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At e l i e r E . B .
Ost End Girls
SHOWroom and shops
8 Rue Saint Bon
14th–28th Oct 2012
ms t e r d
15th–18th May 2013
ru x e l l
World Lantern
23th–26th May2013
Lo n d o n
6th–9th June 2013
di n b u r
Inverleith House
13th–16th June 2013
Volcano Extravaganza: ‘Evil Under the Sun’
8th–26th Aug 2013
The Artist’s Institute
6–22 Dec 2013
2 [email protected]
his is a short story about
fashion; a set of clothes with a fabricated back story. But
it’s also about two people, one of whom loves the other
and gets murdered. It’s a crime story so you feel at ease.
If it’s not a crime story then it’s just literature, and it
should not be that, it should be advertorial for clothes,
and murder. Thus the theme will carry it along and make
you feel in safe hands, which you are, I know enough
about the clothes to pull it off.
Lucy McKenzie
are accessed by a little jump down into the
sand. Then the beach itself, furrowed and
churned by hundreds of late summer
visitors, the rough brushwork rendering the
ridges and shadows in the sand. Seen from
a distance, say from the entrance to the
living room, hung over the Collectors couch,
it becomes four stripes; it’s a very simple
The man’s silhouette is purple brown.
The only other figures, two girls on the
beach, are in the full evening glow of the
sun. The man’s notebook is hidden to all but
him behind his newspaper. It contains a
drawing of an Egyptian symbol on the open
page, quickly sketched in shorthand that he
can interpret and refine later. Because the
girls loll and fidget it has taken a while to
get the details right. But now he has it’s
confirmed that indeed the symbol is the Eye
of Horus. That means they are who he
thinks they are. He’s drawing an arm twist
over a chest; a neck crane round and a
brow furrow in a compulsive act of fingernail
“Don’t go swimming tonight.” Chatty
Cathy spits out the ragged nail, aiming into
the sand but it sticks wetly to the black and
white picnic blanket. Trendy Wendy squints
at the horizon. There is no reason why she
shouldn’t go swimming; Cathy just needs to
feel like she has control over her. Four
weeks of daily swims, striking out for a
distant point like a buoy or an anchored
boat, have made Trendy Wendy brown and
elastic, the perfect corrective to the
cloistered indoor life at school, where they
are hidden away from the stink of Cairo and
the danger of assault or kidnapping.
ave in mind a
painting by Giorgio de Chirico – receding
arcade, long shadows, and a fleeing girl.
But imagine he did this one to order for a
vulgar Miami collector, to go with a South
Beach décor, so it’s done in pistachio, gold
and mauve. Regard the dark silhouette of a
man sitting at a café table to the left; he’s
looking at the beach over a Standaard
newspaper. This is a painting of the
promenade in Oostende (the quiet end near
the hippodrome, directly in front of the
Thermae Palace hotel where the protagonists
are staying). Because of the time of day the
shadow of the pillar falls over his face. The
other version of the painting, owned by the
same collector but on loan to The Wolfsonian
as part of a show called ‘The Inventors of
Tradition II’, has exactly the same scene,
but the shadows fall in the opposite
direction because it’s morning rather than
evening. In this version the body has been
dragged up the beach from the boat whose
owner found the drowned girl and brought
her ashore. The shadow of the pillar cuts
across her body, neatly bisecting her
midriff, between her bikini briefs and top.
De Chirico used the same cartoon to
transfer the architectural structures that
underpin the composition of both paintings,
the geometry of which is deceptively
sophisticated. From left to right: the hotel
with the arcade which extends far beyond
the boundaries of its terrace café; the
boardwalk promenade; the beach huts that
Key waistband on their shorts. It’s a false
boxer short, he glimpsed a popper-stud
before a pink tracksuit went on over it. This
detail, Greek Key waistband, was a request
when the painting was commissioned, by
the way, to go with the collector’s décor.
“But think about it; ninety-five percent
water, no brain or nervous system.” Her
eyes glaze over when she thinks about the
jellyfish. It gets her in the mood for a swim,
life simplified to propelling movement,
daydreaming and avoiding tentacles. Cathy
normally comes out with her a short way,
then at the sight of one of the red stingers
shrieks and splashes to the shore in a
panic. They are hunkered down this evening,
their tracksuits on now the summer is
cooling off. Chatty Cathy lights a Parliament
cigarette. She is irritated by Wendy’s ease
in the sea, around the monstrous jellyfish.
