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FEATURES: Texprint 2011
Emma J Shipley: out of this world storytelling
12 May 2013 by Editor
The work of Emma J Shipley is very much rooted in skilled draftsmanship - her drawings intricate, her storytelling out of this world. These are certainly a great strength, but what has set Emma apart since graduating from the RCA and being selected for Texprint 2011, is her astute and instinctive grasp of what social networking can do to drive awareness of her brand.
Texprint caught up with Emma to find out more about her inspirations, her dynamic approach to creativity, and the third-party collaborations she has been working on since graduation.
©Emma J Shipley: autumn winter 2013
-Did you always plan to set up your own business?
After I graduated from my BA in Textile Design (from Birmingham City University) I worked for a print design studio in London. This was a great experience and taught me to work under pressure and to tight deadlines, but I also realised that I really wanted to carve out my own path rather than working for someone else. I went on to study MA Textiles at the Royal College of Art as I knew I needed to develop further and I wanted to have that platform to launch my label from.
-In what ways has Texprint been able to help or benefit you?
Being able to get my work in front of so many influential industry figures so soon after graduating was invaluable. The different exhibitions in London, Paris, Shanghai and Hong Kong brought income through sales and commissions, which was so important right at the start of my label. I also met suppliers who when they saw my work at the Texprint stand at Première Vision, wanted to support me in the early stages, one of which I'm still working with to produce my luxury scarves. Texprint has also been there when I've had business or legal issues I needed advice on.
At retail, from left: Bon Marche, Fortnum & Mason, Liberty
-How helpful has it been to communicate online via Twitter etc - how essential is social media for someone setting up their own brand identity do you think?
I've used Twitter for quite a few years - since before graduating and starting my label. I've always found it to be an amazing tool for connecting with others and finding out information in the areas I'm interested in. So I still use it for these reasons, and for my label it's the most direct way of communicating with a wide audience. Being able to instantly share an image of what I'm working on at that time, or tell people about an event I'm doing is an amazing thing. The fact that it can be a conversation means that people do feel engaged with the brand and I also get feedback on what people are really responding to or what they get excited about.
I've also found Instagram great as it's purely image-based, which really suits the creative industries. I follow lots of other users (photographers, designers, magazines etc) - it brings me inspiration as well as letting me share my own images. I'm new to Vine and although I'm personally more engaged by still images, being able to create and share short video clips can be really useful for events or exhibitions.
London Fashion Week, February 2012
-Do you work from home or studio?
A space in a shared studio. I started working from home after I graduated from the RCA but I much prefer having a workspace separate to home, and I really enjoy sharing with others who are working in creative fields. The RCA was quite an intense experience - being in the studio surrounded by other designers all the time - but it's very inspiring and I really missed that when I was working from home on my own.
-What have been the key challenges - managing accounts, space to work, finding manufacturers, contacts?
There have been major challenges in all areas to be honest. It's been important to find people I can go to for advice… As I'm experiencing all these things for the first time there are bound to be issues and hurdles to overcome. I've also roped in my dad to help with a lot of the business side to enable me to still have time to design for my own label as well as commissions for big companies that I've been working on.
©Emma J Shipley: autumn winter 2013
-How do you find it working on your own, is it sometimes hard to motivate yourself? Or do you have help, an assistant?
I haven't found it hard to motivate myself at all as I've been so busy since graduating. Also as I'm in a shared studio it's a nice balance between being able to focus on my own work and also having a social and creative environment. Commissions for other companies always have short deadlines (they want everything yesterday) so I just get on with them. Designing for my own label can get pushed back if I'm working on commissions, so then when I do have time to work on my own designs I'm rearing to go. Obviously I'm passionate about my work so it's not a chore. I get excited about starting new designs and collections. I do take on students to assist me part-time, more on the sales, marketing and events side, and it's great to have a fresh look and input on what I'm doing.
©Emma J Shipley: autumn winter 2013
-Where are your scarves printed - in the UK or abroad?
The scarves are printed in Como, Italy, with a supplier I found through Texprint. I started out manufacturing in the UK, but unfortunately I found the suppliers unreliable and the end product ended up being too expensive even in the luxury market. The quality is better in Italy as they have a long history of silk printing - buyers from stores often comment on the amazing quality of the final pieces and I'm always pleased with them, too.
-Has anything you've worked on gone into production under license? With which companies?
Yes - I've worked on a project with Camira Fabrics, it produces textiles for commercial interiors. This will launch at Clerkenwell Design Week in May as Emma J Shipley x Camira. I've also recently launched a collection of wallpaper and interior fabric with Osborne & Little called Kayyam.
Collaborations with Anthropologie (wallpaper) and Camira (two new fabric designs)
Collaboration with Osborne & Little
-What captures your imagination - as your drawn work is quite naturalistic, do you draw from life or photos?
Inspiration comes from all over the place, but my main visual inspiration is always the natural world. This can come from trips I take (I recently went on safari in South Africa which was hugely inspiring for me), photographs, films, artists and so on. I'm also inspired by ideas and books - especially Richard Dawkins’ book on evolution and Ian Stewart’s on chaos theory. My drawings can take days and weeks, and are never an exact replication of something but are a combination of different inspirations as well as coming from my imagination. So I always work in my studio, using lots of different images and photographs.
-What do you love most about what you're doing, and like least?
I love the drawing and design process the most… I enjoy the business aspects too as its all part of it, but there is a lot of admin, which isn't always thrilling.
-What are your plans for the future?
To continue to grow my label in the UK and overseas, and to work on some interesting collaborations with bigger companies that will raise my brand profile.
Emma has been nominated for the UKFT Rise Newcomer Awards (2013 UK Fashion and Textile Association awards) due to take place on 23 May 2013. We wish her success in this and in the future.
