Friday, 18 December 2009

Momiji High Tea Party!

Hello everyone,

Just a little Couture Contest update. As you’ll probably know we were due to announce the winner on Monday but we’ll be bringing it forward by a day to Sunday 20th December as Royal/T are throwing a special Momiji High Tea Party in our honour to coincide with the unveiling of the exhibition. As this will take place on Sunday it makes sense to do everything at the same time.

The details will be on the main Momiji blog so you can expect to see the announcement early afternoon (UK time.)

Let us know if you have any questions,

Thanks again to you all!




p.s. we've sent this message to all entrants by email but have had a few bounce back...We'll keep trying xx

Thursday, 10 December 2009

We'll be announcing the winner...

...on December 21st at 4pm on the Momiji blog. That's the day the exhibition will begin at Royal/T and the short-listed dolls will be unveiled for all to see.

Now that our new site is up and running we'll be putting all Couture Contest info up over there so make sure you check-in for all the news.

Big love to you all!

Momiji x

Monday, 30 November 2009


Hello everyone!

First of all we want to say how flabbergasted we were by your talent and dedication to the contest. It may sound cliched but we really were overwhelmed by the response. It's obvious that hours upon hours of love and dedication have been poured into the entries and we really can't thank you enough.

Just to give you an update on what's been happening since the closing date...the judging panel got together to study every single entry and awarded points to their favourites. At the moment we are finalising all the details (it's a pretty big job we had so many entries.)

Check back here next week for a timeline of what happenes next, we'll have lots more news then.

For now we'll leave you with a picture of the legendry Barbara Hulanicki at our judging meeting...


Sunday, 25 October 2009

Postal Strike: Closing Date Extended

Thanks for your emails and questions about how the postal strike might affect the Couture Contest. Those of you that don't live in the UK may not have heard that postal workers are planning strikes this week and are currently dealing with a large backlog of undelivered mail. While many of your entries have arrived safely at Momiji HQ (we'll send an email to the creators of all those dolls that we've received next week) we can't stand the thought of some dolls being stranded in a sorting office somewhere. We've decided that the deadline for entries will now be 5.30pm on Monday 16th November. We can't say for sure how long the strike will impact on deliveries but hopefully those extra couple of weeks should mean that everything makes it through the system. To keep things simple we'll also accept entries to the USA address until 16th November.

Thanks so much to those have you who have take then time to deliver your dolls by hand. It's lovely to meet you and we really appreciate your dedication.

If you have any questions just let us know.

Photo credit will wade

Friday, 16 October 2009

Two Weekends Left

Hello folks,

Hope your dolls are coming along well. Two weekends left now, which is plenty of time to devote to pouring a little love and creative genius into your Momiji. As a dose of textile eye candy we'll leave you with this fab photo by Astrid (we LOVE Astrid and her amazing blog & flickr stream.)

Have a wonderful weekend.


Monday, 5 October 2009

Barbara Hulanicki

It’s not every day you get to sip cappuccino with one of the most highly esteemed names in British fashion, so when Barabara ‘BIBA’ Hulanicki found time during London Fashion week to talk with us, we were more than a little bit excited.

Settling down for a chat in the cafe at Liberty, she told us how entering a design competition had had a big impact on her own early career. Back in the 1950s her aunt had spotted a contest in the London Evening Standard. There had been three categories; evening wear, day wear and swim wear. Barbara’s aunt was sure she had come up with a winning idea and tasked her niece with drawing up a complicated ensemble which involved an outfit made from layers of silk which could be removed to reveal a cocktail dress. Despite not being particularly keen on the old-fashioned style, Barbara did as she was asked, however when she returned home she decided that she’d also enter her own idea for a playsuit. She recalls how several weeks later she heard that she had won and laughs at the trepidation she’d felt when faced with the daunting task of breaking the news to her aunt!

“It changed my life completely. It also taught me that I was right not to always listen to my elders and that I really should trust my own ideas.”

