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Review of the year - Texprint 2013: Trained in Britain
31 December 2013 by Editor
Since early in 2013 when new initiatives were tinged with a certain financial caution, I’m delighted to confirm that Texprint made strong progress throughout the year, with some considerable success on the sponsorship front.
The Texprint mantra of ‘supporting creative futures’ has never been more true than in 2013. Under the aegis of our Trained in Britain initiative Texprint introduced a new Hero Mentors scheme, and with sponsors The Drapers’ Company has also initiated a pilot for longer-term Trained in Britain internships in industry, the first with Pattern Prize sponsor Liberty Art Fabrics, which will take on its first Texprint Innovation Intern in January 2014.
The support shown by Texprint alumni for the Hero Mentors scheme has been outstanding - 24 new alumni matched with 24 established textile designers, passing on their wealth of personal experience and deep understanding of the textile, fashion and interiors industries to the next generation of textile talent, helping to make the period of experience gathering between graduation and eventual career even more meaningful.
All our Hero Mentors are highly regarded in the textile industry, a significant number run their own international businesses, and many already give their valuable time to join the rigorous Texprint Selection Panels. We are extremely proud of the strong relationship Texprint has maintained with its alumni over the years and continue to feature many success stories on our website.
Back in July 2013, the Texprint London event, where the selected designers exhibit together for the very first time, was rethought through necessity to create a ‘pop-up gallery’ feel (the gallery space kindly donated by Chelsea College of Art & Design). Having decided to forego the private view, stand build and alumni display of past years, the impact of this new approach was surprisingly positive with the invited visitors spending much more time than previously reviewing work and talking to each of the designers, who found this an invaluable experience. The judging of the Texprint Prizes, donated by The Clothworker's Foundation, Liberty Art Fabrics and Pantone, and the second Lululemon Texprint Award, also took place at the event.
In Paris in September, through the generous sponsorship of Première Vision SA, the Texprint designers once again exhibited at Indigo/PV alongside professional studios; the designers’ stands ranged together down a ‘street’ in Hall 5 giving visiting international buyers and press the ideal opportunity to review the diverse and highly creative work of the 24 Trained in Britain designers. The judging for the third Woolmark Texprint Award also took place at Indigo. See photo reports, here and here.
For the first time a film documenting the Texprint designers’ Indigo experience was made - this kindly funded by Dominic Lowe of the Sanderson Art in Industry Trust, and created by RA Collaborations. Sponsors, designers and management all contributed, telling the story of the event in a new and vibrant manner. The resulting short film can be seen on the Texprint website.
2013 also saw Coutts generously hosting its second Texprint dinner at their headquarters on the Strand in London; an exciting new collaboration with interiors specialist Surface View; and for the first time, thanks to sponsor Messe Frankfurt (HK), an opportunity to exhibit the prize winners work at what is now the major Asian textile fair, Intertextile Shanghai.
Florence Angelica Colson, Texprint 2013, delightfully, sums up her experience: “Texprint for me has been the best thing I could have wanted to happen to me after graduating; it’s been an amazing opportunity. From the word go, great things have come from being part of Texprint - after the London exhibition I was selected to licence designs to Surface View, I was chosen to go to Italy to intern for 2 months, and although I did not know at the time, I won one of the Lululemon Texprint awards.
Italy was a weird and wonderful experience and from this I also ended up exhibiting at Mare di Moda, Cannes, which without Texprint I definitely would not have done! Also being handed the means to exhibit and trade at Indigo in Paris under my own design name was amazing and something that none of us would have been able to do by ourselves without the help and support of Texprint. Texprint has been a brilliant support network, both mentally and financially, and the other Texprinters have become like a little family to me after the experiences we have shared! Anyone chosen for Texprint is very lucky and I am so grateful for everything.”
Texprint sponsors have long understood the vital importance of reinvigorating their industry by encouraging creative young textile designers to form part of their future heritage.
Our heartfelt thanks to all our sponsors for their support, their vision, and for their steadfast investment in the next generation of Trained in Britain textile designers - and our very best wishes for 2014.
Meet the judges: womenswear designer and consultant Madeleine Press
05 September 2013 by
Texprint’s selection process is dependent on the generosity of industry members who take a day out of their work schedules to give professional guidance to the new designers under scrutiny for a coveted place on the mentoring programme. The same is true of the prize judges who spend an intense afternoon reviewing the work and interviewing the 24 designers who are in line to receive one of Texprint’s four awards for Body, Space, Colour and Pattern. Texprint was delighted that womenswear designer and consultant Madeleine Press was able to join the prize judging panel this year.
