For all Press / PR information
Texprint London 2012
TEXPRINT IMAGE GALLERY
More images in our photo gallery
The Selection Process 2012 – in conversation with prize judge Caroline Burstein
04 July 2012 by GGHQ Fashion Intelligence
Caroline Burstein is creative director at the designer clothing store Browns Fashion and founder of the luxury bath and body range Molton Brown. Founded by her parents, the legendary Joan and Sidney Burstein, over 40 years ago, Browns is renowned for discovering new talents, such as John Galliano, Comme des Garçons and Hussein Chalayan. Browns was the first store in the UK to stock some of fashion’s biggest names including Armani, Ralph Lauren and Jil Sander through its boutiques centered around London’s South Molton Street. We discuss the value of supporting the next generation of designers and what she hopes to see at Texprint London 2012.
Browns is known as a champion of new designers. Why is it important to support new textile design graduates? Talented people in all fields are born to create - it is a gift that they possess and it has to be expressed. Their talent contributes to the pleasures of life and it has to be supported, nurtured and respected. Textile graduates are no exception, their contribution to design cannot be underestimated.
Do you think textile designers are overshadowed by fashion designers because one creates a finished product and the other may be further along the supply chain? I do believe that this is so. People generally do not consider what goes into a print or a weave, the thought, the skill, the inspiration and the love. This is no doubt because we all live our lives on a fast and superficial level. In the fashion world the media always focuses on the designer and end product when often the very thing that has made the collection strong is the textile design. You see this everywhere right now as colour and print are so in evidence.
Browns has selected the work of some of Texprint’s alumni – such as Clare Tough and Emma JShipley – what do you look for when you work with new designers, do you consider business know-how as well as creative flair? I am always looking for excellence, for an individual point of view, also the energy and personality of the person behind the work is important - right energy and attitude counts for a lot. A basic business knowledge is necessary but it can be learned and if not the artist should have someone beside them that they can trust with that knowledge to guide them through.
Why do British art and design schools produce such extraordinary talents in fashion and textiles – regardless of where they come from originally? I think that our colleges in Britain have always nurtured experimentation – they are not afraid of the new, in fact they seek it and embrace it. Our tutors are all creative talents themselves and encourage students to reach out as far as they can. Today more than ever with so many foreign students the rich range of influences is even stronger with more and more diverse cultures bringing their creative force together under the umbrella of our colleges. I have noticed and experienced that a creative person living here, and in London especially, can have the 'space' to explore their own individuality without being necessarily judged and this is not to be underestimated.
What advice would you give someone graduating in fashion and textile design this year? Keep going and keep creating no matter what. The design fields are always hungry for good work. Get as much experience as you can. Be happy in yourself above all.
As a special prize judge, what are you hoping to see in the work of the 24 designers? What excites you in textile design, is it use of technology, use of colour, texture, drawing skill or...? It is all of the above. It is what speaks to me. I am hoping to be moved almost to tears, to be delighted and excited, to have an intuitive and instinctive response to a beautiful and special piece of work whether it is through an amazing technological breakthrough or simply a perfect piece of needlepoint, if the work has that X factor to make a mark and stand out then that is what I am looking for. I just don't want to be bored!
Texprint 2012: the selection process in action
29 June 2012 by Editor
Texprint's 40th anniversary programme is underway; first step, the rigorous interviewing of over 200 hopeful young designers put forward by their universities and colleges as the best UK-trained textile graduates.
Drawing together a stellar list of industry professionals, Texprint's creative director Peter Ring-Lefevre orchestrates the three-week long interview schedule. Each professional taking one, maybe two, days out of their busy schedules to join the daily panels and to give their time, advice and the benefit of their experience to the young designers.
Neil Bamford, Alison Grant-Baker, James Bosley, Peter Ring-Lefevre (Texprint) and designer
Graduation marks emergence into the real world, a world of harsh reality, but also of aspiration, potential and important decisions – which direction to take, which internship to accept, which job to take. To freelance or set up one’s own studio, to focus on the growing interiors market, to aim at designer level or work in the fast-moving high-street fashion sector? Competition is stiff, and everyone needs to raise their game.
Joining the interview panels again this year, highly respected fashion designer Anne Tyrrell MBE, notes the challenges that exist: “Seeing the work from different colleges is quite an eye-opener; in many cases at BA level there is an apparent lack of awareness of the requirements of the textile industry that they are entering into.”
Anne is also Honorary Fellow of the RCA, member of British Fashion Council Advisory Board, current Chairman of BFC Colleges Council, a member of Texprint’s Management Council – and a passionate advocate of design excellence.
We would agree with her - there is little doubt that it is not enough to be talented - nowadays young designers need to be articulate, confident, capable and hard working. They need to have done their research and to have an intelligent appreciation of the world they are going into. They also however need support, advice and to benefit from experience of those who have been there, done that.
