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Texprint talks: Emma Mawston of Liberty Art Fabrics

25 April 2013 by Editor

...from the spring summer 2013 collection

Emma Mawston, head of design for Liberty Art Fabrics, is not surprisingly passionate about prints and the Liberty heritage.  She is also a long-time supporter of Texprint and regularly gives time to participate in the Texprint interview panels that take place each June.

As a creative company focused on design excellence Liberty understands just how important it is to look to their future heritage and drive innovation by supporting the next generation of young designers; Liberty Art Fabrics sponsors the Texprint Pattern Award.

-Emma, how long have you worked at Liberty Art Fabrics and what were you doing before?

I have worked at Liberty for nearly twenty-one years – in fact the same amount of time as Alexandra Shulman has been editor at Vogue!

While at college I had a great work placement with Nina Campbell, I then won an RSA Bursary which led to a placement with Cavendish Textiles – both invaluable experiences.  On graduating I went freelance, exhibiting at numerous exhibitions, working freelance in-house at Nigel French (design consultancy), and designing for a variety of markets under my own name.

When I applied for the Liberty role, I found out that they had asked my to interview because they liked my handwriting on the letter accompanying my CV!

-Tell us about the team at Liberty Art Fabrics?

The designers at Liberty Art Fabrics are Sheona, Sally, Polly, Robin, Keighley, Laura-Maria and Carrie.  At any one time the team are working across three areas - fashion, furnishing and lifestyle art fabrics - on different briefs, and often for different seasons. We often go on drawing research trips, have drawing days and spend time hand drawing and painting original artwork.

Also in the team are Rupal who works on special projects, and Lauren who backs us all up on everything plus creates the presentation Powerpoints, keeps the fent book*, and makes sure all design and colour files are organised at the end of every season. Holly is our studio co-ordinator who keeps things running smoothly!

(NB: each design is archived in various swatch and fent books*; artwork, fabric bases, colourways, promotional and sales material are all recorded).

Spring/summer 2013 inspired by The Chelsea Flower Show

-What is the process that takes a design idea into production and retail?

At the moment we are about to start creating sketches for spring/summer 2015. 

I love coming up with the design briefs, it’s one of the most inspirational aspects of my job.  One of my favourite tasks is to thoroughly research an idea and come up with something original each season.

Liberty Art Fabrics is a design-led company, which we pride ourselves on. While we listen to feedback from customers, agents and our sales team our design briefs are created two to three years before a collection is launched at retail so it is really important that the collections are design-led and retain the heritage and originality which makes our prints so successful.

Each season the studio creates around 43 designs in 8 colourways. We then present our work at a number of selection meetings, working very closely with Kirstie (Kirstie Carey MD of Liberty Design) who reviews the new ideas.  We whittle these down to 40 designs, all of which will be printed onto Liberty’s iconic Tana Lawn.  We also create capsule collections on a number of different base fabrics using the designs most relevant to each base.

While we aim to think as creatively as possible at this stage, there may also be other considerations – it is important that our collections are successful worldwide, so we occasionally work on special projects that cater for specific design and colour requests. We also work on childrenswear design and colour. 

-Tell us about your recent travels for inspiration and research?

While researching spring/summer 2013 we went to Tresco (Scilly Isles) – in fact nearly all the best sellers in this collection were inspired by that trip - we also went to Vienna for design research, to the Chelsea Flower Show and on the trail of Guerrilla Gardeners in London!

More recently we’ve been to Glasgow and The Isle of Bute, both wonderful.  However my favourite research trip was to Iceland for autumn/winter 2013, a truly inspirational place that will stay with me forever.

Spring/summer 2013 inspired by Tresco

Spring/summer 2013 inspired by The Chelsea Flower Show

Spring/summer 2013 inspired by Vienna

-Do you ever refer back to the Liberty archives?  

Yes, the Liberty Archive is amazing.  It is hidden away in a warehouse in Bermondsey - a treasure trove of archived Liberty prints and sketches. Every design, from tana lawn to silk satin, is documented with as much information as possible and stored safely in a digital database. 

