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The Selection Process 2013 – judge Marios Schwab
20 May 2013 by Editor
Who better to select Texprint’s emerging designers of the future than Marios Schwab, one the UK’s own rising stars of fashion? His intelligent collections have not only ensnared the attention of key players in the industry, he has amassed a celebrity following that includes the likes of Clémence Poséy, Chloë Sevigny and Jessica Chastain. Marios’s cutting edge designs are praise for their astute attention to cut and detail – both of which he says can be led and even inspired by innovative textiles.
Marios Schwab: spring summer 2013 collection
A 2003 graduate of Central Saint Martins, the Greek-Austrian designer finds London “an eclectic and inspiring city to work and live in” while building his eponymous label. After all, it was here that he received his mentoring from CSM legend Louise Wilson before being taken under the wing of the Fashion East initiative which helped launch his first two collections at London Fashion Week. In 2007, Marios gained acclaim after he pushed the boundaries with his first solo collection at LFW. His London successes led to him being appointed the creative director for the iconic American brand Halston, revived from one of the most popular international fashion brands of the 1970s. More recently he has collaborated with Swarovski Elements and sunglasses brand Mykita, and in 2012 he was nominated for the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund. Bringing his designs to a high-street audience, in 2007 he designed a capsule collection for Topshop and in 2012 he launched his first of four collections for Debenhams.
Marios Schwab: autumn winter 2013 collection
The designer still remains one of the UK’s brightest talents and he attributes much of his success to the help that he received as a young designer. Marios is eager to return some of the career assistance that he was once given: “The support Texprint offers to the next generation of textile designers will shape them and guide them within their careers. It’s vital to keep the tradition of textile innovation alive in the UK – building on the rich heritage and expertise of the industry while ensuring it looks to the future.”
Marios’s choice of fabric is often a point of inspiration: “I like to push myself – incorporating new technological developments in cloths and combining them with traditional crafts such as lace-making to create an original Marios Schwab design.”
He encourages those starting out to constantly challenge their designs, be honest self-critics and, most importantly, hold on to determination, because “desire shines through”.
Texprint talks: Emma Mawston of Liberty Art Fabrics
25 April 2013 by Editor
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
Coutts Texprint dinner celebrates textile innovation
16 April 2013 by Editor
As a dedicated supporter of the arts, private bank Coutts again demonstrated its interest in the worlds of fashion and textiles by hosting an elegant dinner in support of textile design excellence.
Held on Thursday 21 March 2013, it was the second Texprint dinner to be hosted by the historic bank at its head office on the Strand, London. Following a champagne reception in the boardroom, which is lined with hand-painted Chinese wallpaper c.1793, the guests were guided to its beautifully appointed private dining room for a sumptuous dinner.
Alan Marshall, executive director of Coutts, welcomed the guests, saying: “Coutts is thrilled to be a sponsor of the Texprint 2013 dinner. It reinforces our commitment to the world of contemporary creative industries and our relationship with young entrepreneurs.The UK is a world leader at creating art, fashion and textiles and Coutts' support of Texprint enables emerging talent to access our experience of working with entrepreneurs in addition to providing mentoring schemes and financial advice."
Left: Marie Parsons (Jaguar Land Rover), Professor Clare Johnston (RCA) Centre: Katrina Burroughs (Sunday Times Home), Katie Greenyer (Pentland Brands) Right: Neisha Crosland, Susanna Kempe (Flying Trumpets)
Texprint’s chairman Barbara Kennington took the opportunity to thank the guests – including leading lights in fashion and textiles, the press and past alumni - for their continuing support for British-trained textile design graduates and without whom the Texprint programme would simply not exist. “Texprint’s programme of mentorship provides a vital bridge between university and the real world. Looking at the autumn/winter 13 fashion collections, particularly in London, what struck me was the increasing importance of textile innovation - an indication of just how important it is to encourage and support the next generation of textile creativity.”
Peter Ring-Lefevre (Texprint), Kate O’Connor (Creative Skillset)
John Snowdon (Worshipful Company of Weavers), Peter Ackroyd (Woolmark Company), Andrew Blessley (Clothworkers Foundation), Hugh Beevor (Texprint)
The Texprint programme has been selecting and mentoring graduate textile designers for over 40 years. And through Coutts’ gracious hospitality, the dinner provided the charity with a means of thanking those who make it possible, among them Kirstie Carey, managing director of Liberty Art Fabrics (sponsor of Texprint’s Pattern prize); Paul Graham, sales director of Pantone EMEA (sponsor of the Colour prize); and Texprint trustee Dominic Lowe represented The Sanderson Art in Industry Trust, which is a Foundation sponsor of the charity.
Italian textile producers and luxury fashion brands have long recognized the excellence of British-trained designers and regularly employ interns selected from the Texprint winners. Texprint was pleased to welcome Luigi Turconi of Ratti, part of the giant Marzotto group; Elena Alfani of luxury brand Salvatore Ferragamo; and Marco Taiana of Tessitura Taiana represented the Como-based creative initiative ComON with which Texprint has long been associated.
Left: Barbara Kennington (Texprint) Andrew Blessley (Clothworkers Foundation) Right: Peter Ring-Lefevre (Texprint), Elena Alfani (Salvatore Ferragamo)
Anne Tyrrell MBE, designer and member of Texprint's Council, said: "It’s a really special evening, so impressive, and it’s a huge compliment that so many visitors from Europe attended."
Marco Taiana (Taiana, ComON), Caryn Simonson (Chelsea College of Art & Design), Joanna Bowring (Texprint)
Katie Greenyer, creative director of the Pentland Group, was delighted to announce during the evening that Pentland would be increasing its sponsorship for 2013, which was fantastic news and greatly appreciated.
The Texprint management team also welcomed Catriona Macnab, creative director of Foundation sponsor WGSN; John Francis, director of sponsor Paul Smith; style director of the Telegraph magazine Tamsin Blanchard; and Michael Ayerst, managing director of wall coverings specialist Surface View, which has so generously provided the dramatic wall murals seen at the Texprint London event for the past two years.
And from Texprint’s alumni, guests included Michael Angove, Neil Bamford of Mint Design Studio, David Edmond, and Marie Parsons of Jaguar Land Rover.