Sample sale, April 2012
©Emma J Shipley: spring summer 2013
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:
New Horizons: Karina Klucnika
15 May 2012 by Joyce Thornton
Knitwear specialist Karina Klucnika has been very pro-active in seeking new work experience, and is currently interning for Stuart Peters Ltd, one of the UK’s leading knitwear suppliers. She says: “My current role is really varied, from creating knitwear CADs and trend boards to booking in test samples from suppliers, through to attending meetings with fashion buyers. I have learned more about how to communicate my ideas more successfully through 2D drawings, and gained invaluable knowledge of the various stages of garment production - from drawing to stitch and from yarn development to manufacturing. It is a very fast paced environment and I am always creating new pieces.
Karina Klucnika, recent work
“I really like the dynamic of my job - always doing something different, working on various collections at the same time. It has helped to keep my ideas current. In my personal work, I continue to develop my own projects - however, I want to have more time to play around, explore design possibilities and experiment more with raw materials, as this is where my passion lies.”
Looking back on her Texprint experience, Karina says: “Being selected for Texprint gave me confidence and assured me that I was doing the right thing by following my love for textiles. My work has been featured in the media and I met some really great, very talented people along the way – it’s a great honour to be part of Texprint’s alumni.”
Karina Klucnika, recent work
Karina’s advice to new graduates is clear: “Try to do as much work experience as possible. It will help you to gain and develop skills you won't gather at university, and enable you to make new contacts within the industry. You have to be pro-active, keep a positive attitude and be disciplined to pursue your goals.”
Momo Wang’s Third Hand Collection
04 May 2012 by Editor
Designer Momo Wang (Texprint 2011) has alerted Texprint to her latest collection, called "The Third Hand". These are clothes and accessories that Momo has bought second-hand and which she has up-cycled in her typically imaginative mixed-media way, becoming the ‘third hand’ to give them a whole new life.
Momo, are you selling the collection? There are 12 outfits in all, and currently I don’t want sell them because they cannot be reproduced. Some of the accessories I might sell on Etsy.com later. I recently had two exhibitions in Beijing, and also held a workshop to teach people how to up-cycle second-hand clothes, it all went very well.
Where were they made? They were all made in my hometown Jinzhou in China. I bought all the clothes and materials from local second-hand markets there. The market is very cool.
Where were the film and look book shot? In a farmer's house and the mountains near my hometown, in a very small and beautiful village outside the city. View the video...
Momo, we love the idea of 'third hand' - any more thoughts or comments on your inspirations? Are you planning to regularly create one-off collections like this? The basic idea is to do what I can to refresh, renew, re-animate precious second-hand materials, and eventually deliver the beauty in them by my realization, and eventually have more and more people doing the same, or at least thinking similarly. A French philosopher once talked about third hand, Jacques Derrida. I like hands.
One-off is not really the major point, it is just that how I create makes it easier to have just one-off. I am happy with it, but I think I am open for other ways of working, such as, say, the conventional way; also, if it is possible, I don't think it is a bad idea to review my past collections and perhaps redo the projects.
New Horizons: Alydia Cooper, Holly Holmes and Georgia Dorey
22 April 2012 by Joyce Thornton
Embroidery and print specialist Alydia Cooper has been very busy since her time with Texprint in 2011. Alydia has created new work including her Under the Sea collection featuring a new range of sea animals depicted in her distinctive, decorative style. She says: “I exhibited at the Knitting and Stitching Shows in Harrogate and Dublin as part of their graduate showcase at the end of 2011. I decided to aim some of my collection towards the childrenswear market and have spent time contacting children’s nurseries and other outlets. More recently, I exhibited at [needlework show] L'Aiguille-en-Fête in Paris in February 2012, as well as continuing to work on special commissions – I’ve done bespoke chair covers and cushions for interiors.” Alydia found her Texprint experience beneficial in many ways, as she explains: “During Indigo, Paris, Agnes B bought three of my designs which gave me great confidence because it proved there was a place in the market for my work. Every part of the Texprint programme was amazing from the interview stage right through toshowing in Paris. I loved the Need to Know pack that we were all given. It has been extremely helpful with every bit of information we could need from sales to copyright terms etc. It was great to have the opportunity to talk to potential international clients and seeing how they would translate my designs.”
Holly Holmes print design work
Talented printed textile designer Holly Holmes was one of the first of 2011’s group to land a great first job. While exhibiting with Texprint, she was interviewed for a design position with Hodgesellers - a textile studio in London. Holly was selected for the job and says: “My current position as textile designer and screen printer within the studio is very satisfying. I have learnt so much already, since starting in September 2011 - I am really enjoying myself and I feel very lucky.” Holly’s fresh, vibrant style is defined by her confident use of colour and pattern. Successful under Texprint’s banner in Indigo, Paris, she sold some of her designs to both Italian and British fashion companies. Holly says: “It was such a privilege being part of Texprint, getting to meet lots of industry insiders as well as the other graduates. It was really great to get feedback on my work from so many different people – all the information given by the Texprint team was truly invaluable.”
Georgia Dorey, Texprint 2011
Finally, print specialist Georgia Dorey is continuing her studies – currently working towards her MA at the RCA. Georgia says: “My time at the RCA so far has been wonderful. Looking back on my Texprint experience, it was totally fantastic. Being chosen was a massive confidence boost for me at a time when I was just coming to the end of my degree and starting to feel quite scared about the future. Texprint London was a great opportunity to practice my networking skills and to build confidence when talking about my work to others. The time in between London and Indigo Paris was a fantastic incentive to carry on my creative work over the summer. Exhibiting in Paris was an amazing opportunity and I am so thankful for all the Texprint team for making it all possible. I found the first day of selling in Paris quite hard - it sometimes felt like everyone around you was selling design work and you weren’t. But then on the second day I sold nine design samples to Agnes B, as well as two samples and two illustrations to a Belgium-based company the following day, with both companies wanting me to continue to work for them in the future. Texprint taught me an invaluable amount – much of which will see me through the rest of my career.”
