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Review of the year - Texprint 2013: Trained in Britain

31 December 2013 by Editor

Texprint 2013 designers with management team at Texprint London

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.

Barbara Kennington

Chairman

Article tags: woolmark (19), general (57), champions of texprint (45), business (54), sponsors (28), texprint london (19), texprint 2013 (23), indigo (15), judges 2013 (13), como (3), indigo paris (13), shanghai (3)

Photo report: Texprint at Indigo/Première Vision, Paris (...continued)

09 October 2013 by Editor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos: James McCauley (www.jamesmccauley.com) / Film: Richard Foot and Arron Fowler of RA Collaborations (www.racollaborations.co.uk).

Article tags: woolmark (19), general (57), texprint 2013 (23), collaboration (9), judges 2013 (13), indigo paris (13)

The Woolmark Texprint Award Judging Process

26 September 2013 by

Winner Signe Rand Ebbessen shows her work to the judges

“Beautiful designs!” John Walsh, managing director of Abraham Moon & Sons, said as he looked at Texprint designer Alice Preston’s neon hand-printed designs. Daliah Simble, head of sourcing & production, and Estelle Williams, collection development manager, at Roland Mouret both agreed as they continued to search for a winner of the third annual Woolmark Texprint Award.

Out of the 24 shortlisted designers taking part in the 2013 Texprint programme, all of whom presented their work at Indigo / Première Vision in Paris September 17-19, 2013, the judges looked for a designer excelling in the inventive use of wool in textile design and using 60% or more Merino wool in their designs. Needless to say the three prize judges had a tough time deciding on Wednesday 18 September 2013, prior to the presentation that afternoon.

Signe Rand Ebbesen with Peter Ackroyd of The Woolmark Company

The judges questioned the designers about the end product use and the production costs of their designs: vital knowledge for today’s textile designers. Analysing the designers’ work from both the fashion and interiors side was also a key factor in choosing the winning designer, as John said: “We started showing in interiors eight to 10 years ago and now it is 25% of our business. The interiors market is growing and becoming increasingly fashionable as fashion designers are looking at furnishings – it is a unique situation.”

The judges praised courses, noting the Royal College of Art and Central St Martins, for teaching designers about commercial imperative and the translation of textiles into garments.

After meeting with the Texprint designers and discussing their work in detail, the judges then met for a tête-à-tête to make the final decision. They highly commended weaver Cherica Haye and knit designer Phoebe Brown, both RCA graduates, for their innovative techniques and use of wool. Daliah Simble said: “I really liked Phoebe’s techniques of using plastics and plating in her knitted textiles.” Estelle Williams agreed: “Phoebe’s innovativeness is extremely important and in our role we are both constantly trying new fabrics.” The judges managed to come to a unanimous decision choosing RCA graduate Signe Rand Ebbesen as the winner out of the 24 shortlisted designers.

Phoebe Brown shows her work to the judges

Prize presenter Maurizio Galante, member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture and Woolmark’s Peter Ackroydpresented Signe her award in front of an eager audience. The prize includes £1,000 in prize money and also extensive training on the benefits and uses of wool through the nearest Woolmark International office.

John said the judges selected Signe because of her superb use of texture, her distinctive style and her understanding of the benefits of this natural sustainable fibre which she used to bring her work to life.

© Signe Rand Ebbesen

John commented: “Some of the textures were beautiful and she has also understood the commercial side to her work - she can go far with it.” Estelle agreed: “She has thought about the commerciality of her work which is really important shown by her ability to work to a brief.” Daliah added: “We both loved Signe’s innovative techniques which we at Roland Mouret look for. We would love some of those fabrics at Roland Mouret.

Barbara Kennington, chairman of Texprint, on hearing of the decision said: “We all greatly admire Signe’s work, this award is completely appropriate for her and such fantastic news.” 

Roozbeh Ghanadi shows his work to the judges

Katy Birchall shows her work to the judges

Ffion Griffith shows her work to the judges

Article tags: weave (23), woolmark (19), general (57), champions of texprint (45), business (54), sponsors (28), texprint 2013 (23), judges 2013 (13), indigo paris (13)

Texprint special prize winners announced at Indigo

20 September 2013 by

Signe Rand Ebbesen, Kazusa Takamura, Florence Colson, Ffion Griffith, Taslima Sultana and Cherica Haye with Maurizio Galante

Couturier Maurizio Galante presented this year's Texprint awards for design excellence to four British-trained new graduates. The six prize winners were announced at the Texprint prize ceremony, held in the Texprint area of Indigo, Première Vision Pluriel, on September 18, 2013 at 3.30pm. 

The winners for the Body, Space, Pattern and Colour prizes received £1,000, sponsored by Pantone, Liberty Art Fabrics and The Clothworkers’ Foundation. Three out of the four special winners are weave designers – working in a diverse range of patterns, fibres and textures, from traditional Welsh blanket weaves to high-tech wipe-down fabrics suitable for automotive upholstery.  They were chosen in London in July by a panel of leading creatives and influencers in fashion and design - journalist Tamsin Blanchard; designer Madeleine Press; Luigi Turconi from luxury silk printer Ratti; Emma Kidd, from the Selfridges creative team; and SVP creation at Lululemon Athletica Deanne Schweitzer. Plus Deanne selected the winner of the second annual Texprint Lululemon prize, the winner of which joins the activewear company on a three-month paid placement at its headquarters in Vancouver, Canada, plus a £1,000 prize.

At Indigo, one prize winner of the Woolmark Texprint Award was chosen by John Walsh, managing director of Abraham Moon & Sons; Daliah Simble, head of sourcing & production, and Estelle Williams, collection development manager, at Roland Mouret, the winner of which receives £1,000 in prize money and extensive training on the benefits and uses of wool through the nearest Woolmark International office.

Body - Kasuza Takamura, a Chelsea College of Art & Design graduate wins the Texprint Body Award. Kasuza uses photography to allow others to see the world through her eyes and her designs are inspired by living in an unfamiliar land; her work captures a mood of isolation, alienation and acceptance. Her print designs were unanimously praised by the judges. Designer Madeleine Press talked about the “energy behind her work, she has thought about how something will look on a garment, and on the body, there is a really nice concept and energy behind it” and said: “her subtle use of colour is very sophisticated which I could see translating into the market straight away”. Tamsin Blanchard said that Kasuza’s design concept is captured beautifully in extremely evocative designs. 

Buyers talking with Kazusa Takamura at Indigo

Space - Ffion Griffith, a Chelsea College of Art & Design graduate was chosen as winner of the Texprint Space Award. A weave graduate designer, Ffion is keen to preserve and reinterpret increasingly rare Welsh weaving skills and techniques. Using merino wool for its timeless qualities, Ffion creates high-quality interior products that are designed to become heirlooms. The judges praised her for her modern take on traditional craft. “The way she has modernised Welsh heritage is really cool, she has produced a professional product that could go across a wide range of surfaces,” said Deanne. While Madeleine added: “You can see it in a home, it’s executed well and people will love it.”

