Amelia’s Magazine | Vita Gottlieb: London Fashion Week Fashion Fringe S/S 2013 Catwalk Preview Interview

vita gottlieb by Alexa Coe
Vita Gottlieb A/W 2012 by Alexa Coe.

I’ve known of Vita Gottlieb through mutual friends for many years so when I bumped into her recently it was something of a surprise to hear of plans to launch herself as a fashion designer, having worked previously in fine art, film and textile design. I was then really happy to discover (via facebook, where else?) that she had been shortlisted as a finalist for this season’s Fashion Fringe. Here she describes the incredible journey she has made: inspiring stuff for all would be fashion designers!

Vita Gottlieb by Angela Lamb
Vita Gottlieb by Angela Lamb.

You are a textile designer by training – how difficult was it to become a fashion designer? Where did you learn to think in terms of putting your textiles on the body?
I actually trained in the more theoretical area of art history – then did an MA in Fine Art – it was here I started to experiment with my illustrative and graphical sketches, putting them into prints and wall hangings. It seemed natural to move into textiles from there and then translate these 2-D forms into 3-D with fashion. I’ve always needed to work with my hands and love the direct process of designing textile prints, then using these to design on the body. The prints inform the process and I absolutely love it. Finally I feel I can use and be inspired by all my passions – film, art, stories, travel and wilderness.

Vita Gottlieb AW 2012
Vita Gottlieb AW 2012
Vita Gottlieb A/W 2012.

Prior to that you also worked in film and gained a degree in fine art. What do you think led you to fashion after so many years in other design disciplines?
I suppose I like to slow-cook things! Sometimes you need a bit of time to work through all the peripheral ambitions and come slowly into settling on something that feels right and at the right time. I don’t think I would have been good in the fashion industry in my early 20s – I was quite sensitive and volatile, and probably would have been swallowed up or waylaid by it all! I love film and always will but ultimately wanted to be in control of a more contained aesthetic, and with fashion, you really can make things happen in an exciting, organic way. It’s akin to being an artist – it’s your vision, your story, but you need to communicate this message clearly in order to make it happen. Art and film will always feed into my work though, through the creation of story and mood, the use of print and fabric manipulation. I’ve also always loved texture, the feel and emotion of strong colour, of materials themselves. Fashion seems to encapsulate all of these things in such a magical way.

Vita Gottlieb AW 2012
Vita Gottlieb AW 2012
Vita Gottlieb A/W 2012.

What did you learn from your years working in interiors that you have been able to apply to your fashion designs?
For around 3 years I free-lanced as a textile designer in both the interiors market and also, I designed and made my own accessories for the body which sold at trade and public fairs. The biggest learning curve from that for me has been understanding how to translate ideas from the graphic ‘doodles’ I was making in textile print – which had a flat, albeit malleable substrate – into a conversation with construction, silhouette, movement. The amazing thing for me now is witnessing how much the 3-dimensional form in the movement of fabric can really alter my thinking on a design. It’s wonderful to watch it develop through sketches, into a pattern, all the protos and finally, to see a garment on a real body is just so exciting.

Vita Gottlieb AW 2012 scarf
What makes your scarf collection so unique?
I’d say my use of colour, graphic repeat prints and intricate detail. They’re trans-seasonal, so can be worn with anything and by anyone all year round.

Vita Gottlieb, Illustration by Rosa and Carlotta Crepax, Illustrated Moodboard
Vita Gottlieb S/S 2013 preview by Rosa and Carlotta Crepax, Illustrated Moodboard.

What was the inspiration behind your A/W 2012 collection?
AW12 was inspired by elements of the forest floor and the tactile quality of bark, moss, the underside of mushrooms. I had this image of a disenchanted forest filled with creeping lianas and the raw-edged, tactile textures of fallen leaves. Also, the colours of dusk. Dusk and moonlight, magic hour – I think these qualities of light will form a puncture through many collections to come.

Vita Gottlieb SS 2012 Nightbird (illustrated preview by Vita)
Vita Gottlieb S/S 2012 Nightbird (illustrated preview by Vita).

What was the process of being picked for Fashion Fringe? Where did it all start?!
It’s been an amazing journey so far! It started with a question – should I really apply? Do I have a chance? I thought it was a no until I woke up one day and just said to myself ‘there’s nothing to lose’ – classic, really. Something in the way the criteria for entry was written gave me hope as it seemed to me to encapsulate everything I wanted my label to be. It’s incredible to have got this far! I remember the day Christopher Bailey called, personally, to say I was a Semi-Finalist; I was in New York at the time and literally jumped around the room I was in. Being announced as a Finalist was one of those moments I won’t forget – the elation, nerves, and fear! I think I’m more afraid of success than I am of failure, much as I want and am working for it – but there’s no looking back now. The team at Fashion Fringe have been amazing and so supportive throughout, which amongst many other things has made the whole process such a joy and privilege.

 Vita Gottlieb SS 2012 Tamsin (illustrated preview by Vita)q
Vita Gottlieb S/S 2012 Tamsin (illustrated preview by Vita)

I can’t wait to see your new collection: the description sounds incredibly romantic and dreamy – are you a dreamer? What’s the best dream you’ve ever had?
Oh, man, I am a consummate dreamer! Both day and night. Reverie is a favourite hobby of mine. Often I dream of flying through the universe, diving in and out of colours and natural patterns of movement – sometimes I go back in time and poke about cobbled alleys and strange places. Always there’s a lot of movement, colour and music. I wake up shaking from the images sometimes. But it’s so much a part of me.