Jane Kellock, Janet Holbrook, James Stone, Peter Ring-Lefevre (Texprint) and designer
Texprint plays an important role in drawing to the surface young designers from across the UK and connecting them with industry.
For many of these graduates the Texprint interviews provide their very first opportunity to meet and mix with professionals, to explain themselves and their work. It can be daunting, but also enlightening - Jaine McCormack, designer, interiors consultant and former design director at Laura Ashley and Arthur Sanderson, says: “Every year is different, but special. Texprint offers a unique opportunity to the graduates being interviewed - a mixture of wisdom and experience, objective insight and direction. And on a personal level, it is so satisfying to help these young designers see new possibilities and directions that perhaps they hadn’t even considered or aspired to.”
“Texprint provides a platform for graduates to get direct feedback from industrial professionals, possibly for the first time in their lives,” says Ed Forster, product innovation at Liberty Art Fabrics (Texprint 2007).
By 6 July, following the interviews and much debate, 24 'best of the best' young designers will have been selected to participate in the Texprint 2012 programme. Their journey of opportunities starts with Texprint London, 12-13 July, an exhibition of their work held at The Triangle Building, Chelsea College of Art & Design, to which the wider industry is invited.
Eleanor Pritchard, Michael Angove, Philippa Watkins, Peter Ring-Lefevre (Texprint) and designer
Texprint 2012 is indebted to the following industry panelists, for their time, energy and commitment:
James Stone, View Studio; Jane Kellock, BTCG Colour Group & Stylus Interiors; David Edmond, designer/artist; Melissa Wright, Whiston & Wright Studio; Claudia Clinton-Smith, EyeFix; Jo Marks, Eyefix; Jeremy Somers, Circle Line Studio; Ruth Greany, fabric editor, WGSN; Emma Sewell, weave specialist, Wallace Sewell; Margo Selby, own retail & studio; Chris Judge, designer; Helen Palmer, senior editor, Trends, WGSN; Delphine Thwaites, designer and GGHQ; Michael Angove, artist and print designer; Alison Grant-Baker, Joe Baker Design; Philippa Brock, weave specialist and tutor; Catherine Barber, colour and materials consultant; Anne Tyrrell MBE, Anne Tyrrell Design Consultancy; Neil Bamford, Mint Design Studio; Angela Swan, weave specialist; Kirsty McDougall, weave specialist and tutor; Jessica Chadwick, Quinton Chadwick Studio; James Bosley, senior printmaker of London Printworks Trust; Jaqui Lewis of Lewis & Lewis Studio; Janet Holbrook, Holbrook Studio; Ed Forster, Liberty Art Fabrics and Texprint alumnus; Eleanor Pritchard, weave specialist and consultant; Philippa Watkins, weaver, journalist and tutor; Jaine McCormack, freelance textiles and interiors; Alice Palmer, knitwear designer; Lorna Bircham, weave specialist and tutor; Angela Swan-Greave; Scarlet Oliver, designer and Texprint alumna; Jaqui Lewis, Lewis & Lewis; Chantelle Morton, consultant; Tamasyn Gambell, print designer and Texprint alumna. Also Joyce Thornton, web press and observer, and Gill Gledhill, GGHQ PR and observer.
Alice Palmer: new frontiers for knitwear
24 June 2012 by Joyce Thornton
Knitwear specialist Alice Palmer (Texprint 2007) is renowned for her desirable, sculptural womenswear. Her bold, clever shapes skim and flatter the female form – shattering the safe, cosy image of knitwear. Her pieces are sexy and youthful and perfectly suit a modern, confident clientele. Alice works from her studio in Hackney Wick, London, and shows regularly at London Fashion Week.
What drew you to specialise in knit in the beginning?
I was fascinated by making something from scratch; developing ideas for colour, pattern and form.
What particular qualities are needed to specialise in knit?
An awful lot of patience!
Alice Palmer Autumn/Winter collection 2012. Photography by Christopher Dadey.
You quickly moved into fashion after graduation and show regularly at LFW – was this always your plan?
No, it wasn’t always my plan to have a fashion business. From a young age I thought about going into architecture or fine art painting. While I was studying for an MA at the RCA I started making garments and developing innovative construction techniques. This is when I saw the potential for starting a fashion label.
What inspires you in your work?
All of my surroundings, art, architecture, films and people.
Do you have favourite materials or techniques?
I love to work with silk and viscose as they drape nicely. I use a specific knitting technique, which I love to continue developing each season.
Alice Palmer Autumn/Winter collection 2012. Photography by Christopher Dadey.
Can you describe a typical day?
Emailing, stocktaking, working on production and designing are all part of my day - with meetings here and there.
What are the most enjoyable aspects of your work?
The satisfaction of a collection coming together. And seeing the garments being worn.
