clare tends to focus more on the animal kingdom. When asking her how she comes up with her subject matter, she said "I started off with birds due to design trends at the time and evolved the range to feature animals that have interested me at that moment." Squirrels drinking tea definitely interest me at this moment, so no wonder I liked their stall so much!

A pyramid of mugs at Lil3birdy's stall, along with her Mr Squirrel Placemat, £8.50
Back on the other side, Elena Hall Jewellery and MDG Jewellery were our jewellers in residency, showing off their beautiful designs that were lovingly handmade by both. Asking Elena about her process, she said  

"As well as jewellery I also work with embroidery so was inspired to create a range which combined my passion for both. It was through experimenting with silver, knitting and crochet that I developed the technique I use for knitting my pieces. The way that I produce these is unique as far as I know as I haven't seen anyone else doing quite the same". 

One of Elena's unique woven necklaces, as well as her colourful Neon Tassell Earrings, £15
Both are clearly passionate about their chosen subject matter - "I love that you can completely change an outfit with a piece of jewellery - dressing it up, adding a flash of colour - the right piece of jewellery can make a real statement and is an instant way to update an outfit you feel you've worn to death". I wholeheartedly agree!

Elena and Meg enjoying their stall, and MDG Jewellery's beautiful Chevron Ring, £185

Next door were Designwithflair and Louise Slater Illustration. One of the chirpiest stalls we had, it was great to see Louise's designs next to Omo's incredible creations. Convinced that one journal was the book of monsters from Harry Potter, I could see that Omo was not satisfied with the conventional book, and channelled this beautifully in her work. 
"I wanted fine art pieces that double as books; to create ''portable blank canvases'  for anyone to write, scribble, doodle, draw, even paint!"

Designwithflair's wonderfully creative stall, and one of her magical journals
Louise however channels her passions through linocutting,
"Experimenting with different colours is a lot of fun, and it's tempting to change the design if something works. I believe it's called serendipity!".

I think it's serendipity that we placed such enthusiastic creatives together at their stall!

Louise getting to know her fellow stallholders. Her Flower Stall Greeting Cards are £9 for a pack of 5
At the far end of our little cluster we had the lucky people who were in line with the door - as it was very hot under that Upmarket roof! Dionne Sylvester and Mister Peebles packed their stall out in an array of wonderful goodies. Moaning over our position down the other end of the space, we wanted to gaze into Dionne's spellbounding cushions, coasters, and handheld fans all day. 

Dionne's stall was spellbounding! Get one of her Teacup Sets for only £15
Helen McGinley of Mister Peebles presented us with a delightful community of different (hilarious, I should say also) characters. Absolutely unable to choose between them all, I got Helen to help me,
"The Peng Win is still one that I look at and smile. He reminds me of islands far away and he is an optimistic little fellow. I also like the Bear. He just looks quizzical and a bit dumfounded. Plus you can’t go wrong with stripy yellow pyjamas."  

She's right - but I also can't stop thinking about David Meowie...

Mister Peebles and the stall of wonderful characters. David Meowie Greetings Card is only £3!

Finally heading up the back was the colourful duo Mixy Fandino and Discover Beyond the Pale. Bright, spotty tablecloth in tow, the vibrant but differing styles of Mixy and Lenka drew customers in. Mixy's jewellery comes from South America and uses fantastic, unique materials such as 'vegetable ivory'. Lenka's personality shone through in her paintings - she was even raffling one for charity.

Mixy looking beautiful at her stall! Her colour Tagua Fusion Necklace is £28 
Discover Beyond the Pale's creative and colourful stall reflected Lenka perfectly! Her Misty Dream original is £150
If you came by our stall you'd have also witnessed the fantastic wares of Decogirl and Charlotte Wainwright Design. After spending ages trying on Decogirl's vintage jewellery, I got to really appreciate the intricate design behind Charlotte's beetle collection. 
A beautiful stall deserves beautiful people, so we were delighted when lots of friendly passers by came to take pictures in our space. If you didn't stop by to say "I love markets" to us, you should have; anyone who did got themselves a £10 voucher for our online shop. We're still giving a few away though so keep your eye on our FaceBook if you want one for yourself or a friend!

They love markets! Do you?
All-in-all, the Upmarket was everything we wanted it to be. Traders, customers, wonderful products - all our favourite things in one place. Everyone did a great job and we were proud of everyone involved. Have a look at our photo album if you missed the stall itself; because - as one of Charlotte's characters might say -  I moose't say it looked rather dashing.
Charlotte Wainwright Moos't Say Card, £3

 All of the above traders are available to buy on the ILM online shop - so don't worry too much if you didn't get down in person! Here are some of our faves from each:

Kibuna Minuta Beetle Mug, £10
Vintage Handbag and Umbrella Brooch, £22
HIgh Collar Screen Print Shirt, £79.99
Camden Lock, £30
Pastel Blue Detachable Collar, £32

Hollye Murphy