© Ffion Griffith

Colour - Taslima Sultana, a Central St Martins graduate wins the Texprint Colour Award. Her woven collection explores how living organisms use pattern, colour and texture in order to survive, protect and attract and she has used her research to create a vibrant textural collection of fabric. She was praised by Tamsin Blanchard for her “incredibly rich and vibrant designs” and how “she looks like somebody in the industry in the way she understands how fabric is used and draped, she has a great energy to her work”. Madeleine Press stated that she has taken something quite crazily creative and made it beautiful and exquisite. Madeline said: “Her colour use is just amazing, she has such an energy to her work. There’s a professional quality to her work.” 

© Taslima Sultana

Pattern - Cherica Haye, a Royal College of Art graduate was selected as winner of the Texprint Pattern Award. Weaver Cherica has created a range of fabrics that mix the sensibilities of traditional menswear suiting with performance fabrics using dobby and industrial jacquard looms. Her collection focuses on geometric weaves, and she blends fabric structure and a variety of yarns and heat-press finishes achieving sophisticated, dark and bold patterns. The judges admired Cherica’s strong woven designs, and commented that she has a great thought process, executed her designs very well and had a clear concept. She was praised for her extraordinary, gorgeous designs as Tamsin Blanchard commented: “Cherica’s work is really extraordinary.” And fellow judge Deanne Schweitzer agreed saying “instantly I just thought they were gorgeous”. 

© Cherica Haye

Texprint Lululemon Award - Cherica Haye and Florence Angelica Colson (Leeds College of Art) both win the Texprint Lululemon award. Deanne said of Cherica’s work: “I could immediately imagine Cherica’s weaves looking amazing in Lululemon's quest to make athletic apparel gorgeous. I believe what she showed was modern and timeless 'woven' together. When I look at her work the first word that comes to mind is gorgeous and that is exactly what I want someone to say when they see a Lululemon garment.”

Deanne applauded Florence’s colour scheme: “Florence’s dedication to black and white in new ways is beautiful. All of Florence's designs have playful energy and at the same time could be taken very seriously. Black and white is very important to Lululemon so this will be a very fun collaboration.”

Deanne Schweitzer, Lululemon Athletica, and team with designer Florence Angelica Colson at Indigo

Woolmark Texprint Award - Signe Rand Ebbesen, wins the second annual prize for her superb textile designs which were created with 60% or more Merino wool and honours the inventive use of wool in textile design. John Walsh said the judges selected Signe because of her superb use of texture, she has a distinctive style and her understanding of the benefits of this natural sustainable fibre which she used to bring her work to life. He said: “Some of the textures were beautiful and she has also understood the commercial side to her work - she can go far with it”. Estelle Williams agreed: “She has thought about the commerciality of her work which is really important shown by her ability to work to a brief”. Daliah Simble added: “We both loved Signe’s innovative techniques which we at Roland Mouret look for. We would love some of those fabrics at Roland Mouret”. 

Signe Rand Ebbessen with judges John Walsh, Estelle Williams and Daliah Simble at Indigo

© Signe Rand Ebbesen

Article tags: woolmark (19), general (57), champions of texprint (45), sponsors (28), texprint 2013 (23), judges 2013 (13), indigo paris (13)

British Textiles in Action

20 September 2013 by Editor

Texprint designers with Kara Owen, Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy Paris

Textiles glitterati gathered at the British Embassy Paris on 17th September for a high profile reception hosted by UK Trade & Investment in partnership with UKFT and with thanks to The Woolmark Company and The Campaign For Wool.  HRH Prince Charles gave a specially recorded speech in support of the evening and the British textile industry and wool.

Texprint 2013 designers Taslima Sultana, Katy Birchall, Cherica Haye, Ffion Griffith, Luise Martin, and Gillian Louise Murphy were there, mingling with many of the UK and International textile industry’s top players.

Kirsty Carey, MD of Liberty Design, with Peter Ring-Lefevre, Texprint creative director

Guests at the reception, Anne Tyrrell MBE centre

Article tags: woolmark (19), general (57), champions of texprint (45), business (54), sponsors (28), texprint 2013 (23), special events (11), indigo paris (13)

The Texprint Woolmark Award: Meet the Judges

13 September 2013 by

The Woolmark Company and Texprint are very pleased that two leaders of the British design industry are collaborating to select the Woolmark Texprint Award winner.

Daliah Simble, head of sourcing & production, and Estelle Williams, collection development manager, both of Roland Mouret, join John Walsh, managing director of Abraham Moon & Sons, on 18 September 2013 to select one prize winner excelling in the usage of wool and other natural fibres from among the 24 Texprint designers showcasing at Indigo, Première Vision.

For over a decade, the luxury fashion house Roland Mouret has been synonymous with covetable womenswear and iconic garments such as the Galaxy, Titanium and Moon dresses. A true style influencer, the designer Roland Mouret has changed the way pattern cutting is looked at. Focusing on structure and silhouette, Mouret flatters the female form with figure-hugging, sexy dresses which have adorned the likes of Victoria Beckham, Kate Middleton and Carey Mulligan and the house is continually expanding its collections. In 2012 the Roland Mouret brand presented its first debut bridal collection The White Collection and also unveiled its first ever shoe collection that launched in autumn/winter 2012/13. Daliah, head of sourcing & production at Roland Mouret has over 20 years’ experience in the fashion sector, and Estelle’s role as collection development manager include overseeing the womenswear collections’ product development team from design concept to the pre-production stages. Estelle also works directly with the creative director in developing the collections which involves selecting fabric and trims sourcing.

www.rolandmouret.com

Luxury brands look to mills like Abraham Moon & Sons to source and produce their fabric. Established in 1837, Abraham Moon founded his namesake company in Guiseley, England. The country’s only vertically integrated mill, the unique Yorkshire-based site currently houses blending, carding, dyeing, finishing, spinning and weaving processes. Focusing on natural fibres such as alpaca, cashmere, linen, mohair, silk and wool, the mill produces a wide variety of fabrics destined for fashion and interior use from high street to haute couture. Specialising in tweed wool fashions,the high-quality wool is imported from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. Moon’s fabrics stand for heritage, high quality and luxury and so Moon counts international fashion names such as Burberry, Chanel and Ralph Lauren among its customers. John Walsh became the managing director in 1989 as the fourth generation of his family to run the company; his great-grandfather Charles Walsh bought the mill in 1920 from the Moon family.

www.moons.co.uk

John Walsh; images from heritage collection 2008

Both the design team at Roland Mouret and John Walsh are firm believers in the benefits that wool offers. Estelle says: “Wool provides both the structure and flexibility which are core features in Roland’s collections. It also has an excellent absorption of dye, is durable and sustainable. Wool is a win-win from both an aesthetic and performance point of view.” The Roland Mouret womenswear collections use a substantial amount of wool depending on the season ranging from 35% in the spring/summer collections to 65% for autumn/winter. John was chairman of the British Wool Textile Export Corporation for five years and says: “We have a generation who did not grow up with the Woolmark and the consistent advertising behind it which re-enforced the message explaining the unique qualities of wool. Attitudes are changing however and consumers are once again appreciating that wool and other natural fibres have not only inherently better qualities but also make a better ecological and sustainable choice. Well-made, great quality timeless classics are an important part of today's wardrobe.”

