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The Urbanknit London studio is based in Chesterfield House, Wembley. We’ve been here only a few months now and its time to celebrate that. On the 9th of July 2015, there will be an open studio day, so do drop by to have a drink, meet various artists and designers and get creative too!

Let me know if you are in the area or if you are stopping by, leave a comment below!

Yes, it is. It is our 9th year on Etsy. We opened our Etsy store on the 20th of June 2006 and had our first sale on the 3rd of July just two weeks after.

So here is a little celebratory song from Toni Tony Tone!

 

 

This is the second time we are featuring a Buy Me Brunch t-shirt on Cool Tees Thursday as they are just that cool. This cheeky one made me chuckle the first and second time AND third time I saw it, so here it is. The Find Us tee is available in both Men and Womens sizes and even in a vest style for Women.

Check out more Tees from them here: www.buymebrunch.com

Thames & Hudson to publish EAST END FASHIONISTAS: A photographic celebration of street style in London’s most creative and inspiring quarter.

Multicultural, adjacent to London’s wealthy financial district, home to artists and designers of all stripes, funky boutiques and a vibrant night-life, the East End is alive with creative possibility. Now photographer Anthony Webb – who travelled the world to photograph the most interesting destinations in Thames & Hudson’s StyleCity series – has trawled the streets of East London, photographing its most colourful characters and inspirational personalities, all stylishly individual and self-fashioned to the extreme.

An inspiring style resource from a fresh new voice, all the images in East End Fashionista were taken exclusively for this book and have not been seen before. In a heady mix of fashionable portraits animated by aphorisms culled from the graffiti that adorns the streets of East London, Webb captures the true spirit of one of the most creative places on earth, the jump off point for many of the world’s leading fashion designers and a continually evolving place of inspiration for the style-obsessed and culturally curious.

East End Fashionistas Anthony Webb Publication date: 14 September 2015 Price: £14.95

Author

Anthony Webb is a London-based photographer. He was one of the principal photographers for Thames & Hudson’s StyleCity series.

Extent 256pp

Size 23.0 x 17.7cm

Illustrations c. 600 illustrations

Binding Flexibound

ISBN 978 0 500 518137

www.thamesandhudson.com

 

I created the Megasnap clutch to be a huge statement piece. That one accessory that will always be a talking point no matter what you wear. Whether it is to finish off your formal outfit or LBD or to add glamour to a casual ensemble, this is definitely the piece for you.

It is made in a Nigerian fabric known as ‘Aso-oke’ which is a loom woven textile similar in texture and weight to denim or canvas. This particular version is an old-school vintage which is partly woven with lurex which incorporates a glittering metallic gold thread. This version is also quite special as the style is perforated and beyond the visible perforations is a layer of deep aubergine satin fabric. Satin, Aso-oke, Cotton; many layers one clutch!

 

It is lined internally with a green and black Ankara print cotton fabric for that little bit of extra fun. It has several layers of padding to give it stability and to protect its contents. It is quite spacious and will fit a phone, money, keys, make-up, camera and a lot more. It has a handy strap making it easy to carry and has a small internal pocket.

Check it out here: www.urbanknit.com/shop/vintage-and-gold-aso-oke-megasnap-clutch/

 

We have a brand new selection of Bee Bags in stock, just in time for the summer, lovely weather and sunshine days.

The Bee bag is so called because its great for buzzing around. For shopping, going to the park, books and magazines or to swap your trainers when you get to work (yes, we all do it!). Anything really, you make it what you want it to be. The wide straps make it a comfortable to carry on the shoulder.

Choose between Ankara print or batik versions. Muted or colourful? What’s your flavour?

Green Eleko Adire Bee Bag

Bumble Bee Bag

Orange Batik Tote

Blue Shell Ankara Tote

The iro and buba (pronounced “ee-roe” and “boo-bah”) are the most essential parts of a Yoruba woman’s traditional outfit. I say the iro and buba are essential because they are the skirt and blouse and are the basis for the outfit. The complete outfit in actual fact consists of 5 separate parts. The iro, buba, gele, pele and iborun which can be made in a variety of fabrics from affordable Ankara print, to Aso-oke as well as lace for more special occasions.