Vita Gottlieb S/S 2013 preview by Catherine Moody
Vita Gottlieb S/S 2013 preview by Catherine Moody.

The collection will layer eastern and western references – what motifs have you taken from each place, and how have you mixed them up?
SS13 is inspired in part by Paul Poiret‘s 1911 party ‘Thousand and Second Night‘, where guests were asked to wear Persian dress and indulge in dancing in the moonlight… I love the idea of layering Eastern influences into Western ideas; some of the prints are inspired by and use motifs from Georges Barbier‘s early twentieth century illustrations. I also thought about moonlight as a mood and infused some of the colours of that hour, just after dusk, in an imaginary city full of minarets and flickering lights. In terms of Western influences, I’ve tried to create a bit of a puncture through accessories and silhouettes.

vita gottlieb pinterest
You are an avid fan of Pinterest – how do you use it to collate and filter your ideas?
Yes, I love it as it’s such an easy way of keeping all your ideas and inspirations in once place. I’m a real sketchbook hoarder and keep everything I sketch or write in books at home or in the studio – but Pinterest I use more for general interest inspiration. And for food porn, it’s great for that!

Vita Gottlieb A/W 2012 by Lea Rimoux
Vita Gottlieb A/W 2012 by Lea Rimoux.

In fact you are quite internet savvy all around, why do you think (as an up and coming designer) it’s important to be so visible on social media networks? Do you plan to sell all your collections online?
Being social-media savvy doesn’t necessarily come naturally and I was definitely a Facebook/Twitter abstainer for a LONG time. But once I’d set up my business I recognised just how useful it can be and have become a lot more interactive now. It’s mainly for business but I try to pepper what I post with some personal and quirky content too. I think it’s important not to forget that there is a person behind the label and to inject some personality into it all. As an emerging designer I think it’s imperative to use social media to maximise your profile – and to keep in touch with what your potential customers want, that’s key too. Currently I sell my scarves online but yes, eventually I do plan on selling the collections too. It’s exciting to see what the internet can realise for my label – you can’t ignore it anymore!

Vita Gottlieb A/W 2012 by Lea Rimoux
Vita Gottlieb A/W 2012 by Lea Rimoux.

I believe you are a foodie – what is your must have edible delight whilst working on your new collection?
Ah, I am definitely a foodie! I’ve always loved food – eating, cooking, everything really. I read recipe books as pleasure. Hmm, must-have edible delight? Hard to say as I love so many things – Asian flavours, home-cooked, big, flavoursome dishes, vegetables from the garden (one radish, this time to garden!), things like shepherd’s pie and fresh peas or glazed salmon in honey, mirin and lime. Don’t get me started! But it has to be savoury, I’m not really inclined toward sweet things.

Can you give us any hints as to what to expect in your Fashion Fringe catwalk show? (music… casting.. atmosphere etc)
I believe you’ll be there, so, you will have to wait and see, Amelia!

Vita Gottlieb A/W 2012 by Lea Rimoux
Vita Gottlieb A/W 2012 by Lea Rimoux.

What are your hopes for the future?
I’d like to build a successful, well-regarded and creative womenswear label, branching out with a diffusion line, travel lifestyle and perhaps lingerie. One day I’d love to open a kind of eco-lodge in a hot tropical country by the sea. You see, I am a dreamer! More locally, I’m interested in collaboration with other artists and creative professionals, making fashion films, happenings and shows, and see the future as a very exciting thing.

Vita Gottleib A/W 2012 by Gemma Sheldrake
Vita Gottleib A/W 2012 by Gemma Sheldrake.

See more from Vita Gottlieb here… I can’t wait to see the entire collection on the catwalk! Vita Gottlieb shows alongside Haizhen Wang and Teija Eilola in the BFC Courtyard Show Space on Tuesday 18th September 2012.

vita-gottlieb by Melissa Angelik
Vita Gottlieb by Melissa Angelik.

Categories ,Alexa Coe, ,Angela Lamb, ,Catherine Moody, ,Christopher Bailey, ,Courtyard Show Space, ,Fashion Fringe, ,film, ,Fine Art, ,Gemma Sheldrake, ,Georges Barbier, ,Haizhen Wang, ,Illustrated Moodboard, ,Lea Rimoux, ,lfw, ,Melissa Angelik, ,Nightbird, ,Paul Poiret, ,Pinterest, ,Rosa and Carlotta Crepax, ,S/S 2013, ,Tamsin, ,Teija Eilola, ,Textile Design, ,Thousand and Second Night, ,Vita Gottlieb

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Amelia’s Magazine | Alternative Fashion Week 2010 at Spitalfields Market: Day 5 Chelsea BA Textiles Show

Alternative Fashion Week Day 5 2010 Chelsea College of Art & Design Textile Design
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

I’m going to devote a whole blog entirely to the work of Chelsea College of Art and Design, mind shown on day 5 of Alternative Fashion Week. Why, ambulance you may well ask?