The luxury fashion house Roland Mouret is a firm supporter of new design talent: Chloe Hamblin - winner of the Texprint 2011 Colour Award - is now working as a print and surface designer with the company having first made contact with the designer at the Texprint Village at Indigo/Première Vision in September 2011. “Wool should be a natural choice for new designers primarily because it is a very versatile yarn whether you are using it in knitwear, jersey or woven fabric,” Daliah says.

Roland Mouret autumn/winter 2014 collection

The importance of UK-based skills and promoting made-in-Britain luxury is enthusiastically encouraged by the judges: Daliah was responsible for moving over half of the company’s production back to the UK. John adds: “As the appreciation for British quality and design in textiles results in the re-emergence of manufacturing the next generation will find new opportunities for their talents. Now is the time to seize the initiative and make sure we invest in the education and training of those who will take our industry forward.”

All three judges will be looking for innovative designs when judging the Woolmark Texprint prize. Estelle says: “Roland embraces the motto ‘think outside of the box’. This will be a strong influence in the selection process as Roland loves the unconventional.” John will be looking for “a fusion of originality with commerciality”. 

Article tags: woolmark (19), general (57), champions of texprint (45), business (54), sponsors (28), texprint 2013 (23), judges 2013 (13), indigo paris (13)

Coutts Texprint dinner celebrates textile innovation

16 April 2013 by Editor

As a dedicated supporter of the arts, private bank Coutts again demonstrated its interest in the worlds of fashion and textiles by hosting an elegant dinner in support of textile design excellence. 

Held on Thursday 21 March 2013, it was the second Texprint dinner to be hosted by the historic bank at its head office on the Strand, London. Following a champagne reception in the boardroom, which is lined with hand-painted Chinese wallpaper c.1793, the guests were guided to its beautifully appointed private dining room for a sumptuous dinner. 

Alan Marshall, executive director of Coutts, welcomed the guests, saying: “Coutts is thrilled to be a sponsor of the Texprint 2013 dinner. It reinforces our commitment to the world of contemporary creative industries and our relationship with young entrepreneurs.The UK is a world leader at creating art, fashion and textiles and Coutts' support of Texprint enables emerging talent to access our experience of working with entrepreneurs in addition to providing mentoring schemes and financial advice."

Left: Marie Parsons (Jaguar Land Rover), Professor Clare Johnston (RCA)  Centre: Katrina Burroughs (Sunday Times Home), Katie Greenyer (Pentland Brands)  Right: Neisha Crosland, Susanna Kempe (Flying Trumpets)

Texprint’s chairman Barbara Kennington took the opportunity to thank the guests – including leading lights in fashion and textiles, the press and past alumni - for their continuing support for British-trained textile design graduates and without whom the Texprint programme would simply not exist. “Texprint’s programme of mentorship provides a vital bridge between university and the real world. Looking at the autumn/winter 13 fashion collections, particularly in London, what struck me was the increasing importance of textile innovation - an indication of just how important it is to encourage and support the next generation of textile creativity.”

Peter Ring-Lefevre (Texprint), Kate O’Connor (Creative Skillset)

John Snowdon (Worshipful Company of Weavers), Peter Ackroyd (Woolmark Company), Andrew Blessley (Clothworkers Foundation), Hugh Beevor (Texprint)

The Texprint programme has been selecting and mentoring graduate textile designers for over 40 years. And through Coutts’ gracious hospitality, the dinner provided the charity with a means of thanking those who make it possible, among them Kirstie Carey, managing director of Liberty Art Fabrics (sponsor of Texprint’s Pattern prize); Paul Graham, sales director of Pantone EMEA (sponsor of the Colour prize); and Texprint trustee Dominic Lowe represented The Sanderson Art in Industry Trust, which is a Foundation sponsor of the charity.

Italian textile producers and luxury fashion brands have long recognized the excellence of British-trained designers and regularly employ interns selected from the Texprint winners. Texprint was pleased to welcome Luigi Turconi of Ratti, part of the giant Marzotto group; Elena Alfani of luxury brand Salvatore Ferragamo; and Marco Taiana of Tessitura Taiana represented the Como-based creative initiative ComON with which Texprint has long been associated.

Left: Barbara Kennington (Texprint) Andrew Blessley (Clothworkers Foundation) Right: Peter Ring-Lefevre (Texprint), Elena Alfani (Salvatore Ferragamo)

Anne Tyrrell MBE, designer and member of Texprint's Council, said: "It’s a really special evening, so impressive, and it’s a huge compliment that so many visitors from Europe attended."

Marco Taiana (Taiana, ComON), Caryn Simonson (Chelsea College of Art & Design), Joanna Bowring (Texprint)

Katie Greenyer, creative director of the Pentland Group, was delighted to announce during the evening that Pentland would be increasing its sponsorship for 2013, which was fantastic news and greatly appreciated. 

The Texprint management team also welcomed Catriona Macnab, creative director of Foundation sponsor WGSN; John Francis, director of sponsor Paul Smith; style director of the Telegraph magazine Tamsin Blanchard; and Michael Ayerst, managing director of wall coverings specialist Surface View, which has so generously provided the dramatic wall murals seen at the Texprint London event for the past two years.

And from Texprint’s alumni, guests included Michael Angove, Neil Bamford of Mint Design Studio, David Edmond, and Marie Parsons of Jaguar Land Rover.

Left: Julius Schofield MBE (InDesign), Philippa Brock (Central St Martins)  Right: Anne Tyrrell MBE, Leanne Prichard (Coutts)

Left: Alison Murdoch (Haberdashers’ Company), Gill Gledhill (GGHQ), Terry Mansfield CBE  Right: Neil Bamford (Mint Design), Michael Ayerst (Surface View)

The world of interiors has been an area of increased focus for many young textile designers. Neisha Crosland, a Texprint judge in 2012, and Mary Carroll, of luxury interior furnishings brand De le Cuona, attended the dinner, as did Katrina Burroughs, a renowned journalist specialising in interior design who is a regular contributor to the Sunday Times Home section.

The words of after dinner speaker Susanna Kempe, founder and CEO of Flying Trumpets, were greeted with much nodding of heads and agreement as she talked of too many businesses being run by accountants; too few by creatives, stating: “To change that, we have to finally, unequivocally, reject the false opposition between creativity and commercialism. We have to combine imaginative genius with disciplined execution; embrace create effectiveness and demonstrate commercial accountability. If we don’t businesses and boards will continue to be led by accountants most comfortable in a world of timid homogeneity. Businesses should be run by people for whom innovation, clients and brands are in their very DNA.”

Her thoughts were applauded by all – and especially by Kate O’Connor deputy managing director of Creative Skillset, and Anne Tyrrell who responded: “She was amazing. I must say I will attack my meetings with new energy as a result, what an impressive woman.”

Barbara wrapped up the evening, saying: “Our sincere thanks to Coutts for hosting such an enjoyable and hugely useful opportunity for people interested in supporting British design training and textile innovation to get together, to talk and to debate. Invaluable!”