New Horizons: Abigail Gardiner, Nancy Thompson and Rhiannon Williams
24 March 2012 by Joyce Thornton
Abigail Gardiner’s superb embroidered work has been much in demand since she exhibited with Texprint in 2011. Abigail has been working for Nicholas Oakwell Couture and the designer recently staged an exclusive catwalk show at Claridge’s hotel, London, just prior to Paris Fashion Week. Abigail designed the fantastic embellishment and beadwork for all of the pieces in the collection. She says; “The collection was very well received by clients and the fashion press and was featured on Vogue.com."
Abigail Gardiner for Nicholas Oakwell Couture
"I have absolutely loved this project - I have recently accepted a full-time job as textile and embellishment designer for Nicholas which is really exciting. I am currently working on ideas and sampling for the new collection. Being in the studio much more, I am now able to fully discuss ideas with other members of the team. I have also assisted with other aspects of the design process, such as costing and production management, which have really helped me to understand the business and the production process in the fashion industry”.
Talented weaver Nancy Thompson is employed by UK silk weaving specialist Vanners, which began with a six-month work placement. This arrangement has recently been extended, and Nancy is now working as a fabric designer for the Vanners open collection.
Nancy Thompson woven designs
She says: “I wouldn't have had the chance to do this job without my work placement so I'm really pleased. I've been doing lots of design and development work specifically for individual customers – working closely with the sales team, which I have really enjoyed, so everything’s going very well.”
Vanners, based in Sudbury, Suffolk, is renowned for top quality silk weaving and accessories manufacturing. With a history stretching back 250 years, the company holds a unique archive of over 250,000 designs. Its sumptuous range of silk fabrics is prepared, dyed and woven in-house using state-of-the-art dyeing, weaving and production methods. Vanners fabrics regularly appear in outfits worn by many high profile public figures. Adele wore a Barbara Tfank dress created from a Vanners silk brocade to the Sony Grammy party in February.
Rhiannon Williams's distinctive, witty pieces are building a steady fan base. Her work has been exhibited in According to McGee, a well known art gallery in York and Rhiannon sells some of her pieces through their on-line shop.
Rhiannon Williams; printed and embroidered pieces
In addition, she has just finished an internship with JRC Imports Ltd, a digital fashion print company. Rhiannon says: “This experience was really insightful. JRC Imports is a lovely, friendly company – they specialise in womenswear and their fabrics are used by many high street retailers. My role was to assist the design team with preparing their prints for the buyers, and to create mood boards and design commercial collections based on researched trends. I learned such a lot about print design and using Photoshop - so it was a positive experience. It has me really excited about digital techniques and opened my eyes to the fashion industry.” Rhiannon is currently in the process of applying to study for an MA.
Egle Vaituleviciute’s Indian inspiration
18 March 2012 by Joyce Thornton
Knitwear specialist Egle Vaituleviciute (Texprint 2011) recently exhibited her latest creative project at the Construction Gallery in Tooting Bec, London - a super-sized weave created from her knitted ‘strands’ - the ends dipped into liquid pots of vibrantly coloured dye which soaked up the colour over time.
Egle creating her exhibit at the Construction Gallery
This latest work is just one of the outcomes of a seven-week trip to India as part of an educational project organised by Chelsea College of Art & Design and the Institute of Fine Art in Modi Nagar, India.
Egle was selected as one of two textile graduates for her creativity and research skills. The graduates travelled to India to share their skills and experience with fashion & textile students at the Indian institution.
Detail of Egle's dip-dyed piece
Egle explains: “This trip has been a life changing experience for me. I found India such a fantastic place for inspiration. I gathered so many resources in seven weeks that this will sustain me for at least a year! I learned such a lot more about textile techniques – tie-dye, dip dye, block printing - and made some great contacts. This experience has inspired me to create more exciting work, pushing the boundaries of knit and incorporating processes such as block printing.
Egle creating her exhibit at the Construction Gallery
Added to this, I loved the colours, smells and the great, warm welcome I found in this fascinating place – a world away from the stresses of London. I loved the way that people in India find the time for the enjoyments in life – I got my energy back.”
In August 2012 Egle is due to start a 12-month design internship with Tan House, a company based in Hong Kong that she made contact with while exhibiting with Texprint at Spinexpo, Shanghai last year.
Paris Fashion Week: Chloe Hamblin for Roland Mouret
15 March 2012 by Editor
Chloe Hamblin (winner of the Texprint 2011 Colour Award) is now working as a surface designer at Roland Mouret, having first made contact with the designer at the Texprint Village at Indigo/Première Vision last September 2011. Read more...
Mouret’s signature modern lines and origami folds were softened for his autumn/winter 2012 collection by Chloe’s subtly manipulated snow leopard print. A most successful debut design, we love it.
Texprint and Marks & Spencer collaboration: Patterns of the Future
06 March 2012 by Joyce Thornton
In an exciting collaboration with Foundation Sponsor Marks & Spencer, print designs by three of the designers selected for Texprint 2011 are being used in women’s fashion and bedding collections under the banner Patterns of the Future which launched at its Marble Arch, London flagship store and online during London Fashion Week in February 2012.
Instigated by Kate Bostock, M&S executive director for general merchandise, the project is a first for Texprint, and the embodiment of Texprint’s goal to make mutually constructive introductions between new design talent and forward thinking brands and retailers.
Geri Tilly, Annette Browne and Neil Hendy of Marks & Spencer reviewing the work
M&S’s head of design for brands Helen Low and head of womenswear Neil Hendy visited Texprint London in July 2011 where they were impressed by the work of Texprint’s 2011 print designers. A group of the designers were invited to M&S head office where the team shortlisted three - Toni Lake, Beth Pryor and Carol Pau - with the aim of taking their designs from paper to its customers’ wardrobes.
From the three, Toni Lake’s sumptuous drawings have been printed – by M&S supplier and Texprint supporter ATT Concorde – and used in an exclusive range for M&S within its Autograph and Limited Collections. Read more about Toni here.
