My London: Isabella Salamone, Textile Designer

42-year-old textile designer, vintage collector and maker Isabella Salamone will be making her debut at Jumble & Pearls Valentine’s Fayre at The Book Club in Shoreditch on February 8. Here she chats to The London Word about shopping, salsa dancing and the solar eclipse…

I have been working on creating a new spring collection of homewares, giftwares and stationery products by upcycling original vintage fabric. This is a newly started project, beside my textile designing activity, so the rest of the time I am on my computer digitally creating fashion prints that I sell through an agent.

My favorite area in London is Brick Lane for the ever-changing display of street art, for the eclectic crowd, for the markets and vintage shops.

Watching the 1999 solar eclipse in Battersea Park with my work colleagues is my most vivid London memory. Our boss allowed us to stop working and we all went to the park to watch it. It was such a surreal experience.

The tube drives me mad sometimes, especially when crowded and delayed.

My perfect London day out would involve vintage hunting in Brick Lane or Portobello Market then a spot of lunch at Princi in Wardour Street; they have the most delicious selection of Italian snacks. Also my day should include a visit to the Victoria & Albert Museum to admire their fabulous fabric collection. From there I would go for a stroll in Kensington Gardens and have high tea in the Orangery. It’s a beautiful glass building that was used to grow and shield orange trees from the cold during winter. I would end the day by the river, crossing the millennium bridge to catch a late exhibition at Tate Modern or just to admire the view.

My perfect London night out would involve catching a movie or going to a musical in the West End, followed by dinner at Andrew Edmund in Soho and possibly cocktails and salsa dancing!

I enjoy all seasons in London but if I have to pick one I would say summer. That’s the perfect time to escape to Hampstead Heath with a good book and a swimming costume for a dip in the pond!

I have always wanted to go to Richmond Park by boat. I have been told it’s a wonderful journey to make.

It’s not exactly a secret, but not many people know what a beautiful view of Trafalgar Square you can see from the National Portrait gallery’s top floor restaurant.

When I’m away I miss London’s energy.

If I could revisit my past I would go back to either the flash mob party organised in the Turbine Hall at Tate modern in 2007 during the famous crack exhibition by Doris Salcedo, or to the Notting Hill Carnival in 2004, when I took part in the parade as a member of the London School of Samba.

To relax, most of the time I go to my local café, The Front Room, in Tollington Park. It’s the coolest, friendliest place I know. And over the years a real crowd of regulars has formed so that often going for a coffee there translates as going for a chat. Such places are rare in London!

My very good friend Mara is my biggest inspiration. She is the kindest, most generous and positive person I have ever known. I don’t think she knows how much I admire her. Well, she’ll know when she reads this!

Go to the Shard! The view is amazing from up there.

I am designing a new range of patterns for søciety6 to be featured on cushions, mugs and wall clocks. Also I’m very excited to present my new Vintage Creations during the next Jumble & Pearls Designer and Vintage Fayre at The Book Club on February 8.

As Gandhi said: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony”. I’m still working on it!’

Isabella Salamone will be making her debut at Jumble & Pearls Valentine’s Fayre at The Book Club on Saturday 8 February from 12 to 6pm. Free entry.

Other stalls include artists, nipple tassel workshops, sweets and treats, kids’ crafts, vintage and independent designers.

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