Article tags: home & interiors (28), alumni (43), texprint 2012 (27), fashion (35), woolmark (19), general (57), champions of texprint (45), business (54), sponsors (28), special events (11)

London Fashion Week: Texprint’s textile review Part 2

04 April 2013 by Editor

In Texprint’s second report on the autumn/winter 13/14 London Fashion Week collections we look at the innovations in wool, surface finishes, jacquards - and at what’s new in technology.

“London Fashion Week has long been synonymous with innovation and the latest round of London runways shows didn’t disappoint as our internationally acclaimed young designers lead the way in exciting new textile developments,” comments Sue Evans, fashion editor of WGSN.com (Texprint sponsor).

Christopher Raeburn, Daks, J.W.Anderson / Photos: style.com

Sophistication came from those collections that showed a quiet simplicity of attitude (though not necessarily of colour), and in many cases, a continuing passion for wool, whether flat surfaced, ombred or more decorative.

Sue notes: “Print wunderkind Jonathan Saunders delivered scrolling appliques on delicate lace and felted wools in place of his signature print and pattern, an interesting move for him.”

Jonathan Saunders / Photos: style.com

"Wool was present not only at Fashion Week in London but also in New York, Milan and Paris where several collections featured full overcoats in woollen fabrics.  Of note were examples of boiled wools, meltons, serges and drabs.  Of particular interest in Paris was Stella McCartney's astute use of menswear fabrics, particularly pin stripes and flannels in worsted weights to add extra drape.  Woolmark feels that wool has made a massive return for autumn/winter 13/14 in both men's and women's wear.  Never has wool been so much at the forefront of the collections of leading designers and brands," says Peter Ackroyd, The Woolmark Company (Texprint sponsor).

Pringle of Scotland, Burberry Prorsum, John Rocha / Photos: style.com

Utilitarian looks were there too.  Clare Johnston, professor of textiles at RCA, says: “The designers presented collections of men’s and women’s fashion that were modern, desirable and durable.” Not least Christopher Raeburn’s felted wool fabrics, made water resistant with Teflon, a clever and practical innovation that works to enhance his contemporary take on the sportswear aesthetic.

Mulberry / Photos: style.com

Fabrics were often toyed with, and finishes were key. Bonded double jersey, rubber, cire and wet-look coatings were all used by designers to lend an anarchic and unexpected edge.

Felder Felder, Simone Rocha, Burberry Prorsum / Photos: style.com

Refreshing colour and innovative fabrications came from Simone Rocha who showcased a delightful mix of felted wools, heavy lace, cobweb crochet, sparkly tinsel threads and tufts of petal-like texture.  Her baby-pink tones, spongy bonded fabrics and classic structures were both exaggerated and assured. J.W. Anderson showed a collection that was pared down, modern and played with proportions and exaggerated details.

J.W.Anderson, Simone Rocha, Roksanda Ilincic / Photos: style.com

Jacquards found a new direction too.  Used notably by Pringle of Scotland and Temperley London.

Temperley London, Pringle of Scotland, Osman / Photos: style.com

Texprint also notes British designers exploring technology in new and exciting ways.

In the case of Burberry Prorsum technology is used to emphasise the heritage and artisanal quality of the collection as the creative story behind each autumn/winter 12/13 runway Made To Order piece comes to life through smart personalisation. 

Technology in each item unlocks immersive video footage, retracing its journey and celebrating its expert design and craftsmanship. On contact with a touch screen device each piece unlocks a unique video experience, charting its artisan production -- including original sketches, runway edits, craftsmanship and personalisation. Undoubtedly an incredibly expensive luxe service, but exciting and innovative nonetheless.

We also love Matthew Williamson’s low-tech Vine video campaign – snappy close-up 6-second videos shot backstage by photographer Sean Cunningham and tweeted live as the looks hit the runway.  On his Facebook page Williamson also shows close-up photos of his spring/summer 2013 collection – Mathew Magnified - a clever way of highlighting the intricate workmanship and fabrics; detail that is often lost on the runway.

Article tags: fashion (35), woolmark (19), general (57), business (54), technology (9), special events (11)

Wool House: feeling warm and woolly!

14 March 2013 by Editor

“Wool is a fibre for the life we lead, the people we love, the planet we inhabit.” The Campaign for Wool

The Wool House exhibition at Somerset House, London, opened yesterday and is on until 24 March.  This stylish and richly artisanal celebration of wool is not to be missed encompassing as it does the very best of what can be achieved by spinning, weaving, printing and manipulating this most timeless and enduring of fibres.

Hummingbird by Alexander McQueen for The Rug Company

The lofty and elegant rooms in the west wing of Somerset House have been used to stage a series of room sets as well as displays of fashion and accessories, including bespoke tailoring and hand knitting.

Savile Row bespoke

The importance of wool to the fashion industry is demonstrated with designs by, among others, Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders, Christopher Raeburn; also Dashing Tweeds (Kirsty McDougall, Texprint 2002) and Alice Palmer (Texprint 2007).

Teflon-coated felted lace parka by Christopher Raeburn, headphones by Urbanears, tweed jackets by Dashing Tweeds

Knitted dress by Mark Fast, knitted chair cover, knit and fleece cape by Alice Palmer

As part of the national Campaign for Wool supported by The Prince of Wales, the project also involves a series of interactive workshops and a special educational and innovation room, using hi-tech tablets to demonstrate the processes wool undergoes on its journey from sheep to consumer.  This is an exhibition designed to engage and educate as much as to enjoy.

“Wool is all about comfort and beauty.  It is a fibre grown, not manmade, with an origin and integrity that has yet to be matched.  Natural, renewable and sustainable it offers the most timeless and enduring quality to materials for many different lifestyle products for interiors, fashion, build and craft.“ The Campaign for Wool

 

Wool fabrics are used to great effect in the room installations.  From the dramatic entrance hall with its chequered black and white carpet, to the modernist room by Anne Kyyro-Quinn with its brightly coloured sound-absorbing wall coverings, the fresh and charming nursery designed by Donna Wilson, to the typically eclectic and crafted bedroom designed by Kit Kemp MBE.  Dream interiors that beautifully illustrate wool's versatility in use, colour and texture.

Modern Room by Anne Kyyro-Quinn

Nursery by Donna Wilson

Bedroom by Kit Kemp MBE

Event director Bridgette Kelly - working with interior designer Arabella McNie as curator, and all the participating designers and highly skilled artisans - has created a truly diverse and creative opportunity to engage with the fibre’s heritage and future potential. 

We would encourage textile and fashion design students and tutors to visit and be inspired!

Wool art installation by Dutch tapestry artist, Claudy Jongstra

Wools of the World

Artisan rug weaver Jason Collingwood in his temporary studio, weaving on a table loom throughout the exhibition

 

 

 

 

Article tags: knit (16), weave (23), home & interiors (28), exhibition (24), fashion (35), woolmark (19), general (57), accessories (15), sponsors (28), special events (11)

Texprint 2012: weave wizards

09 January 2013 by

Textile: ©Lisa Bloomer

Proof if needed that the ancient craft of weaving is in the ascendant: Texprint 2012 weave designers couple patience and precision with a love for the physicality and excitement of creating fabric from scratch, and their work is being snapped up by international fashion and interiors companies.

