Atlas mac, Castor hat by Mother of Pearl

Maia Norman, the Creative Director of Mother of Pearl has long been in favour of collaborating. Previously, Mother of Pearl has worked with such artistic luminaries as Wolton Ford, Mat Collishaw, Jim Lambie and Carsten Höller. As someone who’s a renowned adrenalin-junkie (Maia surfs, rides motocross, quad-bikes, power boats, snowboards and much more) and who exudes unbridled enthusiasm, this translates into the  designs which are for girls who are equally energetic and alive, not for simpering wallflowers.

Open to the public till 5th November 2011, SHOWstudio shop’s exhibition, appropriately titled ‘The Café’, will feature exclusive tableware designed by Mother of Pearl, positioned alongside the latest installation of their MoP SHoP. Having teamed up with the SHOWstudio shop where you can purchase both the exclusive tableware and of course the Mother of Pearl collection. Or you can go to the SHOWstudio website if you can’t make it to Bruton Place.

Following from the success of Mother of Pearl’s pop up MoP SHoP (a delightful tongue twister if there ever was one!) at Other Criteria in London and The Goss Michael Foundation in Dallas, this latest addition at the SHOWstudio shop’s Bruton Place premises will be exclusively stocking the A/W 2011 collection, designed under the creative direction of Maia Norman in collaboration with Keith Tyson. Keith Tyson won the Turner Prize in 2002 and is also the Artist in Residence at the Astrophysics and Cosmology Department, Oxford University.

SHOWstudio’sThe Café’ was curated by Carrie Scott and Nick Knight as a reaction to the apparent mundanity of current café culture. Whereas cafés used to be places of artistic, intellectual and revolutionary activity, they now seem to be places where people sit in silence, wrapped up in their laptops, alone together. SHOWstudio wanted to change this and inject a café with artistry and creativity. Piers Atkinson, whose recent collection was based on and took its inspiration from the concept of Café Culture, contributed with hats especially created for this exhibition.

Along with the clothes he collaborated on for Mother of Pearl, one of Keith Tyson’s iconic cloud paintings covers most of one wall. This is also used in print form for some of the garments, thus giving you a chance to cover yourself in art.

A variety of artists and designers have contributed amusingly decorated paper napkins; another wall is completely coated in stunning black and white images of café culture shot by classic ‘café artists’ such as Brassaï, Doisneau, Ed van der Elsken and Steven Meisel, portraying a very romantic view of what café culture used to be like. If you feel all the romanticism gets a bit too much, take refuge in the changing room showing the deeply surrealist art house porn classic, Café Flesh. There’s also a collection of books on Café Society, which will introduce you to a great variety of café culture artists. And if all this has left you a little drained don’t worry, there IS coffee. And it is provided by Prufrock Coffee, the legendary baristas of Leather Lane.

So. Let’s go then, you and I…

MoP SHoP and The Café at SHOWstudio
1 – 9 Bruton Place
Till 5th November 2011

Words by Anna Bang

Spica wedge sandal, Heze sock, Izar sports bag, Talitha jogger, Ascella tee by Mother of Pearl

Talitha jogger, Luna tee, Elnath hat by Mother of Pearl


Carsten Höller, Jim Lambie, Keith Tyson, Maia Norman, Mat Collishaw, Mother of Pearl, Nick Knight, piers atkinson, Wolton Ford,