The Eye of Horus on their polo shirts,
the essential component of a uniform that
they wear even when away from the Swiss
School of Cairo, is a controlling device. It
reminds them that their behaviour must be
kept in check as representatives of their
elite boarding school. Their form mistress
Miss Badru knows how to instil and
manipulate loyalty. Their uniforms, when
worn outside the school, are a badge of
honour, their specific meaning and design
a strict secret. The castle battlements on
their rugby shirts echo the fortress
architecture of the main building (nestling
between four ornamental lakes, one for
each of the dead children of the founders),
the embellishment on their winter sport
jumpers encapsulate the neo-geo design of
the great hall, which is kept cool and
gloomy in contrast to the heat outside. The
outfits differentiate the pupils, who are the
progeny of multi-national business and
diplomatic titans, from the local Cairo
teenagers. The man has sketches of the
curve of a brown downy leg and the Greek
he generic di Chirico
figure of the fleeing child with the long
outflung shadow races up the central stripe,
along the promenade. Her long dress
billows behind her as if she hurtles along,
but she’s static. You look at another detail
of the painting, the Running Dog ornament
on a bikini suit bisected by purple shadow
on the corpse. The museum glass has
ultraviolet in it and it’s hard to see without
your own reflection interfering. But you can
see that the elasticated band is silkscreened
and that the motif has degenerated from
the stretch across the young girl’s hips and
breasts and from sea salt. The bottom of
her breasts poke out under the bandeau.
When she walks from the hotel to the sea,
tiny muscles undulate over her ribcage. You
look back to the fleeing girl; she has not
moved a millimetre.
Cathy and Wendy’s classmate Layla
hops down from the promenade to the
beach, leaving a companion by the entrance
to the hotel. Her steps are small, her long
dress hampers her progress over the
choppy sand. The girls on the picnic blanket
make room for her and she sits.
school satchel resembles the ticket
collector’s bags from the Cairo tram
network and several of these have been
stolen at knifepoint by youths wanting to
replicate the look. Wendy had been robbed
at a cash machine when she was in the city
centre. She had her bike between her legs,
credit card in one hand, cash in the other,
but they had only taken her blue leather bag
and Cleopatra baseball cap.
“Can I use your room Wendy? Would you
just sleep with Cathy tonight?” Wendy and
Cathy appraising the boy hovering by the
hotel entrance.
“Of course, just move my things.” Wendy
extracts a key-card from her beach-bag and
hands it over. Layla smiles politely and
pockets it, she does not invite any question
as to why she does not want to sleep in her
usual room in her parent’s suite. She
returns to the hotel and as she comes to
his side the boy attempts to clasp her hand
and she swerves adeptly away from him.
The man on the terrace is writing in his
notebook. The last time he saw Layla she
was cascading down the screen and he had
clicked to the last page of her blog. Like
now, in that digital photo she wears a long
cream coloured djellaba, with a cashmere
headscarf round her face. Over the dress
her waist and hips are encased in a black
knee-length pencil skirt; she is a short,
shapely, graphic vase. He knows that this
cream smock is actually her art class
painting attire, and that she has modified
it and made it her own by the way she
wears it. Her blog, modestmisscairo, has
thousands of followers across Europe and
the Middle East (exactly the market his
company are hoping to expand into). The
influence of the Swiss School’s uniform,
with its idiosyncrasy, its austerity and
symbolism, has reached the chicer corners
of Egyptian street culture. Gangs have
started mimicking different aspects of the
uniform, white work coats worn with
knotted cashmere sweaters, the gymnastic
ensemble of polo shirt, baseball cap and
white shorts all in various off-whites. Their
fter an evening’s
swim Wendy changes into a Hieroglyphic
t-shirt dress and backless violet jumper.
She walks into the town centre of Oostende
to the Lafayette to find Cathy as arranged.
It is the first evening of autumn; the wind
blowing in from the sea feels sharper. The
bay is filling for the regatta that will take
place at the end of the week. They’ll be back
in Egypt and back at school by then. Cathy
and Layla’s parents have taken a trip to the
Antwerp Opera and may or may not be back
tonight. They are business partners, an
American lawyer and Syrian film producer.
She finds Cathy at the back of the
crowded bar in a familiar pose; staring
down her nose aggressively at a local girl
who sips Kreik and yaks with a friend.
Cathy has hiked one loafered foot on to the
bar stool beside the girl, and hams up her
expression of judgemental disapproval,
occasionally rearranging her chin so that
she glowers at the girl through her fringe,
then again down her nose, and turns up the
collar of her long black coat. This is Cathy’s
chat up technique. The young girl and her
friend roll their eyes and giggle.