After studying at Art College in Brighton, Barbara began her career as a freelance fashion illustrator for newspapers and glossy magazines. Felicity Green, women’s editor for the Daily Mirror asked Barbara to design an outfit that the newspaper could offer its readers as a mail order offer. The result was a pink gingham dress which they sold over 17,000, it gained cult status and resulted in a British gingham shortage. Barbara’s husband Fitz, set off on a mission to fabric suppliers around the country in an attempt to source enough to keep up with demand.
Spurred on by their immediate success the couple went on to set up their own mail order business, selling their designs across Britain to fashion-hungry young women. Barbara talks about those early days with fondness but also remembers the chaos that often ensued as they tackled the overwhelming demands of being the nation’s coolest boutique.

It was only a matter of time before the mail order business expanded into their first shop. In 1964 the doors of a new boutique opened in Kensignton and the legendary BIBA was born, creating a completely new type of fashion retailing that would change the face of the British High Street forever.

We asked Barbara what advice she’d give to those starting out in their design careers nowadays; she stressed the importance of hands on experience;

“When we started BIBA we had to do everything ourselves. I’d say get as much knowledge and experience as you can. Learn the technical stuff too, the nitty-gritty. Work in a shop to see how people buy, learn how to pattern cut. Do as much as you can before you settle in a particular job. See what’s out there, find different openings; there will be things happening that you don’t even know about.”

We took along Coco, one of our newest Momiji as a gift for Barbara to take back to her home in Miami, “I love it, she’s adorable!” Chatting about some of the most memorable gifts she’d received she recalled the time Fitz had bought her a wooden armadillo! “I don’t know why!” she laughed “He was always terrified of giving me presents because I’m so difficult.”
With a career spanning nearly 50 years, Barbara Hulanicki is showing little sign of slowing down. Her recent capsule collection for TopShop, a collection of wallpaper for Graham & Brown and now even a documentary film about her life ‘Beyond BIBA’ mean that the creativity just keeps flowing. “I love doing new things, moving from one to another”

Finally, we wanted to know how she would approach entering the Couture Contest; if she were to make a Momiji that represented herself, what would it be like? “A little devil...a happy little devil!”

We’d like to say a big thanks to Barbara for being so generous with her time and her enthusiasm for supporting new talent.

If you’d like your creative skills to make it into the hands of a fashion icon then make sure your doll arrives with us before October 30th. Just under a month to go; it’s the final countdown.

For more information and a list of screenings for Beyond BIBA visit

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Pip McCormac

Entering the Momiji Couture Contest is a chance for you to get your work in the hands of some pretty fabulous folk from the world of design, fashion and textiles. Stay tuned over the coming weeks for interviews with some of the faces behind the contest; we'll be chatting with them about their lives, their careers and what they'll be looking for in the winning entry.

First up is Pip McCormac of The Sunday Times Style. We had a chat with the man responsible for the glossy pages of our favourite Sunday brunch-time reading.

Did you always know you wanted to work in design?
No – when I was very young I wanted to be a bus driver as I thought it would be a good way to always be meeting new people. Then I wanted to be a chef because I love eating, and finally I fell into writing about design because I just love a good cushion and I’m not fierce enough to write about fashion!

Where are your favourite places for shopping in London?
I love the atmosphere of Marylebone High St. It can be a thriving Saturday afternoon just five minutes walk away on Oxford St, but up there it’s always calm, serene, and gentle. Plus there are some great pubs and restaurants to end up in.

Do you collect anything?
Dust, mainly. My house is full of things that I love that I really don’t have space for, but that I’ve picked up over the years and can’t bear to part with. Candlesticks, vases, weird little horse-shaped ornaments….I’d love to be all minimalist, but I just couldn’t manage it.

What have you learned this year?
How to trust my instincts when I come to work. If I instinctively love a group of random objects, chances are they’ll look good together on the page. Of course, that could just be because there are geniuses working on my Art Desk.

What advice would you give to those beginning their design careers on how to promote themselves and their work?
So many young designers are pro-active these days – I often get emails from recent graduates with images of their work and a mini-bio. I’m so deskbound a lot of the time that I often have to rely on people to come to me. Of course, shows like 100% Design and Tent are great to be involved in, as it’ll get you massive exposure almost instantly, from both the press and the buyers.