“Texprint is a great launch pad for new designers as they emerge from college - this time is both daunting and exciting for them. They will meet a broad selection of industry professionals who will view and talk honestly with them about their work. It is a great opportunity to have that experience before they go into the workplace and have to explain themselves,” says Madeleine. “It gives them a competitive edge, to not only compare themselves against their peers at college, but with the cream of the crop. The selected designers also have the opportunity to show at Indigo / Première Vision - to have that experience is amazing.”
Madeleine reviewing the designers' work
Madeleine brought to the judging process her commercial nous and an expert eye: known as a versatile womenswear designer with a deep technical understanding, she has also been regularly sought after as a knitwear specialist. Trained in Fashion Design with a print specialism at Ravensbourne, Madeleine has created women’s ready-to-wear collections, outerwear and denim lines, but is actually completely self-taught in knit design. “I spent an enormous amount of time in factories to learn what I needed to know. I come at it thinking, ‘what techniques can I use to create the garment I want?’ rather than just making a garment with two arms.”
On leaving college, she says: “The first bit of mass manufacturing I did was for an Elle reader offer, I had to source and arrange production of 500 skirts. I quickly became used to working on a big scale.”
Since then, Madeleine has had a wholesale brand, Press & Bastyan, which became a retail chain, and then her own eponymous womenswear designer brand, Madeleine Press that was a regular exhibitor at London, Paris and New York Fashion Weeks. She has worked as a consultant designer for brands from the UK to Japan, including John Smedley, Lamberto Losani, Daks, Onward and Sazaby League.
She brought to the judging panel a very clear view on the practicalities of textile design: “Whatever the textile is, whether for furnishing or clothing, it has an end use. In college you are free to design without commercial restraint, which I think is great. When you are conceptualising something and starting on a project you should be free,” she explains. “Then it is important to understand how to channel those ideas into a product that is right for its end use - what it’s going to look like once it’s in a garment or as a piece of furnishing. If it’s in a piece of furnishing you have even greater longevity to think about than fast fashion or designer product.”
As a knitwear designer, she considers the placement of stitch, seams and colour in the garment to be of paramount importance and something she considered when judging. “You have to think about how it will look wrapped around the body. I was looking for people who had an awareness of that,” she says. “In the commercial world if you have an understanding of that to start with you will have a heads-up over someone else. I’ve been running my own businesses for 20 years and every penny I’ve spent on my own business has to turn to profit. In the commercial world everything has to work.”
What advice did you receive when you were starting in business that you would like pass on? “The main thing I would share is something my parents told me: do everything with your eyes wide open, don’t narrow your options too quickly. Do something that scares you, as well. You have to allow yourself to take risks and jump in. And I think you need to do everything with a smile and say ‘thank you’.”
Thank you Madeleine!
The 2013 judges with all the designers
Texprint 2013: Meet the judges, Emma Kidd of Selfridges
08 August 2013 by
Emma Kidd, creative researcher at Selfridges, plays a vital role as part of Selfridges creative team. Selfridges opened its doors on Oxford Street, London in 1909 and revolutionised the retail arena, making department stores a site of entertainment and creating an iconic London landmark. Over 100 years later, with four locations in the UK, Selfridges continues to innovate and entertain shoppers. Selfridges is the only department store to be twice awarded the accolade of the Best Department Store in the World.
In July 2013, Emma joined the special prize judging panel in London to select the shortlisted designers for this year’s Texprint Awards in Body, Space, Pattern and Colour.
Emma reviewing the work
How did you find judging the Texprint Awards, can you tell us what you were most excited about?
I was really excited to see what the future holds in terms of textile design. It was an extremely talented and driven group but the diversity within it was really refreshing. I didn't see a trend stylistically or technically - just individual magic.
How important is it for you to support the next generation of textile designers?
At Selfridges we are passionate about encouraging emerging talent primarily from the a number of creative sectors including fashion. Textile design is at the core of fashion and is often what drives fashion forward. The next generation of textile designers will influence our future catwalks and what we wear every day. Let's make it an exciting future.
The Texprint programme selects designers who have trained in UK art and design schools, regardless of where they come from originally. Why is the UK art school system so good at producing design talent?
You can't beat Britain for imagination and creativity and I think this is where we have the edge. For a supposedly reserved nation, the creative industries are insuppressible.
Emma with judging panel and the 24 Texprint 2013 selected designers
Can you give me a brief outline of the role of the Selfridges’ creative team?
The team is headed up by Linda Hewson, the director of windows & creative, and our team reports to Alannah Weston, the creative director of Selfridges. The role of the creative team is ultimately a conceptual one; researching and developing ideas that inspire everything from architecture and spaces within the store, to seasonal and creative store-wide schemes, product development and customer experience. In a sense we are a tool that ensures Selfridges can evolve in a way that is consistent with Alannah's vision, is in touch with the world around us, and always has a beady eye on the future.
