Texprint: from Interview to Première Vision Designs
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FEATURES: Texprint 2010
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:
Elena Munoz: a creative career in Paris
03 April 2012 by
Innovative knitwear designer Elena Munoz - Texprint Knit Prize winner 2010 - is now employed as an assistant knitwear designer at legendary French fashion brand Givenchy. Elena had previously gained a prestigious seven-month internship as an assistant knit designer for Balenciaga - another iconic Parisian fashion label. We catch up with Elena to find out more about these exciting developments in her career.
Congratulations on your wonderful new job as assistant knit designer at Givenchy – how did this come about? I did an internship at Balenciaga, and when this was coming to an end a designer from the company put me in contact with a Parisian headhunter who then got me the interview at Givenchy.
Elena Munoz, design from 2010
How was the interview process? After the first interview with the director of human resources at Givenchy, I was then invited for a second interview a few weeks later with the manager of womenswear. My portfolio was then shown for approval to the artistic director. The entire process took about two months.
Where are you based - and can you tell us about the studio environment? The studio is based in Paris above the Givenchy store on Avenue George V. Every department has its own distinct space: haute couture and its atelier, menswear, womenswear and accessories are divided into separate floors.
You won the Texprint Knit Prize in 2010 – what did that mean to you? Through Texprint I gained a lot of confidence in my work and in myself when liaising with buyers and networking. I think this is the best experience and the best help a textile design graduate can be given when finishing his or her studies. I am really grateful to all of the Texprint team. The advice was invaluable - how to best present your work to the industry, how to develop skills - such as creating relationships with clients, and of course valuing and pricing your work. It was an incredible opportunity to be given a stand to show and sell my work at Première Vision in Paris, and in Hong Kong.
What was the highlight of the Texprint process for you? Being selected for Texprint was a fantastic continuation of my studies because it led me directly into the professional world. I really enjoyed the Hong Kong trip. It was also great to meet and to exchange ideas with the other five Texprint special prize winners.
What did you do after Texprint? I interned for one season at Céline’s knit and jersey department in London. I was then commissioned to create some catwalk knit pieces for Guy Laroche, based on a sample they purchased from me at Première Vision. Then I was offered the internship at Balenciaga and moved to Paris.
Elena Munoz, design from 2010
What inspired you to choose knitwear as a discipline initially? I chose knit as my specialty because of the possibilities for three-dimensional creation and experimentation that the medium allows. The process of working and creating with knitting machines has always felt very natural to me.
What have been the most significant moments in your career path so far? Being accepted into Central Saint Martins to study knitwear (after business studies in my native Madrid) was really a turning point for me. It made me strive to always push boundaries within my creative field. Moving to London from Spain was a great cultural experience and was a key factor for me in deciding to combine textiles with fashion. A further significant moment was being selected for Texprint - a great showcase to present my work internationally.
After London, it just felt natural to move to Paris in order to continue to develop my passion for knitwear. I have been given great opportunities to experience the expertise of some great Parisian design studios. Today I’m very happy to be part of such a prestigious fashion house.
What is your advice to new graduates? Develop your networking skills because you need them! Get in contact with agents or headhunters to help you to find a job, and try to gain as much experience as you can as an intern or by freelancing to build a strong portfolio. Never stop doing what you like most.
And to students embarking on a degree? Work hard and enjoy these years as much as you can. Remember that it’s only by pushing yourself that you get the most interesting outcomes.
What are your plans for the future? It’s difficult to project ahead to the future, but whatever I am doing - I hope to always apply the same passion and the same energy.
Andrew Stevenson’s sprint start to a career in textiles
28 February 2012 by
Andrew Stevenson has enjoyed continued success since he graduated from the RCA in 2010. Andrew scooped both the Texprint Interior Fashion Prize and the Chairman’s Prize that year. Andrew landed his first design job at Paul Smith, and last February he moved on to take up an exciting opportunity as a fabric designer for the prestigious Tom Ford brand.
How did you secure your current position with Tom Ford?
