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Texprint 2015 Paris: Première Vision Designs

18 September 2015 by Roger Tredre

Prize presenter Rosita Missoni with Texprint creative director, Peter Ring-Lefevre

The participation of all the Texprint designers in Première Vision Designs in Paris is the climax of the Texprint year. Here’s what happened.

It’s the ultimate challenge – the first response of international buyers to Texprint’s young design talent. Every September, all 24 textile designers selected for Texprint put their work in front of the global market at Première Vision Designs (previously known as Indigo).

Texprint 2015 designers with prize presenter Rosita Missoni

The three days in Paris (September 15–17) represent one giant learning experience – and this year the verdict from the industry was one giant thumbs-up. As many as 16 of the 24 designers had taken orders by the close of day one, a record-breaking number, reflecting the quality on offer.

Designers such as Jessica Leclere, who plays with structure and shape inspired by Art Deco and Russian Constructivism to suggest new directions for knitwear. She scooped two awards in Paris: the Texprint Woolmark Company Award and the Texprint Fashion Award.

Gilles Lasborde, managing director of Première Vision Design, talks of the important link between PV and Texprint

Leclere, who studied at Chelsea College of Arts and the Royal College of Art, said she had found the experience of exhibiting at PV Designs occasionally stressful but appreciated sharing it with 23 other designers. “It’s been nice to be with people in the same boat, to have the same worries – it’s reassuring to know that others feel the same way.”

Designer Shivani Chavda shows her collection to buyers

Or take Jayne Goulding, who worked for five years at retailer Marks & Spencer in lingerie design, but is now setting up on her own following completion of an MA at Bath School of Art & Design. By early on the second morning, her stand was looking somewhat bare: “I sold so much on day one – there’s not much left! I can’t believe it. I was so excited I couldn’t sleep.”

The days in Paris start for the designers at 6am running through until 7pm. Supported by Texprint’s specialist team, they have to be ready to talk brilliantly about their work to visitors and conclude business deals on the spot. Print designer Jessica Pickard said: “It is a long day, but really exciting. I did a few sales over the summer so I wasn’t too worried about the invoicing process. The buyers like my big motifs – the large-scale statement pieces with a hand-drawn aspect.”

Texprint Creative Director Peter Ring-Lefevre said: “Many of the designers have outstanding fine art and drawing skills but also know how to translate them onto computer. Their work stands out from the purely digital printed designs – and the industry at large is looking for this.”

Truly inventive digital work can also make an impact, such as Ciaran Moore’s brilliant fluid print collection and Amy Bennett’s quirky hyper-real prints.

Designer Ciaran Moore shows his collection to buyers

Also among the award winners this year was print designer Emma McCluskey, who won the Texprint Colour Award (sponsored by Mode Information) for her delightful prints inspired by Scottish botanical gardens. She studied Textile Design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design.

Mixed media designer Joanna Robins, who graduated from University of West of England (UWE) Bristol this year, won the Texprint Pattern Award, while The Texprint Interiors Award went to Icelandic weave designer Anja Alexandersdottir, a graduate from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.

This year’s judges, who made their choices back in July at Texprint London, were British couturier Nicholas Oakwell; Ariane Bigot, associate fashion director for Première Vision; Sarah Lowry, colour & materials designer at Aston Martin Lagonda; and Julie Hall, head of design, Bedeck. The winner of a special new award from Bedeck is expected to be announced shortly.

Prize winners Emma McCluskey, Anja Alexandersdottir, Jessica Leclere and Joanna Robins, with Rosita Missoni

As Première Vision Designs drew to a close, Joanna Bowring, Sponsorship Director of Texprint, noted the strength across the disciplines. “This year there were six designers each in print, knit, weave and mixed media, compared with the last three years that have been dominated by print. Knit was strong this year, with weave also coming up, reflecting a focus on texture.”

The Texprint prizes were presented by the legendary Rosita Missoni, who founded Missoni in the 1950s with her husband Ottavio. Missoni, now in her eighties, had powerful, moving words of encouragement for the young designers, recalling how she progressed from Gallarate, an unassuming industrial town near Milan, to being feted by American Vogue in New York. “I’m so impressed by your work,” she told the designers. “Believe in yourselves,” she said. “And meet the right people!”

Rosita Missoni encourages the designers on their next career steps

Now that PV is over, two of the designers repeat the experience at the major Asian show, Intertextile Shanghai (October 13–15). Seven of the designers are preparing for extended internships in Como, continuing Texprint’s long-running connections with the finest Italian mills. And some are starting new jobs, including knitwear designer Alex Pengelly, who has landed a job with Nike in the US giant’s London studio following a meeting at Texprint London back in July. “I’m very interested in pushing knitwear forward and challenging preconceived notions about it,” she said.

That philosophy of challenging preconceived notions runs through much of the best work on offer from Texprint 2015. A vintage generation, on the cusp of making their mark on the textile industry.

Designer Jessica Pickard shows her collection to buyers

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