Christabel MacGreevy evidently has more creativity in her pinkie finger than we do in our entire bodies. Since graduating from Central St Martins in 2014, Christabel has stepped comfortably into the role of maker. Traversing art, illustration and textiles, Christabel unites the three with her irresistible spirit.
She is, one of the women behind one of our favourite emerging brands: Itchy Scratchy Patchy. The genius line of denim, t-shirts and berets (that are available at DSM) is the brainchild of Christabel and her long-time friend and model Edie Campbell. Their unique process- it’s all handmade- makes their bespoke two-fingers up patches and cheeky embroidery extra special. Initially established in response to a boredom with the current fast fashion cycles we’re all being eaten whole by, Christabel and Edie created a line of patches that celebrated, in their words, “The best of British”.
Inspired by tabloid culture and British media the two crafted a distinctive the patches feature key British archetypes; the pole dancer, the body builder, the philosopher and the feminist… with some other motley crew members to boot. A little bit Viz, somewhat Quentic Blake, there’s something of each of us in this ramshackle gang. Appealing to the misfit and the outcast, you can where your patch to proudly declare "we are the weirdos mister". Then there’s the botany bits - vines and flora as well as serpents and centipedes. From the bowling green, to the pub and the working men’s club, the supermarket and Westminster - in Itchy Scratchy Patchy lies precious relics of Cool Britannia.
Even in Christabel’s fashion illustrations she manages to bring something relatable and witty into the mix, in fact, her figures are so idiosyncratic that they all appear to lead autonomous lives of their own. Bringing a much needed injection of energy into the art tailoring (we fancy that clothes don’t tell enough jokes anymore) Itchy Scratchy Patchy is stating a case for humour and fashion as sensible bed fellows, and it's a plan we can get on board with. Post Brexit, the Itchy Scrachy story seems ever more important to tell; with their berets that read “solidarity”, “justice” and “integrity” they’re making us proud to be English again.
Bringing her distinct edge to her wide span of work, Christabel stands before us as an innovator of the creative industries. Moving away from the easily digestible, but equally harmful world of fast fashion, Christabel gives us a reason to sit back, relax, and declare our devotion to clothes handcrafted with love.
Words by Jamila Prowse.