A designer at the Yorkshire mill, Hield Bros Ltd, put me in touch with the fabric director at Tom Ford as they were looking for someone new to join the design team. I was interviewed there in February last year - and they offered me the job!
Andrew Stevenson textile detail
What does your job involve?
I am the fabric research designer for womenswear. The role allows me to work creatively within the design team to develop new and exciting fabrics. The team is very small and I am involved in all aspects of fabric research for both the ready-to-wear range and special projects.
Can you describe a typical day at work?
It depends on the time of year - every week is different and I am never bored! Usually there is a lot of work to do at the start of each season preparing mood boards and researching new ideas, as well as working on special projects for celebrities. I usually come to the studio most days and I’m involved with meeting suppliers and selecting fabrics with the design director, preparing for meetings with Mr Ford and working on the colour palette for each season. A lot of the job involves helping to design new prints and jacquard weaves for the collection. During show time it is very full-on - helping with the final fashion show. My favourite aspects include travelling, visiting fabric archives, working on colour and of course designing. It’s a very demanding industry which includes a lot of late nights and weekends... but at the moment I’m not complaining – it’s very exciting and a lot of fun!
Andrew Stevenson sketchbook and research
What inspires you in your work?
I am often drawn to favourite artists such as Matisse and Hockney as well being inspired by film, photography, antique and vintage fabrics and unusual colour combinations.
Choosing textiles as a career.
I started off doing fashion design in my Foundation year, but soon realised that I was really drawn to fabric and constructed textiles. I then specialised in weave for my degree at Duncan of Jordanstone in Scotland; fascinated with constructing cloth and the possibilities of texture and colour. As well as learning the technical aspects of design for weave, there was also a lot of emphasis on drawing and experimental mark making, which I found really opens you up, developing your technique. Then, the MA at the RCA was a whole new world... completely different to going to going to art school in Scotland. At MA level it is a lot more intense and focused – so I really pushed both weave and print design. Great tutorial support and ‘live’ projects helped me to design in a considered and intellectual way.
What qualities are needed for a successful career in textiles?
I think you need to have a good sense of colour, scale and composition to really visualise a small drawing, photo or design and see it as a garment or interior or art piece. I chose to specialise in textiles for fashion as I find it fascinating to see how a print or woven textile will emerge as a garment - and how it looks on the body.
Andrew Stevenson receiving the Chairman's Prize from Sir Stuart Rose of M&S in 2010
What have been the significant moments or events in your career so far?
Being accepted into the RCA, and winning a scholarship from the Worshipful Company of Weavers really helped me to make contacts - which led to jobs. A further significant moment was being selected for Texprint – as this really gave me a lot of experience in exhibiting and selling my own work in both Paris and Hong Kong. It really enhanced my understanding of the marketplace and the different levels in the industry.
Advice to new graduates?
Work HARD, focus on what you love - and prepare a diverse portfolio, with different projects, clearly presented. Target your market as soon as you can in order to gain work placements and jobs or to set up your own business.
Plans for the future?
I would really like to stay at Tom Ford - it is an amazing team and I would love to be part of the company as it grows. I love what I’m doing right now – and maybe in the future... to be the creative director of a brand.
Sarah Podlesny’s whirlwind year after Texprint
05 June 2011 by
Sarah Podlesny, winner of Texprint’s Breaking New Ground prize last year, has had a momentous year. Her talent and skills were recognised during her participation at Texprint’s London showcase and she was offered a job by Laura Miles, a Texprint alumna who has created her own successful weave studio.
Sarah’s job with Laura Miles Studio is varied and exciting. Laura creates fabrics for many designer labels and produces a jacquard collection for Vanners, one of England’s last remaining silk weavers. As Laura’s assistant, Sarah says her day to day tasks can involve, “Anything from weaving samples for a New York trip, then maybe putting some designs in repeat for the Vanners collection. I could be testing out structures and colours on a woollen warp for the tweed collection. I thread up warps and create technical files for fabrics to send out with the designs. Some days are filled with appointments to show the collections in London, but sometimes we spend a whole day developing a fabric for a new project.”
