Make do and mend.
I design my jewellery to be worn everyday. To be enjoyed, and cherished. When it is worn in this way it tells the story of its owner - it wears around how they move, it becomes an extension of their personality. Owning fewer things, and wearing them a lot is a good philosophy for living in a more environmentally conscious way. It seems that these days we are taught to buy more, and throw more away - when actually we should buy less, and look after what we have.
In the profile of my Mum I wrote about how the way that she dresses inspires me and how to this day she is the most stylish person I know. In truth, her style has a far greater impact on how I dress today, as many of the things I wear are actually hand-me-downs from her. French linen shirts, thick wool jumpers - warm coats and dancing shoes, there is something really special about wearing something that she has worn too, the little marks and stretches that are the signs that they were once loved by someone who I love.
An item of clothing that has been handed down from GD however tends to have some more distinctive marks that prove its provenance - they have all been lovingly repaired, patched and sewn. No hole goes unnoticed, no tear unpatched. These repairs give her clothes a bespoke element, they are not just functional but aesthetic too.
For as long as I can remember she has done this - and so her clothes last. Her patches acting as little badges proudly demonstrating her love. Like a Japanese Boro textile the more repaired and patched they are, the more beautiful - the better story they tell.
All of us Nixons wear patched up clothes to some extent. Inspired by Mum’s use of patches as accessories - intentionally using colourful antique fabrics to draw attention to the repair - I thought that I might use bright colours in my repairs too. Having studied textiles at University I really enjoy making a statement with my patches - and stitching them in interesting ways. Martin rather likes the bright orange darning on his favourite cashmere sweater, and Ollie’s well worn Levis’ jeans have a fabulous pink and white fabric patch holding them together. If you have come to see me in the studio, the chances are that I was wearing my blue woollen cardigan, covered in bright darned patches.
I am going to start a series of blogs that focus on repairs, and perhaps accompany them with some instagram videos of me repairing bits of clothing. Let me know if there are any particular types of repairs that you would like to see first - I always love hearing from my clients: firstname.lastname@example.org.