10 designers who’ll bring the magic of the bazaar into your life
Just returned from somewhere exotic and feeling a little jaded? Dreaming of the colours of Jaipur and Marrakech? We all know that feeling of arriving home to British climes after time spent soaking up the scents and sights of the souks, bazaars and delights of faraway lands. Luckily, the joyful and eclectic design is all the rage so whether it is injecting a pop of vibrant colour into your sitting room, transforming the garden into an Indian fantasy or finding the perfect holiday tote, there are so many brands that are eschewing neutrals for a spirited and bold aesthetic to choose from.
We have delved into our little black book to share with you some of our favourite artisans, designers and makers here in the UK whose creations bring the magic of the bazaar into our lives and also work perfectly for getaways to tropical climates.
Vickie El-Rayyes is one of the most friendly designers in London and has a great eye for colourful and elegant block-printed collections all created in the pink city of Jaipur – from floaty kaftans, perfect for villa holidays, and the softest cotton quilts, as well as patterned linen pouffes and pom-pom adorned cushions. Watch out for her new London shop opening soon…
Look no further for the most eye-catching and delicious ikat silk cushions and lampshades than this London-based designer. Rainbow hues of pattern echo the palaces of Istanbul and the Silk Road. Rosanna also creates decoupage lamps with jaunty patterns including flamingos and lobsters – with everything handmade in England.
Men’s clothing can be limited in original designs so thank goodness for visionaries like Tobias Clothing’s Daisy Hambro who pours her heart into creating totally unique and brilliant shirts and waistcoats. The aesthetic is based around East London-based Daisy’s love of India (she had a beach shop in Goa). Products are all handmade in Rajasthan with excellent cuts and imaginative details such as contrasting cuff linings in ikats and other striking patterns – the perfect shirts for beach life and poolside lunches from St Tropez to Koh Samui and adding an instant splash to any look. Daisy also donates part of proceeds to the Akanksha Foundation which works with underprivileged children in Mumbai.
Wondering what baubles to wear for that wedding in Bali or outdoor anniversary party? Head to Notting Hill and ethical jewellery designer Pippa Small’s eclectic boutique for jewels that sing their own tune. Pippa has collaborated with the charitable Turquoise Mountain Foundation, which works with artisans in Afghanistan and Myanmar (check out the Helen of Troy-esque Golden Fish Earrings and the Lapis inlaid ‘Posht Mahi’ cuff). Collections are stone-centred and delightfully unique.
Pink City Prints
Molly Russell is passionate about helping to empower women artisans in Jaipur and set up this ethical clothing line to do just that. She also believes in contributing to preserving the traditional craft skills of Rajasthan working alongside block-printers, indigo dyers, embroiderers and weavers to oversee the whole process of creating her products from start to finish. We love her resortwear line including boho lemon print which conjures up Capri and the Nomad blue printed kaftans and dresses which echo Frida Kahlo’s innate style. Look out for her Palm Tree printed beach bags as well!
Transform your rooms with the charismatic and eye-popping dhurrie rugs from this Norfolk-based brand. The dhurrie rug, made from flat woven cotton, is entwined with India’s history. They were often presented as gifts from one prince to another and used in both religious and royal ceremonies. Each one can take up to three months to create and involves over 20 pairs of trained hands. Owners Zara and Emma have forged close relationships with their team in Rajasthan and each piece is infused with love and passion – the Mughal designs, the striking stripes and stylised flowers are highly covetable.
Desmond & Dempsey
Their recent pop-up store in Covent Garden had instagram abuzz and husband and wife duo, Joel Jeffery and Molly Goddard from London travel around the world sourcing and designing sustainable and relaxed products, from pyjamas to candles and eye masks all based around the ‘mood of a sunday’… and quirkily emblazoned with motifs conjuring up places like Marrakech’s Jardin de Majorelle and the tiger forests of the Serengeti.
A collaboration between Catherine Trotman and Charlotte Johnstone, Titania has a devoted following for its elegant garden umbrellas, with classic print design well as table linen and rugs. A cut above other offerings, Titania’s umbrellas are each beautifully crafted and designed, with block-printed canvas and details to lend a touch of the Raj to any garden, large or small. They also produce superb tents with bamboo poles, swathes of fabric and romantic names like ‘Chambray Chhatri’.
Burford Garden Company
Banish all thoughts of garish flowers and garden gnomes – Burford Garden Centre has style in spades and is well worth a day’s outing to its idyllic Cotswold setting. Le Souk stocks all kinds of ethnic deliciousness, from Indus Valley bowls to sculptures and kilims. We love Cressida Bell’s designs evoking the Bloomsbury set and the faded chic Indian Print chairs. Pick up a gothic garden bench and lanterns in decadent colours as well.
Plump for a head turning waistcoat with very talented designer Jaysree Pawar for the events of the summer season. Jaysree, who was educated in Bangalore and was a designer for cult Indian brand, FabIndia, came to London in 2015 and has not looked back. Jayjee has quickly made a name in society circles for fun and exquisitely made waistcoats, both linen and double breasted with original patterns and details such as horn buttons.
Injecting a bit of colour into your home or wardrobe is the perfect way to brighten up a dull grey day. We hope you find this list useful, please do let us know where your favourite places are to pick up beautiful items.
James Jayasundera is Founder and Managing Director of Ampersand Travel. Ampersand Travel create bespoke and luxurious travel experiences to Asia, the British Isles and Southern Africa.