Sarah explains, “I have been really lucky to land a full-time position doing something I absolutely love. My job is full of variety, I am learning constantly. The fabrics that Laura designs are varied too, so I never get bored. I travel a lot – I was in New York recently, and was able to see Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which was really inspiring. I get to meet a lot of interesting people. I am really happy with where I am now, I wouldn't change anything. It has been a massive learning curve- no two days are the same.”
Sarah has just bought a loom in order to develop her own work further, and is looking to try out some new techniques, such as ikat weave structures. In the future she wants to further explore interactive and ‘smart’ materials. She has this advice for new graduates; “Take something from every opportunity and experience and don't always play safe. Don't be afraid to try something a little different. You don't have to be commercial to guarantee yourself a job. If you have the creativity and work really, really hard then go for it with your idea! If you think there is nothing out there just keep looking.Get your work out there in as many ways as you can, start a blog for example. And don't worry if you have a creative block, it will go away”.
Josie Warden; Indian journey inspires sustainable futures
20 March 2011 by
Passionate about sustainable design and ethical production, Texprint’s Josie Warden and fellow textile graduate Isolde Jaspard Mandy embarked on a three month long fact finding trip to India in September last year.
A graduate of University College Falmouth and one of the Texprint stars of 2010, Josie’s textile work encompasses both embroidery and print. Through Texprint’s connections, Josie secured an internship with Cosmique Global, a design and manufacturing company based in Delhi, which is where the friends began their Indian adventure.
Josie told us, “Director Sandeep Manakatala has had a long connection with Texprint, creating opportunities for UK design graduates, at the same time as developing new ideas for his company. This opportunity formed an amazing start to our Indian visit and provided an invaluable experience for us.” The remainder of their trip was a whirl of activity and the pair visited many other companies and organisations, including a visit to the renowned Pearl Academy in Delhi, making new friends and connections along the way. Back in the UK, Josie and Isolde have used their experiences and knowledge to inform their newly launched on-line resource hub, Thread. One of the central aims of the Thread project is to highlight initiatives that textile and manufacturing companies are taking to create a future where ethical production is widely embraced. The Thread website is also being developed to link design students, graduates and producers – in the UK and abroad. The intention is to make a dynamic on-line destination that will feature interviews with ethical designers, brand profiles and outreach lectures, as well as offering students the opportunity to submit reports. Following a recent lecture on the project, University College Falmouth will link with Kushala Kala Kendra in India in a cross-cultural exchange programme this summer.
As well as her commitment to Thread, Josie is freelancing for several studios and working towards developing her own collection of accessories with an organisation supporting embroiderers, discovered during the Indian trip. The end of one inspiring journey has opened the way for exciting possibilities to marry creativity with ethical principles and make a difference for the future.
To contact Josie and find out more about the Thread project
Emma Bradbury - designs for Daks at London Fashion Week
13 March 2011 by
Texprint caught up with another of 2010’s stars, Emma Bradbury, who has been madly busy working on a number of exciting projects. Most recently Emma has been working with London based brand Daks on their latest Womenswear collection which was shown at London Fashion Week last month.
This great opportunity evolved from Emma’s success in a Daks sponsored design competition, whilst at the RCA. She has designed and made a range of sweaters, scarves and other separates to fit in with Daks 'British Heritage' theme. This commission was a perfect fit for Emma, she told us,” It was a great project which brought together my love of traditional knitting techniques, British heritage, design and fashion. It was very exciting to see my work on the catwalk at Somerset House!”
Emma’s designs for Daks utilised some top quality British yarns, including Shetland and Blue Faced Leicester wool. She was able to work directly with Yorkshire based spinners, Laxons, who created a bespoke British yarn for her as part of the project. She hopes that the successful collaboration with Daks will continue, but she is also working with Orkney based design company, 'Tait and Style' on a new collection of scarves and accessories.
As part of the Texprint showcase at Indigo, Paris, Emma was also approached by New York based company, Kate Spade, who snapped up some of her designs. She says, “I’m very much looking forward to see how they use my designs in their collection”. She added, “Being chosen for Texprint 2010 has been an invaluable experience. The support, encouragement and advice given by the Texprint team has been extremely important to me in these first few months since graduating, and has provided me with professional skills regarding pricing, negotiating and invoicing”.