Could you give me an idea what a typical day is like for you?
I'm not sure that there is such a thing as a typical day in the creative office. Every day is different! We like to vary the way we work according to project. However, we do generally have lots of meetings between departments, and of course for brainstorming and generating ideas. As a researcher, I like to start my day catching up on my favourite blogs and checking the day's news.
What is the best thing about working at Selfridges? What do you think sets Selfridges apart from other department stores?
I would say the people. As we work with lots of other departments, I am always meeting new people and I am constantly blown away by their knowledge, expertise and passion for their subject.
Personally, I would say that the character of Selfridges is unique. We're a ‘thinking’ brand but don't like to take ourselves too seriously. There will always be some kind of wit or humour, a touch of the magical or surreal, and we like to have fun.
What’s next in store for Selfridges - are you working on any upcoming projects that you can tell us about?
Yes! Our Bright Young Things of 2013 launches late August. Previous BYTs have gone on to be very successful in the creative industries; from Simone Rocha to Patternity. This, the third Bright Young Things scheme, features fifteen UK-based emerging talents from the worlds of fashion, accessories, art, animation, set design and food. Each fledgling designer will take over one of the world-renowned window displays at Selfridges London and their creations will be on sale in the dedicated Bright Young Things Concept Store and Selfridges.com.
Where would you suggest a first time Selfridges shopper should check out in store?
Come and spend the day! I have to say I love our new Wine Shop and Harry Gordon's bar. It's a really cool space designed by Campaign Architects. The cocktails are delicious and the wine selection outstanding. A great way to unwind after a busy day shopping.
Texprint 2013: meet the judges, Deanne Schweitzer of Lululemon
18 July 2013 by
Deanne Schweitzer is the SVP of Design and Creation at Lululemon Athletica. The yoga-inspired activewear brand is both a Texprint Foundation Sponsor as well as a Prize Sponsor: Deanne will select one Texprint designer from a short list including Gillian Louise Murphy (Glasgow School of Art), Pepe Lowe (Chelsea College of Art), Luise Martin (Royal College of Art and previously Ecole Duperré, Paris), Cherica Haye (RCA and previously Central St Martins) and Florence Angelica Colson (Leeds College of Art) as the recipient of this year’s Lululemon Athletica Award, which includes a prize of £1,000 plus a three-month paid internship at the brand’s headquarters in Vancouver.
Lululemon was founded in 1998 by Chip Wilson; and the first retail store opened in 2000 in picturesque Kitsilano, Vancouver, and shared its space with a yoga studio. Today the technologically advanced sportswear is sold worldwide online and through its 211stores. The sense of community at the heart of the brand is propelled by in-store yoga classes and by brand ambassadors who spread the Lululemon lifestyle throughout their local communities.
How did you come to join Lululemon, please tell us about your role?
13 years ago I was the store manager of the first ever Lululemon store and I’m still working here! Then the head office was located on the store’s top floor, and my colleagues would always find me upstairs giving feedback on what was and wasn’t working! Even though I didn’t have a design background, Lululemon could tell I was very passionate about the brand and I became the head of the product team. Today I am the SVP of Design and Creation, so I’m in charge of the whole creation side of products and this involves the design team, the merchandising team, raw materials and garment development.
Do you enjoy living in Vancouver?
Vancouver is unique, it’s a very metropolitan city with great restaurants and culture, it’s also located right next to the ocean and a 45 minute drive away are some of the world’s best skiing and hiking mountains. There aren’t many places in the world where you can do all three in one day. We absolutely love sushi here; my family and I eat it at least twice a week. I think we own the market in sushi.
Deanne with her daughter in New York
Do you do yoga in the office?
When we were building the brand we often had our meetings in yoga studios, on hikes or on runs. So I think we attracted people that were excited by that lifestyle. It’s important for our staff to do yoga, we support our staff in taking two weekly sessions at nearby studios and we have a studio in our head office.
Do you plan to open any stores in London / the UK? I can see you have a few Lululemon showrooms in London, what goes on there?
When we open a showroom somewhere we are showing that we ultimately want to open a store there. We are planning on opening a store in London in the very near future and we regularly open in key areas that attract athletic, active and (hopefully) stylish guests.
This will be the second year of the Lululemon Texprint Award, how did you find working with Texprint alumni Manri Kishimoto and Sophie Reeves in the studio?
Unbelievable, they were such a pleasure to have. I think they were both really grateful for the experience so it really was a win-win situation. Having one designer from a weave background and another coming from print was a great balance and brought different perspectives into the print team which we loved. Sophie had such a good experience working with us that she is now applying to work in the Lululemon London showroom.