Left: Julius Schofield MBE (InDesign), Philippa Brock (Central St Martins) Right: Anne Tyrrell MBE, Leanne Prichard (Coutts)
Left: Alison Murdoch (Haberdashers’ Company), Gill Gledhill (GGHQ), Terry Mansfield CBE Right: Neil Bamford (Mint Design), Michael Ayerst (Surface View)
The world of interiors has been an area of increased focus for many young textile designers. Neisha Crosland, a Texprint judge in 2012, and Mary Carroll, of luxury interior furnishings brand De le Cuona, attended the dinner, as did Katrina Burroughs, a renowned journalist specialising in interior design who is a regular contributor to the Sunday Times Home section.
The words of after dinner speaker Susanna Kempe, founder and CEO of Flying Trumpets, were greeted with much nodding of heads and agreement as she talked of too many businesses being run by accountants; too few by creatives, stating: “To change that, we have to finally, unequivocally, reject the false opposition between creativity and commercialism. We have to combine imaginative genius with disciplined execution; embrace create effectiveness and demonstrate commercial accountability. If we don’t businesses and boards will continue to be led by accountants most comfortable in a world of timid homogeneity. Businesses should be run by people for whom innovation, clients and brands are in their very DNA.”
Her thoughts were applauded by all – and especially by Kate O’Connor deputy managing director of Creative Skillset, and Anne Tyrrell who responded: “She was amazing. I must say I will attack my meetings with new energy as a result, what an impressive woman.”
Barbara wrapped up the evening, saying: “Our sincere thanks to Coutts for hosting such an enjoyable and hugely useful opportunity for people interested in supporting British design training and textile innovation to get together, to talk and to debate. Invaluable!”
Texprint alumnae at SIT Select, 4 May
07 April 2013 by Editor
Texprint has been invited by Lizzi Walton, artistic director and CEO of Stroud International Textiles to introduce the work of Texrint alumnae Lauren Bowker (Texprint 2011) and Lisa Bloomer (Texprint 2012) at SIT Select on Saturday 4 May.
A day of textile innovation and design excellence Introduced by Barbara Kennington; illustrated talks from Lauren Bowker and Lisa Bloomer.
Date: Saturday 4 May, start 1.00 pm – 3 pm
Tickets: £10 & £8 (Friends of SIT & Museum)
SIT Select is the exhibition arm of Stroud International Textiles, their aim to raise awareness and to increase the enjoyment of contemporary textiles and contemporary crafts. Through an extensive programme of exhibitions, talks and open studios, SIT Select challenges the public’s perception of contemporary crafts while increasing active participation in the arts for a wide range of people and abilities.
While at first glance textile art and craft may seem only loosely connected to the faster moving and commercial worlds of fashion and interiors, there’s little doubt that it can inform, guide and inspire. As fashion textiles become increasingly innovative and creative, and production challenges even greater, it is important to be open-minded and explore seemingly less walked routes to discover new directions for colour and materials.
Since leaving The Royal College of Art the routes taken by Lauren Bowker and Lisa Bloomer could not be more different although there are points of connection, particularly around sustainability and textile development to improve the world in which we live, which motivate them both.
Lauren Bowker’s vision - to See The Unseen - lies beyond the world of the traditional textile as she intertwines unexpected materials and technology for the future world of arts, fashion and wellbeing - everything from catwalks to feathers to concrete - always with the human at the heart and with the intention of providing real solutions to real problems, improving and inspiring our lives.
Lauren Bowker for Peachoo + Krejberg 2012/13
Lisa Bloomer’s work, though firmly based in weave, goes beyond the traditional textile approach as she explores dye, print and freehand techniques. Using digital technology Lisa mixes the complexity of cross-dyeing with the spontaneity of mark-making to create sustainably-produced, bespoke fabrics for interiors and fashion.
Lisa Bloomer at Indigo 2011
Textile: ©Lisa Bloomer
The main exhibitions and talks curated by SIT take place in the Museum in the Park, Stroud - check WEBSITE. Tickets must be either booked online or by sending a cheque to SIT. Details are in brochure and on the booking page.
Texprint is pleased to support this extraordinarily rich and diverse programme and applauds the excellence and innovation of UK-based designer makers who are driving textiles and contemporary crafts forward nationally and internationally. CLICK BELOW to view the full brochure onscreen:
London Fashion Week: Texprint’s textile review Part 2
04 April 2013 by Editor
In Texprint’s second report on the autumn/winter 13/14 London Fashion Week collections we look at the innovations in wool, surface finishes, jacquards - and at what’s new in technology.
“London Fashion Week has long been synonymous with innovation and the latest round of London runways shows didn’t disappoint as our internationally acclaimed young designers lead the way in exciting new textile developments,” comments Sue Evans, fashion editor of WGSN.com (Texprint sponsor).
Christopher Raeburn, Daks, J.W.Anderson / Photos: style.com
Sophistication came from those collections that showed a quiet simplicity of attitude (though not necessarily of colour), and in many cases, a continuing passion for wool, whether flat surfaced, ombred or more decorative.
Sue notes: “Print wunderkind Jonathan Saunders delivered scrolling appliques on delicate lace and felted wools in place of his signature print and pattern, an interesting move for him.”
Jonathan Saunders / Photos: style.com
"Wool was present not only at Fashion Week in London but also in New York, Milan and Paris where several collections featured full overcoats in woollen fabrics. Of note were examples of boiled wools, meltons, serges and drabs. Of particular interest in Paris was Stella McCartney's astute use of menswear fabrics, particularly pin stripes and flannels in worsted weights to add extra drape. Woolmark feels that wool has made a massive return for autumn/winter 13/14 in both men's and women's wear. Never has wool been so much at the forefront of the collections of leading designers and brands," says Peter Ackroyd, The Woolmark Company (Texprint sponsor).
Pringle of Scotland, Burberry Prorsum, John Rocha / Photos: style.com
Utilitarian looks were there too. Clare Johnston, professor of textiles at RCA, says: “The designers presented collections of men’s and women’s fashion that were modern, desirable and durable.” Not least Christopher Raeburn’s felted wool fabrics, made water resistant with Teflon, a clever and practical innovation that works to enhance his contemporary take on the sportswear aesthetic.
