>> I know you've probably seen this plea on the Telegraph or Its Nice That and I don't normally promote Kickstarter campaigns unless they're really special so apologies in advance for the repetition but this does deserve the attention, I promise. Whilst Central Saint Martins' main fashion figurehead mantle belongs to Louise Wilson for sure, those in the know or are alumni of the school will no doubt also hold Howard Tangye, senior lecturer and head of womenswear design at CSM, in equally high regard. He has taught designers such as John Galliano (who has been quoted to say "Howard Tangye – the most inspiring illustrator and tutor there."), Hussein Chalayan, Stella McCartney, Christopher Kane, Richard Nicoll (one of the his portrait sitters - see if you can spot him below...) and more. Tangye is also a noted artist, who has been working prolifically on beautiful illustrations depicting the clothed figure for the past forty years but prefers to concentrate on his work as a fashion teacher.
Having previously declined to work with several publishers, Tangye has finally stepped into the limelight with his incredible body of work by collaborating with London/Paris-based design studio stinsensqueeze (STSQ) on a book entitled Within, which looks to be a really stunning ode to high quality print. The goal isn't just to put out a lazy compliation of drawings but to create a unique object, attuned to Tangye's sensitive drawings. Which is why they have chosen to use Kickstarter to crowdsource funds for the book. STSQ wanted to use the best printing techniques, the best paper possible and have sourced everything locally to create this tactile experience of a book, something that they would not have been able to control if it had gone through a publishing house. I'm itching to thumb through the pages just from the sneak peek photos below.
Within will document the story of Tangye's lifelong passion for drawing and the relationship between him and his sitters, mostly characters he has encountered whilst teaching at CSM, which makes for interesting and often irreverantly stylish subject matter. The book doesn't just reduce Tangye's sitters to ID-less drawings as he describes the attributes which attracted him to each sitter as well as narrating their experience of posing for Tangye. There will be 52 portraits in total as well as an introduction by Abraham Thomas, curator of design at the Victoria & Albert Museum, an essay by Marie McLoughlin, dress historian at the University of Brighton and photographs of Tangye's working environment by my friend, the wonderful Kasia Bobula.
As per most Kickstarter projects, the more you donate, the more you get and if your money bags are particularly full, then original drawings by Tangye are up for grabs as well as the offer to create your own visual identity by the STSQ folks (judging by their past work you'd be in safe hands). They've already reached £23,000 of their £30,000 goal, with two weeks to go, so this is a final nudge to get them to the finishing line and make this book a reality.