Lululemon’s manifesto is full of inspirational mottos such as ‘what you do to the earth, you do to yourself’. What responsibility do you think textile designers have in using environmentally-friendly textiles and techniques?
It’s really important to design something that will live in somebody’s wardrobe for a long time. I’m not a big believer in fast fashion or buying something that will end up in the garbage heap in 12 months’ time.
Lululemon has been at the forefront of technologically advanced textiles. What should we expect to see next?
Well I think the biggest trend for us now is smart textiles, technological advances mean that we are asking our apparel to do a lot more for us. We are really excited about apparel that can take somebody from day to night seamlessly.
How important is it for you to support the next generation of textile designers?
Some new designers come out of school and enter companies where they might get stifled. The Lululemon organisation makes sure to put designers into a position to be listened to and to have an impact. We are very open to be shown new ways of doing things - we are open to fresh new ideas. I truly believe that they are the voice of the future.
Deanne talking with knit designer Gillian Louise Murphy
Judging panel, from left: designer Madeleine Press, Emma Kidd of Selfridges, Deanne, and style journalist Tamsin Blanchard
All the designers with the judges
The Selection Process 2013 – judge Damian Shaw
12 June 2013 by
Please note: Due to unforeseen work commitments Damian Shaw was unable to judge Texprint 2013. The role of a merchandising director requires an extensive knowledge of a brand’s DNA – thinking about how best to translate an aesthetic for a globally diverse clientele. Damian Shaw is currently championing that task for McQ at Alexander McQueen, one of fashion’s most prominent luxury brands. On 9 July, 2013, he will join four other fashion industry experts to select special prize-winners for Body, Space, Pattern and Colour among the 24 chosen Texprint designers.
Damian Shaw / Images of McQ autumn winter 2013 collection: Style.com
Proving that an eye for style is often a small portion of the creative talent behind most in the fashion world, many may be surprised to know that Damian completed a degree at the Royal College of Music in classical piano performance before deciding to move into the world of fashion. His passion first took him to Liberty of London where he served as a buyer for nine years until moving onto become the merchandise and marketing director for the international ready-to-wear line at Chloé in 2003. After a brief stint in the same position at Julien Macdonald, Damian found his way to McQ in April 2011.
Damian views textiles from a commercial point of view, which involves examining not only the physical properties such as structure and colour, but also every aspect of its commercial potential including wearability and desirability. He shares Texprint’s passion for promoting new growth within the textile sector: “The industry runs on fresh talent. It’s important to nurture this symbiotic relationship by supporting the new generation of designers. Both sides have a lot to learn from each other – designers gain practical experience while the industry gets a fresh burst of new talent and a renewed perspective.”
Seeing as the Alexander McQueen label, and consequently McQ, has been built on design ideals that glorify a union of innovation and extreme aesthetics, it’s no wonder that Damian is enthusiastic about the circulation of new blood within the industry. Young talent often needs a platform and some support along the road to becoming the leaders of tomorrow. The company has a history of providing designers with life-changing support – Lee McQueen was helped early on by mentor Isabella Blow. Even current creative director Sarah Burton was once an intern before becoming the protégé of the late McQueen. Damian affirms that “it’s vital for those of us in the industry to pass on as much information as possible to the next generation of design talent here in the UK”.
Texprint’s Special Prizes
07 August 2012 by Editor
Encouraging and supporting British-trained talent is important to Texprint’s sponsors, however many of them go one further by awarding special prizes, experiences and internships.
Three of the four Texprint Awards - for Body, Space, Pattern and Colour - are generously sponsored by The Clothworkers’ Foundation (Space), Liberty Art Fabrics (Pattern) and Pantone X-Rite (Colour). Pantone X-Rite also gives the four winners a Pantone F+H Colour Guide.
Texprint chairman Barbara Kennington with Manri Kishimoto and Carola Seybold of prize sponsor Pantone X-Rite
The Lululemon Athletica Award was judged by Sheree Waterson, executive vice president and chief product officer of Lululemon Athletica. Although originally planning to offer one internship, Sheree was so impressed by the exciting design on offer that she simply had to invite two young designers, Manri Kishimoto and Sophie Reeves, to undertake paid 3-month internships at the Lululemon Athletica headquarters in Vancouver. Short-listed for the award were Lisa Bloomer, Dominique Caplan and Fergus Dowling.
Sophie Reeves textile, Sheree Waterson of Lululemon Athletica with Manri Kishimoto and Manri Kishimoto textile
The Woolmark Texprint Award in support of Campaign for Wool, donated by The Woolmark Company, will be judged and presented at Indigo/PremièreVision, Paris, in September. We greatly look forward to reporting on that later in the year.