Mulberry / Photos: style.com
Fabrics were often toyed with, and finishes were key. Bonded double jersey, rubber, cire and wet-look coatings were all used by designers to lend an anarchic and unexpected edge.
Felder Felder, Simone Rocha, Burberry Prorsum / Photos: style.com
Refreshing colour and innovative fabrications came from Simone Rocha who showcased a delightful mix of felted wools, heavy lace, cobweb crochet, sparkly tinsel threads and tufts of petal-like texture. Her baby-pink tones, spongy bonded fabrics and classic structures were both exaggerated and assured. J.W. Anderson showed a collection that was pared down, modern and played with proportions and exaggerated details.
J.W.Anderson, Simone Rocha, Roksanda Ilincic / Photos: style.com
Jacquards found a new direction too. Used notably by Pringle of Scotland and Temperley London.
Temperley London, Pringle of Scotland, Osman / Photos: style.com
Texprint also notes British designers exploring technology in new and exciting ways.
In the case of Burberry Prorsum technology is used to emphasise the heritage and artisanal quality of the collection as the creative story behind each autumn/winter 12/13 runway Made To Order piece comes to life through smart personalisation.
Technology in each item unlocks immersive video footage, retracing its journey and celebrating its expert design and craftsmanship. On contact with a touch screen device each piece unlocks a unique video experience, charting its artisan production -- including original sketches, runway edits, craftsmanship and personalisation. Undoubtedly an incredibly expensive luxe service, but exciting and innovative nonetheless.
We also love Matthew Williamson’s low-tech Vine video campaign – snappy close-up 6-second videos shot backstage by photographer Sean Cunningham and tweeted live as the looks hit the runway. On his Facebook page Williamson also shows close-up photos of his spring/summer 2013 collection – Mathew Magnified - a clever way of highlighting the intricate workmanship and fabrics; detail that is often lost on the runway.
Wool House: feeling warm and woolly!
14 March 2013 by Editor
“Wool is a fibre for the life we lead, the people we love, the planet we inhabit.” The Campaign for Wool
The Wool House exhibition at Somerset House, London, opened yesterday and is on until 24 March. This stylish and richly artisanal celebration of wool is not to be missed encompassing as it does the very best of what can be achieved by spinning, weaving, printing and manipulating this most timeless and enduring of fibres.
Hummingbird by Alexander McQueen for The Rug Company
The lofty and elegant rooms in the west wing of Somerset House have been used to stage a series of room sets as well as displays of fashion and accessories, including bespoke tailoring and hand knitting.
Savile Row bespoke
The importance of wool to the fashion industry is demonstrated with designs by, among others, Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders, Christopher Raeburn; also Dashing Tweeds (Kirsty McDougall, Texprint 2002) and Alice Palmer (Texprint 2007).
Teflon-coated felted lace parka by Christopher Raeburn, headphones by Urbanears, tweed jackets by Dashing Tweeds
Knitted dress by Mark Fast, knitted chair cover, knit and fleece cape by Alice Palmer
As part of the national Campaign for Wool supported by The Prince of Wales, the project also involves a series of interactive workshops and a special educational and innovation room, using hi-tech tablets to demonstrate the processes wool undergoes on its journey from sheep to consumer. This is an exhibition designed to engage and educate as much as to enjoy.
“Wool is all about comfort and beauty. It is a fibre grown, not manmade, with an origin and integrity that has yet to be matched. Natural, renewable and sustainable it offers the most timeless and enduring quality to materials for many different lifestyle products for interiors, fashion, build and craft.“ The Campaign for Wool
Wool fabrics are used to great effect in the room installations. From the dramatic entrance hall with its chequered black and white carpet, to the modernist room by Anne Kyyro-Quinn with its brightly coloured sound-absorbing wall coverings, the fresh and charming nursery designed by Donna Wilson, to the typically eclectic and crafted bedroom designed by Kit Kemp MBE. Dream interiors that beautifully illustrate wool's versatility in use, colour and texture.
Modern Room by Anne Kyyro-Quinn
Nursery by Donna Wilson
Bedroom by Kit Kemp MBE
Event director Bridgette Kelly - working with interior designer Arabella McNie as curator, and all the participating designers and highly skilled artisans - has created a truly diverse and creative opportunity to engage with the fibre’s heritage and future potential.
We would encourage textile and fashion design students and tutors to visit and be inspired!
Wool art installation by Dutch tapestry artist, Claudy Jongstra
Wools of the World
Artisan rug weaver Jason Collingwood in his temporary studio, weaving on a table loom throughout the exhibition
London Fashion Week: Texprint’s textile review Part 1
03 March 2013 by Editor
With London Fashion Week over we thought it useful to highlight the breadth of autumn/winter 13/14 fabric directions being explored and developed by British brands and designers.
This season textiles are worked together and manipulated to create layered or multi-dimensional effects. It is no longer enough to talk of knits, weaves or prints – weaves are embroidered or coated, felted flat fabrics are printed or embellished, knits are exaggerated, and prints are layered over jacquards or under sheers. We are also seeing completely new types of fabrics being created by rethinking handcrafted techniques such as crochet and lace making.
Clements Ribeiro, Sister by Sibling, House of Holland / Photos: style.com
“In the digital age we are seeing an innovative amalgamation of technology and handcrafted looks. The whole digital print revolution started on the London runways and has transmitted down to the high street at every level so it was interesting to see pioneers of the medium like Peter Pilotto and Holly Fulton take a different route for autumn/winter 13/14, combining digital technology with something altogether more textural as both designers introduced embroidery, appliques and patchwork into their silhouettes,” says Sue Evans, fashion editor of WGSN.com (Texprint sponsor).
Peter Pilotto / Photos: style.com
Holly Fulton / Photos: style.com
Clare Johnston, professor of textiles at the RCA, agrees: “Just when we needed it, the catwalk shows were uplifting and inspiring. The fabrics exuded luxury and invention. Prints and patterns continue to be bold and brave with less reliance on obvious digital imagery and more use of individual and imaginative design.”
Silhouettes are also being reconsidered; note Peter Pilotto’s squared off and oversized jacekets and coats, inspired by the Spanish Renaissance painter El Greco, and embroidered with bold strokes of painterly energy.
