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A tradition from Japan pops up at Angel

Whose been making the news round your way this week?

17 November, 2017 — By Emily Finch

Sonoe Sugawara with her son Ao, at her pop-up shop

Early 20th-century kimonos are rare and it’s even rarer to find them in the borough. But this weekend, a pop-up shop will be bringing the traditional Japanese apparel to Chapel Market. Store owner Sonoe Sugawara will be in White Conduit Street with her pop-up store Furuki Yo-Kimono – the name means vintage kimonos in Japanese. The majority of the kimonos in her collection are from the 1920-1930 pre-war period known in Japan as the taisho and Japanese Art Deco period which saw rapid modernisation in the country. With an interweaving of traditional and western techniques, Sonoe’s kimonos provide a great mix of old and new and for textile geeks it’s well worth a visit to her store to just have a look.

Rare kimonos shown off at the shop by Veronica Dagnert, left, and Mari

Blue, red, green silk is used to create a pattern of cranes, swifts and chrysanthemums in an explosion of colour which you won’t see anywhere else apart from the Victoria and Albert Museum. “I wanted different people to take a look at my kimonos, I usually sell in Spitalfields Market,” says Sonoe. “I know Angel has Camden Passage nearby with its antiques and I thought it would appeal to people who might go there.” The shop can be found at 1 White Conduit Street, N1 9EL. The pop-up venue will be open until November 19, 12-7pm Friday and Saturday, and 6pm Sunday. More details at:

Bright (yellow) idea for getting around

Cllr Claudia Webbe at the Ofo launch with Joseph Seal-Driver

YOU might have seen little yellow bikes around the borough which are part of a new bike sharing scheme called Ofo. Introduced in Hackney, the bikes are multiplying and were officially launched in Islington earlier this month at a small ceremony at popular cyclist hangout Look Mum No Hands in Old Street. To get a bike, riders download the Ofo app for smartphones at a cost of 50p for 30 minutes. They can be dropped off anywhere that bike parking is allowed which can save time when you’re in a rush. Previous share schemes saw bikes dumped in various places and were more an inconvenience than a help, so it will be interesting to see how Ofo proves itself. Apparently, the app encourages responsible bike usage and the bikes I’ve seen so far have been left in reasonable places, for now… Joseph Seal-Driver, Ofo’s UK operations director, said at the launch: “We’re very pleased to announce that Ofo bikes will now be available to cyclists across Islington, making getting from A to B in the borough greener, quicker and more fun. The bikes have proved a huge success in Hackney, and moving into neighbouring Islington will allow us to provide riders in the capital with even more flexibility and convenience. It is fantastic to be working with a forward-looking council like Islington, who have impressed us with their openness to the new ideas we need to solve the congestion and pollution problems facing the capital.”

Howard’s End characters live just around the corner

Joseph Quinn as Leonard Bast, Tracey Ullman as Aunt Juley and Alex Lawther as Tibby Schlegel in a Howards End scene filmed in Myddelton Square . PHOTO: BBC/Playground Television UK Limited 2017/Laurie Sparham

Observant Angel residents watching television may have spotted a familiar square in a new BBC period drama last week. Howards End by EM Forster, an exploration of family intrigue and social standing in the early 20th century, captivated viewers on Sunday night. And Myddelton Square with its beautiful houses was one of the main back-drops, slightly geographically shy of Bloomsbury where the book’s characters lived.


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