The fashion pack’s favourite lodgings, Town Hall Hotel, got some very unexpected Christmas visitors last week when artist and designer Margot Bowman took over the decadent space with an installation dedicated to her rainbow-hued Clanimals. These part horse, part beast, part tree creatures will be spending this Christmas at the east London hotel cheering up visitors and staff alike with their vivid-hues and cheeky faces.

Whether it’s creating bespoke jackets decorated with fried eggs, heading up the creative for Estethica Review, designing kaleidoscopic prints for swimsuit brand Auria or creating a film for Alexander McQueen —phew!— Bowman works across all mediums, at great speed and with relish. Her innately positive style seeps into everything Bowman touches and that’s no difference with these jolly creations. And what more appropriate way to welcome these creatures into Town Hall Hotel than with a good knees up starring flowing champagne and multi-coloured mince pies?

We asked Bowman where the Clanimals came from and what she’ll do doing for Christmas…

What inspired you to create your Clanimals?
I wanted to make a new kind of Christmas story that didn’t have the pressure of all the conventional ones, I think Father Christmas and his reindeer are great but what if you don’t spend Christmas with your father? We need modern stories for modern people.
How did you make the Clanimals?
It started with drawings, lots of them, and I then commissioned my friend Alice Rigby and the studio she’s a part of, MakeStuff, to create them in 3D. They carved them, etched them out of polystyrene and coated them in fiberglass to make it hard. The Clanimals came back into my studio to be hand painted and varnished. It was really really fun having them in the studio – the whole Clanimal family in one room really brightened things up!
Why do you think the Clanimals love Town Hall Hotel so much?

Because they have great taste and Town Hall is a beautiful space! I think it’s such a magical building, I always have the feeling that some of the sort staircase is  going to start moving, or that I’ll open a door and be faced with a totally different world on the other side. Maybe it’s a thin point between our world and the next – I think for that reason the Clanimals feel very at home there being as magical as they are!

What’s on your Christmas wish list?

Sunshine, sunshine, sunshine and a National Art Pass, unfortunately I might only get the latter

Where are you heading for Christmas?


What are you looking forward to for Christmas?

Sleeping in and seeing my family.

Needing gifting inspiration or some perfect stocking fillers? Head over to our Gift Shop for kooky treats and gifts galore.