What’s the hardest thing about your job?
Keeping on top of all the press releases and information and bits of paper that constantly threaten to overrun my life! I long for a paperless working system. Or even a filing cabinet would do nicely!

What’s your favourite part?
I love it when I put something on the page and then get a call from the stockist the next day saying they’ve already had a ton of orders. I know that my job isn’t exactly something that would lead to sainthood, but I figure that most people don’t have time to trawl every shop and website looking for the perfect vase to fill a spot in their living room, so I like being able to do that for them.

What possession could you not live without?
My Sky+ box. I love television, and I love being able to watch what I want, when I want. I’m about to go on holiday next week and freaking out that it won’t have enough memory left to record all the shows I’ll be missing, and I just can’t face deleting all those episodes of Property Ladder currently clogging it up. I do know some people would find this embarrassing to admit to, but I don’t think there’s anything shaming in talking about what brings you joy. And yes, I do know it’s only TV!
Friday nights or Sunday mornings?
Friday nights! I love the promise of the weekend stretching ahead of you. I’m usually far too hungover to function on a Sunday morning.

What will you be looking for when you’re judging the Momiji Couture Contest?
Bright and interesting use of colour. I like seeing palette combinations that I wouldn’t necessarily have thought of. I’m all about the bold and the beautiful.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Returning Dolls

As you'll all know, the top ten entries will be exhibited at Royal/T in LA. We're still fine tuning dates for this but we'll let you know as soon as we can. We have received a few emails from people asking if and when their doll could be returned to them. The terms of entry currently state that dolls cannot be returned however we've been giving this some thought and have come up with a new solution. We will keep the dolls until the end of 2010 to allow enough time for exhibiting them. After this time, if you would like your doll to be returned if you can send us the stamps or postage fee we can get it sent back to you.

Hope this helps. If you have any questions just drop us an email to and we'll get back to you.
Thanks so much for your entries so far. Keep them coming!

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Amanda Fatherazi

Taking craftsmanship, traditional embellishment, and embroidery to a whole new level; Amanda Fatherazi's exquisite dolls stopped us in our tracks. In total awe of her talent, we asked her if she'd tell us a little bit more on how she does it.

Your work has such finesse and flair! Tell us about your creative process - how do you start out making a new doll?

Thank you! I naturally find myself inspired by bygone eras, the sense of style and general aesthetics, which is the common thread throughout my work. The details of each project depend on whether it's self-initiated or I'm working with a client. Whichever it is, I usually begin with sketches and put together mood boards of suitable fabrics. Hunting for vintage fabrics is what I love and sourcing these is a pleasure to me. Once I'm happy - and the client - is happy with the design then I'm ready to start...
Do you find yourself giving each one a characteristic and story as you make each piece or are you more focused on the style and aesthetics of the doll?

To me, style and aesthetics are the most important factor although I do try to make each one unique. A doll may start off with the same face shape or body parts/pattern but due to the nature of fabric I find the character emerges as I'm working on her and her features develop.
Do you have a specific space where you work or are you able to create wherever you are? I usually work from my studio at home as it's well lit and my tools are at hand. Also because the dolls are usually quite large (approx 30 inches) I need quite a big space to work on them.

You’ve created dolls for some beautiful stores. Why do you think that grown up girls still have such a passion for dolls?

Dolls are part of every girl's childhood so I think there's always going to be an emotional connection. As with the original French 1920s boudoir dolls I try to evoke a sense of glamour, and what girl doesn't like a little glamour in her life?

Have you ever made a doll that you simply couldn’t part with?

I find it difficult to part with all my dolls because each one is unique and the time it takes making them. However, I have one which I won't part with although she earns her keep as a sample to show potential clients!

What would be your advice for people entering the Momiji couture contest?

Add as much of your own flavour as you can and have fun.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Supermarket Sarah

It's starting to feel a bit like Parkinson around here with all these interviews. We love them though, so here's another with the one & only Supermarket Sarah. We've been thinking about creative spaces; the areas of people's homes and work places that they devote to making and customising stuff. Sarah has taken the bold step of turning her living room into a shop. By mounting her ever-evolving collection of vintage fashion and customised objects onto a wall in her home, she's created a clickable homepage for her website

We had a chat with her about how it all came about.