Peter Pilotto / Photos: style.com
Moving on from her signature collaged, quirky and colourful digital prints, Mary Katrantzou’s new direction saw what Sue Evans describes as: “hauntingly beautiful monochromatic landscapes,” digitally printed over jacquards and brocades and worked into strong Japanese-esque silhouettes. Also included in the collection are embossed leather and black-on-black jacquards.
Mary Katrantzou / Photos: style.com
Mary Katrantzou / Photos: style.com
While talking of fabric mixing and layering, Sue comments: “At Tom Ford, we were introduced to intricate floral embroideries fused with plush astrakhan furs, while at Erdem delicate print flower motifs were taken into another dimension when combined with laser punched cut-outs on a technical bonded fabric base.”
In his most beautiful, demure and modern collection to date, Erdem Moralioglu moved beyond his more familiar cocktail wear looks by showing a collection of confident and sensual fabrications. Layering sheer over texture, lace over print, and using ostrich feathers, oversized sequins, or bright, three-dimensional embroidered flowers to lift the fabric surface. He also showed tweeds, gleaming with shots of neon or plastic raffia, and softened by delicate threads of ostrich feathers wafting over the surface.
Erdem / Photos: style.com
Erdem / Photos: style.com
Christopher Kane also played with unexpected fabrications. A modern take on sculptural Guipure lace and passmenterie-type trims on panne velvet dresses, interlocked along seam lines or cut open to give shape and allow movement. Feathers were used extensively: to look like fraying seams or to create three-dimensional flowers; and cut jacquard jersey in a camouflage pattern gave the impression of a scratched and unfinished surface. Humour was here too, in the brightly coloured brain scan embroidery on an organza tee-shirt.
Christopher Kane / Photos: style.com
Christopher Kane / Photos: style.com
Report from Hong Kong: six 2012 winners exhibit at Interstoff Asia Essential
06 October 2012 by Editor
The six Texprint 2012 prizewinners have just returned from a highly successful visit to Hong Kong, where they showed at Interstoff Asia Essential, 3-5 October. Their visit was made possible through the sponsorship of Messe Frankfurt (HK) and the generous contribution of the Drapers’ Company and the Worshipful Company of Weavers, who gave a one-off donation to build on the momentum of the GREAT creativity week (November 5-9 2012).
Texprint has been sponsored to showcase six prizewinners each year at Interstoff Asia Essential since 2001. Wendy Wen, Director of Trade Fairs for Messe Frankfurt, said that design “is becoming more and more important for trade fairs, with designers playing a major role in exhibitions. Texprint has been positioned near the Trend Forum for many years – trend stories plus unique and innovative designers has been key for this Hong Kong show, where visitors are particularly interested in trends and original design”.
Wendy Wen meeting designers Manri Kishimoto and Sophie Manners
Kate Strutt, Senior Trade Advisor, British Consul-General, visited on the setting up day and spoke to each of the designers about their expectations. Although they had not visited Hong Kong before she found them all very professional in talking about their work - having enjoyed the experience of showcasing their work to buyers and press two weeks before at Indigo, Paris - and open to opportunities that might arise.
Eager to find out more about the market and the major brands and retailers there, the Texprint group spent a day exploring the key retail hubs on HK Island and Kowloon.
They also visited the amazing Lane Crawford head office at Wong Chuk Hang for an invaluable mentoring session with Sarah Rutson, fashion director of Lane Crawford, and Ross Urwin, creative director for home & lifestyle at Lane Crawford. And back at Interstoff Asia Essential they met with Angelia Teo, content director WGSN Asia Pacific, and representatives of The Woolmark Company (both Foundation Sponsors of Texprint).
During the exhibition the designers made many very useful contacts – they found that they were meeting people who could actually produce their designs, helping them to appreciate that they are now professionals with skills understood and wanted by the marketplace. Although they had all sold designs in Paris, the conversations they had in Hong Kong made it all the more real.
Weaver Sophie Manners noted that “at Interstoff Asia Essential the buyers seem to like a strong idea that they can then adapt and commercialise. Buyers here see the designs as a starting point, while in Paris at PV it was more about using the designs in a more literal way, here you have discussions about adapting for production”.
“I have seen a wide range of companies, from those producing for Italian brands to Russian and Hong Kong based companies,” said knitter Carlo Volpi.
Tanya Grace Knuckey, a multi-media designer, said she had also had a very good show, and that “people understood my work more than in Paris – here they like what you do and want to take it into products immediately, as opposed to expecting you to adapt and change your designs completely”.
Ying Wu, print designer, and Manri Kishimoto, print and multi-media designer, agreed: “Here they seem more interested in production rather than buying designs – they want to use the design straightaway, whereas in Paris they want you to develop the idea. It was good to see the Hong Kong market, with visitors China of course, but also from Russia and Australia.”
“It has been a really good experience, learning that British-trained designers have a very good reputation for creativity, and seeing the appreciation of original design here. Being in Hong Kong has been fantastic!” said knitter Sarah Burton, summing up what was undoubtedly an exceptional experience for these young designers to enjoy so early in their careers.
The Texprint 24: Indigo highlights 2012
02 October 2012 by Editor
For the Texprint 24 the textile design show Indigo provided their first experience of exhibiting and selling their work alongside professional, established designers.
This prestigious showcase in Paris, September 19-21, is a fantastic platform for the emerging designers and vital to Texprint’s aim of helping to launch the careers of some of the best British graduates, the experience helping to shape the designers’ individual future plans.
Chairman Barbara Kennington was delighted to host this year’s event. “British creativity has been in the spotlight this year; creativity that comes in large part from encouraging diversity, excellence and high achievement in all design fields, and especially in fashion and textiles. Smart companies are looking to tap into this rich seam of British-trained talent and connecting with Texprint to support new textile talent.”
Overall Indigo 2012 was the best ever in terms of sales and contacts for the Texprint designers.
Sales to North America were particularly good, with Kayser-Roth Corp from North Carolina buying well; Lululemon Athletica (Texprint Foundation Sponsors), Hollister/Abercrombie & Fitch, Rachel Roy, Tracey Reese and Nike among others, also bought strongly.
Asian and European buyers were out in force too. From Europe: Tara Jarmon herself bought for junior line Mademoiselle Tara, and among others Nelly Rodi, H&M, Topshop, Boden, Custo, Desigual, Guy Laroche, White Stuff, and MD Gera, the German fashion prints manufacturer, were noted.