The Autograph range features two of Toni’s kaleidoscope-style drawings in a knee-length shift dress and a maxi dress, while the Limited Collection presents Toni’s swan designs in a T-shirt, a tunic dress and a zip-fronted knee-length dress. One of these pieces is to feature in an edition of the Mail on Sunday’s YOU magazine on March 11, 2012. Toni says of her latest commercial success: “I think the garments look fantastic and I now see the prints from a different perspective. Seeing the final pieces has made me so proud.”
Further print designs by the selected designers are expected to feature in M&S’s product ranges spring and autumn 2012. Beth Pryor has also enjoyed a five-week work placement with the company. Beth says: “I had a great time learning new skills and working in a professional studio environment with such wonderful teams.”
The designs of Toni and fellow Texprint designer Carol Pau are to feature on dynamic bed linens in the Home range and will be widely available through M&S stores.
Paris Fashion Week: Lauren Bowker for Peachoo + Krejberg
02 March 2012 by Editor
When highly innovative designer Lauren Bowker (Texprint 2011) told us some while ago that she was working on a top secret project for Paris Fashion Week and that it involved working with hundreds and hundreds of feathers – we were intrigued! Now we can see the results, three amazing quill head-dresses for Paris-based Peachoo + Krejberg – a contact she made while showing with Texprint at Indigo/Première Vision in September 2011.
Lauren Bowker for Peachoo + Krejberg
This post courtesy of ARTS THREAD. See Lauren Bowker’s portfolio on ARTS THREAD with its video of the colour-changing feather structures that she created for her graduate show at the Royal College of Art.
New Horizons: Toni Lake, Francesca Colussi and Beth Pryer
07 February 2012 by Joyce Thornton
Toni Lake’s beautiful printed textile work has an ethereal, magical quality which has attracted an impressive client list. Inspired by the natural world, folk tales and fables, she produces a diverse range of designs from her skilful hand drawn and painted studies. Toni has worked with ancient painting techniques such as using egg tempera media, and has embraced digital technologies to create exciting, experimental work. Currently working for Paul Smith, she has also had remarkable success as a freelance designer, selling to Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Armani, Donna Karan Collection, Vera Wang, Ted Baker, Max Studio and LK Bennett. An exciting new collaboration between Texprint and Foundation Sponsor Marks & Spencer, saw M&S snapping up several of Toni’s designs which have been put into production and will feature in M&S’s spring 2012 womenswear ranges. Toni says: “Seeing the final pieces has made me very proud.”
Toni Lake design detail
Respected industry journal Textile View is featuring Toni’s directional stone texture print pieces in an upcoming edition. Toni says of her time with Texprint: “It was my dream to be chosen - the experiences from exhibiting with Texprint are irreplaceable for me - especially the opportunity to be mentored and receive invaluable feedback from the fantastically professional Texprint team.”
Francesca Colussi woven textiles
Francesca Colussi continues to develop her freelance career, having re-located to North Wales. Francesca’s meticulous work spans both weave and print, and in the last year of her degree course she racked up an impressive array of awards. The long list includes: The British Textile Designers Guild Award for outstanding work; The Clothworkers’ Foundation Award for innovative textiles for interiors; first prize in the Bradford Textile Society Design Competition, and more.
Francesca Colussi designs
Through exhibiting with Texprint she was awarded an internship by Fondazione Antonio Ratti, where she spent three weeks in October 2011, in Como, Italy. While exhibiting at Indigo, Paris she met James Stone of Code Studio, London, and the company has successfully sold Francesca’s designs, including several to Calvin Klein in New York. Francesca has just launched her new website where the full array of her talents can be seen.
Beth Pryer design detail
Finally, talented print designer Beth Pryer enjoyed a five-week design placement with M&S’s womenswear print and accessories team. She says: “I had a great time learning new skills and working in a professional studio environment with such wonderful teams. I am looking forward to seeing how the prints the company bought from me and the other Texprint designers will emerge this year. It's very exciting to have been given this opportunity!
Beth Pryer printed textile
Exhibiting with Texprint at Indigo, Paris was a great experience and a real privilege to be able to display and sell my work. I sold several designs, but importantly, I also used my time to network. A few studios were interested in possible freelance work, so I took close note of their stands and their distinct styles in order to determine whether I could see myself designing for them. It worked out well – and I’m now successfully freelancing. The contacts I made at Indigo are invaluable - and I continue to pursue these leads and opportunities. I’m also applying for further internships to build up my knowledge and experience. I’m determined and I won’t give up! The Texprint team were a great support and encouragement to me. If I hadn't been given this opportunity to excel, I don't think I'd have as much confidence as I now do in my ability.”
New Horizons: Marie Parsons, Allison Pilling and Ruth Duff
07 January 2012 by Joyce Thornton
2011 was an eventful and exciting year for all of Texprint’s 24. In the second of a series of updates, we highlight some of the exciting developments in the burgeoning careers of these talented textile designers. Here Allison Pilling, Marie Parsons and Ruth Duff share some of their Texprint experiences.
Marie Parsons, decorative trunk
Marie Parsons began an exciting new job in September 2011 as colour and material designer for the luxury car company Jaguar, based in Leeds. She says: “I am really enjoying the unexpected direction in which my career is moving.” Marie’s distinctive and imaginative mixed media work has application for both fashion and interiors.
Marie Parsons, shoes
She explains, “My new job is really opening my eyes, I am learning so much and really enjoying the challenge. I also intend to start working on a range of my own accessories in 2012 and will I continue to sell embroidery and mixed media work as a freelance designer, which I have been doing successfully since 2008.” For Marie, exhibiting with Texprint was a great opportunity to showcase her work: “I found that that the direct discussion and communication with industry professionals was one of the most insightful aspects of my Texprint experience. It was really valuable to listen to buyers and designers discussing how they would potentially use my fabrics and reproduce my techniques.”
Allison Pilling, printed textile
For printed textile specialist Allison Pilling the experience of exhibiting with Texprint in 2011 was confidence-boosting and career-changing: “I was excited about exhibiting at Indigo, Paris, and then I sold 26 designs! I was in complete shock. I sold 10 designs to a Brazilian company and then within 10 minutes I sold another 10 designs to a French company. Everything happened really quickly! I also sold five designs to Agnès B.
