Tuesday, 28 February 2012

I Spy - Nina Chakrabarti

I spy with my little eye something beginning with Nina Chakrabarti!

Falling in love with someone for the first time can be an intoxicating affair. My daughter and I are utterly obsessed with Nina Chakrabarti's 'My wonderful world of fashion'. We've spent countless Sunday afternoons sitting together with pencils, crayons, felt tips and the occasional pot of glitter and glue as we enjoy being the unfinished artistBut of course now we’re smitten we want to know more about the artist behind the book. 
Nina Chakravarti was born in Calcutta, India where she spent her early years. Moving to the UK in her teens ‘carrying her stamp collection under her arm and little else’. She studied illustration at Central St. Martins and later The Royal College of Art. 

Chakrabarti’s work is loose, bright and fun characterised by its enthusiastic 'effervescent compositions'. Using different media Nina Chakrabarti draws with ballpoint pens, pen and ink, Rotring pens, and Apple Mac software.
Nina’s work is child-like in its bubbling unrestrained method and gives her work an approachable feel. She has worked and collaborated with big names such as Vogue, Marks & Spencer, I Want You Magazine, Mazda, CowShed, Topshop and Harpers Bazaar magazine to mention but a few. I know we'll be seeing more and more of her work as she continues to gain worldwide recognition and adoration.
Nina Chakrabarti lives and works in London. 

This colouring book aimed at fashionistas of all ages is so much more than a colouring book suggests. Its interactive pages are full of wonderful sophisticated illustrations that encourage creativity; creativity set forth by some of the best designers throughout the world all brought together with the fantasious vision and imagery of Nina Chakrabarti. The book is a celebration of the fashion world or as Nina says; "My book on fashion is just an enthusiastic response [to fashion],"  "I'm just a fan; I'm not an expert. This is just a personal take on it... I'm just an enthusitastic illustrator.

Covering clothing, bags, shoes, jewellery, embellishments, pattern and accessories the book lets us discover both vintage and contemporary designs turning its reader into the art student and the designer.

It also renders as an historical guide through the manner, mode, style and trend of fashion. Teaching its reader about the artistic world of design with comparative drawings of the then and now. Introducing designers : 
‘Dress by Finnish company Marimekko’….But Where is the pattern?’……Marimekko are known for their graphic patterns. Choose one for the dress opposite.’ 
Mapping the notable influences in the fashion world and paying homage to some of the greatest names in fashion and their influences ‘My wonderful world of fashion’ possesses an immediate connection to the influence in the fashion world. Inciting a fun perspective of pattern and shape and form.

The pages are a mix of elaborate patterned lined drawings and some less complex graphics that encourage with stimulating prompts the artist to elaborate and detail as they feel.  With great ‘how to…’ pages that show how to create simple accessories and embellishments such as button bracelets, safetly pin charms, and pom poms, it shows how to get creative with everyday objects and advocates that inspiration can be found in all that’s around us.

There are games such as find the matching pair and pieces to cut and stick, reference's to the nascence of objects throughout the ages, and shows how some of the best and most beautful of creations can be sourced from both the obscure and the ordinarily unremarkable objects about us. Its only a matter of taking the shape of .....for example a shoe and showing how its shape could also be used to create an altogehter different object like that of a....... hat.

The message that fashion is about making yourself feel good is clear. By becoming the artist and designer  Nina Chankrabarti encourages the readers own creativity and thoughts. The idea that clothing and accessories are more than their practicality bounces off each page. Conveying the notion that no matter what you wear, wear it if it makes you feel wonderful.
Wether it’s Marc Jacobs or a favourite home-made button bracelet, its creativity, its colour and its design is made for you to enjoy

Nina Chakrabarti justifiably concludes the book with a note.....

Just remember one thing girls......
Absolutely smitten! We now have two copies and we love them. The word Marimekko means something to Sessi now and she can see for herself the ideas of designers played out in the illustrations. I have to admit too that whilst Sessi colours in Coco Chanel's pearls of wisdom I feel a sense of joy that she has begun a journey into the wonderful world of fashion design and is beginning to create her own view and idea of it albeit without realising. She enjoys all its eclectic ideas, its origins and its playfulness.
Besides heaven knows as her mother I have NO chance of teaching her anything about fashion! Until i'm passed the stage of putting on whatever's clean atop of the fresh laundry pile and putting on my mascara as i'm hunting for their coats in the morning and back to the 'me' BC (before children) and looking more the lover of good design, beautiful fabrics and to-hell-with-practicality I used to be! Because no matter what your age dressing up is fun.

further images taken from Nina Chakrabarti's work. You can see more deatils of her work via her website:

For a full view of all Nina Chakrabarti's work and to learn more visit her website below
'My wonderful world of fashion' is available in most bookshops you can buy it here, here and here!
If you already have the book then why not try 'My even more wonderful world of fashion book' or if you'd like to use the pages to frame or send to friends as note cards or perhaps just for some more portable carry-in-your-bag-ready-to-entertain-the-kids version try 'My wonderful world of fashion postcard book'.
And if you're a super fan and have fallen in love buy all three but be sure to save a copy for yourself or you'll end up taking over the kids colouring in!

Nina Chakrabarti for; above Cowshed and below Marks & Spencer

This is part of our new 'I Spy' blog features where we bring you a view of something we've fallen in love with. We also have our Monday Makery with ideas for things to make, bake and create.
Our other popular blogposts include 'The story behind our collections', 'Tell us its Tuesday' , An A-Z of Sisters Guild, a collection of images that depict the words we feel celebrate all that is Sisters Guild. The Art of Living posts bring you all the things and places we are passionate about and the things we discover in our lives as mamas, and our 'Once upon a week' gives you a glimpse into life behind the scenes at Sisters Guild. 
If you would like to contribute to our blog by guest blogging a makery or a place or event of interest please do contact us we'd love to share your voice too.


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