After discovering this book during London Fashion Week, at the Clements Ribeiro show – Inacio Ribeiro wrote the foreword – the publishers kindly accepted to send me a copy. To my delight – ‘Embellished: New Vintage’ is so much more than a just a glossy and eye-catching coffee table book, more like a ride to a wonderful parallel universe, the imaginarium of Karen Nicol.
A famous embroidery and mixed media textile artist, whose clients include Givenchy, Chanel couture, Chloe, Vera Wang, Marc Jacobs, Matthew Williamson, Anthropologie, Clements Ribeiro, Mulberry and many others, Karen Nicol has collected various (and many) objects over the years, from old buttons to exotic feathers, to vintage fabrics, to underwear boning and other random remains or objects that were once loved then abandoned by their owners. After Nicol operates her magic, these orphan objects get resuscitated under her loving hands to live a new life, in a new environment and generally with a new function.
Through this book, Karen Nicol shares with us her world of embellished objects, the results of her findings combined to cutting edge contemporary designs, whether it be for fashion or interior decoration. ‘Designing with vintage material can create something unique’, she says. ‘The danger when recycling vintage materials is that the resulting products look old and become a memorial for a bygone age. You must approach the pieces with an original and inventive imagination to allow for innovation’.
And this is exactly what the author demonstrates in ten chapters, structured by technique, and a multitude of stunning illustrations.
‘Embellished: New Vintage’ is a dream come true for all vintage lovers and textile artists – as well as an object of delight for everyone else!