The Italian trade organisation Confindustria Como represents a core of 300 Como-based textile companies. It also supports ComOn, a hub of European creativity based in Como that this year has invited six Texprint designers to participate in a week of creative sharing and interaction. The six designers selected at Texprint London by Marco Taiana for ComON are Alice Howard-Graham, Manri Kishimoto, Sophie Manners, Israel Parra-Zanabria, Sophie Reeves and Ying Wu (top image shows Body prize winner Carlo Volpi with Marco Taiana). They will visit Como in October. Reserves were Lisa Bloomer and Amber Sambrook.
Finally, and also looking ahead to October, Foundation Sponsors The Drapers’ Company, and Supporters The Worshipful Company of Weavers, are this year supporting an extraordinary opportunity for six of the designers. Sarah Burton, Manri Kishimoto, Tania Knuckey, Carlo Volpi, Ying Wu and the winner of the The Woolmark Texprint Award will travel to Hong Kong to exhibit at trade fair Interstoff Asia Essential and experience at first hand this important fashion and textile market.
All great examples of how Texprint works with all its sponsors to ensure they benefit from the relationship – knowing they are supporting British-trained talent, encouraging innovative design, and in many cases, benefiting from early access to innovative new ideas and textile concepts.
Texprint London judging: the thoughts, decisions and debates!
30 July 2012 by
This year’s Texprint special prize judging panel comprised a group of design professionals working in diverse fields from cutting edge fashion to auto design. We feel it important to highlight their comments and views on the judging process, on the four special prize winners whom they selected with almost unanimous accord, and on the future.
Judge Caroline Burstein, the creative director at Browns Fashion and founder of Molton Brown, noted that in order to select the winners it was important to see the designers’ whole portfolios, to meet them and understand their personae and the way they present their work.
Fellow judge Sheree Waterson, executive vice president and chief product officer of active sports company Lululemon Athletica, agreed, adding: “We’re being introduced to the artist’s personality. Everyone’s work was so compelling and interesting. It’s all beautiful. The twist, the deciding factor in choosing a winner, was originality.”
Renowned interior fabric designer Neisha Crosland commented: “We had to be careful we were choosing original things that we haven’t seen before on the high street.”
The panel chose Royal College of Art graduate knitwear designer Carlo Volpi as the winner of the Body Prize. Caroline explained their decision: “We all felt the same way. His use of different yarn weights, the way he put his photo shoot together. He didn’t need to explain his work. It speaks for itself. You understood where it came from. It wasn’t just one look. His colour sense is impeccable, very bold.”
Knit/mixed media designer Sarah Burton from Nottingham Trent University was chosen as the runner up. Her work focused on garments that could be worn under clothes and the judges liked her exploration of movement.
The Pattern Prize winner Ying Wu also graduated from the RCA. Neisha explained her decision making process: “At first I thought, here we go again, digital prints. Then I did a complete U-turn, the scarves could be Hermès. It’s street and skate gone up market and done exquisitely.”
Caroline was taken with Ying’s use of imagery: “You can see the culture, you can see the symbols, you don’t know what they mean but you want to know.”
The runner up was Fergus Dowling from Leeds College of Art. Paul was impressed with the “intensity into his subject” he showed in his collection of prints for menswear.
Carlo Volpi, detail of work, winner Body prize
Ying Wu, detail of work, winner Pattern prize
The work of Sarah Burton, runner up Body prize, and Fergus Dowling, runner up Pattern prize
For the Space Prize, Tania Grace Knuckey won over the judges with her multimedia work incorporating metal, textiles and more. Judge Paul Stamper – senior designer, design perspectives, Renault Design at Renault - said: “Once we saw the portfolio, it did it for us. I could relate it to something I was doing at college. She can turn her hand and make something out of anything you throw at her. It could be translated into repeats, multimedia.... She’s the wild card and that’s why I like her.” The judges were taken with Tania’s articulate explanation of her design work.
They selected RCA graduate Lily Kamper as the Space Prize runner up. Neisha remarked: “The jewellery and use of materials is beautiful. Her work could be applied to interiors, car interiors – there is coherence.” Paul commented that he could envisage her work being used for high-level luxury concept cars.
Colour Prize winner Manri Kishimoto was a universal favourite. Caroline said: “We loved her for body, pattern, we loved her for everything.”
The judges were particularly entranced with the Cental St Martins graduate’s printed garments. Sheree Waterson described her work as “outrageous, mind-blowing”. And Paul Stamper said: “You could frame and sell the illustrations of her costumes, put them in Colette now!”
RCA graduate Lisa Bloomer was chosen as runner up for her woven design work.
