My Travel Diary: M. Patmos

IWP alumnus Marcia Patmos takes us on the road

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As she travels the world to launch her winning capsule collection in the best department stores, M. Patmos founder and designer, Marcia Patmos, keeps a journal. The International Woolmark Prize winner keeps in touch on her journey.

Tokyo

The adorable and friendly Shojo coffee shop in Tokyo’s Aoyama has delicious coffee and treats and a tiny seating area inside. You can buy beans, which they are happy to grind for you, and the packaging is worth a photo as it’s really cute with an elephant and a message about why coffee makes you happy. I had noticed it a couple of times because I was working with a showroom in that area and there were a lot of fashion stores around there that I was checking out, so one day I finally went there. I would definitely go back! If you go down the little alleyway beside the coffee shop, you enter a cute Brooklyn-ish food truck encampment that is a whole outdoor food court situation with vendors selling everything from Hawaiian tacos to sushi. 

On a rainy Tokyo afternoon, I took the opportunity to catch up on designs for my fall 16 collection in a local café. Everything for the collection was pretty much designed before I left New York, but we always tweak things with factories so I was finally sitting down to see where everything was at, to see what was missing and change a few things around. I don’t usually work in cafes, I’m certainly not one of those people camped out in a café with my laptop, but I will use them when I’m travelling. On this day I didn’t want to be in the hotel room so I purposefully went to this cute little café we’d discovered to go and do some work.

Beijing

It was wonderful to see Joyce boutique sales staff members in the Beijing store wearing M.Patmos for Joyce merino wool uniforms. Male and female employees receive a change of clothes, around five or six pieces to mix around, so there are a few other tops, skirts in the collection as well. I went into Joyce because I wanted to see the staff in action and it was so great. The guy I took this picture of was really cute; I said hello and explained why I was there, and he was surprised but happy to be photographed. Because it was in Beijing it was a tiny bit harder to communicate due to the language barrier but his English was good and he thought it was cool.

Shanghai

I was walking past tailor shop in Shanghai and I noticed all these lovely shades of men’s suiting fabrics. I went inside and there were so many bolts of fabric to choose from to have something made just for you, and I noticed that they said Merino wool on the label, so I just had to take a snap!

This bicycle was parked in a paved stone alleyway in the French concession neighbourhood in Shanghai on the way to the batik museum. There was a batik museum near where we were staying, and I love textiles and textile techniques so I thought it would be worth checking out. I went to find it, and in that area there are small little streets like in the West Village but then you go down all these tiny alleyways that have whole little neighbourhoods behind them. This bicycle was down one of those alleyways and propped against the wall it looked absolutely charming.

In terms of art, The Shanghai Museum of Arts and Crafts is housed in a really beautiful building constructed when the French were occupying China. It’s a very grand, imposing building with elegant architecture, a curved staircase and central pillars and it’s just one of those things you wouldn’t see in New York.

London

On my first day in London I went for a walk with friends and they took me to Somerset House, because that was where the Woolmark offices were. Somerset House was quite majestic, and one of those places with an internal courtyard and interesting art inside. It was a real creative hub with a lot of cool things all happening in there at once.

These Harris Tweed caps were on display at Spitalfields Market in London. I went to Spitalfields on a Sunday morning on the lookout for Australian merino wool, and I was drawn to these hats because I love traditional things like Harris Tweed and also because they were all made in the United Kingdom. Spitalfields has become more commercial in recent years, with an Ottolenghi restaurant and a more centralised layout, but it’s still very vibrant

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