Well, mainly just because I loved the sheer exuberance of their offering. ‘Modern Folk’ may not have been refined, but it was absolutely fabulous. As I walked into Crispin Place the first year students of the BA Hons course in Textile Design were rehearsing their catwalks against the backdrop of the city in the sunshine, and the riot of colour, shape and pattern hit me like a flock of excited parrots. Arranged from brightest down to most muted their outrageous creations ran through every colour in the spectrum. Polished it wasn’t, but there were so many great ideas that I struggled to capture them all and anyway, I’m just gonna let the pictures do the talking. Feast your eyes on this little bunch…. props to the tutors at this college for encouraging such a fantastic show of creativity from students so early on in their careers.

Alternative Fashion Week Day 5 2010 Chelsea College of Art & Design Textile Design
Alternative Fashion Week Day 5 2010 Chelsea College of Art and Design Textile Design
Alternative Fashion Week Day 5 2010  Chelsea College of Art
Alternative Fashion Week Day 5 2010 Chelsea College of Art and Design Textile Design
Alternative Fashion Week Day 5 2010 Chelsea College of Art and Design Textile Design
Alternative Fashion Week Day 5 2010 Chelsea College of Art and Design Textile Design
Alternative Fashion Week Day 5 2010 Chelsea College of Art and Design Textile Design
Alternative Fashion Week Day 5 2010 Chelsea College of Art and Design Textile Design
Alternative Fashion Week Day 5 2010 Chelsea College of Art and Design Textile Design
Alternative Fashion Week Day 5 2010  Chelsea College of Art
Alternative Fashion Week Day 5 2010 Chelsea College of Art and Design Textile Design
Alternative Fashion Week Day 5 2010 Chelsea College of Art and Design Textile Design
Alternative Fashion Week Day 5 2010 Chelsea College of Art and Design Textile Design
Alternative Fashion Week Day 5 2010 Chelsea College of Art and Design Textile Design
Alternative Fashion Week Day 5 2010 Chelsea College of Art and Design Textile Design
Alternative Fashion Week Day 5 2010 Chelsea College of Art and Design Textile Design
Alternative Fashion Week Day 5 2010 Chelsea College of Art and Design Textile Design
Alternative Fashion Week Day 5 2010 Chelsea College of Art and Design Textile Design
Alternative Fashion Week Day 5 2010 Chelsea College of Art and Design Textile Design
Alternative Fashion Week Day 5 2010 Chelsea College of Art and Design Textile Design
Alternative Fashion Week Day 5 2010 Chelsea College of Art and Design Textile Design
Alternative Fashion Week Day 5 2010 Chelsea College of Art and Design Textile Design
Alternative Fashion Week Day 5 2010 Chelsea College of Art and Design Textile Design
Alternative Fashion Week Day 5 2010 Chelsea College of Art and Design Textile Design
Alternative Fashion Week Day 5 2010 Chelsea College of Art and Design Textile Design
Alternative Fashion Week Day 5 2010 Chelsea College of Art and Design Textile Design
Alternative Fashion Week Day 5 2010 Chelsea College of Art and Design Textile Design
Alternative Fashion Week Day 5 2010  Chelsea College of Art

Categories ,Alternative Fashion Week, ,BA Hons, ,Chelsea College of Art and Design, ,spitalfields, ,textile, ,Textile Design, ,Textile Designer

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with the creators of Jessie and Buddug, the Shop

JASPER GARVIDA lfw s/s 2011 Rachel Clare Price
A selection of Jessie’s corsarges

Walking around Broadway Market, approved one cold wintery Saturday, feeling hungry and looking at all the delicious food I could ill afford, (oh the joys of being a student!). I came across a treasure trove of a stall run by the delightful Jessie and Buddug and instantly fell in love with their charming designs. Since this initial visit, I have returned time and time again to buy unique necklaces as birthday (incredibly successful!) gifts.

So you can imagine my delight coming across their Columbia Road shop, originally located in the upstairs of one the picturesque houses adorning the street. Jessie and Buddug have recently expanded ‘downstairs’, and in celebration of their success, I had the pleasure of interviewing the talented textile artists for Amelia’s Magazine.

I first noticed your designs at Broadway Market on Saturday, was this your first venture?

Buddug: We started broadway market after we graduated 5 years ago and got the shop 2 years ago.

What was your experience of the market? Do you still have a stall there?

Buddug: We still have a stall at Broadway Market, we feel it has grown so much since we started. It’s been cold and wet at times but it’s been great learning what people buy. Its been great socially too, speaking with our friends and customers.

As friends from home, what has it been like to work together?

Buddug: We met when we were on art foundation and always said we we would like to collaborate together in the future. We find it easier that we both do our own work and then display together because we both have different working hours.

You previously occupied an upstairs room in Columbia Road, how did the opportunity to expand into a downstairs space arise?

Buddug: We got offered a place at ground level by Bev who had the shop before us, she made handmade clothes and toys etc, she offered it to us before anyone else which was an honour and we jumped at the chance.

What was your experience of the Goldsmiths Textiles course (which sadly no longer exists?)

Jessie: I was at Goldsmiths, at a very tricky time, the course was going through a real denial period, as they were finding the debate about what to do with textiles and fine art really hard. Which made it hard for us as students and as someone who is passionate about cloth and textiles and most of all making, I found the course incredibly frustrating!