And the least enjoyable?
Some of the business side - such as accounts.
At Texprint in 2007 you won the Knit Prize – how did this help?
It was really encouraging and I had an incredible opportunity to exhibit in Paris and then in Hong Kong.
Alice Plamer Spring/Summer collection 2012. Photography by Christopher Dadey
Highlights of your career since then?
Showing in New York with Fashion Enter [a social enterprise organisation] and winning the Best Womenswear Award. Also being a finalist in the Fashion Fringe competition in 2010. The most recent highlight has been getting the chance to meet the Queen!This was at a recent event through the Fashion Capital organisation, celebrating 60 years of fashion at the start of the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations.
Soon I will be delving into knitted sculpture and have an exhibition coming up in London. I am exhibiting at Schwartz Gallery in Hackney Wick - from June 27 to August 18 2012 - in a group show called Allotments.
In the future, I plan to start a menswear line.
Anyone you’d ultimately love to work with?
I would love to collaborate with [milliner] Stephen Jones.
Any advice for those about to graduate this year?
Realise what your strengths are and try to find out specifically what you want to do and achieve with your career. Then target the right companies to arrange meetings or interviews. Keep designing, carry on learning and building up your CV and remember that perseverance is key.
In my experience: Susie Foster
16 June 2012 by Joyce Thornton
Susie Foster (Texprint 2010) is a freelance textile designer, specialising in mixed media. Drawing is the foundation of her practice and her delicate, sensitive pencil studies are often snapped up in their own right. Here Susie shares her insights into launching a career in design:
I work on a lot of different projects at one time.
I’ve created new prints for the Surtex fabric exhibition in New York. I’m developing needle punched fabrics for the spring/summer 2012/13 collection for menswear designer Manish Bansal. And I am working on accessories ideas with Sandra Murray, a Scottish designer I met at [textile design show] Indigo, Paris. I’ve also just designed a greetings card for the Barbican shop.
Susie Foster pleated textile detail
Being a freelance designer isn’t an easy option.
I feel incredibly lucky to be doing something I enjoy. Although there are some low moments, there are great days too and that’s what keeps me going. It can be tough staying positive and motivated but I was prepared for that - it’s a really competitive industry.
It’s hard to switch off.
Working as a freelancer means there can be a lot of uncertainty, which can be stressful. I’m glad I’m not on the nine to five treadmill, but it can be really difficult to switch off and take a break, especially if you live and work in one location. There’s also all the non-creative work that comes with being self-employed, dealing with tax, chasing payments etc, luckily my sister is a tax adviser, which helps.
Susie Foster: printed and pleated textile.
A typical day is a varied mix of the creative and the necessary.
I try to get a balance of the less interesting bits (invoices, emails etc) and the creative side (drawing, making, research etc). I enjoy the freedom and variety; it’s great to be in charge of your own time and to work on a range of projects. I like new challenges and working with different people, it’s exciting - and keeps you moving forward.
I’m inspired by nature, artists and the unexpected.
My inspiration can come from something quite unexpected but most frequently it’s found in nature. I find the patterns, processes and structures of the natural world are a never-ending source of inspiration. Also, the work of artists such as Antony Gormley, Bridget Riley, Mark Rothko, Eva Hesse, Andy Goldsworthy, Louise Bourgeois… it’s an endless list!
Susie Foster insect drawing
I love drawing and experimenting with materials and varied techniques.
During my MA studies at the RCA I started to explore scale, creating larger pieces, considering new ways of making and thinking a lot more broadly. I also started working with needle punching and it’s remained a favourite technique. I think it has a lot of potential still to be explored and I like that process of continual discovery. I still try to draw every day - it’s crucial to my textile work but it would be great to start exhibiting and selling pieces as an artist.
My Texprint experience in 2010 was hugely beneficial.
It was fantastic being chosen for Texprint. Just from the interview I got some great feedback and advice and made a contact that led to the sale of two large pieces from my portfolio. To show at Indigo was invaluable; I sold four pieces and met people that I continue to work with now.
Susie Foster: embroidery design for menswear designer Manish Bansal. Far right: butterfly pencil study
My plan is to keep going and keep the variety in my work.
I want to continue with my collaborative work for fashion and also to sell print designs. It would be amazing to work at couture level, where practicality is less of an issue and there’s more opportunity for elaborate and experimental textiles. I’d love to see my fabrics on a McQueen or Vivienne Westwood catwalk!
I’m working on some more of my own interior art pieces and developing my origami collages for print. I’d love to work with the Rug Company to produce designs for interiors. I’d also like to devote more time to drawing as an end in itself. I’ve been involved with teaching and community arts projects too and that’s something I also want to do more of.
Textile graduates need to persevere.
New graduates need to realise that it might take a long time to get where you want to be - but you can enjoy the journey and learn a lot along the way.