Lisa Bloomer is passionate about colour and sustainable practices, and is continually exploring new ways to succeed in her ”fight against the geometric.” Inspired by looking through windows at ever changing sky and cloud patterns above the city’s high-rise buildings, Lisa focuses on capturing transitory movement in her work. This spontaneity is tangible in all her designs, she uses colour in a fresh and dynamic way and achieves many unique effects by first hand painting on the warp.

Lisa’s jacquard designs are woven bespoke by Thomas Ferguson Irish Linen the only Irish linen damask weaver still remaining in Ireland.  She aims to source local fibres such as European hemp, linen and British wool.

Textile: ©Dominique Caplan

Dominique Caplan creates quirky and energetic concepts for menswear. Fascinated by the technical process of weaving, her primary research involved creating characters and models for games to develop her ideas of fun and fantasy. By working in monochrome with added shots of bright colour, Dominique quietly references Bridget Riley’s black and white optical illusion patterns.

Textile: ©Sophia Fenlon

Sophia Fenlon’s work is inspired by ornate ecclesiastical decoration and stained glass. Catholic traditions and the Renaissance are references for Sophia’s work created for both fashion and interiors. Sophia says, she is “intrigued by the weird and wonderful, and the exploration of extreme extra weft patterning, which gives rise to intricately constructed woven designs.”

Textile: ©Jacquie Lefferts

Inspired by Indian maharajahs, brocades and heavy military embroidery, Jacquie Lefferts creates opulent fabrics using metallic yarns. Jacquie has also re-created lace effects using a Leno weave technique to great effect.  Having studied at FIT in New York for two years, Jacquie then completed her BA at Chelsea College of Art & Design before being selected for Texprint.

Fantasy and surrealism are aspects that inspired Alix Massieux’s fabric collection. Although a weave specialist, Alix is driven to mix techniques and experiment with embroidery. To read more, click here.

Textile: ©Sophie Manners

Sophie Manners, a graduate of the Royal College of Art, was selected as winner of the second Woolmark Texprint Award in support of the Campaign for Wool Indigo/Première Vision in September. Sophie won the prize for her superb woven textile designs developed with 60% or more Merino wool.  Sophie loves colour and texture and being playful with these two elements. It was her reinvented traditional woven pieces on the theme of hair and fur, and her experimental approach to constructing fabrics with often unexpectedly tactile surfaces, that caught the judges’ attention. In November Sophie completed a seven-week internship with Taroni in Como, a unique opportunity to experience working in textiles in Italy.

Textile: ©Sophie Reeves

Finally, captivated by the physicality of creating woven fabrics and inspired by 1930’s fabric design and Russian Constructivism, Sophie Reeves loves to mix graphic pattern with “random outbursts” of additions such as applied crystal decoration. In November Sophie finished a seven-week internship with Luigi Verga, Como - while there with five other Texprint designers, enjoying an invaluable experience gathering visit to the Missoni and Ermenegildo Zegna headquarters.

Sophie is one of two designers selected by Lululemon Athletica as winners of the inaugural Lululemon Texprint Award, winning not only £1,000 but also a three-month paid internship at Lululemon headquarters in Vancouver, Canada, starting this month (the other winner is Manri Kishimoto).

Article tags: weave (23), home & interiors (28), texprint 2012 (27), woolmark (19)

The Texprint 24: Indigo highlights 2012

02 October 2012 by Editor

Buyers at Amber Sambrook stand

For the Texprint 24 the textile design show Indigo provided their first experience of exhibiting and selling their work alongside professional, established designers.

This prestigious showcase in Paris, September 19-21, is a fantastic platform for the emerging designers and vital to Texprint’s aim of helping to launch the careers of some of the best British graduates, the experience helping to shape the designers’ individual future plans.

 

Chairman Barbara Kennington was delighted to host this year’s event.  “British creativity has been in the spotlight this year; creativity that comes in large part from encouraging diversity, excellence and high achievement in all design fields, and especially in fashion and textiles.  Smart companies are looking to tap into this rich seam of British-trained talent and connecting with Texprint to support new textile talent.”

Overall Indigo 2012 was the best ever in terms of sales and contacts for the Texprint designers.

Sales to North America were particularly good, with Kayser-Roth Corp from North Carolina buying well; Lululemon Athletica (Texprint Foundation Sponsors), Hollister/Abercrombie & Fitch, Rachel Roy, Tracey Reese and Nike among others, also bought strongly.

Asian and European buyers were out in force too. From Europe: Tara Jarmon herself bought for junior line Mademoiselle Tara, and among others Nelly Rodi, H&M, Topshop, Boden, Custo, Desigual, Guy Laroche, White Stuff, and MD Gera, the German fashion prints manufacturer, were noted.

Buyers at Ying Wu stand

Conversations with these buyers gave the Texprint designers a unique opportunity to explain their inspiration and their work.  Aside from individual sales, many freelance opportunities arose, as well as firm job offers and commissions.

Print designer David Warner notes: “It was such an invigorating experience to meet with buyers, agents, and industry experts. Getting their insight into what they thought of my designs and explaining who I am as a designer, gaining important contacts along the way. The whole experience will live with me and help to inform my future work.”

Philippa Watkins, journalist and RCA senior tutor, at Sophia Fenlon stand

Guido Tettamanti and Marco Taiana, representing sponsors Confidustria Como and the ComON creativity week, again endorsed their support for the programme.  This year they have offered six designers an invaluable opportunity to experience working with Italian companies based in and around Como (up from two last year): Alice Howard-Graham, Manri Kishimoto, Sophie Manners, Israel Parra-Zanabria, Sophie Reeves and Amber Sambrook.

Woolmark Texprint Award judges at Lisa Bloomer stand

The Woolmark Texprint Award in Support of Campaign for Wool was judged at Indigo by James E Sugden OBE, director; James Dracup, group managing director, both of Johnstons of Elgin; and Masahiro Oono, textile design project manager of Japanese specialist wool weaver Nikke, and won by weaver Sophie Manners.

The highlight of the three-day event was the prize presentation.  This took place on 19 September within a special section of the Texprint village where Texprint chairman Barbara Kennington welcomed the esteemed fashion and trend forecaster Nelly Rodi as the guest prize presenter.

Nelly reminded the audience of buyers, press and design professionals of her passion for nurturing young talent and her long-held admiration for the British design education system: “British schools seem take a much freer approach to educating their students, mixing different approaches such as photography, art and fashion, leaving the student to express himself, without imposed rule…Freedom gives a lot of energy to fashion.”

Nelly presented the winners of the four Texprint awards with their cheques: Carlo Volpi, winner of the Body Prize; Tania Grace Knuckey, winner of the Space Prize, Manri Kishimoto, winner of the Colour Prize; and Ying Wu, winner of the Pattern Prize.

Also saying a few words at the event were Gilles Lasbordes of Indigo/ Première Vision, and Peter Ackroyd of The Woolmark Company and Sheree Waterson of Lululemon Athletica; both companies Foundation Sponsors of Texprint.