But I had very supportive parents; Primmy Chorley and I am close friends with Audrey Walker and Eirian and Denys Short. So I always had a huge back up behind me in the textile world. I did feel incredibly pulled between the two worlds though and I was lucky enough to come out fighting, determined to set up my own business and to carry on my making process.

Overall I am pleased I went through the Goldsmiths experience, as the academic and written side of it, (for me) has helped me today to think the way I do and pushed me in other ways.

What course did you study Buddug and what was your experiences?

I studied at London Guildhall (now London Metropolitan University)in Jewellery, silversmithing and other crafts. I enjoyed the experimenting with different materials. It was very much a hands on course.

Buddug’s designs for Urban Outfitters.

Buddug, what was it like to work for Urban Outfitters?

It was quite difficult working for URBAN OUTFITTERS, due to the ammount i had to make! and I waited a long time for payment!

Jessie, what role does recycling play in your practice? Why is it important to you and how did you first become interested in using recycled materials?

Recycled materials has and I believe will always be a huge part of my work, I like it that it creates a timeless feeling, I guess it started from the scrap books I made with my Mum when I was young and colleting and using found and recycled items for me creates a story, old clothes and books hold some kind of story and depth to them.

A detail from Jessie’s seating plan for her Wedding Collection.

And how did the wedding collection develop?

I was asked to create a whole wedding theme for a lady who used to buy my cards at Broadway Market, I handmade her invites, table names and a seating plan and really from here I got other customers and then early this year I designed some invites which were slightly quicker to make and I did a huge wedding show in London and its kind of gone from here I have made for several weddings this summer and I am already making for 2011-2012 weddings.

An enamel plate by Buddug.

Buddug, how did you start designing the Home Ornaments collection?

I’ve always been interested in developing the enamel process since university and always liked/inspired by objects mother and grandmother had in the kitchen, I invested in a bigger kiln, which was a challenge to make bigger things!

What materials do you like working with and why?

Jessie: Fabrics, worn clothing, paper they all hold such a good quality and are embedded with an excisting narrative

Designs by Jessie Chorley

Buddug: I’ve always tried to use things that are around me and be inventive with the materials i already have/been thrown away and in old/secound hand things, there’s such a quality in materials and making process and a added charm in old things and it’s actually nicer to use…

Broach by Buddug

I like to combine different materials metal and fabric. fabric and paper or wood…but i mostly enjoy metal and enamel. I really like the solidness of metal and the duribility of it as a raw material.

What was it like to make the stage set for: the launch of Laura Dockrill’s book Ugly Shy Girl and how did you became involved in this?

Buddug: I can’t remember were we met Laura Dockrill, but she asked if we were interested in doing the stage for her. It was quite a challenge because we didn’t know the size of the stage but the best thing was Jessie’s bunting it was really big and yellow!

Have you made or participated in Set Design before? Is this something you will continue to participate in?

Jessie: Yes for me it is a real passion, I love to create things and watch others create a story with the objects I make. A lot of quite random masks and house like boxes which I display in the shop are often borrowed for shoots, and I always like the outcome. For me styling our shop is like creating a stage set I love making it all different each week and then watching the customers come in and their response to it!

My degree show was also about staging and the response of the audience and the creator, for this I made a huge seven foot book which you could walk inside.

Buddug: I haven’t done much set design before, but wold love to, it’s been quite good having practice doing the shop window.

What are the inspirations for your collections?

Jessie: Story telling, people places and preserving memories creating beautiful things from lost or found objects.

Buddug My inspiration for my work is a collection of things I find and come across, I usually collect and draw in sketch books. Nature, a sense of home comforts and memories/naustalgic sences. It’a quite a mish mash of ideas and influencs.

Design by Buddug

We have a few pieces in the shop were we bring things together such as the fabric bows with enamel buttons, but we find it easier to make our own work and display together.

Do you both run and participate in the organisation of the workshops?

Jessie: No I run the workshops I have done for quite a few years now. For me I love to go out and meet other people and hopefully change the way they see the world through making, I have worked with a lot of charities, which is both frustrating and very rewarding at the same time, I am always touched by certain characters which can feed directly in to my work.

The whole workshop trend has gone huge now though and people expect so much more, and have so much more since places like hobby craft became so big and shows like The Knit and Stitch.

I am currently organising my Christmas workshops which will be in November in North London. I will have some day workshops creating simple gift wrap and gifts.

Jess Chorley

Buddug Jess does a lot of workshops, I’m yet to start, but it might be something I would be interested in doing when I’m a bit older.

What’s next for Jess Chorley and Buddug?

Buddug: At the moment we are preparing for christmas, thinking of making stocking filler ideas and promoting our little shop. Nothing too big, taking up projects as they come along…

To find out more please visit:, and

Categories ,Broadway Market, ,Columbia Road, ,goldsmiths, ,Home Ornaments, ,Laura Dockrill, ,London Metropolitan University, ,textiles, ,wales, ,Weddings

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Amelia’s Magazine | Prints and Furnishings by Fanny Shorter: An interview with the talented Textile Designer

Fanny Shorter Passion Pair Blue
I first discovered the beautiful designs of Fanny Shorter at Cockpit Arts in 2013 and have since met her at Home London (twice) and Tent London. Last year she was a deserving recipient of the COADG bursary. Fanny trained as an illustrator at Brighton University but has since turned her skills to the joy of textile design, building an immediately recognisable brand that features beautiful bold designs inspired by a childhood growing up in the beautiful City of Winchester and family trips to museums and National Trust properties.