Allison Pilling, printed textile design
Exhibiting at Indigo gave me such a great insight into how the design world works. I hadn't previously considered working for myself - but I now know that this is possible - and that my designs would sell. It has opened so many doors - to work with companies from around the world. When I left university, I was dreading being out in the ‘big bad world’ – but now I'm really excited.”
Ruth Duff, selection of woven fabrics
Finally, weave specialist Ruth Duff is now working at Lovat Mill in the Scottish Borders. The company is renowned for its production of tweed fabrics and Ruth is working in the design department during a year’s placement. Ruth found her time as one of the Texprint 24 incredibly valuable. She says: “Indigo, Paris was a fantastic opportunity and a great experience. I didn’t know what to expect from the week but it was a real confidence boost to have interest and sales from design companies in the industry. It was a big learning curve; displaying and valuing my work and sticking to the original price that I had worked out was fair - through to writing invoices. I had a couple of sales at the show and I spoke to many designers from various companies who gave me some great feedback about my collections. I now have many contacts for future commissions.”
Look out for further updates on more of the Texprint 24 coming soon.
New Horizons: Emma Shipley, Momo Wang and Harriet Toogood
23 December 2011 by Joyce Thornton
2011 has been a momentous year for all of Texprint’s 24. In the first of a series of updates, we highlight some of the exciting developments in the fledgling careers of these talented emerging textile designers. Here, Emma Shipley, Momo Wang and Harriet Toogood share some of their Texprint experiences.
Emma Shipley’s design work - a wonderful mix of fine draftsmanship combined with vibrant colour - has attracted a long queue of clients. Emma’s covetable scarves are now on sale at the prestigious London designer store, Browns. Added to this, her collaboration with Tomasz Donocik, Jewellery Designer of the Year 2011, resulted in a display in November 2011 at London jeweller Garrard; a unique combination of Emma’s silk scarves with embellished jewellery elements. This display has now transferred to the Garrard concession at Harvey Nichols in London until January 2012. Other projects include design for interiors, both fabrics and wallpaper, which will go on sale in 2012. Emma will exhibit at London Fashion Week in Feburary 2012, launching her new accessories collection for autumn/winter 2012/13.
Emma Shipley at her stand, Indigo, Paris 2011
Limited edition prints of Emma’s beautiful drawings were recently on show in the Great Room of interior design company 1508’s building in central London. The interest in the drawings themselves came about through exhibiting with Texprint. Emma has also been commissioned to create an installation piece for apparel giant VF Corporation’s Innovation Summit, to be held in March 2012 at its headquarters in the US.
Emma says: “It was fantastic to be selected by Texprint, and to win the Pattern prize. I had the opportunity to exhibit in London, Paris, Shanghai and Hong Kong, as well as travelling to Como to visit some great traditional silk printing mills. The response to my work was so positive, and I’ve made some great contacts with potential clients, stockists and suppliers.”
Momo Wang’s playful spirit and love of colour and texture is distilled in her imaginative mixed-media work.
Momo Wang's textiles showcased in her graduate collection 2011
Momo has now established her own studio in Dalston, London and has launched her own brand called MoshrooM. Her funky, fun handcraft line is now available to buy through the website Etsy.
Garment detail, Momo Wang
Momo says: “It was such a lovely experience for me to exhibit with Texprint. It has been so helpful - I sold designs and I’ve got all the payments! I’ve been commissioned by a Shanghai company though exhibiting at Indigo and I’m now designing for them. I am so happy to go to my studio every day and do my work.”
Fabric detail, Harriet Toogood 2011
Finally, Harriet Toogood’s outstanding work in weave saw her scoop two prestigious awards this year: the Space prize at Texprint London, and then the Woolmark Texprint Award in support of the Campaign for Wool at Indigo, Paris. Harriet’s bold work is characterised by her creative use of materials, such as mixing plastics with wool for a fresh approach to woven textiles. Harriet says: “I haven't stopped since graduating and being part of Texprint London. Without Texprint I would not have had the opportunities or experiences that I have had over the last few months, I have loved every minute of it!
Harriet Toogood (centre) with Chloe Hambiln and David Bradley visiting a Ratti print facility during ComOn 2011
Each trip - London, Shanghai, Paris and Como - has been of great benefit and also fun! I’ve now started a six-month paid placement at Camira Fabrics in Leeds, and I’m there until April.“Through Texprint, it was really interesting to see what other graduates are doing across the country and I have made some really good friends along the way.”
Look out for further updates on more of the Texprint 24 in early 2012.
Lauren Bowker: textiles, art, science
23 November 2011 by Joyce Thornton
Lauren Bowker is a maverick who works at the intersection of textiles, art and science. One of Texprint’s 24 from 2011 and a recent RCA MA printed textiles graduate, her practice is a world away from the conventional route of creating patterned fabrics. Her vision lies in the exciting possibilities opened up by advances in printing inks, new technology and techniques. Lauren is inspired by “making the invisible, visible” and her work has produced a number of exciting and unusual outcomes.
Lauren Bowker: cabinet detail, RCA Work in Progress exhibition 2011
Intriguing is a word that best describes much of Lauren’s work – her exhibit for the Work in Progress exhibition at the RCA in January 2011 caused many visitors to stop and ponder. Entitled ‘Several stages to show the release of a phoenix’, it was a precisely arranged curiosity cabinet, reminiscent of a Victorian pharmacy, which contained glass jars holding specimens of charred paper, fabric and tools. Lauren revealed the mysterious finished concept at her final exhibition at the RCA in the shape of a fictional creature encased in a vintage glass display case. The magic began with a flick of a hidden switch as the ‘bird’ began to move and its feathers dramatically changed colour.
