Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Material Success; Homes & Property

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Material Success; Homes & Property

Article excerpt

Byline: BARBARA CHANDLER

The Homes & Gardens Classic Design Awards show just how exciting the British have become, says Barbara Chandler

LAST night at the V&A, three talented young female textile designers received the Judges' Award at the coveted Homes & Gardens Classic Design Awards, in association with the museum, from His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales.

Martha Wilcockson, Helen Carey and Anna Newman, working for Liberty Furnishings, picked up the award for their multicoloured sheer-stripe fabric Melia. It is woven in a wide width so that the width can become the drop, enabling hem-free curtains to be made, for example (see Widening horizons, pages 30-31).

They were up against stiff competition.

More than 200 entries, sponsored by readers, designers, manufacturers and the V&A, were whittled down to a shortlist of 19.

The Judges' Award is decided by a panel of nine industry experts, including author and TV presenter Kevin McCloud, designer Robin Levien and V&A curator Gareth Williams.

There was also a Readers' Award decided by telephone vote. The winner was Trombe Conservatories for its slatted garden bench. This was a popular choice, as it was also chosen by Prince Charles for the Prince's Medal.

The winning products are on view at the V&A during the next two weeks.

They show how far Britain has come in the design stakes. We don't, perhaps, parade the aggressive edge of Italy or flaunt the triumphs of Teutonic technology, but there's much here to be proud of.

"The awards fits in very well with the philosophy of the V&A: to save for the present and inspire for the future," says Williams.

The awards were set up three years ago to celebrate the magazine's 80th anniversary and have grown substantially in size and interest. "Classic" is a carefully considered part of the design brief, says Matthew Line, editor of Homes & Gardens. "I wanted to get back to the philosophy of the first Homes & Gardens in 1919, in which the editor wrote about creating a resource for ordinary people, to do with timelessness and style, and taking a middle path. …

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