Last August I was delighted to be asked design the dinner setting and co-host a very special evening with Jemima Burrill, curator of NOW Gallery at Greenwich Peninsula, to celebrate women in design. The event, that we themed ‘texture’, saw some of the most talented female designers in the UK come together to celebrate and discuss their work, including Sonnet Stanfill, curator at the V&A and Helen Arvanitakis from Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio.
The evening opened with a talk from fashion designer Phoebe English, whose work was was shown in an accompanying exhibition. In conversation with Jemima Burrill she spoke about her journey from student to fashion designer and her love of using traditional ‘forgotten’ crafts.
The dinner was held in the Tom Dixon show apartment at Greenwich Peninsula. I set three long dinner tables with charcoal linens, hand-drawn chalked lines and bespoke place settings using my original ink drawings. I designed the table setting to complement Phoebe English’s exhibition and her largest installation to date.
The evening continued with garden designer Alys Fowler describing her inspiration for the design of the new gardens at Greenwich Peninsula which is rich in texture and flora. We then heard from Helen Arvanitakis from Tom Dixon Studio who spoke about her design concepts and inspiration behind the studio’s work and the products that feature in the show apartment at Greenwich Peninsula. The evening’s last speaker, Sonnet Stanfill gave guests an insight into her role at the V&A as a curator and a buyer of 20th century design for the museum.
The table settings were created from stitched paper place mats, hand painted place name cards, ceramics from Flow Gallery and Yuki Sugiura, candles from Tom Dixon and vases that I wrapped with leather.
I invited one of London’s leading florists Simone Gooch of Fjura to create beautiful floral arrangements.
The event ended with a wonderful night of informal discussion and amazing dinner provided by michelin-starred chef Stevie Parle and his neighbouring restaurant Craft London.
The evening gave women from many design disciplines a rare opportunity to come together to informally discuss their work and the design industry in a relaxed, inspiring environment. It was a wonderful evening enjoyed by all, that stimulated debate and celebrated the wealth of female talent in the UK creating exceptional design.
A very big thank you to all who helped make the evening such a success.
NOW Gallery is a new public exhibition space for contemporary art and design on London’s Greenwich Peninsula. A permanent, free gallery which features work by a programme of unique three-month commissions from established and emerging artists, designers and other creative practitioners. Find out more.
Sania Pell is a freelance interior stylist, creative director and consultant based in London. She is a Contributing Stylist at Elle Decoration magazine, with whom she has worked for over 18 years, and is known for bringing a unique aspect to photographic shoots for national publications, leading international brands and retailers as well as style consultancy for top architecture practices and property development companies. She is the author of best-selling book The Homemade Home and The Homemade Home for Children. A trained, former textile designer, Sania is also involved in many multi-disciplinary creative projects.
To enquire about commissioning Sania for commercial or editorial projects, please use the contact form.