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Meet the 2017 judges: Guy Goodfellow, interior designer

29 June 2017 by April Kosky & Kristina Ezhova

Interior designer Guy Goodfellow is joining the judges of this year’s Texprint awards. We talked to him and creative director Jaine McCormack about the Guy Goodfellow Collection of fine fabrics and wallpapers.

Langton Street is a charming street located right off the King’s Road in London’s Chelsea. It’s a part of town often known as the Chelsea design quarter, housing a diverse range of luxury interior brands, including the Guy Goodfellow Collection. And Guy Goodfellow himself is judging the Texprint 2017 awards.

Goodfellow founded his own company in 2002. Working with a team of architects and interior designers, he specialises in breathing new life into old country homes, producing timeless, elegant and quintessentially English interiors.

Photo: Robert Barber

He recalls being fascinated with interior design and architecture since he was “knee-high”. He worked at Hackett and Colefax & Fowler, and designed a five-star hotel in Brussels at the age of just 24. “It is all luck of the draw,” he laughs casually, but it doesn’t take long to see the passion he has for what he does.

The company has a dual focus – architecture and interior design. While working on a residential project almost a decade ago, he had the opportunity to develop textiles as a bespoke service for the client’s home furnishings. In 2008, the Guy Goodfellow Collection was established as a separate business with Jaine McCormack as creative director. She introduced the concept of using and redesigning antique textiles. The company’s philosophy is founded on antique textile and artisan construction, carving out for itself a distinctive place in the market.

The textiles are frequently inspired by fabrics found at flea markets and fairs, but McCormack points out that the company develops new prints too. The collections are developed organically by slowly adding in new colours or designs. Manufactured in the UK, the fabrics are produced through both digital and hand-screen printing. Although the process of hand printing produces wondrous one-of-a-kind pieces, it’s an expensive option. That said, technological advances have enabled a relatively small business to produce textiles that might once have been prohibitively expensive and complex – such as the remarkable embroidered antique fabrics in the collection.

On sustainability, Jaine McCormack is honest: “Everybody wants to be ethical, but textiles is one of the least environmentally sound processes.” But the company’s very focus on conservation and craftsmanship has a sustainable philosophy to it – we should treasure what we have rather than endlessly obsess over the new.

Photo: Robert Barber

The artisanal craftsmanship on display in the company’s showroom is a pleasure to explore, decorated with Guy Goodfellow Collection fabrics and wallpaper. The showroom shares space with three other brands. Allyson McDermott’s heritage wallpapers are on one wall, with magnificent panels reaching from floor to ceiling. She is often employed by the National Trust to recreate a historic wallpaper from a scrap uncovered in an old English house. Also in residence is Volga Linen, a textile company that takes all its inspiration from Russian archives. Finally, there is Cloth and Clover, a small printed collection of fabrics produced in the UK.

Although quite different to the Guy Goodfellow Collection, the brands serve as a complement to it, all focused on high quality, artisanal products. The emphasis is on small-scale, UK manufacture, and long-term relationships with artisans and designers.

Currently, the Guy Goodfellow showroom is host to a ‘Maker’s Tale’ exhibition. Swathes of beautiful multicolour silks hang in the window. McCormack explains that the exhibition focuses on a “lady who forages seasonally on the South Downs where she lives. She’ll maybe pick ash, or walnuts, or rhubarb and create dye recipes using those materials. This absolutely speaks to the artisanal craftsmanship we want to celebrate more and more.”

The ‘Maker’s Tale’ exhibition is a project that McCormack wants to repeat every couple of months, a rolling exhibition that showcases the work of an up-and-coming craftsman looking to break into the industryThe next space available is February 2018.

Jaine McCormack’s personal involvement with Texprint dates back some 30 years – and she’s been working with Guy Goodfellow for nearly a decade. Over the years, the Guy Goodfellow Collection has bought artwork from Texprint designers, used for inspiration for developing new fabrics.

