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Clerkenwell Design Festival Turns 10!

Clerkenwell Design Week logo

Clerkenwell Design Week is 10 years old. Not an actual week, the three-day festival celebrates the area’s status as one of the world’s most influential design hubs. Clerkenwell, a vibrant area in London’s EC1, is home to some of the capital’s most historic buildings where traditional craft industries today flourish alongside the most contemporary. CDW is showcase of commissioned projects, events, exhibitions, installations and street spectacles. There is even a fringe away from the main spots. To celebrate its tenth year, 10 installations  – to symbolise birthday candles – have been placed throughout the area – guiding visitors along the festival route. From state-of-the-art taps to pavilions and art sculptures, CDW is a brilliant place to see first hand designs of the future. Plus there…

Space-Age design still influencing how we dress

Paco Rabanne Space-Age dresses

Space-Age designs and all things Swinging London are hitting the headlines again. Swinging London: A Lifestyle Revolution / Terence Conran – Mary Quant is showing at the Fashion and Textile Museum, and a Mary Quant retrospective opens at The V&A in April. The popularity is proof that such a period continues to fascinate and influence what we wear today and the BBC’s Culture Designed thread has a great read up now – that features Ops&Ops. Check it out here!

Journey through Fashion History with Amber Butchart

The Fashion Chronicles: The Style Stories of HIstorys Best Dressed – Amber Butchart
Interested in fashion and style? Curious as to how clothes have helped shape history? Look no further than The Fashion Chronicles: The style stories of History’s best dressed – the latest book by Amber Butchart, fashion historian, lecturer and presenter of BBC’s A Stitch In Time. Amber takes us on a five-thousand year journey, charting the stories of 100 of the most sartorially sharp people in history – from Eve and her fig leaf to Mata Hari to Michelle Obama; Ghengis Khan to Keir Hardie to Malcolm X and Prince. It’s a fascinating jaunt. Packed with great photographs and illustrations, historical context and insight it is both factual and brilliantly entertaining. We caught up with Ops&Ops fan Amber to chat about her latest book and...

The Art – and Joy – of Campari

Campari. Just mention of the name, its sound, conjures a smile and an image or memory. For us, it's summer out in the open with soda; or winter in a dark wood-panelled bar, Negroni in hand. (Wearing Ops&Ops, of course!) Then there are the ads, charming and iconic — from the Belle Epoque through to the 1960s, as powerful today as when they were originally conceived. And now they are on show, around the corner from our studio in Canonbury, at the Estorick Collection's latest exhibition: The Art of Campari. Campari is the classic Italian aperitivo. An intriguing mix of bitters, herbs, spices and sweetness, this deep jewel-red delight is unchanged since Gaspare Campari invented the blend in 1860. As aperitivo culture bloomed, Gaspare opened...

Peter Ashworth’s Mavericks

Mavericks: Looking down the hallway of Leigh Bowery's extraordinary flat.
Mavericks. From Julian Cope to Adam Ant, the Clash to Leigh Bowery – photographer Peter Ashworth created some of the most scene-defining images of the 1980s and 90s. And now the legendary photographer is presenting ‘mavericks’. This first solo exhibition of his work debuted at The Gallery, Liverpool, and after adaptation is now showing at Lever Gallery in Clerkenwell, London. Ashworth captured both the fashion and music worlds. His iconic images adorned the record sleeves of the most famous, the avant garde and the scene-setters. These images, as powerful today as they were decades ago, helped forge a band’s aesthetic and how they wanted to be seen well before the digital era. The Eurythmics, Smiths, Bryan Ferry and Frankie Goes to Hollywood, among many, can thank...

Animal Print-tastic

Animal print, Giraffe ensemble, in Rudi Gernreich film, Basic Black
Animal Print. It’s on the catwalk, at the shows, in the stores, online – you’ll find Cheetah and Giraffe prints here at Ops&Ops! It’s both classic and modern, ageless and totally now. Always.   The fashion for animal prints began in the 1920s with movie stars lending an air of glamour. From collars and trims, post-war its popularity grew. It was the uniform for pin-up girls before Christian Dior, in the 1950s, gave it the haute couture seal of approval. The designer may have cautioned “If you are fair and sweet, don’t wear it,” but he elevated the print, making it chic, elegant and essential. Once the domain of the well-to-do, animal prints became ubiquitous during the 1960s. Givenchy made suits, avant garde Austrian Rudi...

Remarkable Book, Remarkable Symbol for Peace

Poster for Peace book from Reel Art Press
Peace is the latest book, and accompanying exhibition, from RAP – Reel Art Press. Some 59 years after the peace symbol was created, this never-before-seen collection of works by photographer Jim Marshall is truly remarkable. And it could not have come at a more poignant time. Marshall, one of the most celebrated photographers of the last century, is best-known for his pictures of rock-and-roll royalty from the 1960s onwards. Though he also enjoyed a rock-and-roll lifestyle, he always saw himself as a photo-journalist and in between music assignments would document the street life of ordinary people. Peace is Marshall's personal archive of the peace symbol. The symbol was created in 1958 by Gerald Holtom for the British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. It spread quickly to America, going on to become globally...

Designer Pop-Up – Modern Theory: 21-26 March

Modern Theory pop-up flyer
Come and join us at Modern Theory pop-up! Ops&Ops are one of four designers in this exclusive collaboration offering a neat edit of contemporary wardrobe additions from London's most independent accessory designers – PIPÉT, M.Hulot, Marian Ripoll Vaquer and Ops&Ops. Experience clean lines, statement prints and the beautiful workmanship that goes into each of the scarves, bags and leather goods  jewellery and Ops&Ops' footwear on offer. Enjoy the opportunity to buy direct from us and the other labels and receive exclusive discounts in store – we will be selling our latest, Miami-inspired collection and transitional styles with 10% off – as part of this special designer pop-up. See you there! Modern Theory Pop-Up The Showcase, Craft Central 33-35 St Johns Square London EC1M 4DS March 21-26 11am-7pm 10am-5pm – Sat & Sun...

Go-Go Boots – are Go!

Go-Go boots. They're up there with Dorothy’s red slippers, Roger Vivier’s Pilgrim pumps and Audrey Hepburn’s Penny Loafers in footwear folklore. Not just an icon of the 1960s, go-go boots are among the most iconic shoe and boot trends of the 20th century. André Courrèges was the magician who introduced the go-go boot.  A white mid-calf boot with a flat black heel, they anchored his space-age look first sent down the catwalk in 1964. The boots were made from leather, matte and patent, vinyl or PVC. Styles had either a cut-out around the top or pleated detail. An instant hit, they defined both the youthquake movement of the time, and the sophisticated look of French stars such as Catherine Deneuve. Where did the name come from?  Theories abound....
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