You’ve left the corporate world behind you and set up your amazing shop. Have you found that a change in your working environment has had a change on you?
Yes I feel 100% me, which is amazing but also quite scary.

Do you ever struggle with the fact that you don’t have separate home and work spaces?
Yes definitely I find it’s very difficult to separate between work and play. My boyfriend has banned me from spreading into the living room. At one point we were falling over Antlers and Clothes in the hallway! Blogging is addictive and very 24 hours so I’m trying to find a balance and not to geek out continuously! I love doing Portobello Market on a Friday as it gets me away from my computer and out into the real world again.

Do you create or customise any of the pieces in your store yourself?
Yes there are several Supermarket Sarah specials!
Your wall of wonderfulness changes frequently – what inspires each theme?
Sometimes the items I find inspire a wall and sometimes the other way round. Colour just seemed like a fun, aesthetic way to do it. The walls are also now becoming topical. We have a fashion week wall (Guest curated by Fred Butler) and we will be doing an Art wall in combination with Frieze Art fair etc....

Lots of big stores on our high streets are struggling at the moment. Do you think we’ll see resurgence in independent retailing?
Yes I think people are quite sick of homogenous brands that all look the same. I think there has been a recent resurgence in authenticity and a trend away from the ‘BUY BUY BUY’ mentality. I think people want to learn to treasure things again and not just keep buying new things all the time. The way we are marketed to we have this inner urge to buy new things with every new fad but with an economic downturn I think people are trying to understand new ways. Its not about being super organic and expensive necessarily but just unique and with personality.

What are your favourite blogs?

We love that each item in your shop comes with a personal story – that’s part of the thinking behind the couture contest, we want people to create dolls which reflect themselves and the things they love. What advice would you give to anyone entering the contest?
Just do it! Then think about it.
At college I always found that I thought about things way too much and then never did it. Now I just do, and I think about it later!
Good luck!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Jemma Kamara

We love Jemma Kamara! By day she's helping to make the magic happen at Aardman Animations and by night she's crafting presents and teaching her friends to knit. We were so excited to hear that she's working on an entry for the Couture Contest so we caught up with her for a chat...

Name: Jemma Kamara

Home town: I grew up in Portsmouth and Southampton, I now live in Bristol.
Tell us a bit about your day job...
Well, I’m lucky enough to work for Aardman Animations. I’m surrounded by a whole heap of very talented creative individuals who make beautiful things every day. I work in the Digital department as the Web Production Assistant, which basically means I keep the Creatives organised (Gavin Strange a.k.a. Jamfactory, and Dan Efergan, our Creative Director) and dabble in the production of little websites and flash games. I do feel very privileged indeed, and there’s rarely a day that I don’t look forward to going to work (cheesy I know!).

Lots of people enjoy crafting in their spare time as an escape from a not-so-creative day job but you spend your days surrounded by creativity! Do you get inspiration from the people you work with for your crafting projects?
I think it would be hard not to be inspired where I work, but mostly I feel very humbled. My work always seems quite mediocre compared to everything I see around me! Seeing the props and models for shows such as Wallace and Gromit and Timmy Time is incredibly inspiring, and closer to what I do. You would not believe how beautiful the props are in real life, and all of them are handmade to the most intricate level of detail. Above all though, working in a creative digital team, I get exposed to beautiful things all the time from jawdropping light displays from the AntiVJ's to gorgeous goco prints from Peskimo, to the latest treats cirulated on Twitter.

Tell us about stuff you’ve made recently...
In preparation for Winter, I’m working on long mitted fingerless gloves, inspired by the Twilight Bella Mittens that are doing the rounds in the knitting world at the moment. They're made out of this gorgeous rustic tweed that I found in Truoro. I couldn't find a pattern for what I had in mind so I've modified a basic glove pattern and added a cable plait that runs up the front of the mitt.
This baby jumper was a gift for my friend soon to have her first baby. I chose quite a dark teal colour: I'm not a subscriber to the pale blue/pink/lemon colour pallette that babyknits seem to always be in. The jumper has lovely little wooden buttons with black polkadots and a moss stitch band around the collar and cuffs - my favourite stitch, I love how sturdy and textured it looks.
I’ve also recently made a knitted cupcake doorstop, filled with pennies in a plant pot for extra weight.