Last summer Cathy got so drunk in the
Histoires d’Eau bar that she had beat up a
cigarette machine thinking it was a jukebox:
there had been a rock band playing
downstairs. Wendy does not want to deal
with Cathy when she’s in this kind of mood;
maybe she could go and look for Layla and
that boy she’s picked up? But she can’t,
she’s Cathy’s guest, and wants to see that
her friend is ok. Wendy has no family of her
own. She tugs on Cathy’s sleeve, Cathy
gives her a glower and returns to the girls.
Wendy edges to the back lit bar.
“Hey miss,” a voice somewhere above
her. A hand encircle her wrist and she looks
up a checked shirt into a black face.
“Hey miss, buy you a drink?”
“No thanks” she turns away. The hand
slackens, but it stays close as she worms
towards the bar. It grips her wrist again
with snake pressure.
“Here with those friends of yours
tonight? The Arab girl? Did you know this
was Marvin Gaye’s favourite bar?” Wendy
pushed the hand off her wrist. She
recognises ths man from the last few days
at the beach, she had clocked him watching
them. She doesn’t like unwanted male
attention. She feels him finger the neck
band of her backless jumper and she
wriggles free.
“Hey! Is that why you’re here? You think
you can touch up girls because you look like
Marvin Gaye?” she tries to cover her
anxiety by being provocative.
“No way, that’s not my style. Lemme buy
you a drink. You and your friends - your
clothes are cool. It’s nice to see different
girls dressed so smart. Is it like a uniform
or something?”
Ms Badru would not like her talking to
a stranger about their clothes, which she
considered as secularly magical as
monarchy. This is where Ms Badru’s selfdefence classes would have come in useful,
but she had not been allowed to participate
in case it brought on one of her fits. She
spots Cathy, doing a slow drunken serenade
to the giggling girls. She shoots the man a
scowl and yanks herself through dancing
tourists. She hovers by Cathy’s side and
the man keeps watching her. After ten
minutes of being ignored by Cathy and eyed
by the stranger she leaves.
She lies in Cathy’s bed drifting in and
out of sleep, trying to stay awake for her
return. But she’s exhausted from her swim,
to De Haan and back along the coast. The
sea had been full of sea lice. In the month
in Ostende she had observed the life cycle
of the jelly fish and their pumping alien
babies were being born.
From the room below, her room, a
series of noises indicated Layla was there
with her guest. Drifting in and out of
consciousness it sounded like pieces of
furniture being moved around and knocked
over, strange bumps that would sometimes
become regular, reach a feverish pounding
and then suddenly stop. Once or twice she
heard a guttural cackle. As she glided off
again she heard what sounded like
someone rummaging through an extremely
disorganised toolbox.
By coincidence this exact noise had
been imagined by the man and his boyfriend
back in New York earlier in the summer.
They were walking round the Egyptian wing
of the Met Museum when he had said out
of nowhere:
“I think I know the sound I’ll hear when
I lose my mind. The sound of someone
digging through a fucked-up toolbox. Screws
leaking out of shitty boxes, drill bits all over
the deck, cables and hammers and electrical
tape all jumbled together in a tangled-up
cable-salad. Someone looking for a hook at
the bottom, churning through it, upending
it all on the floor. That’s what I’ll hear when
I lose it.” His boyfriend had absentmindedly
picked his nose and thought about coffee.
Wendy comes awake to the sound of the
extractor fan in the bathroom. She opens
her eyes and sees Cathy’s shoes on the
floor, lit by the light under the door of the
bathroom. One shoe is behind the other
where she has used it to ease off her
loafers, the stance exactly how Cathy
stands when in front of the blackboard back
at school, thighs crossed as she writes in
her terrible scrawl the answer to a problem
under Ms Badru’s feline gaze. She dips back
into sleep, thinking about the tool box
rummage sound, which in her mind has
now transformed into a kind of high, empty
plastic rattle, echoing round an empty
room. Cathy gets into bed and elbows her
awake. Wendy pats her hair in greeting.
“Layla and that boy have been really
going for it. How did you get on with those
“This big black dude kept hassling us
and they left. Did I see you talking to him?”
“He was bugging me about our uniforms.”
“You didn’t tell him anything? He was
the same with me, asking about Layla, it
was really creepy. Ms Badru wouldn’t like
it. She’d blame me you know, if something
happened. She always blames me.’
“Not true Cath. Go to sleep.” But it was
true, Wendy was her favourite, and it’s
common for abusive teachers to bully girls
who are abused by a parent, as Wendy is.
