Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Designer Pudsey Bear Collection

In November 2011, BBC for Children in Need launched a range of Pudsey Designer collection in which 12 British designers lent their expertise to creating their own unique, one-of-a-kind Pusey bear, some of which sold at auction for over 1000 pounds at auction on eBay! I only found out about the charity cause today, which is a shame because some of the bears looks so magnificent and beautiful but there's one left, the Alexa Chung Pudsey bear which I may try my hand at... The brands involved in the collaboration and creation of the bears for charity included Topshop, PPQ, Mulberry, Liberty, Jonathan Saunders, Giles Deacon, Pringle, Patrick Grant, Louis Vuitton Katie Hillier, Henry Holland and Erdem.

From left to right: Mulberry, Katie Hillier, Liberty.
From left to right: Giles Deacon, Patrick Grant, PPQ.

From left to right: Jonathan Saunders, Henry Holland, Erdem.

I don't know a lot about Pudsey bears but I do know about brands such as Mulberry and Topshop and would have loved to be a part of the action, if only I had a time machine and some money to have gotten one of the bears myself:

The traditional yellow Pudsey was recreated in an array of different fabrics from suede to leather; in a rainbow of different colours; from silver to blue, and in a variety of different patterns; from tartan to floral. Each fashion Pudsey was unique and allowed fans of both the Bear and the designers the opportunity to own a piece of fashion history.

Let's have a closer look at the participates and their bears, shall we?

Henry Holland for House of Holland designed his Pudsey bear with a purple tartan print as well as blue leather pads on the ends of his feat and ears and a blue bandanna across the right side of the bear's face. I love the pad lock necklace in gold around the neck too- it adds a touch of glamor but is also tough and goes well with the punk aesthetic of the material pattern chosen for this particular bear. The sweet smile and workmanship on the eye still makes the bear look friendly and cute though.

 Above we can see the Pringle bear along side his creator, Alistair Carr who is the Head designer at Pringle. When asked about Carr's decision to get involved with the creative project of designing a new Pudsey bear, he replied saying;"I am proud to support the fantastic work that BBC Children in Need do with our Finest Scottish Cashmere Pudsey. Our Pringle of Scotland Pudsey is wearing a hand knitted cardigan with *Forevermark diamond buttons." 

Pringle's Pusey bear raised £3,045 at auction, all the proceeds of the auction will help to fund projects which change the lives of disadvantaged young people and children in the United Kingdom.

* Part of what makes Forevermark diamonds so special is that less than 1% of the world’s diamonds are eligible to be Forevermark and they have only come from a small number of carefully selected mines that are committed to high business, social and environmental standards. Forevermark diamonds benefit the people, communities and countries from which they originate and prove diamonds as a powerful force for development.

 Giles Deacon, looking rather smug next to his silver and futuristic Pudsey bear. So he should be smug, when auctioned the bear raised £942. The bear took inspiration from his Spring/Summer 2012 collection and was reworked from a traditional yellow to a silver leather colour and came with his own matching tassel cape and intricate lacy bandanna!

Giles was happy to get involved, saying:
"I think anything I can do to make a difference to help the lives of children in the UK can only be a good thing. Inspiration was taken from my Spring/Summer 2012 collection making Pudsey into a silver leather dream machine"

Katie Hillier said: 'I absolutely love children, almost all of the influences for my own label Hillier come from either children's books, childhood memories of mine or from a playful childlike point of view.
'When I started to think about the design of Pudsey, I wanted to make sure that children would understand it and would be drawn to it.'

Kate Hillier pictured with her designer Pudsey bear, all the stone-washed denim material used in the bear was bought at charity shops to continue the theme on raising money for charity and to benefit out wider community. I love the use of eclectic and brightly coloured stitching emphasising the home-made feel of the bear. The button detail for the eyes as well as on the right foot and across the medical sash over the right eye is cute too. The designers all look so wonderful with the bears when they pose- it's no wonder they're so heavily involved in the fashion industry in England.

My favourite bear of all the designer Pudsey collections is the Liberty bear which came with it's own quilted bomber jacket an had a mashed up variety of beautifully intricate floral patterns and colours. I haven't heard of this designer before but seeing the amazing floral materials and combinations of colour my interest has peaked in the British designer. The stitched detail on the face is really cute too, and it goes well with the predominant purple floral material but I also love the orange bandanna material used- it's covered with cartoon owls, dragonflies and flowers. How cool is that? These bears by far beat anything with in my old Beanie Kid collection- I would happily swap thirty of those bears to get in on a slice of the action for this Liberty bear!