Buyers at Ying Wu stand
Conversations with these buyers gave the Texprint designers a unique opportunity to explain their inspiration and their work. Aside from individual sales, many freelance opportunities arose, as well as firm job offers and commissions.
Print designer David Warner notes: “It was such an invigorating experience to meet with buyers, agents, and industry experts. Getting their insight into what they thought of my designs and explaining who I am as a designer, gaining important contacts along the way. The whole experience will live with me and help to inform my future work.”
Philippa Watkins, journalist and RCA senior tutor, at Sophia Fenlon stand
Guido Tettamanti and Marco Taiana, representing sponsors Confidustria Como and the ComON creativity week, again endorsed their support for the programme. This year they have offered six designers an invaluable opportunity to experience working with Italian companies based in and around Como (up from two last year): Alice Howard-Graham, Manri Kishimoto, Sophie Manners, Israel Parra-Zanabria, Sophie Reeves and Amber Sambrook.
Woolmark Texprint Award judges at Lisa Bloomer stand
The Woolmark Texprint Award in Support of Campaign for Wool was judged at Indigo by James E Sugden OBE, director; James Dracup, group managing director, both of Johnstons of Elgin; and Masahiro Oono, textile design project manager of Japanese specialist wool weaver Nikke, and won by weaver Sophie Manners.
The highlight of the three-day event was the prize presentation. This took place on 19 September within a special section of the Texprint village where Texprint chairman Barbara Kennington welcomed the esteemed fashion and trend forecaster Nelly Rodi as the guest prize presenter.
Nelly reminded the audience of buyers, press and design professionals of her passion for nurturing young talent and her long-held admiration for the British design education system: “British schools seem take a much freer approach to educating their students, mixing different approaches such as photography, art and fashion, leaving the student to express himself, without imposed rule…Freedom gives a lot of energy to fashion.”
Nelly presented the winners of the four Texprint awards with their cheques: Carlo Volpi, winner of the Body Prize; Tania Grace Knuckey, winner of the Space Prize, Manri Kishimoto, winner of the Colour Prize; and Ying Wu, winner of the Pattern Prize.
Also saying a few words at the event were Gilles Lasbordes of Indigo/ Première Vision, and Peter Ackroyd of The Woolmark Company and Sheree Waterson of Lululemon Athletica; both companies Foundation Sponsors of Texprint.
Peter emphasized The Woolmark Company’s focus on “education, education, education” and again reiterated their desire to ensure that young designers are encouraged to work in wool, and to understand both its properties and its potential for fashion and interiors markets.
Peter Ackroyd of The Woolmark Company, Sophie Manners, Rebecca Sharp of The Woolmark Company, and Nelly Rodi
Sheree created a buzz of excitement with her no-nonsense “Texprint rocks!” accolade. Since becoming Foundation Sponsors earlier this year, Lululemon has shown itself to be the most enthusiastic and forward thinking of companies. Sheree’s original plan to employ one intern to work in Vancouver for three months soon became two interns - Manri Kishimoto and Sophie Reeves - as Sheree realized she could not choose between them when making her selection back in July at Texprint London.
Lululemon believe that working with Texprint and its exciting young designers is the very best way of driving innovation into their design process and of giving back and nurturing the next generation. An attitude we strongly applaud.
Buyer at Fergus Dowling stand
Print designer Trinity Mitchell sums up the designers’ appreciation for Texprint and in turn Texprint’s sponsors: “I can't express just how grateful I am to all of you at Texprint. I have had such a wonderful time and I am so thankful to have been part of it all. I never would have made the contacts I did if it weren't for Texprint, and I look forward to those contacts hopefully turning into jobs and work!”
Indigo success: Texprint designers exhibit at Indigo, Paris
22 September 2012 by Editor
Texprint celebrated the achievements of the creative world's most exciting new textile design talents at last week's successful showcase at Indigo, Paris. Legendary fashion and trend forecaster Nelly Rodi presented this year's special prizes. Texprint chairman Barbara Kennington was joined on stage by Nelly Rodi and sponsors Peter Ackroyd of The Woolmark Company, Sheree Waterson of Lululemon Athletica and Gilles Lasbordes of Indigo/Première Vision.
Chosen for their creative flair, technical skill, and individuality in knit, weave, print, stitch and mixed media design, as well as a readiness to enter their professional lives, the 24 selected designers are the best of the best from around the globe - all trained in Britain.
More reports to follow.
Texprint Paris special prize presenter 2012: Nelly Rodi
16 September 2012 by GGHQ Fashion Intelligence
“I’m delighted that Nelly Rodi has agreed to be this year’s special prize presenter at Indigo,” says Texprint’s creative director Peter Ring-Lefevre. Indeed, the entire Texprint team are thrilled to welcome the esteemed creative director and founder of the eponymous trend forecasting company to the podium of the Texprint Village at Indigo, Paris, on Thursday 20 September at 3.30pm where she will be guest of honour at the annual prize ceremony.
Mme Rodi herself has been recognised for her achievements in the world of creation, receiving the Legion of Honour in 1998 from the French President and Officer of the Legion of Honour in 2009.
She founded the NellyRodi Agency in 1985 and the company counts the cream of international fashion and beauty brands such as L’Oréal, Tommy Hilfiger, Marks & Spencer, PPR and LVMH among its clientele. The Agency is known for providing a very sophisticated forecasting service, founded on research and analysis, which considers sociological, creative and marketing influences on future trends. As well as publishing regular Trendlab® forecasting books across several markets and end users, the company works extensively on brand repositioning and bespoke consultancy projects.
Peter is full of praise for the way in which Nelly approaches creative development and design work and recalls working on a project with her in the early 1990s when he was product development manager, menswear, at the The Woolmark Company office in Paris (then called IWFO and part of IWS).
“Nelly had a wonderful way of understanding wool as a natural fibre. She stretched the imagination and technical side of what could be achieved with the fibre in the developing stages,” he says. “She had lots of new ideas, right down to the benefit for various consumer levels. She has a very thorough way of working.”
Texprint takes an equally rigorous approach to selecting the most dynamic and talented new textile designers from UK art schools and universities to take part in the annual mentoring programme.