Peter emphasized The Woolmark Company’s focus on “education, education, education” and again reiterated their desire to ensure that young designers are encouraged to work in wool, and to understand both its properties and its potential for fashion and interiors markets.

Peter Ackroyd of The Woolmark Company, Sophie Manners, Rebecca Sharp of The Woolmark Company, and Nelly Rodi 

Sheree created a buzz of excitement with her no-nonsense “Texprint rocks!” accolade.  Since becoming Foundation Sponsors earlier this year, Lululemon has shown itself to be the most enthusiastic and forward thinking of companies.  Sheree’s original plan to employ one intern to work in Vancouver for three months soon became two interns - Manri Kishimoto and Sophie Reeves - as Sheree realized she could not choose between them when making her selection back in July at Texprint London.

Lululemon believe that working with Texprint and its exciting young designers is the very best way of driving innovation into their design process and of giving back and nurturing the next generation. An attitude we strongly applaud.

Buyer at Fergus Dowling stand

Print designer Trinity Mitchell sums up the designers’ appreciation for Texprint and in turn Texprint’s sponsors: “I can't express just how grateful I am to all of you at Texprint. I have had such a wonderful time and I am so thankful to have been part of it all. I never would have made the contacts I did if it weren't for Texprint, and I look forward to those contacts hopefully turning into jobs and work!”

Article tags: texprint 2012 (27), woolmark (19), general (57), sponsors (28), indigo (15), judges 2012 (13)

Weaver Sophie Manners wins Woolmark Texprint Award

27 September 2012 by Editor

Buzz of excitement as judges examine Sophie's work

Weaver Sophie Manners was selected as winner of the second Woolmark Texprint Award in support of the Campaign for Wool last week at Indigo, Paris.

Sophie, a graduate of the Royal College of Art, won the prize for her superb woven textile designs developed with 60% or more Merino wool. The prize has been created in support of the Campaign for Wool with Patron HRH The Prince of Wales and honours the inventive use of wool in textile design. 

Texprint chairman Barbara Kennington, Sophie Manners, prize presenter Nelly Rodi and Peter Ackroyd of The Woolmark Company

The prize was judged at Indigo by James E Sugden OBE, director; James Dracup, group managing director, both of Johnstons of Elgin; and Masahiro Oono, textile design project manager of Japanese specialist wool weaver Nikke.

They selected Sophie out of the 24 shortlisted designers taking part in the Texprint programme this year, all of whom presented their work at Indigo. She received £1,000 in prize money, which was presented by this year’s Texprint prize presenter, the esteemed trend forecaster Nelly Rodi, and The Woolmark Company's Peter Ackroyd. As part of her prize, Sophie will also have access to training on the benefits and uses of wool through her nearest Woolmark Company office.

Nelly Rodi selects fabrics from Sophie's collection

Sophie loves colour and texture and being playful with these two elements. It was her reinvented traditional woven pieces on the theme of hair and fur, and her experimental approach to constructing fabrics with often unexpectedly tactile surfaces, that caught the judges attention.

Sophie’s weave tutor at the RCA, Philippa Watkins, says of her work: “Sophie is a clever weaver with a good grasp of woven techniques, including a velvet technique, which she explores to great effect using a variety of yarns and materials to create some extraordinary surfaces with a sometimes very surprising touch.” 

 

Mr Sugden said the judges selected Sophie because of her technical excellence and the commerciality of her weave designs.  She has a distinctive style and Mr Oono praised her tremendous imagination.

The Woolmark judges also commended printer Israel Parra-Zanabria, a graduate of Glasgow School of Art, for his translation of ideas to commercial execution.

Article tags: weave (23), texprint 2012 (27), woolmark (19), business (54), sponsors (28), indigo (15), judges 2012 (13)

Texprint Paris special prize presenter 2012: Nelly Rodi

16 September 2012 by

“I’m delighted that Nelly Rodi has agreed to be this year’s special prize presenter at Indigo,” says Texprint’s creative director Peter Ring-Lefevre. Indeed, the entire Texprint team are thrilled to welcome the esteemed creative director and founder of the eponymous trend forecasting company to the podium of the Texprint Village at Indigo, Paris, on Thursday 20 September at 3.30pm where she will be guest of honour at the annual prize ceremony.

Mme Rodi herself has been recognised for her achievements in the world of creation, receiving the Legion of Honour in 1998 from the French President and Officer of the Legion of Honour in 2009.

She founded the NellyRodi Agency in 1985 and the company counts the cream of international fashion and beauty brands such as L’Oréal, Tommy Hilfiger, Marks & Spencer, PPR and LVMH among its clientele. The Agency is known for providing a very sophisticated forecasting service, founded on research and analysis, which considers sociological, creative and marketing influences on future trends. As well as publishing regular Trendlab® forecasting books across several markets and end users, the company works extensively on brand repositioning and bespoke consultancy projects.

Peter is full of praise for the way in which Nelly approaches creative development and design work and recalls working on a project with her in the early 1990s when he was product development manager, menswear, at the The Woolmark Company office in Paris (then called IWFO and part of IWS).

“Nelly had a wonderful way of understanding wool as a natural fibre. She stretched the imagination and technical side of what could be achieved with the fibre in the developing stages,” he says. “She had lots of new ideas, right down to the benefit for various consumer levels. She has a very thorough way of working.”

Texprint takes an equally rigorous approach to selecting the most dynamic and talented new textile designers from UK art schools and universities to take part in the annual mentoring programme.

“British schools seem take a much freer approach to educating their students, mixing different approaches such as photography, art and fashion, leaving the student to express himself, without imposed rule…Freedom gives a lot of energy to fashion,” says Nelly.

As a creative force with a deep understanding of the fashion and interiors industries, Nelly will offer a wealth of advice to the 24 selected textile designers when she visits the designers’ stands at Indigo, part of Première Vision Pluriel. She says she is interested in work that has “an artistic approach, close to an artistic concept, mixed with texture and colours. For drawing, I look for hand-drawing and motifs which are not too commercial or based on actual trends. Technology comes after...”

“Nelly understands that the industry needs to be behind young and creative textile designers,” says Peter. Indeed, Nelly says: “The younger generation brings a lot of positive energy and modernity needed by our ‘old’ textile industry. We find new approaches by looking after the work of the new generation.”

She signs off with the following advice for new graduates: “Don’t be depressed by the textile recession. Make direct contact with leading international garment brands. Keep your freshness and freedom. And dare to create what you have in your hearts.”

Thank you Mme Rodi, we look forward to seeing you in Paris.

For more information about Texprint and to arrange an interview with Nelly Rodi at Indigo, Paris, ahead of the prize presentation at 3pm on Thursday 20 September please email events@gghq.co.uk or call Delphine Thwaites on +44 (0)20 7250 0589.