Feather detail, printed with thermochromic inks
The science behind this fascinating work involves the use of thermochromic inks. Lauren’s exploration of the uses of these and other ‘smart’ inks and materials is where her true interest lies. As well as currently developing possibilities for use in the ‘theatre of fashion’ for shows and exhibitions, Lauren’s work also holds the promise of more serious applications in healthcare. For example, colour changing inks can be highly useful in creating visual alerts for medical staff as warning of physiological changes. Lauren has recently secured a position as an assistant at the Northumbria University’s London-based research hub, and will soon be working with leading academics on an exciting, on-going project called Active Materials for Living.
Lauren Bowker at London Printworks Trust
In addition, Lauren has been given studio space at Brixton-based charity London Printworks Trust; an opportunity made possible through a bursary from the Leverhulme Trust. This will give her access to facilities to be able to continue her personal creative work. James Bosley, Texprint supporter and senior printmaker at London Printworks Trust, has been instrumental in assisting Lauren in this crucial stage of her career.
Lauren in the print room at LPT
A whirlwind recent few months has seen Lauren exhibit with Texprint in London, Shanghai and Paris. This generated much interest and resulted in freelance commissions which have kept Lauren very busy, as well as travelling across the UK to speak at various universities about her pioneering work.
Lauren is pushing the boundaries of what textiles can be, and Texprint was quick to recognise and support the exciting potential of this young creative with her innovative and original approach.
To see Lauren speak about her work, visit this RCA video:
Website : http://www.phnx.co/ Contact: email@example.com
For more on Active Materials for Living research at Northumbria
London Printworks Trust is a registered charity, based in Brixton, South London, with impressive printing facilities. The Trust’s work spans many activities and its aims include forging stronger links between art and design, providing support for small businesses and offering educational activities within the local community and beyond. In addition, it works to provide continuing professional development and has links with larger commercial companies that also use its facilities.
Texprint prizewinners take part in ComOn, Italy
08 November 2011 by Joyce Thornton
Four Texprint prize winners participated in the ComOn initiative, held in Como, Italy from October 17 to 22, 2011. Set up to celebrate and support emerging European talent in textiles, fashion, design and art, and as an introduction to the strengths of the Como textile industry, this great event is now in its fourth year. Prize winners David Bradley, Harriet Toogood, Chloe Hamblin and Emma Shipley travelled to Como for the week’s series of presentations, workshops and visits to some of Italy’s most prestigious mills.
Texprint designers visit the Como Silk Museum
Joining them in this wonderful experience were two other designers from Texprint 2011; Lok Ting Carol Pau who won an internship with Clerici Tessuto and Amy Jo Lewis who will intern at the Taiana company.
Chiara Francina, Curator at Fondazione Antoni Ratti, Museo del Tessuto, reveals samples from their archive
Highlights of ComOn this year included high profile visits to the Como Silk Museum and the Antonio Ratti Foundation where the young designers had the opportunity to see some of the foundation’s tremendous archive which dates back to the 15th Century. Curator Chiara Francina presented some of the textile treasures to the designers. They also visited the Ratti Group’s design studio to see some design work destined for top-flight Italian designers and their state-of-the-art print production processes. Texprint alumnus Andrew Boyd, winner of Texprint’s 2010 Colour prize, is happily employed by the group following his success last year.
Chloe Hamblin, Harriet Toogood and David Bradley visit a Ratti print production unit.
Inspiring presentations during the week included a dynamic and somewhat provocative talk given by David Shah, the respected owner and publisher of Textile View, and a thought-provoking presentation from Li Edelkoort, the renowned trend forecaster, on future trends for spring 2013. Texprint’s Peter Ring-Lefevre also spoke at the opening event.
Lok Ting Carol Pau creating beachwear designs for Parah during ComOn
During the week, Texprint’s Lok Ting Carol Pau won a competition to create beachwear designs organised by the Como-based brand Parah. Alongside the event, Francesca Colussi, another designer highlighted at this year’s Texprint showcase, had the opportunity to participate in an intense three-week textile course organised by the Antonio Ratti Foundation. This course is led by Tal Lancman, one of the founders of the Interweave studio in Paris, and a former creative editor of Textile View.
The Italian trade organisation Confindustria Como organises ComOn, and it represents the core 300 Como-based textile companies. Its generous support and connection with Texprint has provided an invaluable and unforgettable experience for some of our talented designers this year. ComOn’s mission to be a hub of creativity in Europe fits with Texprint’s own ethos to support and highlight some of the best emerging UK textile designers.
Texprint at Interstoff Asia Essential, Hong Kong
20 October 2011 by Editor
Texprint completed its 2011 exhibition programme with a showcase stand at Hong Kong’s prestigious textile show Interstoff Asia Essential, October 6-8, 2011.
Displaying the work of David Bradley (Body Award), Chloe Hamblin (Colour Award), Emma Shipley (Pattern Award), and Harriet Toogood (Space Award and Woolmark Texprint Award in support of Campaign for Wool), it proved a key draw for buyers and designers from China and HK-based manufacturers and brands.
John Woodruffe, Deputy Trade Commissioner of UK Trade & Investment in Hong Kong, also visited the exhibition.
Texprint has enjoyed a long connection with Messe Frankfurt, having first showed internationally at Interstoff in Frankfurt in 1990. Hong Kong based Wendy Wen, the Director who oversees all Messe Frankfurt's Textile Fairs in Greater China, has for some years been instrumental in bringing Texprint to Interstoff Asia Essential.
To compliment this presentation of design excellence, Texprint’s chairman Barbara Kennington – an internationally-renowned design expert and founding creative director of forecasting site WGSN - presented a seminar during the exhibition on Inspirational Trends in Textiles. Using inspirational images of the innovative design work created by Texprint stars of 2011, she highlighted the key trends emerging in terms of end use, colour and pattern across all disciplines.
“The Hong Kong and China markets are increasingly looking to British textile talent and Interstoff Asia’s invaluable sponsorship means that Texprint designers are able to connect with these exciting markets in a highly credible way” says Kennington.
The Texprint 24; Indigo highlights 2011
09 October 2011 by Joyce Thornton
The Texprint 24 exhibited at the textile design show Indigo, Paris, September 20 – 22. For these talented textile designers, chosen from over 200 graduates nominated by their colleges, this was their first experience of selling their work alongside professional, established designers.