Winchester Richard Shorter
Winchester school Richard Shorter
Winchester views by Richard Shorter.

Your upbringing in Winchester with teacher parents sounds idyllic, what are your fondest memories of childhood?
We were just very lucky. We were housed in the school grounds where my father taught in Winchester and it was just an absolutely beautiful environment in which to grow up. I appreciate it more now even more than I did then. We were just outside most of the time. My mother was quite traditional but very creative and we were always encouraged to draw, sew, make things and write (although I’ve probably let that slip somewhat).

Why did you decide to study illustration and how did you end up specialising in surface design? (where did you learn the practicalities of printing for instance?)
I originally wanted to study painting but got cold feet about the enormity of possibility within fine art. I felt I needed some practical guidelines and illustration seemed the perfect compromise. My first surface design was in response to a brief at university and I just felt really comfortable designing with a very specific application in mind. Screen-printing followed quite naturally as a way of applying pattern to a material. I had an induction in screen-printing at Brighton but got really into it after I left and still love it as a way of working. It’s really physical and very satisfying.

Quince_Cushion_Small_Buttercup_Front_Fanny_Shorter copy
What was the most useful thing you took from your illustration degree in Brighton?
Having the freedom to explore different mediums and finding the confidence to develop your own style. I’m not sure I have it quite yet but I know now when I’ve done something I’m pleased with and when something is truly awful.

Fanny Shorter at work
How did you get involved with the COADG bursary and what has been the best outcome from winning the prize last year?
I was familiar with the Confessions of a Design Geek blog and read about the bursary winner, Jessica Hogarth the year before. It seemed like a great opportunity and I decided to apply the following year. The mentors and sponsors I met through the bursary have been so supportive. It’s a very daunting experience, setting up your own business, and they were very free and friendly with advice and time.

Why did you take a studio in Cockpit Arts and why would you recommend it to fellow creatives?
Cockpit provides seminars and one to one business advice as part of your rent. I felt if my business was going to get off the ground I needed all the help I could get. Being at Cockpit Arts has been invaluable. It’s great to tap into the professional support available but also to be part of a community where there’s always someone just ahead of you in business whose brains you can pick. We have an open studios event twice a year and it’s a brilliant way to get comfortable with talking about your work and meeting your customers – something I was nigh on allergic to beforehand.

Where do you look for inspiration when you start designing a new range of patterns?
Dorling Kindersley has always been an easy go to. Much of my work is inspired by natural science and it’s a quick, very visual source. I regularly visit National Trust properties, the V&A, Natural History Museum and Kew Gardens, Hampshire and Wiltshire all of which formed a major part of my childhood. Google is there too in times of crisis although daunting if you’re unsure where you’re even going to start. I’ll always use it to find facts and figures about the plants and birds I plan to use in a design.

Your brand is continually developing and you are about to add hand printed furnishing fabric by the metric. What do you hope for in the future?
If time I would like a range of furnishing fabrics, prints and wallpapers. I would ultimately love to bring screen-printing fabric by the metre back in house but I’d need a very long studio for that and in London it simply isn’t feasible at the moment. There’s the dream I suppose – having a workshop somewhere in the countryside with a printing dream team and a studio dog.

Categories ,Brighton University, ,COADG Bursary, ,Cockpit Arts, ,Confessions of a Design Geek, ,Dorling Kindersley, ,Fanny Shorter, ,Home London, ,Jessica Hogarth, ,National Trust, ,screenprinting, ,Tent London, ,Textile Design, ,Winchester

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Amelia’s Magazine | Renegade Craft Fair in London 2011 Review: Textile Design

Renegade Craft Fair London oct 2011 -the make lounge
Renegade Craft Fair London oct 2011 -the make lounge
Making stuff for oneself is the bedrock of the crafting scene so of course there were quite a few workshops ongoing when I visited the Renegade Craft Fair. The Stitch and Make studio were on hand to offer advice and The Make Lounge were teaching people to make miniature wool foxes.

Renegade Craft Fair London oct 2011 -Art Equals Happy
Kim Smith runs Art Equals Happy, decease which was a beautifully laid out stall of woollen goodies, at the front of which she sat spinning on a big old fashioned wheel. Her blog makes for extremely interesting reading. On it I discovered that she’s big on sustainability, recycling card and paper to create her envelopes. I was even more intrigued to discover that Kim is currently on the BA in illustration at Camberwell – what an inspiring lady.

Renegade Craft Fair London oct 2011 -Mary Kilvert
I loved the flock of sheep designs by Kingston University graduate Mary Kilvert, especially on cushions.

Renegade Craft Fair London oct 2011 -Diane Koss
Perfect for kids, Diane Koss had a stall groaning under the weight of her colourful plush toys: think furry one eyed monsters with huge horns.

Renegade Craft Fair London oct 2011 -Gluckskafer
There were some cute felted animals for sale by Gluckskafer on the Selvedge magazine stall – though I can’t seem to locate them online anywhere. Sorry!

