13th December 2017

Yell artist’s baskets are in fashion

Yell artist Jeannette Nowak has returned from a “little adventure” at London Fashion Week.

Yell artist Jeanette Nowak (second from right) with the Pringle designers including Gaby Day (left) and Jade Leong (right).

Her work was selected by the designer label Pringle of Scotland to decorate their catwalk show at the annual celebration of high fashion.

Examples of Ms Nowak’s baskets, woven from natural materials including rhubarb skin, were used by Pringle as part of an event showcasing Pringle’s ladieswear new collection. The baskets were placed on staircases at the Grade I listed venue One Marylebone and the artist said seeing her work in such a grand setting had been “a bit surreal”.

It’s a stark contrast to the shed in Yell where Ms Nowak crafts her creations.

The commission came about when two designers from the fashion house, Gaby Day and Jade Leong, visited Ms Nowak in that shed and were impressed by what they saw.

It made for a busy couple of months for the artist.

After the show Ms Nowak said on her Facebook page: “In the past 10 weeks I have made almost 50 baskets and somehow managed to have an exhibition of my paintings and jewellery in the midst of it all.”

She told this newspaper: “I was sitting, sometimes till one o’clock in the morning making baskets. It all happened in a short timeframe.”

Not only did Ms Nowak’s baskets adorn the Pringle celebration but they were used as inspiration for the spring/summer 2018 collection, designed by Ms Leong.

“It all feels a bit surreal, to be honest,” said Ms Nowak. “I feel a bit bemused by it all. I feel a bit like an imposter.”

One of the artist’s deconstructed baskets that provided inspiration for the designers.

The dress inspired by Jeanette Nowak’s baskets.

Even so, the intricate designs were enough to to catch the eye of the designers and take Ms Nowak from Yell to the glitz and glamour of London Fashion Week. Pringle whisked her down to the capital and collected her from the airport in a luxury Mercedes and she said the way she had been treated had been fantastic.

But has involvement in the high society world of fashion seduced her? It seems not.

“It’s not for me,” she said, “but it was fun to see how the other half live.”

Now Ms Nowak will return to more mundane matters. “Time to relax and breathe – and maybe even manage to do a bit of housework again,” she wrote on Facebook.

About Adam Civico

The Shetland Times editor since October 2012.
Born and bred in South Yorkshire, before moving to Shetland I was assistant editor at the Barnsley Chronicle, where my journalism career began.
When not editing The Shetland Times I can be found walking or (occasionally) running, enjoying good food, or trying to find the latest Sheffield Wednesday result.
Contact me with your news and views about Shetland – a.civico@shetlandtimes.co.uk, on Twitter @adamcivico or telephone 01595 746715.

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