They’re trapped. This is why Wendy loves
her so much.
he man watches Chatty
Cathy and Trendy Wendy as they saunter
out of the hotel entrance and down to the
sea. Wendy has bikini, bathing cap,
waterproof mp3 player, snorkel and
waterproof SLR camera round her neck on
a strap and a big grin. Cathy, awkward
when not fully covered, the insidiousness of
the authority of their Arab lives back home,
waits till reaching the sea before taking off
her bathrobe. He enters the hotel lobby
He is using this moment to break into
their hotel room. He had discreetly followed
Cathy home from the Lafayette the night
before, shadowed her up the central
staircase of the hotel and observed her
enter her room. Taking the same stairs now
two at a time, on the 4th floor he spots
Layla. She’s talking in a baby voice into an
iphone which is held in place over her ear
by her headscarf, her free hands stuffing
sheets into an abandoned laundry trolley.
She ends the call and he follows her back
to her room, and as she enters he flicks out
a foot and stops the door from closing. In
panic she tries to close it on him but she’s
too late; he shoves her back into the room.
The room is in disarray, the mattress half
off the bed, heaps of clothes everywhere.
“Modest Miss Cairo” he states. She
edges into the corner of the room.
“Don’t be scared, I just want to ask you
something.” He looks round the wrecked
room. “You wouldn’t like the people knowing
that a student of the Swiss School of Cairo
parties like this? In her uniform?” Lalya
looks crestfallen.
“Look, I just want to know where your
uniform is made.”
“We’re not allowed to tell people. Other
girls copy us and the school doesn’t like it.”
“What about your blog? What do they
think of that?”
“They don’t know, please don’t tell them.
Who are you?”
“I won’t, I like it. So do lots of other
people. I work for the company Get-Up
Division - we want to make a line inspired
by your streetstyle, and what easier way to
make knockoffs than in the factory where
they are made? You know that’s what Ralph
Lauren do don’t you?” She perches on the
bed and puts her head in her hands. He goes
to the wardrobe and extracts a grey
cashmere coat, touches the label on the
inside lapel. It has Wendy’s name
embroidered, the name of the school, and
the name of an Alexandrian manufacturer.
He writes down the details and leaves.
“Thanks for the tips; we’re going to make a
lot of money off you girls.”
n the sea Cathy has
turned back early as usual, walked back up
the beach and to her room. She thinks
about knocking on Layla, but decides
against it, hearing a male voice and knowing
how much her Muslim friend would not wish
to be visited until all traces of the night
before are eradicated, and the folds of her
headscarf perfectly arranged again. She
steps out of her swimming costume and
hangs it on the handle of the window, which
is open to let in the breeze, even though
this room looks over the smelly back service
entrance. Her parent would be back today.
She wonders if Wendy is dead yet.
She’s not, but nearly. She has aimed for
a distant point, but today there are many
more boats in the bay, and choppy sea
distracts her. Her snorkel has been steaming
up more than usual. The waves ebb and the
boats rock; their sails and masts are dark
against the overcast sky. Wendy realises
she is being pushed out to sea by a current
and should turn back, and then she notices
the long tentacles. The change in
temperature has brought from the bottom
of the sea many more dying jellyfish. She
knew it was this time of their bloom, but
she had wanted one more swim before
going back to the heat and dust so badly.
She is surrounded; swimming in any
direction means swimming into crisscrossing, poison-filled threads. She gets
her first serious sting of the summer. The
2nd is stronger, wrapping around her left
arm and thigh in a Celtic band of welts. She
feels nauseous and panicked, and must try
to get back to the coast in extreme physical
pain. But she can’t really see because the
sun has suddenly emerged and she’s
swimming into it against the shifting
current. Then a familiar sensation starts to
scrape out the inside of her brain. The
incongruous odour of her dead mother’s
basement, the familiar sign that it’s about
to happen and she should avoid hard
surfaces and corners. The masts waving in
front of the sun produce a flicker like a
dream-machine and the epileptic fit
overwhelms her.
The man exits the hotel, his book still
open at his notes. As he passed discreetly
through the service entrance a water droplet
from Wendy’s swim suit (barely wrung out)
detaches itself from the gusset and lands
perfectly on the name of the factory, blurring
the ink and obliterating it. He does not
notice. He boards his train to Brussels
airport then his flight to Philadelphia where
his company is based and he works as a
freelance fashion forecaster.
Wendy towels herself off and gazed into
the mirror, glaring down her nose. Now she
can be Ms Badru’s favourite. She unscrews
the cap of Wendy’s epilepsy medicine,
shakes out the pills into her hand, plastic
rattle echoing round the bathroom. She
takes out the vitamin C bottle from her
wash bag and empties the capsules into the
other palm, looks at the two sets of identical
pills. She deposited the vitamins back into
their container and replaces the medicine
into its original bottle.