I sell my sock monkeys to friends and colleagues: the most recent of which was made as a birthday present for a 4 year old, although his mother very swiftly commandeered it as her own.
Are you completely self-taught or have you ever taken courses in crafting or sewing?
My Nan taught my brother, my sister and myself to knit when we were younger, mostly to keep us occupied when we went to stay, but I didn’t pick it back up until a couple of years ago. We would also play with my Nan's huge collection of buttons, that interest has never waivered, and now I have my very own extensive collection! I decided I wanted to learn to knit again a couple of years ago when a friend showed me a Kimono she had knitted herself. From there I had a beginners knitting book and I taught myself the basics; anything I didn’t know how to do I learnt from blogs and online videos. I'm still quite an amateur when it comes to sewing but I'm constantly trying to make things I don't know how to, and so I make myself learn pretty quickly.
Have you finalised your design for your Momiji doll? Where are you finding your inspiration?
Haha, no actually! I have lots of snippets of ideas but not a single cohesive concept that I'm happy with yet. Although I have started to collect supplies (although in all honesty, the contest has given me an excuse to buy pretty things for my stash). The ideas I've had have been inspired by many things, from my favourite fashion trends to the print on a piece of vintage fabric I've found. Too many to decide on what to go with, in fact!
Are there any areas of crafting that you’d like to try but haven’t got round to yet?
Oh yes, so many. Closest to my own skills I guess would be embroidary, dressmaking and upholstery, but I'd also love to work with metal, wood and ceramics. I love the delicacy of working with fabric, but there's something very appealling about the more rugged, industrial crafts as well. In fact there is little in terms of crafts that I wouldn't want to try (bar modelmaking, I admire this greatly from afar but am very clear that I have absolutely no skill in it myself!)

How often do you sew? Is it something you have to do every day or do you start projects sporadically?
I knit pretty much every evening, and will usually start a new project within a day or two of completing the last one. I feel a bit useless and wasteful if I'm not doing something with my hands, I can't just sit and watch a film without sewing or knitting at the same time. I always finish a project before starting the next as well; I'm an impatient crafter, I want to see the end result as quickly as possible. Most of my projects are intended as gifts, so what I make is really dependent on the next birthday, newborn or housemove.
Im gradually converting my colleagues into knitters so we get together and knit most lunchtimes. It's very satisfying to teach another person your craft, I feel like a proud mama when they come in to work and show me their progress!

What are your favourite blogs?
I have many favourite blogs, from craft to fashion, design to food. So to name but a few: So Tread Softly is a beautiful, gentle blog that always calms me when I read it. I love the fashion blog from Susie Bubble she has such incredible style. There’s excellent taste over at and typography porn at My favourite food blog is Delicious Days gorgeous, inspiring and very well written.

And your final word? Thanks Momiji HQ for letting me blabber on, and good luck and happy crafting to all those taking part in the Couture contest - I can't wait to see the final pieces.

Friday, 4 September 2009

The Countdown

The closing date for your entries is October 30th...which means you've got about 8 weeks to complete your masterpiece. For those of you in the USA we wanted to let you know that we've now created an additional mailing address over there so your doll will have a slightly shorter journey! All the details are in the How To Enter section of the couture site.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Sew-It-Yourself Revolution

According to Grazia, sewing machine sales at Tesco are up. Our favourite fashion weekly tells us that the superstore sells two machines every minute, which is an increase of 198% on this time this year.

This is a great example of good stuff coming from the "current financial climate" (although it does seem a shame that the big supermarket chains even get a bite of profits generated by the wholesome world of crafting.)

In our next post we'll be looking at crafting spaces - the corner of your home you devote to getting creative. If you'd like share your sewing zone with the world then drop us an email to and we'll be in touch. Especially if you've got a sunny orange sewing machine like the one above! Bet you can't get those in Tesco.