Article tags: woolmark (19), general (57), champions of texprint (45), business (54), sponsors (28), paris (4), indigo (15), judges 2012 (13)

Woolmark Texprint Award judge: James E Sugden OBE, director of Johnstons of Elgin

13 September 2012 by

The Woolmark Texprint Award in support of Campaign for Wool will once again recognise a Texprint designer who excels in the use of Merino wool in his or her fabric design. The winner will be chosen from this year’s 24 Texprint new graduate designers who will present their designs at Indigo, part of Première Vision Pluriel, Paris, September 19-21, 2012. Texprint and Woolmark are proud to introduce James E Sugden OBE, director of Johnstons of Elgin, who will be combining his seasoned opinion with fellow judge Masahiro Oono to pick this year’s winner.

In his 20 years at Johnstons of Elgin, Mr Sugden successfully developed the company’s worldwide reputation for woven and knitted fine cashmeres and woollens. It now counts the likes of Burberry, Chanel and Louis Vuitton as esteemed clientele. He currently applies his expertise to Johnstons’ knitwear mills in Hawick; continuing to cultivate the UK’s largest independent vertical woollen manufacturer. Mr Sugden was awarded a prestigious OBE in 2011 by HM The Queen for his contributions to the textile industry and is considered an international aficionado on luxury textile manufacturing.

Mr Sugden brings over 40 years’ textile manufacturing experience to the judging panel and is keen to support the next crop of British-trained design talent: “It’s important to nurture the immense amount of talent that the UK has to offer at the earliest stages of a designer’s career. Texprint gives them a platform that they wouldn’t have access to otherwise to internationalise their talents.”

A recent resurgence of UK-based manufacturing has been led by businesses looking to support well-made product. As the Johnstons customer moves away from low added-value products, they look for ways to set themselves apart from the crowd. Mr Sugden insists that “customisation is the key to differentiating product” and has ensured that Johnstons has the capacity and technology to cope with demand.

“The technology is there, but it’s the creative spirit that drives us forward,” he says. “If we don’t push the boundaries, the industry will never progress. That’s why we need young designers with conviction and the boldness of youth.”

The design talent coming from the art colleges here in the UK is revered worldwide and Mr Sugden believes that it’s crucial to help young designers find a platform for success. He hopes to find someone with “a focused perspective and a comprehensive knowledge of colour, weave and texture” to champion the Woolmark Texprint Award.   

Article tags: texprint 2012 (27), woolmark (19), general (57), champions of texprint (45), business (54), indigo (15), judges 2012 (13)

Woolmark Texprint judge: Masahiro Oono from Japanese wool specialist Nikke

11 September 2012 by

Textile designer Masahiro Oono from Japanese wool specialist Nikke joins judging panel for the 2012 Woolmark Texprint Award in support of Campaign for Wool prize.

Versatile, strong and natural: Merino wool provides textile designers with yarns and fabrics which are luxurious and sustainable, whether used in interiors or in apparel. The Woolmark Company, the not-for-profit organisation owned by over 29,000 Australian woolgrowers, invests in research, development, innovation and marketing along the global supply chain for Australian wool — the largest source of this noble fibre.

The Woolmark Company encourages new designers to explore the design possibilities and benefits of Merino wool through the sponsorship of the second annual Woolmark Texprint Award in support of Campaign for Wool. The award recognises design excellence in fabrics created with 60% or more Merino wool, whether presented as printed, woven, knitted and/or mixed media fabric.

A winner will be selected from among the 24 designers who will show their work in the Texprint village at Indigo, which is part of Première Vision Pluriel, September 19-21, 2012. The Woolmark Company and Texprint are delighted that experts in woollen textile creation will be choosing the winner.

In the first of two profile focuses on the judges, we speak with Masahiro Oono, project manager of Nikke Group’s textile design and marketing department in the Osaka-based organisation’s textile and clothing materials division – otherwise known as the Japan Wool Textile Co Ltd.

Nikke was established over 110 years ago, starting as a manufacturer of wool products and has since expanded into six different domains with the aim of providing “products and services to meet customers’ demands and make a contribution to society”. Its textile and clothing materials division includes the development, manufacture and wholesaling of products for apparel primarily incorporating wool. Like wool, Nikke’s corporate philosophy is to be “gentle and warm toward people and the planet”. ­

On meeting with Mr Oono on Nikke’s stand at textile exhibition Première Vision, Paris, he presents what he describes as the company’s signature fabric: a superfine wool chiffon gauze weighing 120g per meter which costs in the region of €35 per meter, which puts it in the realm of luxury brands. Indeed, he lists Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Jil Sander and Burberry as top customers.

The most popular colours selected by buyers in February were sky blue or mustard, however for Mr Oono, achieving technical excellence is more important than using colour in design: “Nikke has a long history and a large archive, and we do a lot of work from the archive. I try to do what other can’t or aren’t able to do.”

Mr Oono joined Nikke 25 years ago. With two generations of kimono artisans in his family, he says his parents were happy when he decided to study fashion and textiles. “Since I was a child I have liked clothing. When I was deciding what to do at university, new stylists such as Yohji Yamamoto were coming through and I wanted to do something in this field,” he explains.

To the question ‘why would you recommend that new textile designers experiment with wool?’ he replies with another question: “Maybe students think that wool is thick and not interesting? But high end wool has so much potential. It’s important to know the possibilities of wool. If you don’t know wool and wool fibres you will never become a good textile designer.”

Mr Oono is a great advocate of wool and praises its inherent nature: “It’s natural, and comes from sheep and there’s a long history of man weaving sheep’s wool. You can do so many things with it: felt, twill, crêpe... there are so many possibilities. It’s also strong.”

As a Woolmark Texprint Award judge, he says he will be looking for designs that show “something unusual, that no one else has thought of, a new way”.  As well as lending his expertise in judging the competition, Mr Oono will be a source of advice and inspiration for the 24 designers taking part in Texprint this year as he meets them and reviews their design work while looking for the winner: “We need young people – we need new ideas. Textile design is very creative work, work that gives you the possibility to realise your dreams.”

Article tags: texprint 2012 (27), woolmark (19), general (57), champions of texprint (45), business (54), sponsors (28), indigo (15), judges 2012 (13)

Texprint London 2012 resource seminar

24 July 2012 by

Rebecca Sharp UK country manager of The Woolmark Company

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

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

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

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

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

Carola Seybold, Helen Palmer and Barbara Kennington chairman of Texprint

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Article tags: texprint 2012 (27), woolmark (19), general (57), business (54), technology (9), texprint london (19), colour (8), special events (11)

Texprint 40th anniversary dinner at Coutts

12 March 2012 by Editor

Jane Shepherdson, Sir Terence Conran, Barbara Kennington and Professor Jane Rapley OBE

Texprint marked its 40th anniversary with a dinner courtesy of Coutts on Wednesday 8 March, 2012 at the bank’s head office on the Strand, London.

Hosted by Texprint’s chairman Barbara Kennington, the evening – the first such event held by Texprint - celebrated the Texprint programme which supports the best of British-trained textile graduates. The guests included many of Texprint’s sponsors, leading designers, educators and industry heads, including Sir Terence Conran, chairman of the BFC and Jaeger/Aquascutum Harold Tillman CBE, Caroline Burstein of legendary fashion store Browns and CEO of Whistles Jane Shepherdson.

