Here is an invite I designed for Freyia Lilian, the emerging lingerie designer of Flimsymoon.
'Whimsical, poetic and otherworldy, Flimsymoon intimates evoke a vision of
femininity which playfully flits between the erotic and the innocent.'
Have a look at her website, her work is rather lovely. If you are free on 30th August, register for a free ticket and get down to Clerkenwell Gallery for a cocktail or two and get involved in launching the Kickstarter fundraising to see her beautiful pieces on the shelves of splendid shops.
Our first afternoon was spent wandering around our Air BnB appartment's district, Södermalm, poking our heads into it's array of vintage shops, with the help of Herb Lester's fantastic guide to Stockholm. Our favourite shops are listed above, as well as Papercut, Pop, Beyond Retro and our favourite of all, Grandpa. Next door was our home-from-home hangout, Il Cafe, where we could have been back in East London. Generally we found that in every cafe we visited, fresh sourdough and loose-leaf tea were served as standard, there wasn't a tea bag in sight! Our pampered London taste buds were definitely catered for.
Day two was spent spoiling ourselves in the most decadent 1904 public baths, Centralbadet, pictured above. (For only £20ish each, might I add). Adorned with grand palms and wood panelled booths to relax and watch some swimmers, we spent hours basking in all the various jacuzzis and steam rooms. To reward our hard work we went to nearby Vete- Katten for afternoon tea. Described perfectly as, 'Where Miss Marple would go to meet her Swedish pen-pal', we had the BEST vanilla bun yet.
Day three was spent exploring the coast of Vaxholm, a stunning tiny fishing island only an hours boat ride away. It was pretty idyllic stuff; classic Nordic seascapes, mixed with secluded little beaches, and coastal woodland walks, and inland was full of unusual and pristinely painted pastel houses. All finished off with more excellent cake and hot chocolates at Cafe Silltruten watching the water, before returning back to our lovely appartment.
Our last day was spent on the more central island of Djurgarden, a fun-filled set of parks and gardens, and above all, the theme park, Gröna Lund. We picnicked by the water, and ventured off to visit Rosendals Trädgård, the most beautiful garden shop I've ever seen (there, I said it), surrounded by biodynamic gardens and secret areas to sit and sun ourselves, and a very fancy farm shop and cafe where we could have spent all our pocket money stocking up on foodie souvenirs.
The afternoon was spent with wide eyes and sugar highs in the theme park Grona Lund; not like any theme park I've seen in the UK, everything on the ground was edged with pretty borders of colourful flowers, and everything in the air was edged with circus lightbulbs. And I mean everything. It was immaculately designed in a kitsch 50's style, overlooking the water, worth a visit, if you can manage to catch it when it's open. As it was the first opening of the year, we just got a pass into the park without ride passes, as the queues for the roller coasters were hours long, but we were more than happy exploring and marvelling at how beautiful and perfectly designed it all was (and stuffing our faces with candy floss) and spent a long afternoon by a fairground kiosk on a little pontoon on the water enjoying the sun and listening to the screams. Ahhh, Stockholm...you were dreamy. I forgive you for making it too expensive for us to be permanently hungover.
Footnotes: So the rumours are true, Stockholm is crazy expensive, but we still loved it. A pint was around £8 everywhere we went, and a cup of tea or any single journey on the tube was £2.50. We rented an Air BnB apartment in Sodermalm for £35 each/night so that we could self cater, it was absolutely perfect and felt like home. Our day trip to Vaxholm was £12 to get there on a boat and £3 to return on a bus, and the lovely Grona Lund was £11 for a 'non-ride' ticket.
Just before Christmas I was photographed at my favourite Old Spitalfields Market finding treasure, and at my studio in my house, and then at my market stall for the January issue of Japanese magazine Chic Chic. I wish I knew what it said...
It seems like a long time ago now, but the run up to Christmas was made even more exciting this time round, as I was featured in Vanity Fair's Christmas Gift Guide 2013 for my bespoke stationery. I've been overwhelmed with wonderful commissions over the past year, which I am determined to eventually get on my website to show you all! Please drop me an email if you would like to enquire about bespoke stationery at hoorayfor(at)alicegabb.com.
For all your last minute present needs, Broadway Market will be up and running on Christmas Eve! It always one of the most lovely festive treats, and I shall be there 9am-3pm (wearing a lot more layers than this) with lots of stationery, perfect for stocking fillers.