But most exciting of course are the collections themselves - oversized books bursting to the brim with swatches, piles of neatly labeled boxes and paintings as bright as the day they were painted.

The Liberty archives

-What are your favourite inspirations right now?

Gosh, almost everything inspires me, but mainly it is my daughters Mauve and Rose Xanthe who make me laugh so much and look at the world from such a variety of different and wonderful perspectives. 

-In what ways do you work with students and what would you look for in a graduate designer joining your team?

We work on an annual collaboration with the textile design students at Central Saint Martins, and have also worked with another MA course creating colour for a recent collection. We always have work experience students in the studio, working from one week to three months at a time.

I would look for the same thing in a graduate as any designer – diversity of ideas, great sketchbooks with lots of original hand drawing, and a beautiful and varied sense of colour.  Personality is important too - someone who is very lovely and very inspiring – it is so important that they spend time in the studio and for the team to bond with them. They would also need relevant computer skills!

Spring/summer 2013 inspired by Tresco

Article tags: print (31), alumni (45), general (61), business (54), sponsors (30), champions of texprint (45), colour (8)

Pattern Masters: Texprint 2012 print specialists

30 October 2012 by

Ying Wu: Winner, Texprint Award for Pattern 2012

The Texprint 2012 showcase included nine outstanding printed textile designers, reflecting the strong continuing trend for dynamic pattern, in both contemporary fashion and interiors.  

Winner of the Texprint Award for Pattern,Ying Wu has entranced many people since her RCA graduation this summer with her captivatingly original prints. Her inspirations stem from her Chinese heritage and its legends, reflecting a very original and personal narrative; her most recent work imagines nightmarish future scenarios where the natural environment has been devastated, and creatures must find new ways to survive. At Texprint London in July, Ying met, and has since collaborated with, Italian company De Le Cuona; she was also invited to participate in a ‘pop-up shop’ at Paul Smiths’ flagship store in London during September’s London Fashion Week. Further exciting collaborations are emerging, in what is proving to be a dynamic start to Ying’s career.  

Manri Kishimoto

The vibrant and colourful work of Manri Kishimoto ensured her success as winner of the Texprint Award for Colour, sponsored by Pantone, and as a joint winner of the inaugural Lululemon Texprint Award.  Manri’s work is instantly striking - the bold, expressive and graphic shapes of her story-telling designs are inspired by nature, particularly bird motifs. She uses many substrates for her print and multi-media work including knit, leather, silk weave and fine silk mesh.  One of the highlights of her display at Texprint London was the large scale swan motif encusted with Swarovski crystals.  

Israel Parra- Zanabria

Embracing vibrant colour in a very different way, the work of Israel Parra-Zanabria is inspired by the colours and buzz of his native Mexico City. Israel uses a variety of media, including watercolour, pro markers and pencil to achieve a masterful delicacy and softness to his beautiful depictions of exotic flowers, combining both screen printing and hand painting to translate design to fabric.  

Fergus Dowling’s distinctive work is currently inspired by decorative heraldic imagery. Fergus is drawn to the Rococo and Baroque periods; he is inspired by the highly detailed design and imagery of family crests which he deconstructs and then reinvents to create newly contemporary and personal patterns. These, plus his use of reinvented traditional tartans, vibrant colour, and luxurious fabrics, gives his work an elegant gentleman-like mood.

Laura Barnes’ love of drawing and the decorative arts is very apparent in her richly coloured and elegant work. Her wonderfully vibrant sketches and designs are inspired by travel, especially recent trips to Morocco and Spain, and reveal her passion for colour and story-telling. She previously won a scholarship, which enabled her to undertake an exciting and visually stimulating cultural exchange visit to South Korea.

Trinity Mitchell

Trinity Mitchell’s fresh, quirky and slightly retro designs were originally inspired by a YouTube video of 1950’s women trying on sunglasses.  Her prints have since developed into a celebration of the small, feminine and often quietly humorous details that reflect her eclectic and light-hearted approach to fashion fabrics and headscarf design.