They see Texprint as a great chance for young people to showcase their work – and point out that it is important for all textile professionals to check out the young designers’ work. As Goodfellow explains, “We’re always looking for the next thing that is going to interest, so we have to keep our eyes open the whole time.”

Photo: Robert Barber

Texprint Council: new member Andrew Stevenson of Paul Smith

13 June 2017 by Harriet Wolstenholme & Marijn Brok

Texprint alumnus Andrew Stevenson, now a senior textile designer at Paul Smith, has joined the Texprint Council which meets twice-yearly to monitor and review how the charity is performing against its aims and objectives. We talked to him about his career and memories of Texprint.

The interior of the Paul Smith head office in central London has the exact quirky ambience you’d expect from the designer. Andrew Stevenson, who has been working as a woven and printed textile designer at the company for four years, fits in perfectly – relaxed and stylish, but with a quirky silver nose ring.  

Before all this, there was the student Andrew. In 2010 he graduated from the Royal College of Art and won both the Texprint Chairman’s Prize and Interior Fashion Prize. Winning the accolades boosted the young designer’s confidence. “I think it is great recognition for what you’ve done, because at university you’re in this closed world just looking out,” he says.

From Andrew's RCA weave collection 2010

Andrew Stevenson has worked twice at Paul Smith, leaving for a while to join Tom Ford as a womenswear fabric designer. He recalls “an incredible experience that really rooted my knowledge in fashion and textiles.” He worked in a small team and was involved in every single aspect of the design process: “Tom Ford is brilliant, really charismatic and friendly.”

But then Paul Smith came back to him with an excellent offer, so Andrew returned to the menswear department, developing both woven and printed textiles. Four years later, he appreciates the playful creative environment of the company. “It is a brand that really celebrates textiles and fabrics,” he says.

The London headquarters of Paul Smith has creativity built into its DNA!

It’s an involvement that perhaps was written in the stars from the start. It had always been a dream of Andrew’s to work for a brand such as Paul Smith. Born and raised in Northern Ireland, his interest in fashion was a natural progression from his youth. “When I was younger I was always inspired by, and wanted to wear Paul Smith,” Andrew recalls. “I first saw a Paul Smith shirt when I was on a school trip and thought it was amazing.”

Despite working for a brand with a strong and long-established design signature, Stevenson enjoys plenty of room for creativity and implementing his own ideas. “I think you are hired for your handwriting and your DNA, which is great – and it does develop and change a bit for every brand,” he explains. “I have developed a knowledge of the market, and Paul Smith’s colour sensitivity.”

Paul Smith spring/summer 2016 collection

Now Stevenson is returning to Texprint, this time as a new member of the Texprint Council. “I am really glad I have kept in touch because I think what Texprint does is really exciting. It’s really beneficial for students to have this kind of exposure when they leave university.”

The designer understands the pressures of the industry and what young designers have to endure after graduating. He treasures “the advice that I received on what it is like to work for a company and how to present and price your work.” That’s knowledge he now intends to share with a new generation of aspiring textile designers.

He thinks that London is an amazing platform for textile designers starting out. However the economics of the industry have changed a lot, he notes. “Especially since Brexit. As a company we have to negotiate for that, because we work so much with mills in Italy, Portugal, all over Europe.”

Stevenson believes it is important for fresh talent to be as open-minded as possible. “You need to open your eyes to what fabric can do, whether it is in a collaboration with an engineer or an astronaut.” But ultimately it comes down to aesthetics for Stevenson: “What the kids come up with is really exciting, really fresh. Innovation doesn’t have to be through LED lights or 3D sculpture. It can be aesthetic as well.”

Attitude and personality are important if you want to make it in this industry. “This is really important – as well as how your work fits in aesthetically.” Experienceis invaluable too. “It is great if you can get an internship – something which I didn’t do and always wish I had,” he admits.

Meet the 2017 judges: Eric Musgrave, fashion industry consultant and writer

05 June 2017 by Celia Fernández-Carnicero

Photo credit: Laura Lewis

Eric Musgrave has joined the judging panel for this year’s Texprint awards. We spoke to him about his love for textiles and observations on the changing industry.