This prestigious showcase in Paris 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 immediate success of this year’s group was tremendous and with many contacts made and discussions initiated, the positive effects of the show will be felt for many months to come.
Nino Cerruti (centre) views design work by Amy Jo Lewis
Allison Pilling’s colourful prints were tremendously successful. She says: “I sold more than I ever imagined. I was just excited about exhibiting – then I sold 26 designs! I was in complete shock! Brazilian company, La Estampa bought 10 designs, and then I sold another 10 to French company Atoll. American company LeSportsac also bought a design; with the buyers giving me a lot of good advice. They were really complimentary; it was a great confidence boost. I then sold five designs to Agnès B. Agnès is using three of these as part of a new collection. Before Indigo, I hadn't considered the possibility of working for myself and setting up my own company, but I now know that it’s possible - and that my designs would sell. This has opened so many doors... I now have possibilities of working in New York and with other companies from around the world - it’s crazy! When I left university, I was dreading being out in the big bad world, but all that has changed - I'm now really excited about the future.”
Woolmark Judges at Texprint, Indigo, Paris
Knitwear specialist Harri Batty thoroughly enjoyed her experience in Paris; she says: “Indigo was a great success for me - I sold pieces to French labels Didier Parakian and Bleu, Blanc Rouge. I found the selling experience invaluable - writing invoices and discussing sales with clients is nerve racking stuff ... but having the support of the Texprint team made this tricky task a little less scary. The feeling you get from selling is so exciting, it is amazing and reassuring to know that people in the industry want to buy the designs that you so carefully thought about and hand crafted. It spurs you on - for me it was about moving from being a student to a designer.”
Marie Parsons shows buyers her work at Indigo, Paris
Weaver Amy Jo Lewis also felt this transition keenly: “Indigo was a wonderful experience that at long last made me feel like a professional designer as opposed to a student. It was extremely interesting to see what type of customers were attracted to my work – as it was not necessarily where I had initially pitched my collection. Sportswear company Lululemon Athletica was the biggest fan of my work. I’m excited to see how the designers incorporate my designs into their collections. I was also really delighted when H&M bought one of my favourite pieces for a future collection.I also had really positive feedback from a great variety of other industry visitors including, Nino Cerruti, Timothy Everett, Alexander Wang, Nathan Jenden, Maison Anna Heylen and Robert Rodriguez. Indigo was an invaluable learning curve regarding aspects of the design industry that we are not taught at university, such as ways of displaying your work, invoicing correctly, talking professionally to potential clients – including being willing to say no to them at times. I’m now about to begin a two-month traineeship with Tessitura Taiana Virgilio Spa in Lake Como, Italy.”
Emma Shipley’s graphic prints attracted a continual stream of interest. Her lovely scarves were selling fast to individual buyers, and both Parisian and American retailers are currently in discussion with her. In the UK, Browns of South Molton Street will be stocking Emma’s scarves from November.
The Texprint 24 with Agnes B and Barbara Kennington at Indigo, Paris
Weave specialist and the Woolmark Texprint Prize winner Harriet Toogood also found her Paris trip an invaluable experience, she explains: “It exceeded my expectations – my highlight was winning the Woolmark Texprint Award - I was over the moon, yet shocked! I had some great interest and feedback from industry visitors, and I have learnt so much from what they said. I sold some pieces on the final day - I was so delighted when an hour before we took the stands down, I got to write out two invoices. As well as all of that, I was conscious that I was part of a great bunch of people - I could not have asked for a better week.”
These are just a few highlights from an exciting few days. Aside from individual sales, 45 freelance opportunities arose, as well as nine firm job offers and 22 commissions. Beyond those mentioned above, industry visitors to the Texprint village included global sportswear brand Nike; fashion retailers Accessorize and Victoria’s Secret; designers from Louis Vuitton and Roland Mouret himself.
Texprint in China: the 10 Spinexpo travel prize winners exhibit their work in Shanghai
07 September 2011 by GGHQ Fashion Intelligence
The winners of the Spinexpo travel prize are presenting their creative and diverse work at the international exhibition of yarn and fibres for the knitwear industry, held at the new World Expo and Conference Centre in the Pudong district of the city, the site of last year’s World Expo. The show opened September 6 and closes tomorrow, September 8, 2011.
The Texprint group display presents the edited highlights from 10 graduate textile designers’ collections as part of Spinexpo’s New Generation presentation of trends for autumn/winter 2012. The designers taking part are Harri Batty, Lauren Bowker, David Bradley, Chloe Hamblin, Amy Lewis, Karina Klucnika, Emma Shipley, Harriet Toogood, Catherine Tremellen and Egle Vaituleviciute.
Chloe Hamblin speaking with Peter Wickenden, consul, head of trade.
On opening day Peter Wickenden, consul, head of trade, and Fran Fu, senior trade & investment officer, from the British Consulate-General Shanghai, came to meet the designers to find out more about their work and offer insight into business opportunities in China.
Interest in the Texprint programme and in the designers’ work from the Chinese fashion and design press has been high: two meetings were held yesterday to brief journalists from magazines including China Textile, China Apparel, China Textile Leader and View International Fashion & Fabrics China. Taking part in the first meeting, Peter Wickenden said the Texprint group showed that the UK is “a hugely creative country, bursting with talent and innovation – this is an excellent follow up to the British pavilion at the Expo”. He added that the UK offers not just creative talent but excellent educational opportunities and training in these fields, noting that 80,000 Chinese students are studying in the UK.
Fashion market professionals from Europe, the US, Asia and Australia have been very excited by the technical and aesthetic excellence presented by the designers. Visitors to the stand include brands, retailers, knitters and spinners, notably Burberry, Marks & Spencer, Hugo Boss, Lineapiu, Mohair South Africa, Lanificio Dell’Olivo and Esquel Group.
