Swanfield On Tour


26 Monday 26th July 2010

Katherine Pont ‘Chairman Meow’ Mine and Cissi ‘Cecilia Hammabourg’ Black River Falls pulled together some of their friends to ‘play shop’ on Swanfield St in East London in December 2008, hosting amongst the designer wears friends’ bands, sweet treats and warming drinks. From here they have travelled to Soho and back. Having recently opened up beside Hoxton Boutique at 2 Hoxton St. Katherine is a very multitalented lass – from singing to sewing and many handy skills in between. Don’t Panic shared a few words with the Swan Princess.

Swanfield started well before the pop-up ‘recessionista’ frenzy, what encouraged the formation of your sweet boutique?
Running a fashion label like any business is very difficult. I liken it to being a one- lady-band, so when Cissi first came across a space on Swanfield St, we gathered all of our designer friends together to play shop. The original Sunday happenings were a merging of talents, with art exhibited in the foyer, and to unwind, at the end of each day we would part the clothing rails to make space for acoustic performances.
Nowadays the focus is on fashion and womenswear, but when we pop, the openings always have this performative element too and we still hang art in-store. We aim to showcase emerging designers and help get exposure for those within the swan nest, and sell some wares.
It must be exciting having your atelier where friends from all creative backgrounds can join you – yet Swanfield has maintained a certain charm and character one that is certainly similar to your fashion label Mine. Can you tell us a bit more about Mine and how that came about?
Mine... mine... yours. I've been making Mine since 2006, and before that hand printed tees pretending to be more tailored garments, so it made sense to start creating my own silhouettes and shapes. This was more suited to my personal sense of style, and allowed me to create my own fabric prints too, so my artwork was not limited to just the screen and printing on readymades. My illustration is quite detailed and tonal, so my drawing really lends itself to digital print. I've told people before Mine feels like quite an accident, but I guess that down plays what you do.
I studied fine arts and have always been a very visual person and into clothes and dress ups, so it made sense to try my hand at fashion, and it just grew up very slowly whilst I learned the tricks of the trade. Still learning, always, but mistakes too are part of the design process and sometimes make the most beautiful garments in the collection.
I'm often drawn to designers who see past the garment into the creative process and artistic development. You have not only designed the clothes and the fabric, but illustration and design for both Mine and Swanfield. Who else in the past have you lent your talented hands?
Well most recently I have been doing some work for the lovely Alison Whalley at Hoxton Boutique for her in-house label Hobo, developing prints for her upcoming collection. A dappled-horse knight, a Bowie-esque harlequin king and his ballerina queen flipped from a deck of bauhaus inspired playing cards, hand coloured but still with traces of lead pencil.
Guess that is not giving too much away. I've also designed the cover art for the first Oh Ruin seven-inch record, and after designing Lily Vanilli's cupcake logo and branding, she asked me to collaborate on the design of her first recipe book/graphic novel, A Zombie Ate my Cupcake which was a steep learning curve, but fun.
How fantastic! When can we expect to see the Hobo x Mine collection?
Pre-christmas, but Hobo creates regular drops throughout the season so you might see a hint of these new prints as early as next month. Very exciting!
So we should all make a point in visiting both Swanfield and Hoxton Boutique! How long is Swanfield going to be in that space and where do you think the Swan's traveling boutique will travel next?
We will remain here until the August 7 before the swans take flight again in search for a new home for Christmas, but you never now what is around the corner. Our next stop will be online with the launch of Swanfield Boutique.com.
Swanfield’s latest pop-up shop is at 2a Hoxton Street until August 7.


Don't Panic attempt to credit photographers and content owners wherever possible, however due to the sheer size and nature of the internet this is sometimes impractical or impossible. If you see any images on our site which you believe belong to yourself or another and we have incorrectly used it please let us know at panic@dontpaniconline.com and we will respond asap.