Image via Ramonah

Friday, 28 August 2009

Design For Mankind

We know from experience that design blogs can very easily become an addiction. One inevitably leads to another, which in turn leads to hour upon hour of poring over creativity from around the globe. One place we know we'll always get our fix is Design For Mankind. Created by Erin Loechner, the site bursts with news and images related to everything from photography, product design, style and craft. As well as running an award-winning blog, Erin also manags to find the time to self-publish a bi-monthly digital zine, MANKIND/MAG. We caught up with her to find out how she does it.

Your blog has been going since 2007 and has a fantastic reputation, why did you begin blogging in the first place and do you have any new plans for it up your sleeve?
The blog started as a creative outlet for me. I was living in L.A. working at a top advertising firm, feeling as if I'd sold my soul to consumerism. I spent my days producing and researching marketing materials to sell Americans more items that they didn't need, and I wanted to create something that counter-balanced the desire to spend, spend, spend. I realized that not only is inspiration free, but it's very necessary in today's culture. The idea grew very organically from there, and I'm happy to note that the majority of the content that I feature can't be bought with money, but are geared toward artistic development. Ha. I always have new plans up my sleeve. It's in my blood. I'm never content unless I'm juggling a few projects, as I bore very easily. Look for some exciting news in early 2010.

Where do you find inspiration? How do you source the work you feature?
I'm constantly conversing with friends, strangers and the community around me. I find it so interesting that we all walk very different paths that often fork into the same crossroad. That, to me, is inspiring.The majority of my features come from emerging artists across the country whose work I wouldn't be familiar with if not for this awesome thing we call the Internet. To unearth new inspiration, I like to source artist pages for links to their friends. Often times, creativity begets creativity, so artists tend to run in similar circles and the community blossoms from there. I also make an effort to keep my eyes and ears open at all times -- you never know when you'll run into a talented typographer in the local coffee shop!

Who are your favourite artists and designers?
Oh shoot. This is a tough one for me, as there are so many. (Doesn't everyone say that?) If I could mix the range of Sandra Juto with the eye of Elisabeth Dunker, the heart of Camilla Engman and the mind of Jaime Hayon, that would be my dream artisan. If we're talking about emerging art, I always love the work of Rasmus Emanuel Svensson and photographer Erin Jane Nelson.

Can you take us through a typical day at the Design for Mankind office?
Ha -- office sounds so official! I often work from local coffee shops on my trusty Mac, and because I have an intense habit of compartmentalizing my week. What I'm doing depends on the day, but I'm usually writing a few articles for AOL's ShelterPop, DIY Life, posting on Share Some Candy, Design-Milk and SFGirlByBay, or business planning over at BAKERY. If I'm not juggling the above, I'm sourcing for Design for Mankind and Mankind Mag content, or heading to local yoga classes to blow off steam.

Who are in your eyes the ones to watch over the next year?
Will Bryant has been producing amazing work as a young graduate, so keep him on your radar. I'll also be tuning in to Christien Meindertsma, Nicolas Cheng, Catherine Soto, Natalie Rognsoy and Katy Horan.

Any tips for our budding couture contest entrants?
Stick to what you know. Risks are fun to take, but when entering a contest, stay true to your brand and let your personal work shine through. Let the risks fall on your everyday work.Also, have fun! (Another thing everyone says, I'm sure.) Every opportunity is worth its weight in gold, so take the experience for what it is and enjoy your time crafting.Good luck to everyone entering!

Monday, 24 August 2009

Tiny Couture

The House That Lars Built is one of our favourite blogs. We recently spotted some fabulous outfits from Kate Spade there and one of them made us think of our brand new Momiji 'Coco'. So that got us thinking about the couture contest and the endless possibilities of transferring your personal style onto a piece of tiny couture for your doll!

What would the momiji version of you look like?

Top image via Kate Spade

The Times

Sorry it was a bit quiet on the blogging front last week. We've been out & about talking to people about the competition. We met up with Susan Hancock, founder of Royal/T who was over from LA to discuss details on the exhibition of winning dolls.