Renegade Craft Fair London oct 2011 -Robin & Mould
Renegade Craft Fair London oct 2011 -Robin & Mould
I was most impressed with the bold screenprinted designs of Robin & Mould who are based in rural Wiltshire. Their tea cosies, tea towels and cushions were emblazoned with gorgeous animal inspired graphics.

Don’t forget to discover my favourite illustration and wall art at the Renegade Craft Fair too.

Categories ,2011, ,Art Equals Happy, ,Camberwell College of Arts, ,Cushion, ,Diane Koss, ,Felt, ,Foxes, ,graphic, ,illustration, ,Kim Smith, ,london, ,Mary Kilvert, ,Monster, ,Plushies, ,Renegade Craft Fair, ,review, ,Robin & Mould, ,screenprinting, ,Selvedge Magazine, ,sheep, ,Stitch and Make studio, ,Textile Design, ,The Make Lounge, ,Toys, ,Truman Brewery, ,Wiltshire, ,workshops

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Amelia’s Magazine | Royal College of Art MA Degree Show 2011 Review: Textile Design

Emma Lundgren by Natasha Waddon
Emma Lundgren by Natasha Waddon.

Textiles were displayed amongst product design at the Royal College of Art 2011 degree show – fitting, health as many textile designers showed practical applications for their textiles on cushions, trunks, tables and more.

RCA MA degree show 2011-Emma Shipley RCA MA degree show 2011-Emma Shipley RCA MA degree show 2011-Emma Shipley RCA MA degree show 2011-Emma Shipley RCA MA degree show 2011-Emma Shipley
Emma Shipley had produced an intricate print collection from fine pencil drawings that captured the patterns of nature… and some curious beasties. I’d love some of this on my wall… Follow Emma Shipley on Twitter.

Emma Lundgren by Sophia O'Connor
Emma Lundgren by Sophia O’Connor.

RCA MA degree show 2011-Emma LundgrenRCA MA degree show 2011-Emma LundgrenRCA MA degree show 2011-Emma Lundgren
I loved Emma Lundgren‘s Scandinavian inspired collection of brightly coloured costume and accessories. Think traditional Sami costume meets the rainbows of the Northern Lights. Lapland reworked for the modern age. Follow Emma Lundgren on Twitter.

RCA MA degree show 2011-Yunshin Cho
I liked the striking surface patterns of Yunshin Cho‘s print, based on the skeleton of a ship. It reminds me of wood laminate and 50s design classics. But her website on her business card doesn’t work… hopefully soon?

RCA MA degree show 2011-Rachel Philpott
Rachel Philpott chose a more avante garde approach: cotton covered with glitter and folded into intricate origami shapes. I don’t know how she did it but it was pretty amazing.

Thorunn Arnadottir by Natasha Waddon
Thorunn Arnadottir by Natasha Waddon.

RCA MA degree show 2011-Thorunn Arnadottir RCA MA degree show 2011-Thorunn Arnadottir
Thorunn Arnadottir chose that favourite contemporary source of inspiration the QR code, beading it into this amazing dress. Follow Thorunn Arnadottir on twitter.

RCA MA degree show 2011-Lauren Barfoot
Dresses printed by Lauren Barfoot hung wafting in the light breeze near the window – dominated by orange and purple shades these designs were inspired by Matisse and Fauvism. She’s well up on Twitter. Go follow her.

RCA MA degree show 2011-Kit Miles
Kit Miles collided classical baroque with digital music for these bold graphical prints.

RCA MA degree show 2011-Hannah Sabapathy
An exploration between the natural and manmade was also the basis for Hannah Sabapathy‘s collection – seen here on an architectural side table.

RCA MA degree show 2011-Jonna Saarinen
Jonna Saarinen of Finland brought a Scandinvian sensibility to her Hundreds and Thousands print collection that was display to great affect on picnic ware and table cloths. Follow Jonna Saarinen on Twitter.

RCA MA degree show 2011-David Bradley
David Bradley explored printing and pleats in some extraordinary dresses. Best appreciated for their technical expertise close up.

RCA MA degree show 2011-Kitty Joseph
Kitty Joseph created saturated colour prints in Colour Immersion.

RCA MA degree show 2011-Marie Parsons RCA MA degree show 2011-Marie Parsons
Lastly, Marie Parsons used traditional stitched quilting as the basis for her final piece – a brightly coloured trunk that juxtaposed digital embroidery and laser cutting of latex on hard and soft surfaces. Her collection was influenced by East End building sites, Mykonos Town and Paris flea market finds.

The RCA Graduate Show continues until 3rd July so I highly recommend that you check it out soon, and get on board with my other write ups.