Back in Cairo Ms Badru is preparing the
syllabus for the new term next week. She
thinks they should have more self-defence
classes. She does it on her own initiative,
it is important for young girls to feel
confident in a city where so much effluence
wants to overtake them.
“My girls,” she stretches, leaning back
in her chair. Her white workcoat strains
over her hairy chest and she yawns. She
eases off one white slipper, helping it with
the toe of the other foot. She stretches each
toe, each claws carefully manicured. Slowly
and gracefully she lifts the foot and sniffs
it, then her rough tongue licks leisurely
around the pads. She replaces the shoe and
packs up to go home for the day. As she
exits the classroom her bushy tail strokes
the door and disappears with a flourish. ■
Not Seen in Autumn and Winter 2014
DECEMBER 2013 £4.80
gen lewoman
Not seen in Spring and Summer 2014
Modern Details
Atelier Accessories
Clockwise from top left:
MEMPHIS GROUP inspired text adorns these
ATELIER E.B. knee high lambswool socks, knitted
by Scottish mill EMB.
The Greek key pattern, hand printed onto a
belt by ATELIER E.B., pays homage to JOSIAH
WEDGWOOD. Imagine the decorated neck of
a Jasperware vase applied to elastic and worn
round the waist to create an amphora silhouette.
A Swiss franc is hand cut with precision, laid
into a silver surround and left to hang from a
chain, each one is unique and available from
Photography by Rob Smith
Styling by Atelier
With a gentle nod to architect PIETER DE BRUYNE, this hand intarsia cashmere roll neck jumper teamed with cashmere leggings 53
- both by ATELIER E.B. - brings pleasing graphic clarity to create a slender silhouette.
Decorum: Carpets and Tapestries by ArtistsMuseum of Modern Art
of the City of Paris, Artistic direction by Marc Camille Chaimowicz
DECEMBER 2013 £4.80
Ideal as a travel rug or a settee throw, a cashmere and lambswool blanket
is a must for any outdoor explorer or armchair rover. Produced on the
West Coast of Scotland by master weavers Begg & Co, Maud Sinclair
fills us in on the blankety blanks. Photography: Rob Smith
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B abs
Cotton jersey t-shirt dress
Available short / long with
Egypt and Running Dog print
in black, blue, rust and yellow
Hand printed by Atelier E.B.,
In collaboration with
Cleemput, Belgium
Atelier E.B.’s Ost End Girls collection contains winter
essentials in the form of overcoats and cashmere tracksuits,
a working wardrobe of painting coats, and for the first
time, summer wear. Dreaming of warm coastlines they
present t-shirts and beach throws in delirious colors. The
Grecian aesthetic celebrated in classic couture and motifs
contemporary sportswear. Cashmere scarves and jewelry,
reminiscent of holiday souviners, round out the season. It
is a wardrobe for work and play, for men and women alike.
Detailless merino wool coat
Available in black / navy,
long / short
In collaboration with Steven
Purvis, Robert Noble, Scotland
and Cleemput, Belgium
Atelier E.B.s tailor Steven Purvis has
created an overcoat which combines
masculine tailored construction with a
modern feminine silhouette; the
omission of pockets and fastening
details enables the fabric to drop
dramatically from the shoulders to the
ground in an uninterrupted column.
Lindsay simplifies the wearers figure. It
is the perfect coat to complete an outfit
of restrained androgyny or as the sober
counterpoint to a flamboyant accessory.
Naturally waterproof, durable and
stable, Lindsay’s wool cord fabric is
woven by Robert Noble of Peebles. It is
the coat fabric used for the uniforms of
the coachmen to the British monarchy
for exactly these qualities.
Like Lindsay, the long Babs t-shirt dress
streamlines the body into an elegant
graphic column. Its Running Dog motif
evokes the neo-classicism of
Edinburgh’s Carlton hill or the
dilapidated Alexander Thomson
buildings dotted around Glasgow. Wear
with Atelier E.B.s hand printed elastic
belt to create an amphora rather than
column silhouette. Machine washable
cotton jersey, it is the party dress of
choice on relaxed summer holidays. Roll
up the sleeves and wear with sandals.
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M anet
PK cotton jersey polo shirt
Available with Horus
embroidery and Solo Dog print
in black, rust and white
Solo Dog hand printed by
Atelier E.B., Scotland
In collaboration with Cleemput,
The polo shirt is the designated attire of
the genteel sports. It is also a key style
component in mod, skinhead and casual
subcultures. Its design and branding
has been adopted by Italian, French and
American sportswear labels, but it
remains irrevocably linked to an idea of
‘Britishness’. Atelier E.B. finds the
complexity of its cultural implications
thrilling. Combining their fascination
for both classical ornament and knockoff culture they make their own
interpretation of this standard garment,
eschewing a company logo for a clip-art
Eye of Horus. It came out looking like
the sports kit for a nice girl’s boarding
school in Cairo.