Alice Howard- Graham

Architecture, photography and Russian Constructivism have inspired Alice Howard-Graham’s striking and dynamic work. Using her passion for photographic manipulation yet retaining a hand-drawn quality, Alice employs motifs developed from industrial and mechanical imagery, exploring the potential of both traditional screen-printing and digital methods in her work.

Geometric patterns, maps of the world, celestial charts, strong colour, Pop Art, vintage photos and animals are just some of the eclectic starting points used by David Warner to create his individual take on contemporary fashion textiles and wallcoverings. Quirky, layered designs mix English country traditions with gay culture to create statement placements and allovers.  

Amber Sambrook

Amber Sambrook plays with techniques such as laser cutting, and materials such as leather to give her fashion fabrics and accessories their unique and unexpected handle and finish. Her most recent work is dramatic and powerful, inspired by the weather and its changing atmospheric conditions. Contrasts of light and dark, and richly moody patterns suggesting storm clouds are achieved using techniques such as ombre and devôré.

The variety and vibrancy of these emerging talents ensure some exciting new directions for the future of printed textile design. 

Article tags: print (31), home & interiors (28), texprint 2012 (27), fashion (36), colour (8), illustration (9)

Texprint London 2012 resource seminar

24 July 2012 by

Rebecca Sharp UK country manager of The Woolmark Company

For the first time Texprint extended its Texprint London event to include a Resources Seminar held exclusively for invited tutors from the UK's leading textile design programmes. Three speakers each gave a different focus on future trends in colour, fibre and style.

Philippa Watkins, senior lecturer in weave and Honorary Fellow of the RCA, says: "The seminar I felt was a great add-on to the Texprint London show. The three presentations gave very useful insights into different aspects of the business – ultimately of great benefit to their students. Lecturers really don’t often get the opportunity to spend time taking in seasonal forecasts such as the WGSN presentation, so when the opportunity arises it’s great.   I was particularly impressed by Pantone’s presentation as I had only a sketchy idea of the scope of their work and the science behind colour matching. And The Woolmark Company have done a great deal recently to raise the profile of wool, so the beautiful presentation really helps get the wool message out there." 

Carola Seybold of Pantone X-Rite talked about managing colour accuracy in the digital age. Apparently 65% of all our purchasing decisions involve colour. Not surprisingly, in the fashion industry, getting the colour right has a critical impact on the bottom line of profit and much research goes into tracking and developing colour for all manner of products. She noted that although technology has changed much in our lives, the way we work with colour remains essentially the same.

As an aside, Joanna Bowring, Texprint's sponsorship director, and founder member of the British Textile Colour Group which since 1978 has represented the UK at Intercolor, the International Commission for Colour, says: "Colour communicates without language, is the most important element in buying decisions and its effective use is one of the key selection criteria for successful Texprint candidates.” 

The Texprint prize for Colour is generously sponsored by Pantone X-Rite which also gives all four winners of the Texprint awards a complimentary Pantone Guide for Color & Home.

Carola Seybold, Helen Palmer and Barbara Kennington chairman of Texprint

Helen Palmer, head of materials and knit at WGSN, presented macro trends for autumn/winter 2013/14. By tracking the fast changing and influential aspects of life - art, architecture, music, technology and nature, among other elements – and analysing this intelligence, WGSN is able to confidently predict the future directions followed by many of the world’s major brands, retailers and designers.

Inspired by the natural world, WGSN’s first trend direction, Living Design, pointed to simple sculptural silhouettes that combine personality, quirkiness and humour, and that marry hard and soft materials. Creating a mood of dark drama, 21st Century Romance sees classic styling reinvented by combining new technology with traditional and often ornate decoration. Old master paintings inspire the colour palettes. Finally, Hacktivate is an exciting, casualwear trend that takes inspiration from DIY, sportswear and customisation, bolting different elements together to create seriously playful products.