Walk round any fashion, footwear or textiles trade show and it won’t be long before you meet Eric Musgrave. The British consultant, author and commentator is an inveterate networker with one of the best contact books in the business. Over the years, he’s also been a stalwart champion of brands old and new, ready-to-wear and bespoke – and has a reputation as an eclectic, individualistic dresser.

Musgrave has been observing and analysing the industry for 37 years. Best known as a menswear specialist, he has enjoyed award-winning stints as editor of UK trade title Drapers. He also edited Fashion Weekly and For Him (later known as FHM), and held senior positions on International Textiles (in Amsterdam) and Sportswear International (in Milan). He wrote a best-selling book on men’s tailoring, Sharp Suits.

Sharp Suits

Musgrave grew up in Leeds and studied history at the University of Hull before moving to London. These days, he lives in the lush countryside of Kent with his prolific author wife Jane Eastoe, a former fashion editor.

What makes a brilliant textile designer?

Technical skills are crucial and, of course, having a vision. Balenciaga once said, “Everything starts with the fabric,” and I totally agree. In menswear, it’s very difficult for men to wear wildly different styles of garments, so the creativity comes in the choice of fabric. You can have dozens, even hundreds, of the same shirt in different fabrics.

I’ve got a personal interest in textiles, and I think that the textile designer is often overlooked. The first thing I want to do when I see a dress, for example, is to touch and feel the fabric rather than look at the silhouette. With men’s suits, again, the first thing I look at is the fabric. It’s very difficult to imagine how a suit is going to look like on a moving body just by seeing it on a hanger. But the fabric can give you a very good indication.

How important is the role of initiatives such as Texprint for young designers?

Fashion is perpetually an industry with too few jobs and too many applicants. An initiative like Texprint is very important to raise the profile of promising new talent with potential employers from brands, manufacturers, and retailers. For the young designers, it’s an important platform to remind them that creativity must be merged with commerciality – at some level – for success to follow in today’s market. The number of significant names supporting Texprint in some way, or visiting the Texprint awards or shows, is a testament to the position this initiative holds, not just in the UK but in the main international markets.

How has menswear and bespoke tailoring changed since you started?

Now it’s smaller. There are fewer bespoke tailors… I believe that bespoke tailoring is the true luxury. I think now fewer people are willing to invest in a bespoke suit because it’s expensive, but also because there is a lack of appreciation of all the work that goes into it and the skills involved. That being said, I don’t think bespoke tailoring will ever disappear, especially now that the handmade and craft have become fashionable and more desirable.

Where do you see the future of textiles?

The important thing for me is that any textile producer should know who they are and what they do. Countries like China have the technology to produce in a mass-production level, but they can’t replicate the creativity, the taste of the traditional European manufacturers.

Online fast fashion retailers all survive by having a lot of new designs all the time – that’s very hard to do for small businesses that want to focus on craftsmanship and deliver products with high standards of quality.

Do you have a piece of advice for emerging designers?

Stay true to what you believe in, but be aware that you have to fit into the commercial reality. Be patient and work first for an established company – to learn and make all the mistakes that you have to make before starting your own business. And never forget that you are part of a fantastic creative global industry.

Meet the 2017 judges: Elsa May, Product Manager Fashion of Première Vision Paris

17 May 2017 by Roger Tredre

Elsa May of Première Vision is one of the judges of this year’s Texprint Awards. We spoke to her about creativity and working for PV.

Elsa May is Chef de Produits Mode at Première Vision. That means Product Manager Fashion, and it’s an important role, not only for the company but for the industry at large.

That’s because Première Vision Paris is the world leader event for fashion industry professionals. It’s held twice yearly in Paris at the giant Paris-Nord Villepinte and is known to most people in the business simply as PV – a must-see event for anyone in the fashion and textile business.

Première Vision Designs, the specialist design show formerly titled Indigo, sits within the main PV and is a long-running major sponsor of Texprint.