G arçon
Cotton jersey t-shirt
Available with Egypt, Gods
with Running Dog and
Perfume print in black, blue,
rust and yellow
Hand printed by Atelier E.B.,
In collaboration with Cleemput,
B eca
Backless lambswool jumper
Available in cobble, lupin,
tartan scarlet and victoria
In collaboration with EMB
knitwear, Scotland
The Beca lambswool jumper is named
after its creator and is a model she has
refined since 2005. The erotic glimpse
of bare back that the cut away allows
turns this seemingly modest school
jumper into something more seductive;
the neck band bisects the shoulder
blades at the most flattering point.
Inject some sensual panache into a
modest winter wardrobe; it can also be
worn back to front to show off a beloved
shirt or necklace. The fine Scottish
lambswool from which it is made
retains traces of its natural oil and
scent well after first wear.
Lambswool angora scarf
Navy / yellow reversible
In collaboration with Begg,
A summer wardrobe basic, the Garçon
t-shirt will age in the sun, its print
fading from black to grey, its soft cotton
jersey becoming worn in all the right
places. The Perfume print illustrated
here is inspired by the packaging of
Cabochard, the 1959 scent by Madame
Grès worn by Beca’s mother. For winter,
combine with the matching Fade to
Grès blanket and socks for prodigious
cosiness in bed. In case you are
wondering, Atelier E.B. do not intend to
design a perfume in the near future.
This hardwearing unisex scarf features
cartoon imagery of Egyptian
hieroglyphics as bold in colour as a
frame from a Tintin bande dessinee.
Combine with the Atelier E.B. cashmere
jogging suits in furnace, lugano and
papaya to create a deliriously colourful
ensemble for chilly home or studio.
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Cashmere silk scarf
Available with Bruxelles motif
in dark-blue / grey-blue and
coral / grey-blue
In collaboration with Begg,
Like a souvenir for a World Fair that
never happened, this scarf is a memento
of the immaginative voyage one takes
when transforming one’s hometown into
a dreamland. Inspired by the boxes of
the Viennese chocolate shop Altmann &
Kuehne, a living link to the Wiener
Werkstatte, they feature Beca and
Lucy’s favourite buildings. The Port
O’Leith Bar and Saint Columba’s
Hospice Shop, Chateau Charles-Albert
and the legendary Interferences bar just
off the Grand Place. The muted tones of
the cashmere silk flatter the complexion
as summer tans start to fade. It is light,
durable and the ideal companion on a
long trip in any season.
Lambswool socks
Available with Grès motif in
black and white
In collaboration with EMB
knitwear, Scotland
The work of the Flemish designer Peiter
de Bruyne influenced the Ost End Girls
intarsia knitwear. His Italian
counterpart, Ettore Sottsass is evoked
in the lettering on these unisex
lambswool socks. Many of Atelier E.B.s
products are prohibitively expensive
because of their fine materials and
small production numbers made by
local producers. The Grès version of the
socks use the same beautiful motif as
the luxury blanket, but at an affordable
price. An inspired thank you or
Christmas gift.
H ow D’You
Know Me?
Lambswool and cashmere
Available with Emma…and
Fade to Grès motifs
In collaboration with Marc
Camille Chaimowicz, Panel
and Begg, Scotland
These blankets were conceived as
merchandise for the Olympic and
Commonwealth Games, with the lived
experience rather than branding in
mind. They are to provide warmth
during outdoor events, to relax and
picnic on, wrap a tired child in on the
journey home. No-one likes to sit on
Kingo, the cat depicted on How D’You
Know Me? Instead they sit beside and
absentmindedly stroke her, the mix of
lambswool and cashmere being as
pleasing to the touch as a sleeping
companion furry or otherwise.
A telier
A telier
Indian cotton beach-throw with
silkscreen print
Hand-printed by Atelier E.B.,
Leather shoulder bag
Available in navy
In collaboration with McRostie
of Glasgow, Scotland
Atelier E.B.s holiday in 2012 on the
island of Stromboli was the inspiration
for the summer garments in the Ost End
Girls collection, for which Cleopatra has
become the unofficial mascot. Here she
lies, happy as a pig in the mud with her
milk snake and with Death on the Nile
on her kindle. Use as a quick drying
towel, wear as a sarong or headscarf or
bundle one’s possessions into on the
black sand. During winter display on the
wall as a fabric poster.