WGSN is a Foundation Sponsor of Texprint and gives each of the 24 selected designers free access for one year to www.wgsn.com

Finally, Rebecca Sharp UK country manager of The Woolmark Company talked about the resurgence in the popularity of wool, noting that Merino wool with its long fibres and natural crimp is especially prized for its luxury feel and natural softness and warmth. Recent campaigns - including The Campaign for Cool Wool and successful initiatives such as the International Woolmark Prize for Young Designers and The Texprint Woolmark Prize in support of Campaign for Wool - mean the fibre is now back as a firm favourite with designers, retailers and the public. Wool's long held but newly recognised eco-credentials have helped to strengthen this popularity - it is natural, biodegradable and renewable. 

The Woolmark Texprint Award in support of Campaign for Wool will be judged and presented at Indigo, Paris, in September. The Woolmark Company is a Foundation Sponsor of Texprint.

All three companies welcomed this unique opportunity to talk directly with textile tutors, and through them, to raise awareness of their brands and ethos and elevate the knowledge of textile design students. 

In Kind Sponsors Arts Thread and Lectra were also on hand to talk about their services and products.  Our thanks to Chelsea College of Art & Design for kindly allowing us use of the lecture theatre.

Article tags: texprint 2012 (27), woolmark (19), general (61), business (54), texprint london (19), technology (9), special events (11), colour (8)

Texprint London: four prize winners chosen by industry luminaries

18 July 2012 by

Judges Caroline Burstein and Neisha Crossland view the work

Texprint London - the must-see presentation of the best new graduate textile designers from the UK – took place July 11-13, 2012 at Chelsea College of Art’s Triangle Building.

Press, fashion and textile industry guests turned out in force to support and encourage the 24 successful designers.Texprint’s chairman, Barbara Kennington said: “This was undoubtedly our most successful and buzzy Texprint London show to date, the feedback overall was terrific, which bodes well for future support.” 

Judges Sheree Waterson & Paul Stamper veiw the work

Four world-renowned decision makers and designers in the fields of fashion and design selected the winners of four special prizes at the event:Caroline Burstein, creative director at Browns Fashion; textile designer Neisha Crosland; Paul Stamper, senior designer at Renault Design; and Sheree Waterson, executive vice president and chief product officer for Vancouver based sportswear company Lululemon Athletica.

Selection of work by Ying Wu

Ying Wufrom the Royal College of Art scooped the Pattern prize for her highly imaginative work. Ying’s latest pieces are fantastic visual projections of a world where the environment has been polluted and almost destroyed. Her nightmare scenarios remain beautifully colourful and decorative despite their dark content, creating fascinating and thought-provoking artistic textile pieces.

Knitted structure by Carlo Volpi

Knitwear specialist Carlo Volpi, also from the RCA, was the judge’s unanimous choice to receive the Body prize. Carlo’s great sense of colour, texture and 3D structure mixed with a light-hearted sense of fun made an impression on many visitors.

Beaded textile design by Manri Kishimoto

Also commanding much attention,Manri Kishimoto from Central St Martins College of Art & Design won the Colour prize for her bold, graphic and distinctive printed and mixed media work. Manri is inspired by nature and by birds in particular. Her work is often based on stories and features striking motifs and wonderfully detailed beaded embellishment and appliqué.

Tania Knuckey embellished leather

Finally, Tania Grace Knuckey from the RCA won the Space prize, given for the best textiles for use in interiors. The judges were impressed with Tania’s versatility and the wide variety of materials she has explored in her work including many fabric bases, leather and metal.

The prize winners each win a £1,000 prize, courtesy of prize sponsors The Clothworkers’ Foundation, Liberty Art Fabrics and Pantone X-Rite.

Article tags: print (31), knit (15), exhibition (24), home & interiors (28), mixed media (24), texprint 2012 (27), fashion (36), texprint london (19), colour (8), judges 2012 (13)

Congratulations to Dashing Tweeds - Scottish Textile Brand of the Year

13 June 2012 by Editor

Guy Hills and Kirsty McDougall of Dashing Tweeds

Hosted by British style icon Alexa Chung, the Scottish Fashion Awards saw Dashing Tweeds win Scottish Textile Brand of the Year (sponsored by House of Fraser).  Deserved recognition for this exciting and creative textile company.