Elsa May studied fashion design at ECSCP, the Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. She then developed expertise in fashion trends at Peclers Paris, one of Europe’s best known trends research houses, an expertise that prepared her perfectly for her work at PV.

A highlight of the year for Texprint designers is the chance to exhibit at Première Vision Designs in September (Sept 19-21 are the dates in 2017). This opportunity has launched the careers of many generations of designers, some of whom return to PV later with their own studios.

PV is also where the Texprint Awards presentation is held, so it’s a key part of the calendar for Texprint – the place where Texprint interlinks with the rest of the international industry.

 

What do you look for when you are judging a design award?

I guess, above all, creativity, which can be expressed in various ways – the technique and the innovative process of fabrication. Which does not necessarily mean complicated. Often, the most stunning designs seem so obvious that it seems unbelievable no one thought of them.

The content and the creative process are key elements of design: sketches, mock-ups, textures that create sensations and are inspirational. These really leave a trace and stay in the mind.

Also, I look at the way the work is presented: the shape things take, the way the portfolio/garment/book is designed. And the way the students/ designers present their work – how they talk about it can be valuable.

After working at PV since 2013, you must have seen a great deal of Texprint designers’ work?

Yes, the creativity I see from Texprint is amazing. For knits or weave developments as well as prints. I really admire the work – and, to be honest, it even makes me long to go back to school!

How does the Fashion Team at PV work, and what does your job involve?

We are seven working full-time on the PV team. Each of us is in charge of a different aspect of the fashion information for the specific shows. My focus is Première Vision Designs and Fabrics.

But we all build the season together from the very beginning, from the very first research. It starts with our ‘concertation’ meetings that are held with our exhibitors and professionals from the industry twice each season. They collaborate with us to merge the reality of their developments and our projections to develop each unique season.

We then write, construct and transmit the information to our exhibitors to help them to build their collections. I’m specifically in charge of the fashion information that is sent to the design studios at PV Designs, which is apart from PV Fabrics, but also related.

The artistic direction and shape of the PV Designs forum, as well as the selection of the designs shown at the show, are the responsibility of the PV Fashion team.

Elsa May presents trends at Première Vision

How important are organisations such as Texprint in your view?

Very important. These creative students are the designers of tomorrow!

How – and where – do you find creative inspiration for your own work?

I love living in a capital because of the incredible cultural variety it has, whether it be Paris, London, Brussels, New York… And travelling around the globe – the opportunities I have with PV to discover the diversity of creative expression in countries like Japan, Brasil, Turkey. It’s infinite!

Seeing art and design exhibitions and fairs, openings, school shows, but also theatre, dance, musical venues, contemporary new ways of sound and visual design – all these are very inspiring to me. Of course, sometimes just walking around and looking up or down or close-up – in cities as well as nature – can be a great inspiration.

Première Vision, February 2017 edition

Alumna Stories: Flett Bertram, Lesage

03 May 2017 by Roger Tredre

Spring/summer 2016 Chanel ready-to-wear

One designer’s trip to Paris with Texprint in 2014 turned into a job opportunity at the legendary couture embroidery atelier of Lesage. Flett Bertram tells us how Paris became her home.

Designer Flett Bertram, from Cambridgeshire, is loving the experience of living in Paris and working for Lesage, the historic couture embroidery atelier.

She first heard about Lesage while studying at the Royal College of Art in London for a Master's degree in Mixed Media textiles. “Hubert Barrère, artistic director at Lesage, came to give a talk and I was fascinated. When I came to Première Vision in 2014 with Texprint, I asked Lesage if they would take a quick look at my stand. They did – and things developed from there.”

They certainly developed fast. Three years on, we interviewed Flett to learn more about her French experience.

Images of Flett's work for Chanel: left and right - spring/summer 2016 couture; centre - spring/summer 2017 resort

Where is the studio based, and how many designers are in the team from what kind of backgrounds? 

The studio is based on the outskirts of Paris, just next to the canal which is super in summertime for picnics.

