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Texprint London 2011: a celebration of emerging textile talent
16 July 2011 by Joyce Thornton
Texprint London’s presentation of the best of the UK’s new graduate textile designers, on Thursday 14 July at Chelsea College of Art and Design, Pimlico, was a tremendous success. The 24 designers, chosen from almost 200 graduates initially nominated by their tutors, showcased their work to invited industry and press guests.
Four of the designers were awarded new prizes at the London event, judged by a panel of esteemed industry specialists:
Stuart Stockdale – design director of the great British women’s and men’s brand Jaeger. Sue Timney – textile designer, interior decorator, stylist and founder of Timney-Fowler. David Shah – founder of View Publications which publishes the industry bible Textile View. And Orla Kiely – the creative force behind the eponymous interiors and fashion brand.
They selected the following new designers for special prizes:
David Bradley (RCA MA) creates dazzling textiles for fashion, inspired by the illusion of movement in surface pattern. Employing printed optical effects, David pleats and layers his designs to mesmerising effect. This distinctive fusion of colour, fabric and pattern impressed the judges, who awarded him the Texprint Body prize.
Harriet Toogood from the University of Brighton won the Texprint Space prize, gleaning her inspiration from everyday life. She is drawn to colours and structures which she translates into bold and fresh woven fabrics.
Chelsea College of Art graduate Chloe Hamlin’s exuberant, decorative woven fabrics were selected for the Texprint Colour prize. Chloe’s starting point was the expression of birds in flight, and her final pieces zing with bright colour references derived from coloured feathers.
Emma Shipley (RCA MA) was awarded the Texprint prize for Pattern. Emma’s meticulously precise drawings from the natural world are astonishingly skilful and distinctive. She has successfully translated her original artwork into designs for scarves, fabric and wallpaper.
Texprint’s chairman Barbara Kennington says of the new prizes: “Texprint celebrates traditional and contemporary skills. The change in prizes focuses on the end use; what we wear, the world we live in – still pattern texture and colour, but we are breaking down and reinventing conventions about how textiles are viewed.”
SPINEXPO Travel Award Winners.
In addition, generous new sponsorship from SPINEXPO has enabled 10 of the chosen designers - including the four prize winners – to travel to Shanghai September 6-8, 2011, to show in SPINEXPO Pulse, a gallery within the international exhibition of fibres, yarns and knitted fabrics which will take place at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Centre. The winners are:
Egle Vaituleviciute from Chelsea College of Art,
Karina Klucnika from London Metropolitan University,
Harri Batty from Buckinghamshire New University,
Catherine Tremellen from the Royal College of Art,
Lauren Bowker from the Royal College of Art,
Amy Jo Lewis from the Royal College of Art.
Sophie Steller, head of creative development at SPINEXPO, explains: “We feel passionately about showcasing real ideas and bringing newness and the talent of these graduates to the general marketplace.”
All 24 designers will show their work at Indigo, part of Première Vision Pluriel, in Paris, September 20-22, 2011.
The Woolmark Texprint Award — a new prize recognising design excellence in fabrics created with 60% or more Merino wool — will be judged from the work on show in Paris, and will be presented at the design show Indigo, on September 21 at 3.30pm, where legendary fashion designer Agnès B will be this year’s star prize presenter.
Douglas Cordeaux and Keith Walker choose the Woolmark prize winner
07 July 2011 by GGHQ Fashion Intelligence
Merino wool is one of nature’s greatest bounties; whether used in interiors, for knitwear or in fine worsted cloth, wool will provide you with a fabric that is natural, luxurious, renewable and durable.
Woolmark International, the not-for-profit organisation owned by over 29,000 Australian woolgrowers, invests in research, development, innovation and marketing along the global supply chain for Australian wool — the largest source of this noble fibre.
Woolmark is keen to highlight the versatility and benefits of Merino wool and has joined forces with Texprint to sponsor the Woolmark Texprint Award in support of The Campaign for Wool. The award recognises design excellence in fabrics created with 60% or more Merino wool whether presented as printed, woven, knitted and/or mixed media fabric.
Douglas Cordeaux, managing director of Fox Brothers & Co, and Keith Walker, managing director of Linton Tweeds, will select a winner from among the 24 designers who will show their work in the Texprint village at Indigo, which is part of Première Vision Pluriel, from September 20-22, 2011. As judges Douglas and Keith will use their expertise in producing luxurious, fine 100% woollen fabrics to guide their choice of winner.
Douglas began his career in textiles at the Chelsea School of Art in the 1980s and has since been a design consultant and textile advisor to a range of brands before heading a company that has been creating world-renowned cloth for over 200 years.
He says: “Texprint provides an invaluable bridge between the emerging talent of young textile designers in Britain and commerce. As the owner of Fox Brothers, one of the oldest surviving woollen mills in the UK, I'm delighted to be involved with this year's new award.”
Douglas is passionate about the fibre: “Wool is and always has been the fibre of choice for fine tailoring. Looking back through the extensive Fox archives you can see the lasting, durable quality of wool and how it holds dyes and different finishing processes to create all manner of cloth styles and weights.”
Douglas says he’s encouraged to know that Texprint’s new designers will be working with Merino wool: “We'd welcome any of the graduates to visit our West Country mill to see how we've used wool from Australia and Britain to create world renowned cloths since 1772.”
