Dawn Clarke Designs – Children’s clothes become canvas for renowned Italian ancient glass beads art, through a Japanese artist.

Bespoke children’s clothing meets the ancient art of Venetian glass bead work via an Italian/Japanese company: Venezia Art Design, in a UK debut at this year’s Winchester Fashion Week.

Hampshire-based children’s clothes designer Dawn Clarke creates ethical, bespoke occasion wear – often upcycling vintage textiles or incorporating fabrics from other family-owned pieces – to hand make cherished items that become heirlooms to pass on.

Dawn is collaborating with an Italian/Japanese company, Venezia Art Design, who are promoting around the world the ancient Italian art of “Glass beads” in

co-operation with the Japanese artist Minako Shimongase.  Dawn and Venezia Art Design have created their first ever collection of children’s wear embellished with intricate bead flowers and motifs.

Minako is well known in Japan for her stunning bead flower sculptures made from tiny Japanese beads by Toho. The art-form dates back to 15th Century Venice, when tiny glass beads were made to embellish altar cloths and upholstery for parade chariots. Venezia Art Design are celebrating Minako’s art exhibits in museums and galleries in Japan and Italy.  Minako also runs the Glass Beads Flower Academy with six colleges across Japan.

Dawn said: “Giovanna and Kyoko from Venezia Art Design and I share an eye for exquisite detail and pour our passion into the intricacies of our projects. Together, we’re creating an exciting collection of high quality, slow fashion children’s garments that will fuse art, design and ancient tradition that we hope audiences will love.”

Giovanna, from Venezia Art Design, said: “We are always looking for new inspiration for our “World beads project” and Dawn’s creations are masterpieces in their own right. They are elegant and sophisticated and the materials Dawn uses are delicate and refined.” 

The collection includes a 1950s-inspired full circular skirt made from upcycled layers of tulle and organza from a pre-loved wedding dress, which is adorned with glass bead flowers and petals hand-sewn by Minako. Catwalk-goers will also see two gender-neutral silk suits in bright colours comprising of waistcoats and formal, fitted trousers. The waistcoats are embellished with Minako’s artwork. One includes a stunning beadwork feature of flowers and leaves on the back. There will be eight outfits in total.

For more information visit dawnclarkedesigns.co.uk

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