Here is a very sad goodbye to my lovely assistant Sophie, who has been stepping in for me behind my stall at Broadway Market for almost the last six months of Saturdays! She will be very missed, and I wish her the best of luck in her new job, I'm sure those of you who were persuaded to buy some of my stationery from her by her loveliness will agree. I will still be there, (well, maybe not always me personally...) opposite the Film Shop near La Bouche. Come and get organised and get some Christmas pressies sorted.
In June I finally visited Budapest; being totally in love with derelict buildings, I knew I should go. I had heard many wild claims that 'It's like Berlin five years ago', and curiosity got the better of me. So if you happen to visit, here are my favourite places from our five day trip: Day one was for wandering, we visited Printa, a screenprinting studio/gallery/cafe with good coffee, where I found the perfect illustrated guide to the city which helped us plan our days. We sat upstairs in Telep and watched the world go by from the warehouse style windows drinking homemade lemonade, and later made ourselves at home in Szimpla, the most talked about of the 'ruin bars', which we couldn't stay away from and returned at some stage every evening.
To ease the hangover the following day we visited the famous Széchenyi Baths, and despite it being our third choice
(the Bauhaus baths on Margrit Island were closed due to the river bursting its banks),
it was an absolute pleasure.
We basked in the outdoor hot pool for hours and watched local leathery
old men in speedos play chess.
To top off our day of pampering we had afternoon tea in the
stunning New York Café, which was an incredibly decadent setting and the cakes were delicious.
An unhealthy habit developed on our lovely trip, of visiting Sugar! everyday,a Parisian style sweet emporium, to work our way through sampling all their treats (their gelato is excellent).
The weather was beautiful so we lounged around a lot in Károlyi Kert, Budapest's oldest little park around the corner from the immaculately styled Retrock Deluxe Boutique.
Fogashaz became another favourite ruin bar, once a dental clinic it is now a bar/gallery/general cultural hub and their outdoor courtyard became a firm favourite
So a few weeks ago I went on a little European adventure to Belgium, to see what treasures I could find, and how much specialist beer I could drink. I did weeks of research for the trip, but all the places I mention below have been weasled down to only my favourite places, but I have only given links to the venues that I think are truly worth the trouble of visiting.
First up was Bruges where we stayed in the Bread and Butter Guesthouse with the lovely Frederika and John. They were great hosts and gave us excellent recommendations for the evening, although my favourite part of Bruges was Frederika's lovely breakfast and the orange bath!
We went for drinks in Cafe Rose Red, which have some truly excellent speciality beers, followed by a trip to 'T Zwart Huis, a jazz bar with good food and the best service I've received in a long while (come on London) but the saddest tale of all is that 'T Brugs Beertje was CLOSED, which was a real shame, I would recommend a visit for a truly excellent Belgian beer and old fashioned pub interior.
Next up was my favourite part of the holiday, Antwerp.
We stayed in an amazingly cheap apartment from Air BnB, which was very tastefully furnished in lovingly thrifted sixties-wear, we felt very at home there. Favourite hang out spots were Ra 13, which was my ultimate bestest place (that's a real word, right?). Like a smaller and slightly more 'out there' Dover Street Market, I could have stayed relaxing and chatting in the cafe ALL DAY. Literally. Enjoy the odd video link. Other almost as good cafes included Coffeelabs, which was perfect for spying good street style and was handily placed near the Belgian equivalent of Beyond Retro, T2. We accidentally stumbled across Seven Rooms Concept Store, but ended up sipping free champagne there for quite a while. It's a fascinatingly indulgent use of space, and they weren't snobby about the fact that I clearly was not going to spend 1000euros on a hairband, when I was clutching excitedly at my champagne glass wearing some threadbare fingerless gloves.
Antwerp was small enough to be able to wander around aimlessly, but trendly enough to still stumble across endless gems of places, we loved it there.
I would recommend Dansing Chocolat for an excellent traditional supper and lovely surroundings, and Cafe D'Anvers for dancing the night away in a raw factory/warehouse style shell of a building. Don't make the same mistake as we did, unfortunately we accidentally gatecrashed a '16 and overs' club night. It was awkward.