Categories ,2011, ,50s, ,baroque, ,Beading, ,Colour Immersion, ,contemporary, ,cushions, ,David Bradley, ,digital, ,Emma Lundgren, ,Emma Shipley, ,EmmaEvaCaroline, ,Fauvism, ,finland, ,Graduate Shows, ,Hannah Sabapathy, ,Hundreds and Thousands, ,Jonna Saarinen, ,Katherine Joseph, ,Kit Miles, ,Kitty Joseph, ,Lapland, ,Lauren Barfoot, ,Marie Parsons, ,matisse, ,Natasha Waddon, ,Neon, ,Northern Lights, ,origami, ,print, ,Product Design, ,QR code, ,Quilting, ,Rachel Philpott, ,rca, ,Royal College of Art, ,Sami, ,Scandinavian, ,Sophia O’Connor, ,Stitching, ,Textile Design, ,textiles, ,Thorunn Arnadottir, ,traditional, ,Trunk, ,twitter, ,Yunshin Cho

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Amelia’s Magazine | Scandia by Zeena Shah: Colouring Book Review, Interview and Giveaway

Scandia WIN BOOK review
It’s not just illustrators getting in on the act! I was super excited to hear that the talented textile designer Zeena Shah has produced a colouring book of intricately drawn pages inspired by her interest in nature, folk art and Scandinavian iconography. Best known for her instantly recognisable textile designs and frequent print workshops, Zeena has produced a book that is every bit as fabulous as you would expect it to be, chock full of decorative patterns and beautiful imagery. The paper cut cover of Scandia is a particularly unusual and beautiful choice for a colouring book and is sure to make it stand out as something a little bit special. Would you like to win a copy of this beautiful book? Read on to find out how, this giveaway is OPEN WORLDWIDE thanks to the kinds folks at LOM Art, an imprint of Michael O’Mara.

Scandia by Zeena Shah review 9
When did you first cook up the idea of a colouring book and why did you settle on a Scandinavian theme?
Almost immediately after i’d just finished the final edits of my first book How to Print Fabric publishers Michael O’Mara got in touch about the possibility of an adult colouring in book. They had seen my illustrations and loved my Scandinavian inspired style. I’ve always been drawn to Scandi style so it was a perfect fit and extension of what I already do.

Scandia by Zeena Shah review 7
How long has it taken to put together and what was the process of working with Michael O’Mara?
It was a very quick process as I had a very tight deadline (all my own doing as my first book had just been published so I was busy juggling that as well as creating new work). I turned around all of the illustrations within a month or two of signing the book deal. It was such a lovely project to work on and a real joy to be able to draw everyday so I really enjoyed it even though the timing was tight. MOM were a dream to work with, they really understood my handwriting and we were in touch throughout the whole process from the first rough to the first paper cut sample of the book cover.

Scandia by Zeena Shah review
You trained in textiles at Chelsea, what did your studies do to prepare you for the working world?
I studied Textile Design at Chelsea School of Art and as much as I loved every minute of the course in all honesty it really didn’t prepare me for the real design world. It was a bit of a shock when I left art school and started working for various design studios and realised the reality was very different to the experimental art school mentality. I would encourage everyone to get out there and do as much work experience/interning as they can during their courses to prepare them for the industry, make those contacts. I feel so very lucky to be able to make a living running a creative business and doing what I love.

Scandia by Zeena Shah review 1
Who or what has most influenced your artistic style?
Nature and the everyday is a huge influence on my artistic style. I love to draw what I see and take inspiration from the things around me. There is an illustration of some leaves in Scandia that come from leaves I collected on my walk to the studio through Hackney Downs park. I’m always that crazy person collecting things on the street. I also collect a lot of vintage textiles and am obsessed with Vera Neumann‘s beautiful printed scarves. Her work is always an inspiration.

Scandia by Zeena Shah review 8
What is it about the actual print process that you love so much?
I love working with my hands and creating with a definite process, a start and finish. All of my screen prints will begin with a drawing that might then be papercut to create stencils or exposed onto a silk screen using a light sensitive emulsion which will then be screen printed. It’s the immediacy of this process that excites me. You can very quickly create print upon print once you have your design.

How to Print Fabric
Can you tell us a bit more about your previous book?
My first book How to Print Fabric was published in October last year. It is a collection of 40 print and sew projects for the complete beginner. I wanted to create a book that would make the world of printing onto fabric really accessible to everyone. It shows you how you can use everyday household objects to create beautiful print designs and what to do with them in a straightforward and fun way. One of my favourite projects is a laundry bag you can print using a toilet roll.

Scandia by Zeena Shah review 4
You are very busy with a lot of creative projects, how do you juggle your many projects?
Haha, I think I am just one of those people that like working on a million things at once. I always seem to be working on ten things at once as opposed to just one. I try to be as organised as a one woman band can be and have now started to outsource the production of my printed homeware collection to free up time for more creative projects and illustration commissions. I couldn’t live without my ical!

Scandia by Zeena Shah review 3
Can you tell us a bit more about some of your favourite events and projects?
I’m especially enjoying running my screen printing workshops at them moment. I really challenge people on a Monday evening to get out of their comfort zones and create something that really get’s them thinking in a different way to how they usually do and the results are amazing. Every class is filled with such talented folks and everyone’s print designs are always so unique. Another favourite at the moment is turning my illustrations for Scandia into some screen printed tote bags and paper prints to celebrate the launch party. Postcards, tote bags and more will be on the way soon.