“British schools seem take a much freer approach to educating their students, mixing different approaches such as photography, art and fashion, leaving the student to express himself, without imposed rule…Freedom gives a lot of energy to fashion,” says Nelly.
As a creative force with a deep understanding of the fashion and interiors industries, Nelly will offer a wealth of advice to the 24 selected textile designers when she visits the designers’ stands at Indigo, part of Première Vision Pluriel. She says she is interested in work that has “an artistic approach, close to an artistic concept, mixed with texture and colours. For drawing, I look for hand-drawing and motifs which are not too commercial or based on actual trends. Technology comes after...”
“Nelly understands that the industry needs to be behind young and creative textile designers,” says Peter. Indeed, Nelly says: “The younger generation brings a lot of positive energy and modernity needed by our ‘old’ textile industry. We find new approaches by looking after the work of the new generation.”
She signs off with the following advice for new graduates: “Don’t be depressed by the textile recession. Make direct contact with leading international garment brands. Keep your freshness and freedom. And dare to create what you have in your hearts.”
Thank you Mme Rodi, we look forward to seeing you in Paris.
For more information about Texprint and to arrange an interview with Nelly Rodi at Indigo, Paris, ahead of the prize presentation at 3pm on Thursday 20 September please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Delphine Thwaites on +44 (0)20 7250 0589.
Woolmark Texprint Award judge: James E Sugden OBE, director of Johnstons of Elgin
13 September 2012 by GGHQ Fashion Intelligence
The Woolmark Texprint Award in support of Campaign for Wool will once again recognise a Texprint designer who excels in the use of Merino wool in his or her fabric design. The winner will be chosen from this year’s 24 Texprint new graduate designers who will present their designs at Indigo, part of Première Vision Pluriel, Paris, September 19-21, 2012. Texprint and Woolmark are proud to introduce James E Sugden OBE, director of Johnstons of Elgin, who will be combining his seasoned opinion with fellow judge Masahiro Oono to pick this year’s winner.
In his 20 years at Johnstons of Elgin, Mr Sugden successfully developed the company’s worldwide reputation for woven and knitted fine cashmeres and woollens. It now counts the likes of Burberry, Chanel and Louis Vuitton as esteemed clientele. He currently applies his expertise to Johnstons’ knitwear mills in Hawick; continuing to cultivate the UK’s largest independent vertical woollen manufacturer. Mr Sugden was awarded a prestigious OBE in 2011 by HM The Queen for his contributions to the textile industry and is considered an international aficionado on luxury textile manufacturing.
Mr Sugden brings over 40 years’ textile manufacturing experience to the judging panel and is keen to support the next crop of British-trained design talent: “It’s important to nurture the immense amount of talent that the UK has to offer at the earliest stages of a designer’s career. Texprint gives them a platform that they wouldn’t have access to otherwise to internationalise their talents.”
A recent resurgence of UK-based manufacturing has been led by businesses looking to support well-made product. As the Johnstons customer moves away from low added-value products, they look for ways to set themselves apart from the crowd. Mr Sugden insists that “customisation is the key to differentiating product” and has ensured that Johnstons has the capacity and technology to cope with demand.
“The technology is there, but it’s the creative spirit that drives us forward,” he says. “If we don’t push the boundaries, the industry will never progress. That’s why we need young designers with conviction and the boldness of youth.”
The design talent coming from the art colleges here in the UK is revered worldwide and Mr Sugden believes that it’s crucial to help young designers find a platform for success. He hopes to find someone with “a focused perspective and a comprehensive knowledge of colour, weave and texture” to champion the Woolmark Texprint Award.
Woolmark Texprint judge: Masahiro Oono from Japanese wool specialist Nikke
11 September 2012 by GGHQ Fashion Intelligence
Textile designer Masahiro Oono from Japanese wool specialist Nikke joins judging panel for the 2012 Woolmark Texprint Award in support of Campaign for Wool prize.
Versatile, strong and natural: Merino wool provides textile designers with yarns and fabrics which are luxurious and sustainable, whether used in interiors or in apparel. The Woolmark Company, 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.
The Woolmark Company encourages new designers to explore the design possibilities and benefits of Merino wool through the sponsorship of the second annual Woolmark Texprint Award in support of 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.
A winner will be selected from among the 24 designers who will show their work in the Texprint village at Indigo, which is part of Première Vision Pluriel, September 19-21, 2012. The Woolmark Company and Texprint are delighted that experts in woollen textile creation will be choosing the winner.
In the first of two profile focuses on the judges, we speak with Masahiro Oono, project manager of Nikke Group’s textile design and marketing department in the Osaka-based organisation’s textile and clothing materials division – otherwise known as the Japan Wool Textile Co Ltd.
Nikke was established over 110 years ago, starting as a manufacturer of wool products and has since expanded into six different domains with the aim of providing “products and services to meet customers’ demands and make a contribution to society”. Its textile and clothing materials division includes the development, manufacture and wholesaling of products for apparel primarily incorporating wool. Like wool, Nikke’s corporate philosophy is to be “gentle and warm toward people and the planet”.
On meeting with Mr Oono on Nikke’s stand at textile exhibition Première Vision, Paris, he presents what he describes as the company’s signature fabric: a superfine wool chiffon gauze weighing 120g per meter which costs in the region of €35 per meter, which puts it in the realm of luxury brands. Indeed, he lists Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Jil Sander and Burberry as top customers.
The most popular colours selected by buyers in February were sky blue or mustard, however for Mr Oono, achieving technical excellence is more important than using colour in design: “Nikke has a long history and a large archive, and we do a lot of work from the archive. I try to do what other can’t or aren’t able to do.”
Mr Oono joined Nikke 25 years ago. With two generations of kimono artisans in his family, he says his parents were happy when he decided to study fashion and textiles. “Since I was a child I have liked clothing. When I was deciding what to do at university, new stylists such as Yohji Yamamoto were coming through and I wanted to do something in this field,” he explains.
To the question ‘why would you recommend that new textile designers experiment with wool?’ he replies with another question: “Maybe students think that wool is thick and not interesting? But high end wool has so much potential. It’s important to know the possibilities of wool. If you don’t know wool and wool fibres you will never become a good textile designer.”
Mr Oono is a great advocate of wool and praises its inherent nature: “It’s natural, and comes from sheep and there’s a long history of man weaving sheep’s wool. You can do so many things with it: felt, twill, crêpe... there are so many possibilities. It’s also strong.”