Burstell, Managing Director, Liberty London said:
“Liberty is thrilled to take part in the Designer Pudsey initiative and to support BBC Children in Need. It’s great to see talent and creativity joined for such a worthy cause.”

The Liberty Pudsey raised a whopping £1,850 at auction.

Pudsey the bear making a visit to Downing Street wearing his traditional yellow attire.

Erdem proudly shows off his Pusey bear, a lemon yellow coloured creation in floral print .
Erdem's 2012 spring collection has been a huge influence on his creation with his bear being fabricated in Botanical Lemon Burst Print with Mini Burst Eye-patch.
When asked about his involvement in the project, he said: “It is a cause I believe in and it was fun to work with Pudsey. He was very pleasant!”
Erdem's designer Pusey bear fetched £1,120, well worth every penny to raise money for charity and own a little piece of fashion history.

Pictured above is the most successful of the designer Pudsey bears, which when at auction, sold for a massive £35,600, I could have bought a small house for that amount of money! A small fortune to get your hands on the Punk-styled Louis Vuitton bear which had a pattern similar to the Stephen Sprouse graffiti collaboration a few years ago as well as a small red leather jacket with gold studs, gold studs for the eye and what looks like a gold stud skull for the nose and a tough bandanna across his right eye.

The Louis Vuitton Bear was designed by Kim Jones (Head Designer at Louis Vuitton) with the kind collaboration of Katie Grand. Kim explains that he “took the idea of something very British for the bear.....punk but gave it a Louis Vuitton twist with the Stephen Sprouse print and luxury fabrics such as calfskin and shearling. We then produced the gold covered hardwear including the nose especially for the bear and accessorised him with his own gold padlock and accessories such as Stephen Sprouse hankerchiefs. He was then made his own custom Alzer suitcase which can be used separately to travel the world!

The Louis Vuitton Pudsey Bear is one of a kind.”
Katie was delighted with Kim’s design saying “When I was originally approached about if I'd ask Louis Vuitton to do a Pudsey Bear I wondered what they would think. Pudsey is such a British institution and Louis Vuitton is so French. And then it was obvious, the new head of menswear, Kim Jones is British and the match is perfect.

We wanted to do something very British but still keep the Vuitton heritage, so we used the Sprouse print from the Vuitton archive from 2000 and his styling has a touch of the Young Ones about him. And then Kim wanted him to have his own suitcase and change of clothes. I think the result has been adorable, and I hope he goes to a good home.
It's been an honour to be involved with BBC Children in Need.” 

- Louis Vuitton's Take on Pusey Bear

Mulberry's designer Pudsey bear took inspiration from the Soft Buffalo leather used for the Alexa bag and the colour is classic Oak with Chocolate paws and mouth, the two most iconic Mulberry colours, creative direction Emma Hill explained.

The Mulberry bear was deigned at the beautiful Somerset factory. Emma wanted the bear to be as meticulously crafted as their Alexa bags to the eye patch of the bear was made of the same silk used to line their bags complete with the tree emblem. The eyes and nose of Mulberry’s Pudsey has been created with the gunmetal grey rivets.

Mulberry’s leather bear has been inspired form the English tradition since the company started its work on leather 40 years ago and is still keeping the tradition. Mulberry's creative director Emma Hill comment, "The Mulberry Fashion Pudsey is inspired by our brand heritage and English tradition. As Mulberry began 40 years ago with, and is still loved for leather accessories we decided to use leather for Fashion Pudsey.
“When we were approached to design the fashion Pudsey bear, we thought it would be a great opportunity for us to use our resources and create something genuine, loveable and close to our hearts to support the cause,” said Emma Hill, creative director of Mulberry, London.

“The work Children in Need has done to support children in the UK is outstanding and we are excited and thrilled to be able to contribute in this way,” she said.

If only I had found out about the Charity auction some months before hand because some of these bears are extraordinary and fantastic! Well worth their price, their prices varying between 500-3000 pounds at auction with all the proceeds going to the BBC Children in Need charity. Typical that I find myself out of the loop and am I mere month late to participate in the auction... oh who am I kidding I would have never been able to find that amount of money but it still would have been nice to own a little piece of the prestigious brands, say a Mulberry bear or something designed by Louis Vuitton. It's such a rare piece and I doubt there will be a repeat of an event of this magnitude for a long time to come.

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