Iro– wrapper/ a large piece of fabric worn as a wrap-round skirt Buba– the blouse Gele– the headtie/ head-dress Pele– a shawl that goes round the waist Iborun– shawl/scarf- a protection from the sun

 

Yoruba women dressed in traditional Aso Egbé (ceremonial and society attire) Ìró, Bùbá, and Gèlè. ca. 1968.  Image from  Nigerian Nostalgia Project

Ladies, Ladies, Ladies 1961. Dressed in Aso-Oke Iro and Gele Image from The Nigerian Nostalgia Project-http://nigerianostalgia.tumblr.com/

 

This traditional outfit has been given a contemporary twist and these days, the younger generation often do away with the pele, iborun and gele and make the iro and buba more fitted, more varied and dare I say more stylish. This is embodied in the revival of the retro 60’s/70’s style of iro and buba known as ‘Oleku’. This word basically means ‘too hot’ or ‘to die for’ and identifies the version of the outfit which is a micro mini wrapper and a blouse with cropped sleeves.

 

Oleku outfits by Ituen Basi

Mix and match Ankara Iro and Buba- Image from Sola Dunn blog

Block colour Iro and Buba- image from Jokotade blog,  outfit by House of Neakey

The options are endless and you can make it to suit your own tastes and figure with beaded blouses, cropped wrappers and sleeves, modern-the ubiquitous sarong-style wrapper, using chiffon, silk, satin, linen, in a monochrome look, with block colours, with intricate patterns. Some designers have even come up with all-in-one dresses which when worn, look like the iro and buba combo.

Anything goes! So these are just a few ideas. How do you wear yours? If you are looking for some design inspiration for your next iro and buba outfit  or just want to feast your eyes then check these out:

1. Silk & Chiffon Iro & Buba- www.uk.pinterest.com/HoneydropA/silk-chiffon-iro-buba

2. The Tulip Style- https://uk.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=iro%20and%20buba%20tulip&term_

3. Funky Buba versions: www.uk.pinterest.com/HoneydropA/blouse-substitute-for-buba/

 

Tiffany Amber Silk Lily Twist Dress

 

It is hard to imagine that any girl child that grew up in West Africa in the 70’s and 80’s does not recognise these dolls. I found them fascinating then and even more so now. Made purely out of plastic, the dolls though detailed with facial expressions, hair, clothing and so on were made in one single piece. This of course means that no part of the doll moved; not the hair, not the arms nor the legs!

 

 

I think it required an even greater sense of imagination to play with these dolls. No clothes to change, no hair to brush…. Nevertheless, they were extremely popular to my recollection and I was thrilled to come across the instagram feed for the Clonette Dolls.

The Iconic Clonette ‘’Baby & Auntie DeiDei Dolls originated in Ghana during the colonial era and were the first industrially produced doll in Africa. Inspired by traditional woven dolls usually made from wood, grass and fabric these bright dolls are still being made in Ghana today from recycled plastic. They come in a range of sizes and colours. There are even some limited edition stripey ones and some decorative porcelain ones! Visit their online store www.clonettedolls.com

I am absolutely going to get one…. or two. Love them!

 

 

 

 

 

I know, I know. I am not even a cat person and  I don’t even watch any of those cat memes that keep doing the rounds on Facebook, Youtube and the rest. Still, I found this t-shirt funny. The wording itself and then the expression on the cat’s face. It’s cute and I certainly would get one.

So if this tickles you, it is created by Print Liberation and can be found here on the Brit + Co website. It is available in Blue or Grey and in a range of sizes for both men and women.

 

I love this tee simply because the bear looks like such a cool dude. Simple! Hipster bear with funky geek glasses, what more could you ask for?

The t-shirt comes from a fellow Etsy seller Crawlspace Studios and is titled Nerdy Grizzle Bear!

Go check it out!