As a Woolmark Texprint Award judge, he says he will be looking for designs that show “something unusual, that no one else has thought of, a new way”. As well as lending his expertise in judging the competition, Mr Oono will be a source of advice and inspiration for the 24 designers taking part in Texprint this year as he meets them and reviews their design work while looking for the winner: “We need young people – we need new ideas. Textile design is very creative work, work that gives you the possibility to realise your dreams.”
Exhibition alert: London summer highlights
27 August 2012 by Joyce Thornton
Inspiring exhibitions we recommend you visit this summer and autumn.
POP! Design, Culture, Fashion - until 27 October, Fashion & Textile Museum, Bermondsey. Traces the impact of youth culture, music and art from the 50s-70s; highlights include 60’s pieces sold in Mary Quant’s Bazaar, items from Elton John’s personal wardrobe, and original pieces sold in Westwood and McLaren’s ‘80’s shop, Sex.
Fashion & Textile Museum, Lunchtime Lecture Series – 5 – 26 September, Fashion & Textile Museum, Bermondsey. A series of four lectures looking at the changing shape of fashion from 1955–1976. Using garments drawn from the Fashion and Textile Museum’s Collection, these talks are led by author of ‘The Chronology of Fashion’, NJ Stevenson.
Heatherwick Studio: Designing the Extraordinary – until 30 September, V&A Museum. Heatherwick’s design explorations, whether architecture, sculpture or product, don’t start with a drawing or a discussion, but with ‘an attitude of purposefulness’ pushing the physical properties of materials beyond the expected. The exhibition tracks Heatherwick’s progress from his RCA graduation project through to a scale model of the spectacular 2012 copper Olympic cauldron.
Thomas Heatherwick / Photo credit: V&A Museum London 2012
Arthur Bispo do Rosario (1909-1989) - until the 28 October, V&A Museum. Bispo remains one of Brazil’s most recognised artists, and this display includes hand-embroidered banners, garments and sculpture. This ‘outsider’ art reveals the imaginative responses of the artist who has appropriated found objects such as bottles, buttons, card, paper and even cutlery to create complex pieces.
Fights 1938-1982 Arthur Bispo do Rosario / Photo credit: Rodrigo Lopes
Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950 - until 6 January 2013, V&A Museum. Over 60 items of statement eveningwear: from the elegance of Norman Hartnell to the bold inventiveness of Gareth Pugh.
Atsuko Kudo, worn by Georgia Frost with dresses by Hardy Amies and Worth of London / Photo credit: Carlos Jimenez, V&A Images
Grayson Perry: The Walthamstow Tapestry - until 23 September, The William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow. A rare opportunity to view one of the most powerful works by Turner Prize-winning artist, Grayson Perry. This vibrant and very large tapestry “chronicles man’s passage from birth to death via the shops” – an exploration of our uneasy but powerful relationship to branding and the impact of consumerism on everyday life.
Texprint London 2012 resource seminar
24 July 2012 by Joyce Thornton
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.
Chief product officer for Lululemon Athletica champions Texprint
12 July 2012 by GGHQ Fashion Intelligence
Sheree Waterson is the charismatic chief product officer for Lululemon Athletica; the Vancouver-based company that creates apparel for people taking part in active sports. Working with a team of over 100, Sheree oversees the design, merchandising, planning, sourcing and production of the fast-moving brand which is sold through 165 stores in Canada, the US and Australia. Lululemon’s website is a source of more than clothing; it is a portal into the company’s energising ethos of community interaction and positive living. Texprint is delighted to welcome Sheree to Texprint London where she joined the special prize judging panel and began the process of selecting a winner from among Texprint’s 24 star textile design graduates of the first Texprint Lululemon prize of £1,000 and a three-month paid internship in Vancouver.
The Texprint team were thrilled to meet you and your team at Indigo, Paris, in September 2011. What was it that inspired you to launch the inaugural Texprint Lululemon prize and internship? We have always been attracted to a certain part of Indigo. And we didn’t know what it was about this certain corner that we felt compelled to go see. But we have come to find out it was Texprint and the exceptional talent we saw. What’s exciting about Texprint is it supports, develops and nurtures the creatives that are involved in textiles.
How important is it for you to support the next generation of textile designers? The world is changing and we are going from a society of consuming and conquering and we are moving into one of simplicity and beauty. People who are right-brained and creative are going to be the ones who lead the way for a new future.
What does ‘trained in Britain’ mean to you? The UK has a phenomenal track record for producing talent that’s unparalleled and the rigour with which the curriculum is constructed results in the best talent in the world. They have to work really hard and be extremely passionate to graduate. The talent at Texprint is the best of the best and it’s international.
Will you be looking for a particular personality type as well as design talent in your choice of winner? We are looking for talent. We are looking for somebody who can create a future that isn’t already out there someone who is pushing the boundaries of creativity. And we are also looking for someone who can fit into the culture. So there is an energy and enthusiasm, a passion about what they do. We find the people who are successful at Lululemon are naturally intellectually curious and are anxious to be in a relationship with people that share the same values and creative energy.
Will you be looking for someone with an understanding of technical fabrics or a particular aesthetic? At this point we are looking for an aesthetic. Combining beauty with function is what our brand is about. So taking the beauty of what is created here by the designers at Texprint and juxtaposing that with function, creating something new that’s never been before - that’s what we’re interested in. The person who will be an intern will be a pioneer with us.
And three months in Vancouver! Vancouver is the perfect spot for Lululemon to be born, Vancouver is a city where people are constantly outdoors and doing something physical. Whether it’s yoga for yoga’s sake or yoga for cross training, for run, ski, paddle boarding, kayaking, snowboarding… then go out and eat great sushi. It’s a physically beautiful place, it’s very vibrant and it’s a young city.
Tell us about the Lululemon lifestyle, do you have breakout yoga sessions? (Laughing) We do have yoga and training classes in our main office building. All of our design team are athletes; everything we do is authentic because they are partaking in the sport they are designing for. And a big part of the power of the Lululemon brand is the relationships that we have with the community at a grassroots level which are very powerful. We support the yoga studios, run clubs... that we love and uphold our values and in turn, they do product testing for us, so that we understand how to improve the function and the fit and so forth so that we can be the best in the world.