Linton Tweeds has been creating 100%woollen fabric for a century and initially became famous through its collaboration with pivotal 20th century designer Coco Chanel. Keith is the second generation of his family to head Linton Tweeds and he offers a different perspective on working with wool.
“As manufacturers of the world’s most innovative fabrics, Linton’s future depends on the continued development of Britain’s outstanding design talent,” says Keith. “We are happy to support the new Woolmark Texprint Award because we feel that wool provides a unique opportunity to showcase such talent.”
Texprint 2011: Sophie Steller selects the SPINEXPO travel award winners
07 July 2011 by GGHQ Fashion Intelligence
Travel and business go hand in hand, particularly in the fashion industry. One of Texprint’s key objectives is to present the work of its highly talented selected graduate textile designers to industry internationally. Through the generous sponsorship of fibre, yarn and knitted fabric show SPINEXPO, 10 of Texprint’s selected designers will be travelling to Shanghai September 6-8, 2011 to show their work at the exhibition.
Sophie Steller is brilliantly placed to choose the winners of this special travel prize. She is SPINEXPO’s head of creative development and runs a highly successful knitwear design studio. She has worked for leading companies including Arcadia and American Eagle Outfitters. Plus following her graduation from Winchester School of Art she took part in the Texprint programme herself in 1989. We find out from Sophie how Texprint helped her career; the value of supporting the next generation of designers; plus some tips for new graduates:
Texprint: What was it like taking part in the programme and what did you gain from it?
Sophie Steller: It was a very rewarding experience to have the opportunity to show my work again after I had graduated; it gave me something to aim for after I had left college. I picked up several contacts that lead to freelance work and a job opportunity so it was a very successful outcome for me. It gave me a boost and more confidence in what I was doing. I also received very good advice from the Texprint selection panel.
Why should industry be supporting the next generation of textile designers?
We have such a strong textile heritage in the UK, one of the best in the world and our design training is truly unique. For industry to survive internationally it needs innovators and new creative designers to move the boundaries and move us to the next level. UK-trained textile designers are some of the main key contributors to where the textile industry is going - it is vital this level of training is maintained.
What advice would you give someone graduating this year?
I think be as diverse and open minded as possible. Get started, it is much easier to get a job once in a job rather than waiting for the perfect opportunity. My first job which wasn't ideal but it led me quickly to my next at Arcadia which I loved and where I learnt so much. Your career spans a long time and we are constantly learning, the first challenge will lead you to the next.
What advice do you have for someone chosen to take part in Texprint this year?
Understand who you are and what you want to market yourself as, and then make sure you have the breadth of work to express that to people looking at your portfolio.
What aspect of your work today do you enjoy most?
Working with new ideas constantly, helping clients reach their goals and take their brands forward. I also love working with my team of designers as it allows me to be more creative and see more new ideas than I ever could have hoped.
Textile Futures highlights: Central Saint Martins 2011
03 July 2011 by Joyce Thornton
This year CSM’s MA Textiles Futures course celebrated a decade of forward-looking, experimental work created by its graduates, who continue to push the boundaries that define what textiles can be. The 2011 exhibition was held at the Southampton Row site in mid June and was organised into four sections: Probing the Future, Material Interrogation, Relocating Craft and Emotional Resonance.
Material Interrogation was one of the most impressive sections, with Miriam Ribul’s Air Momentum project perhaps the boldest concept. She explained: “Air manifests itself in its connection to something tangible; hence my textile outcomes are designed to allow or to shape air movement.” Her structures employ knotting and lacing techniques. This fascinating project has been documented through photography and video.
Marie Rouillon’s Daily Haptics took the form of a beautiful installation, focused on tactile qualities that she feels are much undervalued today. She used a simple white cup-shaped receptacle to explore her theme. She said: “Senses are just like muscles, if we don’t exercise them, they lose strength.” So, instead of familiar notices that warn, ‘Please do not touch’, Marie encouraged visitors to pick up and explore her pieces, creating a refreshing and surprising experience.
Using earth as a material, Hyun Jin Jeong’s quietly beautiful project was compelling in its simplicity. She undertook her research in a response to sustainability issues in the dyeing and finishing of textiles. She collected 45 different soils from varied locations in the UK and South Korea. The resulting creation was a rich palette of earth pigments which she used for dyeing and printing. She explained: “There are many natural materials that were once used but are now forgotten. I think rediscovering these materials and using them wisely is essential for a sustainable future.”
Amy Congdon’s Biological Atelier project formed part of the Probing the Future section. Imagining a world where “ethical ivory accessories or fantastical furs” can all be grown to order, she looked at “a new role for embroidery and textile design in our biological future”.
The Emotional Resonance section included the work of Wei Chen, who transformed commonplace objects and locations through textile based interventions. She described her work as “organic, unobtrusive and playful”. Ephemeral Blossom featured paper flowers that dissolve in the rain, releasing seeds.
In Craft Relocated, Laura Martinez’s Digicrafted project explored rapid manufacturing technologies, which are set to revolutionise the way products are designed and manufactured. Laura created some beautiful, decorative textiles that fused RM technology with traditional fabric manipulation techniques creating surfaces that can be used in numerous applications.
For more highlights from this inspiring and thought provoking exhibition visit