Cotton tote bag with silkscreen
print and unique fabric crayon
hand colouring
Available with AEB badge
Hand-printed by Atelier E.B.,
Ost End Girls
Cotton baseball cap
Available with Cleo and Wave
motifs in black, navy and white
In collaboration with Fourth
Sector, Scotland
Everyone likes that yah posh-girl look of
baseball cap with a rugby top. Or
Norma in the film Carrie - the mean girl
with the red cap played by P.J. Soles.
Atelier E.B. grew up dancing to The Pet
Shop Boys and with the Ost End Girls
caps they broadcast this fact unabashed.
The rust Wave motif on the black model
pays homage to master potter Josiah
Wedgwood, it mimics the decorative
band around a Jasperware vase.
Following the success of the black
model in the Inventors of Tradition
collection, for the shop at The Artist’s
Institute Kareen is reissued in a deep
ballpoint-ink navy. Particularly
practical while cycling, the ticket
collector style provides easy access, yet
is ingeniously pick-pocket proof for
when visiting tourist traps.
Individually coloured with fabric
crayons, these unique bags advertise
Tombraiders, a fictitious record shop
where the merchandise is so obscure
that you’d have to be as intrepid as Lara
Croft or Indiana Jones to uncover its
hidden treasure. Atelier E.B.s visual
identity and commercial ethos is
inspired in part by the small
independent record labels of the late
1970s and 1980s – Industrial, Factory,
Sordide Sentimental and Twilight
Records. The ambitiousness of their
graphic design expressed an
intelligence which activated the music it
advertised. This tote book bag pays
homage to those experiments.
A telier
A telier
N efertiti
Moulded felt and knitted
wool hat
Available in black
In collaboration with
Muehlbauer, Austria
Iron / goldplate badge
Available with Cleo motif in
enamel / iron
Munufactured by Badges +,
The silhouette of Queen Nefertiti
inspired this softly sculpted knitted hat
fabricated by Austrian milliners
Muehlbauer, a family business who have
been making head wear since 1903.
Worn on the crown of the head this hat
is fit for any 1960s Egyptian movie
queen. Combine with sunglasses for
chic anonymity.
20 Swiss cent coin detail with
brass chain / surround
Available also in Lire model with
silver chain / surround and as
bracelet / necklace
In collaboration with Atelier Elf,
This pendant is based on the one Lucile
Desamory found at the bottom of her
grandmothers jewellery box once all her
relatives had chosen the more costly
items for their inheritance. The cutting
out of Elizabeth II’s head from coins was
an exercise to increase precision for
trainee metalworkers in the Belfast
shipyard Jonnie Wilkes briefly worked in
before leaving to study at Glasgow School
of Art. Atelier E.B. chose to use the
portraits on the current 20 Swiss cent and
old 200 Italian lire coins because of their
antique universality. They simply take
advantage of the detail and craftsmanship
that pass over counters and into slot
machines unnoticed every day.
Perfecting ones overlapping ‘bubble’
writing on the front of a jotter was a
competitive sport in school. With a
gentle nod to the postmodernist
Memphis group this, along with vinylqueen Cleo, are the detachable pin
labels for Atelier E.B.s latest collection.
Atelier E.B. asks the manufacturers they
work with to give their garments their
standard factory labelling. It is up to the
customer if they choose to keep and
display the pin that comes with their
purchase. Because of their reliance on
and appreciation of their manufacturers
Atelier E.B. don’t like to take credit for
their products alone.
etter to The Scotsman newspaper,
April 2013
o Whom It May Concern
I am compelled to write this letter knowing that it will not change the fate of Caelee Mills
(formerly Ballantyne Cashmere), which very sadly went into administration last week, shuting
down production 225 years after it first opened. However, I publically wish to voice my great
concern and dismay at the way in which another valuable asset to Scotland’s historical and
cultural fabric has been allowed to disappear without a trace – leaving a gaping hole in our
ever-vanishing textile industry and impacting negatively on yet another Scottish community.
This is a community I have had the honour of knowing in my capacity as a director of a
small-scale fashion label that produces in Scotland and sells internationally.
This is happening at a time when Scots and the world in general are scrutinising our
ability to survive independently. In this debate, the Scottish textiles industry can be seen as
symbolic of the Scottish economy as a whole. In the textile industry I see a deleterious lack
of government support.
Scotland was and is a nation famed for its production of high-end knitted and woven
textiles. We have produced, and continue to this day to produce, for all the major luxury
fashion houses in the world, although this is often done anonymously. These high-end
companies come to Scotland because our textiles embody a skill, an understanding and
a quality that they wish to see in the fibre from which their products are made. We are
not a fashion nation – we leave that to London, Paris and Milan. However, Scotland does
have a role in the continued production of quality textiles; this is what we understand
and what we do best.