Christopher Kane picked up the crown for 'Scottish Fashion Designer of the Year' at the red carpet event held at the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow in association with InStyle.


Dashing Tweeds, founded by photographer Guy Hills and woven textile designer Kirsty McDougall (Texprint 2002) is rapidly making a name for itself. By using the best British mills and workshops, and designing heritage tweeds with a contemporary, colourful and often humorous spin, they have created a truly original British brand. They will be showcasing their latest collection at London Collection: Men, 15-17 June, alongside other British brands at The Hospital Club in Covent Garden.

Dashing Tweeds collaborates with a diverse range of partners from fashion and interior designers to architects and scientists. 

Article tags: weave (24), home & interiors (28), fashion (36), colour (8)

Tamasyn Gambell: dynamic prints and ethical practices

27 May 2012 by

Tamasyn Gambell (Texprint 2005) has turned her passion for printed textiles into a successful, rewarding and ethical business. Her dynamic prints are strong and versatile, and are relevant for both fashion and interiors. Based in London’s Clerkenwell, she hand prints much of her work herself. Tamasyn began her career in Paris, moving there shortly after exhibiting with Texprint at Indigo, Paris, where many of her initial contacts were made.

What drew you to specialise in print?

I have always been attracted to pattern and colour. The first time I screen-printed I was hooked. I love the physicality of it, and the way you can change a surface so instantly.

Are there particular qualities needed for this discipline?

You need a good sense of scale, colour, layout and pattern. You have to be patient as the set up can be a lengthy process and things often go wrong. It’s also quite mathematical when designing the repeat.

How have you found working as a designer running your own business?

I have really enjoyed it. It’s been a fantastic challenge and you are constantly learning things. There are definite pitfalls and financial struggles at times – down sides are the long hours and the late payers. But ultimately it’s really rewarding – to know you have been responsible for everything you achieve. I love having the freedom to explore my own designs. I found working for other people very limiting – I have a very clear idea of what I want to produce.

Tamasyn Gambell scarves

What are you working on now?

I am currently working on two collaborative projects. The first is with the accessory brand Cherchbi – I am designing and printing tweed for their beautifully hand-made bags [autumn/winter 2012 menswear range]. Also I have designed and printed the fabric for a range of re-upholstered mid-century Scandinavian furniture pieces, cushions and lampshades being sold in the wonderful new shop: Forest, London.

What inspires you?

I spent some time in Sweden and I was really inspired by the clean graphic prints, bold colours and shapes found in design and architecture. Their sense of balance, and form really made an impression on me. This way of working, combined with a love for strong tribal patterns really informs my design work.

Tamasyn Gambell notebooks

Favourite materials and techniques?

Screen-printing is my favourite technique. I love working with silks, wools and linens - really rich fabrics that absorb dyes and pigments and produce lovely radiant colours.

You are very committed to ethical practices - do you think it’s still slow progress in this area for fashion and textiles?

It’s definitely gaining momentum. People are so much more informed now than they were even five years ago. It’s going to be slow to reach all areas of the market - but high- and mid-end brands are making a lot of positive changes. I believe ethical practices will continue to be adopted and gain a powerful presence over the next decade.

Can you describe a typical day?

I cycle to the print studio in south London – usually arriving at 9am. I change into my boiler suit and begin preparing the screens and the table for a day of screen-printing. There are always new designs, fabrics or products to print. The space is shared with other print designers and small businesses so it’s great to be surrounded by creativity. I work with my assistant, usually printing until about 5pm - then I will cycle back east and continue to work on emails, planning, deliveries and orders until 7 or 8pm.

Highlights of your career so far?

Getting to see my work on the Sonia Rykiel catwalk. Selling my work at the Tate was also a massive highlight for me. My father and I used to love going to exhibitions there together - it was one of our little rituals. He passed away before I set up my own business, so having my work on sale in the Tate Gallery shop was a very poignant moment for me.