We also spotted that the contest was in The Times. Look, there we are just under the one about, er, The history of Tube maps.

Thanks for all your emails about the contest. Hope your dolls are coming along well!

Friday, 14 August 2009

A Creative Weekend...

It's Friday and here at MomijiHQ it's nearly home-time! Hope you all have a great weekend with plenty of time to get creative on your Couture Contest designs. Loving this print by illustrator, surface pattern designer, crafter, blogger, and art teacher, Smantha Hahn. If you're in need of some inspirational eye candy she has a fabulous blog filled with loveliness.

Happy Friday, folks xx

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Marilyn Neuhart Dolls

We first stumbled upon this great story via Sprayblog. It's the tale of designer and writer Marilyn Neuhart who worked closely with the legendary Alexander Girard and Charles and Ray Eames. In 1961 Alexander Girard asked Marilyn to create 100 of her beautiful dolls for his Textile & Objects store. Back then she used Mexican cotton from a family-owned mill and when asked recently asked to create four new designs by House Industries she used the same supplier.

Maximo has lots more details about Neuhart and her work. I'm sure this quote from her will strike a chord with many of you:

"I sew because I have to-it is just that simple. After a long day hunched over my computer dealing with the vagaries of English spelling, clumsy syntax and wayward grammar, not to mention computer crashes and arbitrary and demanding clients, I look forward to time spent with my needle and thread, the tactile delight of cloth in my hands and the pleasure of working with color and form-nothing is more life-sustaining and yes, it has to be said-more therapeutic."

This picture of the dolls displayed on the wall is wonderful, it's exciting to think about our Momiji doll exhibition at Royal/T!

So, Marilyn used simple yet stylish print techniques on cotton to create her dolls. Which techniques are you guys using for your Momiji Couture dolls? Or is that top-secret?

photo credits: House Industries

Friday, 7 August 2009

Creative Profile: Veronica Rowlands

During the course of the Momiji Couture Contest we'll be keeping your creative juices a-flowin' with profiles of some of our favourite designers. While we were at the New Designers exhibition we had an amazing time chatting with all the students and graduates about their work and their inspiration.

First up is designer Veronica Rowlands from Swansea Metropolitan University in Wales. Veronica's work caught our eye immediately with its sumptuous colours and decadent fabric. We chatted with her about how she took inspiration from old toys and vintage dolls and gave them a new twist with contemporary colour and digital printing. Veronica's illustrations and prints would make amazing fabric for clothing, in fact she's already working on a neck scarf collection for Mission Gallery in Swansea. We think this girl's going to go far!

Friday, 24 July 2009


How fabulous is this place? Your doll could be exhibited here! The top ten entries will all form part of a special Momiji exhibition at Royal/T in Los Angeles. Susan Hancock (pictured below) opened the space in 2008 to house her collection of Japanese contemporary art. The space also combines a Japanese inspired maid cafe. All the waitresses wear these amazing costumes.

Here are a few shots of the art be in with a change of having you work exhibited here make sure you get stitching!

Click here for more info on Royal/T.

Thursday, 2 July 2009


Thanks for stopping by.
All the information you'll need about how to enter and our glamorous panel of judges can be found here We'll also be updating this blog with news and info as we go along. Add us to your favourites and sign up to RSS to make sure you're always up to date.

The Momiji Couture Contest was launched at New Designers in London last week. Thanks to all of you that stopped by and said hello.

Our stand at the show was a triumph! It was created by Zoe and Mat Murphy who did an amazing job. They've also worked with us to create flyers and posters for the contest (if you'd like one to spread the word, just let us know.)

Here are a few shots of us setting up. Sorry they're a bit hazy we took them on our phones, but Mat took some great pictures on his posh camera so we'll get those up as soon as we can. Zoe and Mat screen-printed up amazing blocks of colour and pattern aswell as jumbo buttons and scissors.

Here's Zoe fixing up photographs of Royal/T in LA where our top ten finalists will have their dolls exhibited.

Zoe's best handwriting...

Check back for more news very soon!