Left: Sue Timney, Centre: Joanna Bowring (Texprint), Gill Gledhill (GGHQ), Anne Tyrrell MBE, Right: Professor Clare Johnston, Luigi Turconi (Ratti)

Following a champagne reception in Coutts’ boardroom, lined with hand-painted Chinese wallpaper c. 1793, the guests enjoyed a relaxed dinner, learning first-hand how Texprint helps launch the careers of new textile creatives from Texprint alumni including Michael Angove, Kirsty McDougall of Dashing Tweeds, William Crighton of Marks & Spencer, Natasha Muraskzo of Stella McCartney and Andrew Stevenson of Tom Ford International.

In her introduction, Barbara said: "Texprint serves to remind us how very important it is to encourage and support textile innovation and design, and that the textile is the very foundation on which so many of our design businesses are built..."

Among the supporters present were George Pulman QC of the Haberdashers’ Company, Peter Ackroyd MBE of Woolmark, Catriona Macnab of WGSN, Sean Ryan of Paul Smith, Anne Tyrrell MBE, Julius Schofield MBE, John Snowdon of Worshipful Company of Weavers, designer Sue Timney, and Luigi Turconi of Italian printer Ratti.

Left: Harold Tillman CBE, David Shah, Right: Alan Marshall (Coutts), Emma Mawston (Liberty Art Fabrics)

Textile education leaders were represented by Professors Jane Rapley OBE of Central St Martins, Clare Johnston of the Royal College of Art, and Kay Politowicz of Chelsea College of Art & Design.

David Shah, publisher of View magazine, who gave the after dinner speech, had his audience grimacing, laughing and listening in equal measure to his hold-no-punches take on the fashion market and the value of textile design as the bedrock of the industry.

Left: Jane Shepherdson, Caroline Nodder (Drapers), Scarlet Oliver (Clothworkers' Foundation), Right: David Eaton (Eyefix HK), Anne Tyrrell MBE

Barbara says: “I would particularly like to thank Harry Keogh, Alan Marshall and Maria Suckling of Coutts for their support and generosity. The evening gave us an invaluable opportunity to show our appreciation for the continued support of our sponsors.  Also the chance to demonstrate Texprint’s new mindset - we are finding new ways to work with industry - innovative textile design is an important element in success and Texprint can help companies explore the possibilities.”

Guiseppina Shah (View Publications), Peter Ring-Lefevre (Texprint), Barbara Majocchi (ComON Italy), Luigi Turconi (Ratti)

Article tags: alumni (43), texprint 2012 (27), woolmark (19), general (57), champions of texprint (45), business (54), special events (11)

Harriet Toogood wins first Woolmark Texprint Award

25 September 2011 by

Agnes B, Woolmark prize winner Harriet Toogood and Texprint Chairman Barbara Kennington

The first winner of the new Woolmark Texprint Award in support of the Campaign for Wool was chosen on September 21 at Indigo, Paris.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woven textile by Harriet Toogood.

Harriet Toogood, a graduate of the University of Brighton wins the inaugural prize for her superb woven textile designs which were created with 60% or more Merino wool. The prize has been created in support of the Campaign for Wool with Paton HRH The Prince of Wales and honours the inventive use of wool in textile design. 

The prize was judged by Douglas Cordeaux, Managing Director of Fox Brothers & Co and Keith Walker, Managing Director of Linton Tweeds - and presented by renowned designer Agnès B. They selected Harriet out of the 24 shortlisted designers taking part in the Texprint programme this year, all of whom presented their work at Indigo. She recieved £1,000 in prize money at the event, which was presented by Woolmark's Peter Ackroyd. As part of her prize, Harriet will have access to the Woolmark Company and it's global support network.

Harriet's highly individual approach includes incorporating discarded materials such as brightly coloured nylon string, black bin bags and plastic sacking alongside wool in her work to create bold, contemporary woven textiles. She adds the coveted Woolmark prize to the Texprint Space prize she scooped at Texprint London in July.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woolmark judges at Indigo

Speaking on behalf of the judges, Keith Walker said that they had selected Harriet because of her creative use of Merino wool and other materials. He said, "As a weaver, I recognise what she has created: she uses different weaves and a combination of materials - wool included - to create something very unusual, but also practical, it was what I was hoping to find in a winner, and it's what she's achieved".

The Woolmark  judges also commended weaver Amy Jo Lewis, a recent graduate from the RCA,  for her excellent work.

toogoodhat@btinternet.com

Article tags: weave (23), woolmark (19), indigo (15)

Douglas Cordeaux and Keith Walker choose the Woolmark prize winner

07 July 2011 by

Douglas Cordeaux

Merino wool is one of nature’s greatest bounties; whether used in interiors, for knitwear or in fine worsted cloth, wool will provide you with a fabric that is natural, luxurious, renewable and durable.

Woolmark International, the not-for-profit organisation owned by over 29,000 Australian woolgrowers, invests in research, development, innovation and marketing along the global supply chain for Australian wool — the largest source of this noble fibre.

Woolmark is keen to highlight the versatility and benefits of Merino wool and has joined forces with Texprint to sponsor the Woolmark Texprint Award in support of The Campaign for Wool. The award recognises design excellence in fabrics created with 60% or more Merino wool whether presented as printed, woven, knitted and/or mixed media fabric.

Douglas Cordeaux, managing director of Fox Brothers & Co, and Keith Walker, managing director of Linton Tweeds, will select a winner from among the 24 designers who will show their work in the Texprint village at Indigo, which is part of Première Vision Pluriel, from September 20-22, 2011. As judges Douglas and Keith will use their expertise in producing luxurious, fine 100% woollen fabrics to guide their choice of winner.

Douglas began his career in textiles at the Chelsea School of Art in the 1980s and has since been a design consultant and textile advisor to a range of brands before heading a company that has been creating world-renowned cloth for over 200 years.

He says: “Texprint provides an invaluable bridge between the emerging talent of young textile designers in Britain and commerce. As the owner of Fox Brothers, one of the oldest surviving woollen mills in the UK, I'm delighted to be involved with this year's new award.”

Douglas is passionate about the fibre: “Wool is and always has been the fibre of choice for fine tailoring. Looking back through the extensive Fox archives you can see the lasting, durable quality of wool and how it holds dyes and different finishing processes to create all manner of cloth styles and weights.”

Douglas says he’s encouraged to know that Texprint’s new designers will be working with Merino wool: “We'd welcome any of the graduates to visit our West Country mill to see how we've used wool from Australia and Britain to create world renowned cloths since 1772.”

Keith Walker

Linton Tweeds has been creating 100%woollen fabric for a century and initially became famous through its collaboration with pivotal 20th century designer Coco Chanel. Keith is the second generation of his family to head Linton Tweeds and he offers a different perspective on working with wool.

“As manufacturers of the world’s most innovative fabrics, Linton’s future depends on the continued development of Britain’s outstanding design talent,” says Keith. “We are happy to support the new Woolmark Texprint Award because we feel that wool provides a unique opportunity to showcase such talent.”

Article tags: texprint 2011 (31), woolmark (19), indigo (15)

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