In certain ways, what we’ve said to one another is, if we weren’t a yoga company we would be a leadership company because the product is really the entrée or conduit to the conversations with our guests to teach them to have a life that they love, fulfilled, through goal-setting, personal responsibility, creating their own life - attracting great things.
The Selection Process 2012 – in conversation with prize judge Neisha Crosland
06 July 2012 by GGHQ Fashion Intelligence
Neisha Crosland established her textile design label in 1994 and is best known for her wallpaper and fabric designs. She also applies her style to stationary, tiles, scarves, fine china, rugs as well as home and fashion accessories for Hankyu Department Stores in Japan. Her body of work has propelled her to the forefront of UK design, and in 2006 she was honoured with the title of Royal Designer for Industry. Open, frank and passionate about design, Neisha shares with us her route to creating an international design brand and the importance for designers to experience the world first-hand.
What and where did you study before doing an MA in printed textiles at the Royal College of Art? I took a foundation in art at Central and then two terms of graphics at Camberwell. I wanted to paint but my father didn’t understand ‘art school’ and I had to do something that would give me a qualification to get a job. I chose graphics as it was fine art-based. One project was to illustrate a Dylan Thomas story and I made a 3D build up of card. The tutor said it would be printed in 2D and I would need to translate it, think about typefaces... I lost enthusiasm.
Why did you switch to textile design? I went to see an exhibition on William Morris and the Kelmscott Press at the V&A Museum and got lost in the textile department. I saw Ottoman Empire textiles with bold tulips that were abstract and simple and I knew that’s what I wanted to do.
The textile design course at Camberwell is fine art-based. Yes, there’s a lot of drawing. You mix your own dyes, crunch up beetles for red, mix up gum Arabic to glue the fabric to the print tables, make your own screens... I learned to understand the alchemy of the process which hasn’t left me. When I went to the RCA I kept experimenting.
Did you launch your own range straight after graduating from the RCA? In the first hour of my degree show I received a commission from Osborne & Little. I had printed on old velvet curtains which gave them a medieval spirit. They invited me in to do a collection with this look. I learned the whole process, from great idea to the marketplace. It’s important to know how a 2D design will translate onto cloth. It’s the step in between that makes it work. I am interested in that end look.
Which led you to create your own scarf brand? Scarves were an experiment in rectangles with cloths that didn’t need rub or colourfastness tests. There were no production minimums. I worked with velvets, playing with the design at the Belford Prints factory. I was asked by Debenhams to do diffusion line; my designs would cost £20 rather than £250 at Harrods. When pashminas came in and I started to work in cashmere but they cost a fortune to sample and were not commercially viable – I still have boxes of the prototypes.
And you decided to diversify into wallpaper and furnishing fabrics? I did not need to borrow money from a bank; my father died and I inherited a bit of money, otherwise I don’t think I could have done it. I built a brand name. Which led to a contract with the Japanese department store Hankyu, and it paid an advance royalty. Then the Rug Company came along. Everything I do now is under licence. But I had to go through that first, painful bit.
And now you design for a multitude of objects. I put 52 designs a year on different products. Some might be the same, but I do a lot of work with the right partners with the right sensitivities to translate and proportion the design for a rug or an espresso cup. It takes a lot of studio time. I just don’t hand out the designs, I mother hen them to the final product.
As a judge, what will you look for in the work of Texprint’s prize winners? I’ll be looking individuality, idiosyncrasies and an aesthetic personal to them. With digital printing you can put anything on a cloth, a million colours doesn’t cost any more. Colour separation is a skill. I’ll be looking for sensitivity, not just taking a cool image and plonking it on a cloth.
What is your advice to new designers? Don’t be influenced by the high street. People are lazy. There’s a big difference between sourcing a mountain scape on Google and going to it. Something happens with your brain when you experience things first hand rather than through a screen, you’ll get that extra something that feeds into your work. I almost want to take computer screens away. When you look at 17th century French Huguenot silks by James Leman or Anna Maria Garthwaite, you can see fantasies and brilliant drawing skills. We will never go back to that nor should we but we must not lose sight of the good things from the past and join them with the new. The act of hand drawing out these fantasies takes time we no longer can afford but the process of drawing and dreaming brings a wonderful meditative process - we must not lose sight of either.
The Selection Process 2012 – judge Paul Stamper, lead designer Renault
04 July 2012 by GGHQ Fashion Intelligence
Texprint judge Paul Stamper has used his background in textile design to foster a career that spans multiple creative sectors, commerce and education. During his 20-plus years in the industry, he has held a range of positions including stylist and designer at the trend forecasting agency Nelly Rodi, creative director for the initial Urban Outfitters in the UK and, most recently, lead designer for French automotive giant, Renault. Paul’s international successes have earned him recognition as a respected name in the field of textiles and his various roles as a university-level educator have always worked in tandem - allowing him to give back the support that he was once received.
Paul has worked with Renault since 2000 as a designer involved in automotive fabrics and has worked with numerous international companies to develop innovative textiles in the field. As of 2010, he has been working as a lead designer - developing programmes and initiatives to nurture creativity and support innovation within the Renault design department.
“I am 100% supportive of nurturing young design talent, especially those from the UK,” says Paul. “I just love the exchange that I get from mentoring young designers. The stimulating energy and creativity is inspiring. Guiding a student and helping them to take their work in a new direction is what I love about teaching the next generation.”
Paul still recalls the great admiration and excitement that he felt for the Texprint selection process while training for his own MA in constructed textiles at the Royal College of Art. Now that the tables have turned, he is proud and excited to have the chance to inspire new talent through the Texprint programme, seeing as he attests his British education to a fruitful, well-rounded career.
“Being educated in the UK has been the biggest benefit that I could ever have wished for in my career,” says Paul. “When I visited companies abroad, I would show them my portfolio and they would always be impressed with the level of professionalism I had achieved. Being UK-trained has opened up a lot of doors for me.”
Paul now works on an international level as a key liaison between Renault and a variety of design schools around the world including the Domus Academy (Milan), Strate College of Design (Paris), the Eindhoven Design Academy (Holland) and, his alma mater, RCA. On 11 July, he will yet again have the chance to indulge his passion for discovering new design talent and giving back to the education system that served him well.
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.