China is in the middle of an industrial revolution. Our industrial revolution happened so
long ago that the Scottish textile industry finds itself housed in buildings that are not
appropriate for business today; they are too costly to heat and run, and have no apprenticeships
schemes to offer and so lack programmes of modernisation or long-term investment.
I appreciate that we as consumers are at fault for wanting to buy clothing cheap. But if
we saw the skilled process that a jumper goes through to be created we would not think its
premium cost unjustified. The quality of our textiles transcends fashion. Fashion comes and
goes, but a beautifully crafted jumper will always be needed and ours are renowned.
Caerlee Mills was the last mill in Europe predominately to employ the specialist knitwear
process of hand intarsia*. Some of the staff had worked there for over 40 years; we cannot
buy, replace or pass on their knowledge once it has gone. I understand that the closure of
Caerlee Mills has come about because of many factors. It should be emphasised, however,
that they had substantial orders on their books. Tragically, they were unable to produce
these orders as they could not afford to buy the yarn up front. That, coupled with an
antiquated building that was too costly to run, equals redundancies and devastation in
Scottish communities.
A very different – and much more positive – story is the case of Chanel buying Barrie
knitwear. Chanel have been taking over their French ateliers, famed for creating shoes,
braiding and so on, because of their fear that once these businesses have gone there will
be no-one skilled and experienced enough to do the job. Chanel understands the importance
of investment in a skilled artisan workforce.
As a Scot, I realise that we do not always appreciate and value our strengths until they
have gone, to be appreciated elsewhere, if at all. So I salute the last standing textile companies
– you know who you are! As world commerce and consumer patterns change one thing is
for sure: unless government invests in and supports our struggling textile industries, very
few will remain standing. China may have might, but we have history, skill and legacy.
This is a sad time! There is no one person to blame here but a succession of unfortunate
events: Beeching taking out the rail networks that serviced Dumfries and Galloway, the rise
in yarn prices, antiquated buildings, a cash flow crisis, pension schemes not paying out,
consumer patterns, competing industries worldwide, aviation … the list goes on.
I don’t claim to have the answers, I only observe from the outside. My company, Atelier
E.B., has done extensive research into the post-1930s Scottish textiles industry, and we have
seen for ourselves the tragic scale of what has been lost – Singer, Pringle, Ballantyne to
name a only few of the great companies that went to the wall – and in the short time we
have been collaborating with Scottish textiles companies we have witnessed much negative
change. It all hangs on such a fine thread.
Yours faithfully
Beca Lipscombe
Atelier E.B
*Intarsia is the Italian word to describe inlaid patterns in wood.
It was Ballantyne that developed this same idea but in knitting, at
first using simple Argyll diamonds then growing more bold,
depicting everything from the blossom of a cottage garden to the
pattern on a Persian carpet. One inlaid panel of an intarsia
sweater takes a highly skilled craftsman up to eight hours as each
thread must be laid over the needles by hand to form the intricate
pattern. The design is built up following the directions on a chart,
constantly changing from colour to colour, laying the yarn into the
needles with great care and precision.
T h an k
Marc Camille Chaimowicz,
Catriona Duffy and Lucy McEachan of Panel,
Markus Selg
Bernie Reid, Steph Norwood, Ben Clark,
Graham Anderson, Laurent Dupont,
Lou Benesch, Josefine Reisch
Steven Purvis, Begg, EMB, Muelbauer,
McRostie, Hawick Cashmere, Atelier Elf,
Cleemput, Robert Noble, Linda Wilson,
Juliette Dearden
Clément Dirié and 8 Rue Saint Bon,
Thea Westreich and Ethan Wagner,
Martijn van Nieuwenhuyzen, and the Stedelijk
Museum, Andrew Wheatley and
Martin McGeown at Cabinet, Paul Nesbitt and
Inverleith House, Milovan Farronato,
Nicoletta Fiorucci and the Fiorucci Art Trust,
Jenny Jaskey and The Artist’s Institute,
Gijs Stork at Magazijn
Galerie Micheline Szwajcer,
Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Cabinet Gallery
Photography and film stills:
Robbie Smith, Richard Kern, Alan Dimmick,
Michael Delausnay, Andy Keate
Alan Michael, Bea McMahon, Alison Yip,
Suzanne Modica, Ashley Carr, Dagny
Annette Lux and Lina Grumm of HIT,
16K, Helen McGilp
Penny Martin and Richard O’Mahony,
Stephan Schneider, Carolin Lerch,
Anthony Symonds, Ray McKenzie, Bonnie Reid,
Rodica Seward