“For me, residential tower blocks are an enduring symbol of Hackney’s history and cultural diversity. Iconic structures such as the Trelawney and Dorset estates represent a brief era of hope, when – despite the crippling austerity of post-war Britain – successive governments made an imperfect but determined effort to address poor housing conditions, and more generally to shift society towards a more egalitarian and collective model.
I also personally feel that the brutal, utilitarian designs of these buildings paradoxically convey a sweeping sense of drama and romance, and so I decided to try to find a way to reflect them in my prints. I started by juxtaposing original shapes and colours, customizing them, and finalizing them with a digital twist. It was a truly fascinating undertaking to combine prints, drawings, and photographs to form something striking and original.
Once I had an idea of how to transfer my initial concepts onto fabric and paper, I became curious about the history and stories behind my chosen buildings; I am truly grateful for the amazing background research my architect friend Greta Jonsson has performed, using the Hackney Archive and other sources.
As a textile fashion designer, I always aim to create pieces that are beautiful to look at but also beautiful to wear. I therefore decided that the items I create should be a nexus of art, photography, and fashion, which is why I have designed a collection of scarves, wall hangings, and photography.
I hope that I have manged to capture some of the beautiful and positive elements of the Hackney we all love.”
Tinatin Westwood, founder and designer of Boutiqa