There are about 70 people working at Lesage in total. That includes a large team of highly skilled embroiderers, a drawing team and a weaving team. Not forgetting everyone involved in quality control and production.

The design team is fairly small. Some of the girls (we're all quite young so I still consider us girls!) studied textiles to Masters level as I did. Other members of the team come from a Haute Couture background.

How is the experience of working and living in Paris?

I find life in Paris incredibly peaceful in comparison to my previous life in London. It's wonderful to be able to cycle home along the canal or take a stroll up to Montmartre after work. Paris is a city of observers: everyone loves to sit en terrace and watch the world go by. It's ideal for designers like me who are always searching for inspiration. People are rarely in a rush and they like to take their time to enjoy life's simple pleasures. I know it's a cliché, but they also really value the work/life balance much more than we do back in Britain. Leisure time is sacred. As is good wine.

As a student, I rarely stepped away from my desk. With hindsight, I realise how important it is to take time out just to do other stuff, and then to return the next day feeling refreshed, full of enthusiasm and with a new perspective on things. To come back with 'fresh eyes' is how I like to describe it.

Flett, out-and-about in Paris

You studied as a textiles designer at London College of Fashion and the Royal College of Art. What are the additional skill sets you need to design at Lesage?

At college I was very reflective and took a lot of time over every decision. In industry, you have to be far less attached to what you're doing. You have to make decisions faster and learn to view your work from the perspective of the client. There are no additional skill sets required – all you need is your creativity.

Has your own design aesthetic evolved since you left college?

My role at Lesage is to design and create exciting embroidery swatches that we then present to clients. Here at Lesage, we already have one of the largest archivesof embroidery swatches in the world, so it's imperative that each of my swatches brings something new and inventive. I find that my design aesthetic is constantly evolving as I search for new ideas and techniques.

What’s a typical day like for you?

Each day begins with un petit café when I arrive between 9-9.30am. If I skip this step, then all hell will be let loose. After that I go directly to my metier (that means embroidery frame) to get swatch-making! We usually work towards a theme that we will have each individually researched.

Once I get going with an idea, I know not to stop even if I'm not convinced it's going well. Often I'm pleasantly surprised by the end result! I usually manage to make one or two embroidery swatches a day. There's not too muchpressure, we all work at our own speed. Sometimes the inspiration is there, and sometimes it's not.

We usually finish at around 5.30 or 6pm. If it's the run up to a big catwalk show, then we'll end up staying later – it's all hands on deck to get everything prepared.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Colour, form, texture, technique, material – inspiration is everywhere. I use the internet a lot but that's mainly just a starting point to get the juices flowing. A lot of my inspiration comes when I'm already working on a swatch, so I like to keep a little notebook nearby to jot down my ideas.

What are your memories of Texprint?

I have great memories of our trip to Paris and of Première Vision. I remember that we were all extremely nervous when carrying out our first few sales but I think our confidence slowly improved... as did our sales banter! I also recall that the last day of Première Vision was my birthday, so it was great to be in Paris for that.

Flett, out-and-about in Paris

Flett, out-and-about in Paris

Texprint alumna stories: Cherica Haye, designer, Rolls-Royce Bespoke

17 April 2017 by Roger Tredre

Cherica Haye, a Texprint designer in 2013, now creates beautiful car interiors for Rolls-Royce.

She’s a designer who specialises in material makeup and innovation for the luxury goods sector. Cherica Haye, who initially studied textiles at Central Saint Martins, became interested in the sector while building a portfolio of conceptual textiles for carmakers at the Royal College of Art.

After Texprint, Rolls-Royce design director Giles Taylor invited her to join the bespoke division of Rolls-Royce, the studio of designers and artisans who create the marque’s most prestigious custom models.

Her work includes the Serenity Phantom, displayed at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, and praised by CNN as “the world’s most beautiful Rolls-Royce”. The interior of the Serenity Phantom was upholstered with pastel green raw silk, sourced from Suzhou, China and woven in the UK. Flowers referencing Japanese royal robes and chinoiserie were embroidered and hand-painted. Simply beautiful.

