To mark the 20th anniversary of the iconic British jewellery brand, Tatty Devine, the Lethaby Gallery at Central Saint Martins in London has an exhibition of Tatty Devine’s playful, original and distinctive jewellery designs that will then tour the UK.
Taking place from 20th July to 11th August, ‘Misshapes: The Making of Tatty Devine’, features over 100 pieces from the last 20 years of Tatty Devine’s iconic collection, from the early leather cuffs and piano belts to giant two metre versions of their iconic art pieces and the famous name necklaces in their original acrylic designs.
It also features sketchbooks and two new films that truly illuminates the inspiring story of how Tatty Devine truly put their name on the jewellery map and changed the industry.
The History Of Tatty Devine
The very humble beginnings of Tatty Devine started with the founder’s Rosie Wolfenden and Harriet Vine setting up a market stall in the iconic Spitalfields Market in the late 1990s. This was such an inspiring time in fashion and popular culture. The birth of the supermodel, the sounds of BritPop sweeping across the airwaves and a huge political and cultural shift.
In this exhibition, it’s exciting to look back on this period in time and look at just how much Tatty Devine were involved in this. Together, they journeyed through these creative times, challenged jewellery conventions, and started to make their arts and crafts stamp on the industry.
Tatty Devine are perhaps most well-known for their acrylic style of jewellery making that was discovered in 2001 on a trip to New York that led them to discover the laser cut acrylic style. It was this turning point in their creative journey that unleashed a whole new set of creative possibilities and ideas.
I truly feel that, as a child of the 90s and early 00s, I have grown up with Tatty Devine’s idiosyncratic designs. It was so special to see Tatty Devine’s jewellery honoured in this way, as well as exploring ideas of feminism, entrepreneurship, innovative British making, and the power of creativity.
Tatty Devine, throughout their incredible 20 years, have always created personality-packed jewellery that has become much loved and still culturally relevant.
From their classic creation, that takes details such as fruit, stars and planets and everyday items and shapes and transforms them into a work of wearable art, to their statement slogan pieces, to their recent on-point collection EU and Me.
As the owner of Beauxoxo for over 10 years, selling my handmade hair accessories, I adored following the DIY and humble start that Tatty Devine had. They truly are the pinnacle of a handmade, arts and craft success, and a brand I know many so deeply admire.
I also so deeply admire the ethics, narrative and unknowingly anarchic approach that Tatty Devine has always had that resonated with a fashion industry and public who were hungry for something different from the commercialised, mass-produced products on offer. In fact, that still produced mass-produces.
And even before they made their mark with their laser cut style of jewellery making, Tatty Devine were turning throwaway disposable objects like scraps of leather and guitar plectrums into jewellery that not only landed the brand in Vogue magazine but also in the hearts of loyal fans all over the world.
If you’re already a fan of Tatty Devine you absolutely MUST see this free exhibition (yes this incredible collection is free) and will find yourself leaving even more in love and deeply proud of the brand they have always been, and have become now.
If you’re fascinated by the arts, fashion and arts, then prepare yourself to be deeply enchanted by this collection that allows such an intimate behind the scenes to how this indie brand started and the story behind the unique pieces.
It’s made me fall even more in love with Tatty Devine, if that was possible, and I treasure my pieces even more dearly. If you do pop by this exhibition, you’ll also be able to get hands-on creating some ideas from their ‘How To Make Jewellery’ book that was a lovely touch.
I truly hope you’ve enjoyed this post and are able to see the exhibition for yourself before it closes this weekend in London, and have the joy of seeing it in the future destinations. You can find all about where these destinations, as well as additional information about the collection from The Crafts Council right here.
How many you adore Tatty Devine as much as me? Have any of you made it to this exhibition, or plan to go to the other locations?
Lethaby Gallery (within Central Saint Martins)
1 Granary Square
**** 20 July – 11 August 2019 ****
Tuesday – Friday: 11am–6pm
Saturday – Sunday: 12–5pm