Tania Knuckey, detail of sketchbook, winner of Space prize
Manri Kishimoto, graduate show, winner of Colour prize
The work of Lisa Bloomer, runner up Colour prize, and Lily Kamper, runner up Space prize
The judges noted that three of the four winners and two of the runners up are RCA MA graduates. Caroline commented: “It goes to show what that extra two years does. They stand out, what can you do? Hopefully this will inspire people to further their education.”
RCA graduates Neisha and Paul agreed: “You’re absolutely ready for the market when you leave the RCA.” The Texprint management team pointed out that six out of the 24 selected designers this year are RCA MA graduates. Texprint’s chairman Barbara Kennington said: “When interviewing the 200+ graduates put forward, the interview panels aim to assess purely on the quality of work presented, as well as the individual’s commitment to succeed, but this year it was harder - we did feel that overall the standard of BA graduates had slipped – or maybe it was that the RCA MA graduates had forged ahead! We strongly believe the standard of BA has been and can be higher and better. It’s still a three-year course and there’s time to do strong work. We need to find a way to have a debate and raise the bar.”
She added: “Texprint is trying to develop and support the highest standards of textile design and creativity. We hang on by our fingernails to keep the programme going. Industry needs to also recognise that design is where it’s at and do their bit to support us.”
In conclusion, Sheree Waterson said: “Something I’m thinking about is, the world is shifting and we are going from the very complex to people simplifying their lives. It’s not government or churches any longer, it’s business and creatives that are actually changing the world. That’s who’s going to be changing the world. It’s the creative muscle that has to be exercised for everyone. These guys are paving the way for the future. They are all hugely important.”
Texprint London 2012 resource seminar
24 July 2012 by
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.
Texprint London: four prize winners chosen by industry luminaries
18 July 2012 by
Texprint London - the must-see presentation of the best new graduate textile designers from the UK – took place July 11-13, 2012 at Chelsea College of Art’s Triangle Building.
Press, fashion and textile industry guests turned out in force to support and encourage the 24 successful designers.Texprint’s chairman, Barbara Kennington said: “This was undoubtedly our most successful and buzzy Texprint London show to date, the feedback overall was terrific, which bodes well for future support.”
Judges Sheree Waterson & Paul Stamper veiw the work
Four world-renowned decision makers and designers in the fields of fashion and design selected the winners of four special prizes at the event:Caroline Burstein, creative director at Browns Fashion; textile designer Neisha Crosland; Paul Stamper, senior designer at Renault Design; and Sheree Waterson, executive vice president and chief product officer for Vancouver based sportswear company Lululemon Athletica.
Selection of work by Ying Wu
Ying Wufrom the Royal College of Art scooped the Pattern prize for her highly imaginative work. Ying’s latest pieces are fantastic visual projections of a world where the environment has been polluted and almost destroyed. Her nightmare scenarios remain beautifully colourful and decorative despite their dark content, creating fascinating and thought-provoking artistic textile pieces.
Knitted structure by Carlo Volpi
Knitwear specialist Carlo Volpi, also from the RCA, was the judge’s unanimous choice to receive the Body prize. Carlo’s great sense of colour, texture and 3D structure mixed with a light-hearted sense of fun made an impression on many visitors.
Beaded textile design by Manri Kishimoto
Also commanding much attention,Manri Kishimoto from Central St Martins College of Art & Design won the Colour prize for her bold, graphic and distinctive printed and mixed media work. Manri is inspired by nature and by birds in particular. Her work is often based on stories and features striking motifs and wonderfully detailed beaded embellishment and appliqué.
Tania Knuckey embellished leather
Finally, Tania Grace Knuckey from the RCA won the Space prize, given for the best textiles for use in interiors. The judges were impressed with Tania’s versatility and the wide variety of materials she has explored in her work including many fabric bases, leather and metal.
The prize winners each win a £1,000 prize, courtesy of prize sponsors The Clothworkers’ Foundation, Liberty Art Fabrics and Pantone X-Rite.
The Selection Process 2012 – in conversation with prize judge Neisha Crosland
06 July 2012 by
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
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
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 London 2011: a celebration of emerging textile talent
16 July 2011 by
Texprint London’s presentation of the best of the UK’s new graduate textile designers, on Thursday 14 July at Chelsea College of Art and Design, Pimlico, was a tremendous success. The 24 designers, chosen from almost 200 graduates initially nominated by their tutors, showcased their work to invited industry and press guests.
Four of the designers were awarded new prizes at the London event, judged by a panel of esteemed industry specialists:
Stuart Stockdale – design director of the great British women’s and men’s brand Jaeger. Sue Timney – textile designer, interior decorator, stylist and founder of Timney-Fowler. David Shah – founder of View Publications which publishes the industry bible Textile View. And Orla Kiely – the creative force behind the eponymous interiors and fashion brand.
