Five Go Mad

Sunday 1 November 2009

Q and A with Rebecca Oldfield

Beautiful vintage flags spill out of old wooden drawers, colourful fabrics in every corner of the room, with bunting, buttons and badges littering most of the visible surfaces.
Five go mad caught up with Rebecca Oldfield in her studio at Cockpit Arts Studios in South East London.

What made you decide to set up Lost and Found?
I have always loved vintage design and wanted to combine this with my textiles training.

Where does your inspiration come from?
Everywhere! Flea markets, pieces of fabric, vintage items and particularly the past and history.

Where do you source your vintage fabrics and accessories?
I love traveling to auctions in and out of London and have a reliable team who source things for me, spies with eyes shall we say.

Tell us about the heritage of the materials you use.
Each piece has an old and new history. I join them together, and form a contemporary provenance.

You use salvaged materials, are your products sustainable?
In essence, yes. I use Traditional techniques on vintage fabrics to create strong pieces, you don’t want them to fall apart. I give them another lifespan.

What's your thoughts on sustainability in design.
It's important. In natural progression things will always be discarded, it's the way we live. Recycling and reusing things will become the norm, particularly in design, we've no other choice.

Are you materialistic?
Incredibly. I love things, I like to be surrounded. I am better at home than in the studio. It's not money related, it's anything with a personal connection or history.

What do you predict as key design trends in 2010?
I don’t think about it. My work is self indulgent, I am inspired by what I enjoy. I know you're never unaffected by trends, it filters through somehow but I try not to think about it.

What comes to mind when you think “Best of British”?
Farmers! Rural, old fashioned and traditional things. Morris dancing, village fetes and British butchers. A real sense of community and self-sufficiency, something a little twee.

What do you think makes British style unique?
Individual style is unique in a way, still, everything is influenced by something. It's more about quality than being unique. There's lots of good design, not as much fantastic design, both are important.

Where is your favourite British café?
In Deptford High St, The Deptford Project does amazing bacon sarnies. High Tea Highgate, Georgina, the proprietor, makes the best in town. It’s cute and traditional, treat yourself!

What is your favourite British food?
Easy. Roast dinner or cottage pie. Something wholesome and comforting!

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