Kaffe Fassett – A Life In Colour exhibition at Fashion and Textile Museum

Suzie Blackman
Thursday, 6 June 2013

Patchwork by Kaffe Fassett

Tucked away in a quiet street near London Bridge station is the Fashion and Textile Museum, an amazing resource that until a couple of days ago I did not know existed. Founded by Zandra Rhodes, the museum showcases exhibitions exploring fashion, textile and jewellery design. Their current exhibition explores the 50 year career of textile designer Kaffe Fassett – a figure whose inimitable and extravagant use of colour has made him a household name amongst knitters and quilters.

The exhibition closes on 29 June 2013, so be quick! It contains over 100 works spanning a spectrum of textile art disciplines including patchwork, embroidery, printed fabric, beading, tapestry and of course, knitwear.

Fassett appears to switch effortlessly between abstract and figurative motifs, overwhelming scale and minute detail. I was struck as much by the boldness of pattern in his work as colour.

The exhibition is beautifully curated with source material alongside finished works and with varying scale, texture and media complimenting the banquet of dramatic colour.

I have never convinced to try Fassett knitwear designs – being primarily interested in shape and form in fashion I’m put-off by their lack of wearability and complex, inelegant construction that battles the medium. But I was missing the point. Art is not about practicality or convenience – Fassett’s work is mesmerising but also challenging and overwhelming on the senses.

Kaffe Fassett – A Life in Colour is open until Saturday 29 June.

…If you’ve ever wondered how he deals with all the ends to weave in, he leaves them frayed.

Tapestry by Kaffe Fassett

Knitwear by Kaffe Fassett

Patchwork by Kaffe Fassett

Patchwork by Kaffe Fassett


The author

Suzie Blackman

The dyer, designer, photographer, creative technologist and maker-of-things behind It's a Stitch Up. She lives in East London in a home filled with colour, fluff and house plants.


  1. Eskimimi says:

    I wish to goodness I was nearer and could make it to see this exhibition. Kaffe is my colour hero.

  2. FTM says:

    Thank you for visiting. Please come back soon for our next exhibition Zandra Rhodes Unseen (opens 12 July – 31 August). It’s going to be amazing. http://bit.ly/ZpDCfx

Add a comment

We want this to be a safe and welcoming space for everyone regardless of gender, heritage, (dis)ability, sexual orientation, body shape/size or other identity. By commenting here you agree to follow our Code of Conduct. Comments are moderated.

Required fields are marked *

Your email will be kept private

More posts...