They selected the following new designers for special prizes:
David Bradley (RCA MA) creates dazzling textiles for fashion, inspired by the illusion of movement in surface pattern. Employing printed optical effects, David pleats and layers his designs to mesmerising effect. This distinctive fusion of colour, fabric and pattern impressed the judges, who awarded him the Texprint Body prize.
Harriet Toogood from the University of Brighton won the Texprint Space prize, gleaning her inspiration from everyday life. She is drawn to colours and structures which she translates into bold and fresh woven fabrics.
Chelsea College of Art graduate Chloe Hamlin’s exuberant, decorative woven fabrics were selected for the Texprint Colour prize. Chloe’s starting point was the expression of birds in flight, and her final pieces zing with bright colour references derived from coloured feathers.
Emma Shipley (RCA MA) was awarded the Texprint prize for Pattern. Emma’s meticulously precise drawings from the natural world are astonishingly skilful and distinctive. She has successfully translated her original artwork into designs for scarves, fabric and wallpaper.
Texprint’s chairman Barbara Kennington says of the new prizes: “Texprint celebrates traditional and contemporary skills. The change in prizes focuses on the end use; what we wear, the world we live in – still pattern texture and colour, but we are breaking down and reinventing conventions about how textiles are viewed.”
SPINEXPO Travel Award Winners.
In addition, generous new sponsorship from SPINEXPO has enabled 10 of the chosen designers - including the four prize winners – to travel to Shanghai September 6-8, 2011, to show in SPINEXPO Pulse, a gallery within the international exhibition of fibres, yarns and knitted fabrics which will take place at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Centre. The winners are:
Egle Vaituleviciute from Chelsea College of Art,
Karina Klucnika from London Metropolitan University,
Harri Batty from Buckinghamshire New University,
Catherine Tremellen from the Royal College of Art,
Lauren Bowker from the Royal College of Art,
Amy Jo Lewis from the Royal College of Art.
Sophie Steller, head of creative development at SPINEXPO, explains: “We feel passionately about showcasing real ideas and bringing newness and the talent of these graduates to the general marketplace.”
All 24 designers will show their work at Indigo, part of Première Vision Pluriel, in Paris, September 20-22, 2011.
The Woolmark Texprint Award — a new prize recognising design excellence in fabrics created with 60% or more Merino wool — will be judged from the work on show in Paris, and will be presented at the design show Indigo, on September 21 at 3.30pm, where legendary fashion designer Agnès B will be this year’s star prize presenter.
The Selection Process 2011 - judge Stuart Stockdale
28 June 2011 by
Stuart Stockdale: international man of luxury
Jaeger’s design director Stuart Stockdale is making a habit of reinvigorating brands for luxury success. Before taking up his current post in 2008, he was a key part of the creative team that reworked Pringle’s image to launch the label onto the luxe, international platform it inhabits today. Stuart will soon be bringing his keen eye for elevated quality to the Texprint judging panel on July 13, 2011.
Since leaving university, Stuart has harnessed and honed his textile design skills and sites it as an important facet of his current designs. “Textile design has played a big part in my work since attending Central St Martins and the RCA,” says Stuart. “As design director of Jaeger — a company born out of textile innovation over 127 years ago — the design team and I continue to recognise the importance of print, weave and knit which feature across all our collections, further reinforcing Jaeger's brand heritage.”
Stuart boasts an impressive, international post-graduate CV which includes J.Crew (New York), Romeo Gigli (Milan) and Jean-Paul Gaultier (Paris). He has had his hand in many a sartorial cookie jar including the Savile Row brand Holliday & Brown. Renowned for innovative textile design, the brand flourished following his launch of the first luxury menswear brand under the label. His extrapolations of house’s iconic prints took shape in three impressive collections; winning praise and acclaim from industry press and buyers.
Through all of his global posts, Stuart maintains that the UK offers something special when it comes to textile design. “The UK offers a great variety of textile courses and it's vital to support young talent; enabling them to create innovative and commercial designs,” he says. Maintaining and employing home-grown talent remains part of Jaeger’s ethos and Stuart is looking forward to seeing what this year’s new designers have to offer.
The Selection Process 2011 - judge David Shah
28 June 2011 by
David Shah: forecaster for change
“There is no past without a future,” firmly asserts David Shah, modern Renaissance man of colour and textile forecasting. “In the last 15 years, we have seen the steady erosion and increased outsourcing of textile and fashion production from Europe to low cost labour countries. It was an economic inevitability. That means that we have to move from left brain to right brain thinking; from the physical mechanics and practical accountancy of fashion to the creative aspects of textiles.”