Plans for the future?

I am exhibiting at Tent, London and I’m planning some new homeware accessories for this exhibition. I would like to continue to collaborate with other designers, learning from each other and sharing ideas. Longer term, I would love to work with Ercol and design prints for their beautiful furniture!

Advice for those about to graduate?

Enjoy it! Experiment and take opportunities as and when they come. I’ve learned that it can be equally valuable to learn what you don’t want to do as much as what you do.


Article tags: print (31), alumni (45), home & interiors (28), fashion (36), accessories (15), colour (8), sustainability (4)

Leutton Postle: a dynamic fashion partnership

01 May 2012 by

Leutton Postle textile detail

Sam Leutton (Texprint alumna 2009) is now one half of a creative partnership formed with her long time friend Jenny Postle. Now working as Leutton Postle, the duo is currently working on their third season. Leutton Postle’s wonderfully rich and imaginative textiles define each piece in their inventive collection, and they describe their aesthetic as “awkward pretty”. They scooped the Vauxhall Fashion Scout Merit Award for their spring/summer 2012 collection during London Fashion Week in September 2011. We caught up with Sam to find out more:

Leutton Postle's creative collaboration

What made you decide to form a partnership - creating Leutton Postle?  Jenny and I have been friends for ages, we both knit and we have a similar aesthetic in our work. When Jenny finished her MA (at CSM) I was freelancing and it was a natural progression for us to join forces.

You are both creative people with individual ideas – so how does the partnership work?  We bring together our own personal ideas and inspirations, hash and re-hash them together and throw them in a kind of melting pot of knitting and textiles. The result is a fabric, a garment or a product that has a bit of both of us in it.

In practical terms – how do you divide up the essential non-creative tasks of running your own business?  If we've got certain tasks that need doing we generally work on them together, or whoever is the most alert/least knackered takes over!

Can you describe a typical day at work?  It starts with tea and lots of it. Jenny is very chirpy in the morning whereas I'm usually not human until noon. We're not massively organised, so each day is very different but usually involves a lot of emailing, the odd meeting and, if we're lucky, some making.

What inspires you in your work?  Oh, all-sorts. We don't restrain ourselves by certain subjects in particular but in the end the last collection [autumn/winter 2012/13] came from a mulch of 1970s textiles and Nigerian appliqué techniques.

Leutton Postle textile detail

Do you have favourite materials that you work with?  Where to start… we use anything up to 20 different yarns in a garment but I especially like a weird chenille which looks like rubber bands but feels like a Sylvanian Family character. I also love a fuzzy mohair, super shiny iridescent fabrics, and cords and tapes.

What is your vision for Leutton Postle’s future?  To grow steadily and retain our creativity.

You graduated in 2009 and went to China – what were you doing and who were you working for?  After graduation, I was offered the opportunity to work for Stoll, a German knitwear company. I worked in the design department developing knitted fabrics and garments.

What was it that first drew you to knitwear?  I loved how I could make a whole new fabric with one continuous thread. And then be able to add in other fabrics; manipulating the knitted piece to create something new again. I did, and still do, find knitting quite amazing.

What qualities do you think are needed to be successful in knitwear design?  Patience, lots of it. Learning to knit was very frustrating for me, so endurance too! But really a love for textiles and experimentation are good attributes to have.

What have been the significant moments in your career so far?  Starting Leutton Postle; the emotional roller-coaster of creating a collection and the resulting shows. Also, Björk ordered pieces from our spring/summer 2012 collection. If we could choose one person in the world to wear our pieces it would be her - so for her to pick us is beyond flattering.

Harold Tillman and Texprint's Peter Ring-Lefevre with Sam Leutton at Indigo Paris 2009

What did being part of Texprint mean to you?  It was flattering to be chosen to take part in Texprint. It gave me a great insight into the industry very soon after graduation. A highlight was exhibiting in Paris and being around like-minded textile designers.