To contact Emma or to find out more about her recent projects
Holly Bradley Gill’s taste of Italy
23 February 2011 by
Texprint caught up with 2010 star, Holly Bradley Gill this week, just before she jetted off to work in Italy for six months. This great opportunity emerged as a direct result of Texprint’s connections with some of the prestigious Italian mills. Holly was offered a paid placement with the Marzotto company following the Texprint showcase. In Italy, she will work between Guabello in Biella, a mill producing mainly menswear fabrics, and Esthehia gb Gonte in Vicenza, who produce fabrics for womenswear. She told us, “Texprint has helped me so much since graduating!”
Winner of the Texprint 2010 Weave Prize, Holly’s “beautiful colour-sense” was praised by judges. Her detailed, delicate fabrics were inspired by wartime Britain. Her nostalgic graduate collection referenced WW2 ration booklets, coupons and other old documents from her visits to the Imperial War Museum’s research area. She told us, “I love this era, - I loved the colours and the marks on the old paper; they had been used and had stories behind them. I wanted to produce fabrics that looked like heirlooms. Fabrics that are special and have the impression of having been loved - hinting at times gone by”.
Her passion for weave emerged in her first year at Central Saint Martins, she says, “When I first tried weaving, something just clicked. It felt right doing it. I like how stable it feels; once you’re threaded up and ready, you’re secure. There’s also a great feeling of the unknown about weaving” Her success at CSM included being Highly Commended in the Rosemary House Creative Weaver Award in 2009. Holly says, “I think weavers have a definite temperament - its quite methodical, repetitive work, so you need patience. It’s also mathematical, and so if you are pragmatic and enjoying solving problems that helps!”
Holly’s future plans are focused on setting up her own business as a designer-maker. She believes her time in Italy will give her an invaluable insight into how the industry works. Her own business plan is ready to put into action on her return to the UK. Holly’s talent coupled with her clear head and determination look set to be a recipe for future success.
Jenna Gibson - freelance career takes flight
15 February 2011 by
Jenna Gibson’s career has blossomed since exhibiting at Indigo, Paris as one of Texprint’s 2010 stars. Jenna’s distinctive, fashion forward approach to textiles has attracted some exciting recent commissions, including designing for Hugo Boss. She has recently returned from a trip to the brand’s design studio in Metzingen, Stuttgart, where she consulted with their team. Her commissioned designs will be the main print story of the Spring/Summer 2012 Hugo Womenswear line.
Jenna gained a first class BA (Hons) degree in Textiles from Buckinghamshire New University in 2008, before going on to study at the RCA in London where she graduated with an MA last June. Jenna’s MA graduate collection was inspired by architecture and the transition of light, using gradations of colour to create the illusion of sculptural form. She is now working on her latest collection of work, and her inspirations have developed, but she says, “I think there will always be a twist of constructivism and the play of light in my work.” Her passion for print remains undimmed, she says, “I really love screen printing, as I feel it adds depth and texture to the fabric; I also find the craft of the printing process really exciting and fulfilling… well – when it goes right! My next collection will combine both digital and screen printing. This way I can add in intricate colour details with digital, and have an over-print perhaps using foil, to add texture and colour to the print, resulting in a very ‘high-end’ look to the finished garment.”
For the moment, Jenna is developing her freelance career, building up valuable experience and contacts, while honing her considerable skills. Her ambitions for the future include setting up her own label, producing print collections each season. She feels that being chosen for Texprint 2010, was invaluable; she told us, “Having the experience from selling at Texprint has given me a mature approach when discussing the all important fees and sale of future work.”
Texprint award winners to attend Interstoff Asia Essential (6-8 Oct 2010)
30 September 2010 by Editor
Texprint 2010 award winners - Andrew Boyd, Andrew Stevenson, Sarah Podlesny, Elena Munoz, Rebecca Phoenix Lu and Holly Bradley-Gill - are all delighted to be visiting Hong Kong next week, accompanied by Joanna Bowring, Texprint Sponsorship Director.
