John Alexander Skelton XIV ORCADIA Film by Joel Kerr Photos by: William Waterworth

Dear Shaded Viewers,

“The idea’s behind this collection have taken a while to percolate through into something tangible as is often the case with my work. Neolithic British art, mainly rock carving has long been an interest and has featured in various past works in the form of embroideries or prints.

The fascinating mysterious architecture of this period and its mainly unknown functions takes hold of the imagination as does the purpose of the art. This is if it is in fact art and not as many suggest, a map to the stars or maps that show something entirely different such as routes to other settlements or a way to tell where they are in the seasons.

What is known, or perhaps just plainly obvious, is that the people of Neolithic Britain would have been much more in sync with their natural surrounds. The changing of the seasons would have been deeply significant to them. It is this notion that is perhaps the most inspiring to me in a time when the natural world can sometimes feel distant or devastatingly at odds with a modern society that is certainly not in sync.

The nature of the subject matter forces one’s imagination to go beyond obvious or literal translations for this collection. The except being print’s/embroideries and various other accessories that take a more direct inspiration from the rock carvings. The choice of the colour palette being the most significant, and one in which I wanted to reflect and sit harmoniously within a natural environment.

The same goes for the fabrication itself which has a tactile and organic aspect to it, woollens that are mixes of many shades of a particular colour that give a depth and richness through to various natural dyes and the way in which the jewellery is made. The hats are hand felted from British wools and dyed to give colours that have a deeper saturation of colour. Boots are entirely handmade with woollen felt between the layers in the sole and wooden nails that bind them together. They are also etched with spiral forms often found in the stone carvings of the period. Button loops and internal belts use a natural un-dyed jute rope and the clasps on the knitwear each handmade in a spiral form.

There is an element of utility to the clothing but predominantly the focus is the beauty and the romance each piece holds, a mirror in a way to the emotional reaction that has often been a take away for me when visiting Neolithic sites across Britain.”

Diane Pernet

A LEGENDARY FIGURE IN FASHION and a pioneer of blogging, Diane is a respected journalist, critic, curator and talent-hunter based in Paris. During her prolific career, she designed her own successful brand in New York, costume designer, photographer, and filmmaker.