August 20 2014

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2 posts tagged "Polly Morgan"

The Norman Invasion


Mother of Pearl’s Maia Norman—surfer chick-turned-fashion designer—always puts Mother Earth first. So for her dinner in London last night, she chose Senkai, the Japanese restaurant that sources all of its food locally and abides by a sustainable and ethical menu. “You have to respect nature and heed its power,” Norman said over salad and sushi. “When I design, I think of the elements. When I am out there surfing, I need to be insulated from the wind and the water. When I am on my motorbike, I need to be well protected and padded if I ever fall off. I think there are so many of us whose clothes need to conform to their lifestyle, not vice versa.” That may explain why her profile is growing swiftly in Asia and the Middle East.

Norman’s clothes—leathers and cashmeres in Smartie candy shades—conform to the less sporting part of her own lifestyle: her long relationship with husband Damien Hirst. Artist collaborations have become a calling card of the line (in the past, she has worked with the likes of Jim Lambie and Fiona Banner), and last night she offered a glimpse into the the Fall ’12 collection she’s currently preparing: its visiting artist is New York sensation Fred Tomaselli. “Fred is a good friend and his work is wild, inspiring. I asked him once, twice, and three times to collaborate—each time he said no. Finally, years on, he had a change of heart and said yes.”

Reason enough for friends like Lulu Kennedy, Polly Morgan, Richard Mortimer, and Pam Hogg to raise a glass. Hogg had something to celebrate, too: One of her pieces just made the cover of British Vogue. Gisele is wearing “leggings I made eight years ago!” she revealed. “It’s amazing that they liked them enough to keep them that long.”

Photo: Courtesy of Mother of Pearl

Eye-Popping Prints At Mother Of Pearl


In London, Frieze is in full swing, and the art/fashion set is in heavy competition to see who can draw the bigger crowd. (This week, Christie’s and Sotheby’s faced off for the party award: Christie’s had Vanity Fair as a lure, but Sotheby’s had Jerry Hall, who took the occasion to debut her new boyfriend—point, Sotheby’s.) But the biggest ticket in town last night was an installation by Maia Norman—a.k.a. Damien Hirst’s missus, if not necessarily by law—at Mayfair’s Haunch of Venison Gallery for her Mother of Pearl line. The Kills’ Alison Mosshart, Josephine de la Baume, Polly Morgan, and, of course, Mr. H. himself dropped by the surreal exhibition to check out her Spring ’11 collection.

This time, Norman (with Hirst, left) worked with the Scottish artist Jim Lambie on a series of prints, including flowers in burnt orange and reds, a loony eyeball-and-gaffer-tape motif, and rock ‘n’ roll images of Grace Jones and John Lennon, all of which appear on fabrics like leather and organza. “I thought they were demented, confrontational,” Norman says of Lambie’s prints. “It was perfect for me, because it seemed like everything fashion-wise has settled down, with the camels and the neutral thing going on. I felt strongly that there was a gap for something wild. When I go shopping, I am always looking for that something really extraordinary and can never find it. It’s usually just this sea of black, and Lambie’s prints provided the perfect antidote.”

Judging from the retailers she’s picked up for the season, it’s clear she’s not alone. Colette will now be carrying the collection, alongside longtime supporter Liberty of London and new shops as far afield as Egypt, Switzerland, and Hong Kong. With all the focus on her own line, we wondered, does she have designs on any other booths at the fair? “Actually,” she said, “I am kind of hoping that all my friends will come and see me here at the installation.” Somehow, we don’t doubt it.

Photo: Alistair Guy / Courtesy of Mother of Pearl