A positive outlook on young creative talent within the UK textile industry joins David’s slew of qualifying factors to join the Texprint judging panel. An esteemed voice in the world of colour and trend projection, his breadth of experience includes, but is not limited to, acclaimed publisher, highly-regarded journalist, captivating lecturer and part-time clothing designer. His unique combination of theoretical knowledge and practical application makes him an ideal choice to help launch the next crop of textile creatives.
Among the many hats that David dons, he has also found time to connect to new talent as a visiting professor for the MA students from RCA as well as associate professor responsible for branding and marketing at ArtEZ, Arnhem in the Netherlands, and Renmin University, Beijing. His industry authority and knack for giving engaging lectures is an invaluable resource to the schools he supports seeing as he is globally recognised for his talks on social and design trends.
David’s best advice to current retailers and producers who want to stay ahead of the game falls in favour of new talent. “Stop listening to the merchandisers and stock controllers and start giving reign to designers once again,” says David. “We are tired of the cloned and copied. We seek the new and original — blue skies thinking. Etonnez-moi! To do that, we need new design blood all the time.”
Creating a nesting ground for original and inventive textile designers is the main ethos of Texprint. David — with a fervent eye for the bigger picture — sees the benefits of helping emerging artists reach success: “We all know how hard it is for the beginners to make their voice heard — especially in a totally price-driven world. So, my compliments go to Texprint for giving designers a chance at a future; not just their own but also for ourselves and the European textile industry as a whole.”
The Selection Process 2011 - judge Orla Kiely
24 June 2011 by
Orla Kiely: turning textile design into a global brand
Orla Kiely is a designer that has undoubtedly harnessed the power of fabric design to create an instantly recognisable brand aesthetic. Her iconic Stem print draws upon a retro 1960s vibe that helps sum up her design style in a single pattern. “Textiles have been the lynch pin of my work and without it I would not have the brand identity or recognisable style,” says Orla. She will be bringing her wealth of experience and expertise to the Texprint’s 2011 judging panel to help nurture the next generation of British textile talent.
Orla's own design talent has extended beyond her clothing and interiors lines to projects ranging from multiple capsule collections for the Tate to a limited edition car for Citroen. Her triumphant return to London Fashion Week in 2009 was quickly followed by the launch of diffusion line Olive & Orange. In January 2011, her talents were recognised with an Honorary OBE by The Queen for her services to the business and fashion industries.
As a student herself, Orla began her career at the Dublin's National College of Art and Design before obtaining an MA from the RCA. She has subsequently become the visiting professor for textiles at RCA for the past three years as well as an external examiner at MA level for the NCAD in Dublin.
On several occasions Orla has given her time to act an adjudicator for the UK Graduate Fashion Week Industry and Media Awards as well as serving on the most recent GFW mentoring panel. A passion for fostering young talent continues to remain a priority for Orla as she joins the Texprint judging team.
“Texprint helps graduates on that first step,” she says. “It gives them the confidence to realise that with talent, hard work and an open mind they can establish their own style; leading onto a rewarding career.”
The Selection Process 2011 - judge Sue Timney
24 June 2011 by
Sue Timney: poetry in black and white
“I want to be surprised,” says design supremo and Texprint 2011 judge Sue Timney. “I want to see work with a wow factor that’s so fabulous that you wish you’d done it yourself.”
On July 13, Sue — along with fellow judges Orla Kiely, David Shah and Stuart Stockdale — will select this year’s special prize winners for Body, Space, Colour and Pattern from the 24 designers chosen to take part in Texprint’s 2011 programme from the UK’s textile design degree courses.
“I’m looking for something new that grabs my eye and a consistency of message throughout the work — strength, power and determination. And then look at the academic aspects behind the work,” she states with the experience of a visiting professor in textiles at the RCA.
Sue trained Carlisle College of Art and Design and later at the RCA and is full of praise for the UK’s art school system: “It has been and still is the best in the world. Without it we couldn’t have this fabulous reputation for our textiles. The textile designers it produces are unique and go on to be international stars or support international companies.”
Sue is a textile designer, interior decorator and stylist. “Textile design is the foundation of all the results within fashion and interior surfaces,” she says. With her former husband Grahame Fowler, she founded the renowned design company Timney-Fowler which brought to homes and fashion a bold and clean design aesthetic featuring classical heads, Victorian prints and strong stripes.
Since taking over the company in 2001 Sue has gone on to have a retrospective of her work at the Fashion and Textile Museum, London and has published a book of her work, fittingly titled Making Marks – Sue Timney and the designs of Timney-Fowler. Timney clothing and home decoration are on sale through House of Fraser.
To newcomers wanting to put their own stamp on the marketplace, she gives this advice: “Keep your options open and never close your mind to opportunities that come your way — even if it’s not directly what you are aiming for. It takes persistence and an open mind.”