Other favourite bars were Elfde Gebod, which means, 'The Eleventh Commandment', it was hidden
near the beautiful Cathedral area, and featured a bizarre collection of religious statues lit by candlelight. Good beers can be found here.
Hungover but still ready for more, we trekked to Brussels for the final leg of the trip. We stayed in another stunning apartment from Air Bnb by the Royal Cemetery which is very similar to Pere Lachaise (I would like to add that all our accommodation was between 25-40 Euros each a night...)
The flea market at Place de Jeu du Balle was fantastic, and is open every day. TOP TIP: do not go on a weekend, prices are quadrupled for tourists. We went on a Monday and haggled some absolute bargains.
The Atomium is worth a visit on a sunny day, we took cakes and chocolate from Wittamer and Pierre Marcolini. These two both had excellent treats, but I would recommend taking away as I didn't personally enjoy the interiors. Any of the street vendors so fantastic frites if you need a guilty little traditional Belgian pick-me-up...
Phew, so there you have it. My final tip has to be: When travelling by Eurostar, remember you still need to bring a passport. We made it by the skin of our teeth.....
This December I can be found amongst the pages of Little Thing Magazine...amusingly the only English words that feature are 'Alice' and 'Big hair'. I got to jaunt about my favourite places so that the lovely Jas Tang could write about 'A Week With Alice Gabb'.
So here are the lovely places that have been featured:
It has arrived once again, Bust Christmas Fair is here, and I will have a stall there! If you have had the misfortune of not visiting one of the Bust fairs, just look here, here or here to read how marvellous they always are. It is where I do most of my Christmas shopping (and Broadway Market, of course) as some of my absolute favourites will be there, Andrea Garland with her fabulous beauty products, The Shoreditch Sisters with their fine preserves, my good friends The Bobby Dazzlers and Jill will be there too. For a full vendor list, click here.
Last week I braved the rain to Wapping to visit Pencil to Pixel, an exhibition about the history of the Monotype institution of typographic printing. Because I am over enthusiastic about such type related events I signed up for the free 'guided tour', and I can happily say it was my favourite exhibition this year. We were talked through each display case of examples of the design and production of printing type, and it was concise and clearly explained, which was good for me because it took me a while to get my head around the enormity of the process of switching from human hands arranging single letters into entire publications, to mechanically organising them instead. It was fascinating hearing about the impact that Monotype has had on the history of printing and type design.
Sadly the exhibition has ended, otherwise I would be back for a second visit and to make a few Christmas purchases in their lovely shop...if only it was on for longer...
Photographic Matrices for the Linofilm Europa 1970.
Part of the workforce before the Monotype machine was invented.
Master record of the origin of design and current status of use of typefaces.
Last week I escaped the studio to Somerset House to see Tim Walker's 'Storyteller' exhibition. It really was my Vogue-reading-teenage-self's ultimate dream. The photographs were totally enthralling; the sets and prop design had me staring open mouthed. They are so incredibly decadent, playing out fantasies that are so visually satisfying that I kept forgetting to look at what the models were actually wearing. Being able to see the unbelievable scale and detail of the props added to the appreciation of each photo shoot (I still don't understand how you would go about creating a giant bee). It was lovely to appreciate his work in a larger scale and off the magazine pages. For further reading of what all the fuss is about, visit his website here.
For more visual treats we wandered to see the little Su Blackwell 'Sleeping Beauty' exhibition at the Kings Road Anthropologie. I had never been before and I can finally understand the Anthropologie hype, it was so beautifully curated, far beyond what you would expect from such a shop. It made me very proud to have my work selling in there...
After a tiring morning's exploring, we treated ourselves to tea in the Rose Bakery at the top of Dover Street Market where we sat and listened to the fashion types' chit chat over the perfect pot of tea. Worth a visit, even if a scone was pretty much all I could afford in there...
I thought I would share some snippets of some rather nice projects that I've been asked to do this year...
The above commission was a delightful birth announcement, screenprinted A6 notecards in peachy rose.
Below is a personalised version of one of my fold out invitations, that I screenprinted a set of for a Naming Ceremony...all commissions welcome, just drop me an email with your idea at hoorayfor(at)alicegabb.com
So here it is, four pages of me and my studio at home for the lovely Little Thing Magazine! All photographed by Jas Tang (she is amazing). I only wish I could read the nonsense that I probably came out with...