In 1987, i graduated from central st. martins with a BA degree in graphic design. It was the very same year as antoni burakowski and alison roberts, the duo behind antoni & alison left the same art college (having studied fashion design and fine art respectively) to set up a fashion business. I have followed their career from a distance and always enjoyed when reading their success stories. Over the years i have owned bits and pieces but i had never visited their clerkenwell shop or met the designers in person, until now.
I caught up with antoni while enjoying a cuppa in their fab newish tearoom ‘ye olde worlde super modern’ and finding out a little about the past 25 years in business.
Antoni & alison started in their bedroom. They had no phone so had to use the phone box around the corner. Their very first collection was a slogan t-shirts collection in 1987 which was called: be happy. “It was all hand-printed and (baked) in the laundrette”. The labels slogan t-shirts now carry cult status. Their humble beginnings began with selling to a shop in brighton. A buyer for harvey nichols saw their wears in that shop and snapped them up. The rest is history.
Back to the tea room.
The tearoom is an true extension of the designers. Full of charm, quirk, old style, yet modern, it was opened as a celebration of being in business for 25 years.
I loved all the detailed touches. Look at this simple idea for a table top. Some crepe paper and a felt tip and voilà you have your table numbers sorted. Genius!
The fine china bone crockery decorated in felt tip is fun and inviting. What a fab idea. How about using this idea on paper plates with hand drawn designs and writings for a party?
You’ll find tea and coffee and sponge cake with jam. This is old world, meets new in it’s truest sense. There’s even a ‘super modern biscuit’.
The tearoom, on the first floor, is above the shop on (the ground floor) and the gallery space in the basement. Antoni & alison moved into these premises in 1997 and what you’ll see below is their gorgeous spring/summer 13 collection. It’s their 52nd collection and being a global brand, they sell all over the world.
How gorgeous are these printed silk scarves?
These amazing dresses caught my eyes. I’m not usually a fan of digital printing on fabrics but the pair have excelled in this art form. Look at this one!
Another great quirkiness – the bags.
To snap up one of their ‘vintage’ slogan t-shirts, rush to the shop as fast as you can.
Everything about antoni & alison is charming. Antoni is a darling and i wish them continued success in everything they do. I’ll be back for another cuppa.