Advice to new graduates?  Relax, unwind and clear your head. For me, my career so far has happened very naturally but I think it's important to nurture relationships with people who are in the industry that you are in.

Advice to those just embarking on a textile or fashion degree?  Be as creative as you can. On your degree you can do what you like and don’t be swayed by commerciality, so make the most of it!

What are your long-term plans?  For Leutton Postle to continue and to get better and stronger. We want to continue to wow people. Other than that it would be great to open a crazy shop. I'd love to do more pieces specifically for performance. And I'd like to work on some non-fashion art work at some point.


Article tags: knit (15), mixed media (24), fashion (36), colour (8), collaboration (9)

What Texprint means to me: Lisa Stannard

18 February 2012 by

Lisa Stannard illustration: People, places, things

Designer and illustrator Lisa Stannard credits her Texprint experience in 2009 as being the catalyst for setting up her own business. Lisa, who won the Texprint Colour Prize that year, cites her inspirations as: nature, people, 1970s Pucci, Japanese artists and fashion, and fashion photography. Lisa’s versatile and sensitive graphic style, effortlessly encompasses printed textiles and fashion illustration. 

What did you gain from the Texprint programme?

I don’t think that I would have had the confidence to set up on my own if it wasn’t for Texprint. Not only did we receive great advice on becoming a self-employed designer, but the Texprint team offered impartial advice on our work, suggesting ways to improve it, as well as ideas for future projects. Before we exhibited at Indigo, Paris we were given advice on how to handle potential clients and how best to show your work to buyers. Another bonus was that I made some really good friends, who I remain in touch with to this day.

Lisa Stannard, feather print for LA based brand Whitney Eve, left, illustrated tote bag, centre, print design for Matthew Williamson, Spring 2011, right

Your career highlights so far?

Winning the Texprint Colour Prize was a great start, as it came with a donation from Pantone, Europe and the opportunity to exhibit my work in Hong Kong at Interstoff Asia Essential - which was an amazing experience. Setting up my own business was a major achievement after Texprint. I have learned so much about business while being challenged all the time by new clients and fresh projects. At times it has been really hard, and I have often wondered if I could get it all done – and whether I was running my business right... and then suddenly great things happened. I was lucky to gather amazing clients early on, who I then formed great relationships with. I’ve designed for ASOS, Miss Selfridge and Victoria’s Secret, as well as illustrating catwalk collections for Amelia’s Magazine, and for UK fashion chain Oasis’s style magazine in association with the creative design agency Mill Co.

Lisa Stannard print

I have developed a strong relationship with Whitney Eve, a LA based brand created by US TV personality and designer, Whitney Port. After working with the brand for some time now, I’ve recently accepted a position as a designer with the company based in LA. I contribute to the creative development of the brand, working closely with Whitney to achieve her vision - by helping to design the range, including all the print collections, the look book, tags and website artwork. The brand has a place at the runway shows at New York Fashion Week, held in the Lincoln Centre on February 15, 2012, and I’ve been there helping with the show – it’s all very exciting. I’m also proud to have been featured on Vogue.com last year, following a commission to illustrate Lily Allen’s debut fashion collection. I’ll maintain my online shop selling art prints and a limited T-shirt collection.  

Lisa Stannard illustrations for the Lucy in Disguise debut collection as featured on Vogue.com

Key advice to new graduates?

Be optimistic, put yourself out there and meet new people and network.

Be prepared to work hard, most students I talk to (through my teaching work) can’t wait to graduate – thinking they will never have to do as much work again... but I tell them - this is where the hard work begins! 

Do lots of internships with a variety of companies - I wish that I had done more while I was still at university. I interned at Matthew Williamson after graduating for three and a half months in 2010, and although I had to fund much of this myself, it was great, I came back to my own business feeling more confident and reassured in my profession - I learnt so much from everyone there. 

Don’t lose your creativity, if you are thinking of going into business alone there is loads of admin and business development work to do which can take precious time away from designing... stay inspired!



Article tags: print (31), fashion (36), business (54), accessories (15), colour (8), illustration (9)

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