Cherica reviewing material finishes at the Rolls-Royce studios

Tell us about how you came to work for Rolls-Royce Bespoke.

At my RCA Graduation show in 2013 I was introduced to Giles Taylor, and had the opportunity to present my work to him and talk him through the conceptual thinking behind it. Mr Taylor took my details and about a year later, whilst working for Lululemon in Vancouver [Cherica had won a Lululemon Texprint Award, which included a three-month internship], an opportunity became available for me to join the Rolls-Royce colour and materials team. I started in Goodwood in July 2014.

Where is the studio based, and how many designers are in the team from what kind of backgrounds? 

The Rolls-Royce Bespoke design studio is set in in the beautiful West Sussex countryside in Goodwood, England. Goodwood is the home of Rolls-Royce, where every car has been handbuilt since 2003. Bespoke design is currently home to a team of 20 designers, including one intern and two bespoke design engineers. Each designer brings specialised expertise to the team in a variety of fields, not just from the world of automotive design.

Embroidered and hand-painted detailing

Rolls-Royce (and you) received some excellent publicity for the Serenity Phantom shown in Geneva in 2015. How did that come about?

The Serenity Phantom was one of the very first projects I worked on when I joined the team in Goodwood. It was incredibly exciting and not at all what I expected! I was really amazed at the possibilities we had at our fingertips at Rolls-Royce, and how some of our customers trust our taste to the extent that we have almost a free reign on the design, layout and aesthetic. With Serenity, the head of Colour and Materials at the time really wanted to create something exceptional to elevate the brand and enchant our patrons. My background in textiles and as a weave designer/maker fitted perfectly to the one-off nature of this project, as I am used to making unique, one-off materials to suit each client.

Serenity introduced a completely new level of individualised luxury to a modern Rolls-Royce. We were inspired by the amazing interiors of elite Rolls-Royces of the past, where leather was seen as a more functional material, and high-end bespoke fabrics and silks were seen as the ultimate luxury. We felt inspired to share this heritage with our customers in a very modern, contemporary way.

Interior of the bespoke Serenity Phantom shown in Geneva 2015

You studied as a textiles designer at CSM and the RCA. What are the additional skill sets you need to design car interiors?

Along with a strong knowledge of materials, fabric construction and design, a good working level knowledge of how to use the Adobe suite of programs (Photoshop, Illustrator) will really help you visualise your ideas quickly and effectively. You also have to be prepared to learn a lot about the additional factors in addition to design that affect a car interior – safety, construction and durability all play a part.

Has your own design aesthetic evolved since you left the RCA?

I would say so. I think I have become more of a perfectionist with a much more intense attention to detail.

Where do you find your inspiration?

My background in fashion naturally means that couture is a big influence, but I also find inspiration in nature and architecture. I especially like using them together. I find that the juxtaposition of these subjects brings unexpected beauty. 

So how would you bespoke decorate a Rolls-Royce for yourself?

I would have everything Bespoke. Come to think of it, I would probably create a car from the ground up, because for me a Rolls-Royce is a work of art and should be passed down from generations to generations like one-off couture garments. 

To start, the model of my choice would have to be a Phantom bespoked with a one-off exterior two-tone paint, which has paint technology that allows the paint colour to do a complete shift from one colour to another when seen at different angles. The colour palette is inspired by the vibrant natural world of the tropics and my travels.

For the interior, I would have all the seat front tailored with layered woven silk. The seat backs and the driver’s seat would be colour matched to the fabric and covered in leather. The interior environment would be complementary to the exterior, adding considered colour/material breakup throughout that tell an authentic story.

And to finish, I would most definitely add Rolls-Royce signature starlight headliner (the headliner features a series of fiber-optic lights mounted inside the ceiling of the car, the design of which is unique to the owner, and looks like star constellations in the sky).

Interior of the bespoke Serenity Phantom shown in Geneva 2015

 

 

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