Spinexpo Travel prize winners exhibit with Texprint in Shanghai
In speaking with the Texprint group, it’s clear they are maximising the experience of participating in the show, learning about marketing, presentation and international business relations and more besides. “It’s exciting to learn how a show like this works; how trends are put together; what it’s like to be an exhibitor rather than a visitor to a show and how that opens up your connections in the industry even more,” said knit designer Harri Batty, who participated in yesterday’s press meetings. “It’s wonderful to have a response from another part of the world, up until now I had only shown my work in the UK.”
During the show’s set up the designers assisted Spinexpo’s creative director and Texprint alumna Sophie Steller to put together the central trends displays, gaining valuable insight into the workings of an international fashion trade event. Texprint’s Colour prize winner Chloe Hamblin said: “I’m learning about event curation and what business opportunities are out there beyond being a designer-maker such as colour and design consultation.”
The designers are taking the opportunity to meet with Spinexpo’s exhibitors, forging links and learning more about the market. Printer Lauren Bowker said: “It’s a good way to meet suppliers and manufacturers. I thought minimums would be a lot higher. By the end of these three days we will have made lots of great contacts, thanks to Karine Van Tassel [head of Spinexpo] who has been very generous in helping us with information.”
The Texprint 24: 2011’s mixed media mavericks
02 September 2011 by Joyce Thornton
Many of the designers among this year’s Texprint 24 are pushing the definition of textiles in the 21st century, employing both their skills and the power of their imaginations to explore many new exciting avenues.
Lauren Bowker (RCA MA) has a unique approach that fuses creativity with scientific curiosity. In her recent work she uses thermal chromatic dyes to create experimental textiles and installations. Lauren is fascinated by the possibilities of "making the invisible, visible". Her work spans a wide ranging sphere; from looking at practical applications for use in sportswear, to creating extravagant, intriguing installations that capture the imagination.
Central Saint Martins graduate Tianmo Wang's playful and colourful textiles are inspired by traditional costumes from Montenegro - and also by encapsulating memories of the famous Central Saint Martins print room. Momo refelcts on the personal, emotional effect of the college's move to it's new location in London's Kings Cross, translating her ideas into imagainitive, adventurous yet wearable pieces.
Quirky, colourful graphic characters and creatures are the focus of University College Falmouth graduate Rhiannon Williams's work. Employing print, appliqué, embroidery and beading, her pieces exude naive charm and focus on everyday observations. Her fabrics have great personality and appeal particularly to contemporary markets.
Lok Ting Carol Pau
Lok Ting Carol Pau from Central St Martins, works imaginatively, creating fantastic scenarios to inspire her textiles. She mixes digital technology and hand crafted processes to create her vibrant printed and woven fabrics, moving effortlessly between the two disciplines.
University College Falmouth graduate Abigail Gardiner finds inspiration in the Art Deco period and in oriental design, for her sumptuous embroidered and beaded fabrics. Creating through ‘doing’, her bold, imaginative and intricate pieces adorn silk, velvet, wool and leather. Abilgail’s prolific output reflects her passion and dedication to her work.
RCA MA graduate Marie Parsons's diverse inspirations are fired by her travels and her own photography. Material investigation informs her distinctive personal style, which she applies to both interiors and fashion. As well as creating impressive decorative items for interiors, Marie has already collaborated with fashion designers, including Louise Gray - producing striking, decorative accessories for catwalk shows.
Finally, Birmingham City University graduate Alydia Cooper’s vibrant and decorative embroidered fabrics have great tactile qualities. The fun creepy crawlies of her Blissful Bugs collection
The work of all of the Texprint 24 can be seen soon at Indigo, part of Première Vision Pluriel, in Paris, September 20-22, 2011.
The Texprint 24: 2011’s print pioneers
28 August 2011 by Joyce Thornton
The printed textile designers chosen for Texprint 2011 are injecting new dynamics into both fashion and interior fields through their individual visions and skilled applications.
RCA MA graduate Emma Shipley's meticulously precise drawings from the natural world are distinctive and beautiful. She translates her original artwork into detailed prints for her coetable scarves and her work also has wide application for interiors; she has created fabric, rugs and wallpaper. Her current imagery features exotic animals, including apes, tigers and snakes depicted in a decorative tangle of lush vegetation.
Chelsea College of Art graduate Georgia Dorey creates interchangeable, wearable garments to showcase her talent in printed textiles. Inspired by the seasons, she explores experimental processes across wide ranging fabric bases. Georgia has a light-hearted approach, her garments and accessories possess a playful quality – but the depth of her investigation into the possibilities of print is thorough and serious. She says: “My work explores the idea that a textile surface can work with the human form to shape, alter, enhance or even aid the wearer.”
David Bradley (RCA MA) creates dazzling textiles for fashion, inspired by the illusion of movement in surface pattern. Colour, pattern, pleating and layering create mesmerising effects, for which he won the Texprint Body prize.
Chelsea College of Art graduate Holly Holmes presents a fresh, contemporary print collection for fashion with a focus on graphic shapes, clean lines and sharp colour. Mixing digital print with traditional screen-printing, her designs show an evident a retro flavour. Holly’s bold, fun handwriting works perfectly for both fashion and interiors.
Allison Pilling, who graduated from Leeds College of Art and Design, creates gloriously rich prints inspired by the 1960s: she mixes references from the music of the period, the Space Race and paisley scarves to create her intricate and desirable pieces. She combines exotic, kaleidoscopic colour with clever, layered complex pattern and distinctive quirky touches in her outstanding work.
Nottingham Trent University graduate Toni Lake has excellent drawing skills that underpin her beautiful prints. She gleans her original images from the natural world and she uses pencil, watercolour and other media to create the meticulous artwork for her textiles. Her illustrative designs have a narrative quality and hint at fairytales and fables behind the imagery.
Finally, Beth Pryer from Bucks New University creates multi-layered, sumptuously-coloured and complex prints that have a random, almost chaotic beauty. Psychedelic and bohemian qualities can be detected in her experimental use of colour and pattern. Multi- layered, oriental and floral inspirations have combined to create exciting and fresh modern textiles.