Joanna has considerable knowledge of the Asia market and will be introducing the designers to industry contacts at Interstoff Asia Essential.
“To complete their Texprint experience by connecting with buyers and press at the Interstoff Asia Essential event in Hong Kong is just so exciting. These six designers have proved themselves to be the year’s elite - they’ve enjoyed commercial success at Indigo, Paris, and are now set to broaden their understanding of the international marketplace by visiting Asia for the first time.”
Texprint has worked with Messe Frankfurt since 2001 when the organization began its programme of supporting Texprint award winners by funding their annual visit to IAE in Hong Kong.
Commercial success at Texprint, Indigo 2010
23 September 2010 by Editor
Buyers from the global fashion and interiors markets, notably from the US and Spain, came to the Texprint village at Indigo, Paris (September 14-16, 2010) to connect with this year’s best new textile design talent to graduate from UK art schools and universities.
The annual Texprint awards – which recognize design excellence using Colour, Weave, Knit, Print, for Breaking New Ground and Interior Fashion – were presented by Louise Trotter, creative director, Joseph, and Texprint's new chairman Barbara Kennington, in front of a huge audience of well-wishers.
Buyers from American companies were out in force: lifestyle brand Nautica sought exciting prints; womenswear labels Rachel Roy and Tracy Reece each bought knits and mixed-media designs; young fashion retailer Urban Outfitters purchased knit designs; and denim giant Wrangler bought a woven design.
Important European names came too: from Spain fashion brands Custo Barcelona and Desigual took the opportunity to buy exciting new prints. From Italy, Stefanel purchased knit designs; Swedish fashion giant H&M commissioned work; and Finnish print specialist Marimekko offered freelance work. Buyers from British fashion retailers including Accessorize, Boden, East, Fat Face, Jaeger, Marks & Spencer, Next and White Stuff also came to do business and support the new designers.
A broad cross section of the fashion market from active sports companies such as Nike and Röhnisch to luxury brands including Hermès, John Galliano and Jil Sander came to commission work and meet the new design stars. And interiors companies such as Valdese Weavers from North Carolina in the US and French bedding brand Deschamps came to buy designs and make contact during what was an exceptionally active and positive show.
Texprint 2010 Chairman’s Prize winner: Andrew Stevenson
07 September 2010 by Editor
Royal College of Art graduate Andrew Stevenson received the £750 award, presented by Sir Stuart Rose, chairman of Marks & Spencer, and Texprint’s chairman Julius Schofield, at the company’s Marble Arch boardroom. Katherine Rushton, Deputy Editor Drapers, also attended.
The award is given for excellence in textile design. Chosen by a ballot of the invited visitors to the First View portfolio exhibition held in July, Andrew’s woven fabric designs were the clear favourite out of the 24 collections by new graduate textile designers on display.
Julius Schofield says: “Andrew Stevenson, a very talented weaver who trained at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design and the RCA, impressed the Texprint judges in both the fashion and interiors fields. He went on to prove his all round appeal by being voted the most original design talent of all this year’s Texprint stars by everyone who came to the First View exhibition at Chelsea College of Art and Design.”
Double-winner Andrew is the recipient of this year’s Interior Fashion prize, donated by Sanderson Art in Industry Trust, as chosen by textile and product designer Donna Wilson who praised his use of colour and texture.
Senior tutor in textiles at the RCA Philippa Watkins describes the appeal of Andrew’s work: “He was one of the most versatile students I’ve ever had: a very good weaver and printer. He has a very good eye for colour which he translates into his weaves; his drawing is very attractive which he translates into print. And he has a wonderful personality to be around.”
Andrew will be taking up a design role at the great British fashion house Paul Smith following his participation in the Texprint Village at Indigo, Paris, September 14-16, part of Première Vision Pluriel. Andrew, along with the 23 other selected textile designers, will present his collection to international fashion and interiors buyers at the event. And on Wednesday 15 September at 3.30pm, Louise Trotter, creative director of Joseph, will present Andrew with his Interior Fashion award during the annual Texprint prize giving ceremony.