Scandia by Zeena Shah review 2
Do you colour yourself, and if so what do you like to colour and what mediums do you use?
Before illustrating Scandia I hadn’t gotten into the craze for colouring in, my sister has always been a huge fan but I never seemed to find the time. Over Christmas I sat down and coloured in one of my favourites and used a mixture of graphite pencils, colouring pencils and sharpies. I really like sharpies or felt pens as they give such a lovely sold block colour which is what I’m always drawn to in my printmaking. I would like to try watercolours next time I have a moment though…

Scandia by Zeena Shah review 5
What is your next project, and can we expect a follow up colouring book?
Fingers crossed for another colouring book in the future, I have some commissions keeping me busy next and am working on a new collection of limited edition screen printed paper and textile goods readly for later this year.

To win a copy of Scandia head on over to my Facebook Page HERE and leave a comment or sticker. And tell all your friends because the giveaway is OPEN WORLDWIDE! A winner will be drawn at random on Sunday 26th June 2016. You can buy Scandia on Amazon. Please consider using my links to help support the running costs for this website.
Buy from Amazon UK here.
Buy from Amazon US here.
Find more of Zeena’s work here.

Categories ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Chelsea School of Art, ,Coloring Book, ,Colouring Book, ,Giveaway, ,Hackney Downs, ,How to Print Fabric, ,illustration, ,interview, ,LOM Art, ,Michael O’Mara, ,MOM, ,Scandia, ,Textile Design, ,Vera Neumann, ,Zeena Shah

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Amelia’s Magazine | Meet Parris Wakefield: Featured Artist from That Which We Do Not Understand

Sarah Parris has a background in environmental science and is one half of interiors design duo Parris Wakefield, who create colourful graphic textiles that I first fell in love with at Tent London last year. Order from Chaos was inspired by an interest in science, astronomy and nature, and ponders some big questions. ‘How did the universe begin? Why does the natural world follow the same mathematical patterns? Is it chance or some greater force at work, that brings such order from chaos?’ The geometric pattern follows the rules of the golden ratio and the Fibonacci sequence, which is applicable to the growth of every living thing.

ParrisWakefield-fabric rolls 480px 72dpi
Before becoming a designer you studied environmental science – how did this career evolve into your current one?
My career path has gone in several directions and ending up in design was really very much by luck. I had always intended to work in conservation. My first job was leading a summer holiday club at a country park. I loved it so, I went back to uni and got a PGCE in secondary school science, specialising in environmental education. After a few years though, I realised teaching in schools was not my calling and I needed to get out. Thankfully I met Howard who was looking for an admin and project manager at his design studio. He worked with world renowned designer Peter Saville, I slowly got more involved and was increasingly asked my opinion about colour and imagery which led to me creating my own digital imagery for the studio.

ParrisWakefield-zig zag cushion and shade 480px 72dpi
How did you research the geometric shapes for your piece Order from Chaos?
It is something I have always been amazed at, nature’s mathematical patterns are so fascinating and beautiful. A few years ago we worked on a graphic identity proposal for the Discovery Channel, which we based on the Fibonacci sequence, it didn’t go ahead but I learnt a lot about Fibonacci. This time, I didn’t want to simply recreate the classic spiral pattern, preferring the shapes based on the principles of the Golden section, Golden triangle and Fibonacci which are all interlinked.

Mia sofa by Jane Richards upholstered in Forget Me Not by Parris Wakefield 480px
What scientific ideas boggle your mind the most at the moment?
The fact that just yesterday a probe landed on a comet is quite mind boggling. The Rosetta spacecraft was launched more than 10 years ago, has travelled more than 6bn kilometres to catch up with the comet, which orbits the sun at speeds up to 135,000km/h. – wow!

studio photo Parris Wakefield
How do you create your unique patterns?
The patterns start with the colours, this is why I rarely recolour a pattern. I work with the selected colour palette straight away in photoshop, the pattern evolves quite organically, building up the pattern on different layers which we interact with each other. Working this way, I know how to manipulate the colours to get the effect I want, but also the unexpected can happen which is exciting.

Your business is a partnership with your husband Howard, how easy is it to work together and what is your secret to a harmonious business relationship?
Working with Howard is the easiest most natural thing, we have been working together for 13 years and I wouldn’t want that to change. We are on the same wavelength but have different skills, I cannot do what he does and so I have a huge respect for his graphic design knowledge. Equally he couldn’t get on and focus on his work if I didn’t do all the invoicing, marketing admin side of things. Our patterns are always a collaboration between the two of us, we often sit together and work on the pattern or share the file and work on different layers and then together decide on which ones to use and interact. With Order from Chaos I was really happy with the ‘Big Bang’ background but couldn’t get the geometric shapes right, the final combination and position was thanks to Howard.

What has been the best bit of relocating to Suffolk?
Suffolk is such a beautiful county. We are very lucky to live surrounded by one of the few remaining large common lands that is still grazed and rich with wildflowers. The school is a short bike ride away and our studio is in the attic of our barn. Moving here has given us the best work life balance that we could imagine with the bonus of allowing us and the kids to get up close with nature.

What next for the Parris Wakefield design business?
There are many products I would like to have the opportunity to design and the idea of collaborating with other creatives is really exciting. One that is already in the pipeline is our collaboration with Camira Fabrics and printing one of our designs on to wool. But I would also love to do carpet and ceramic designs so any companies out there looking for a new collaboration do get in touch…

Read more about the Parris Wakefield print here and buy your limited edition gold leaf Order from Chaos here. It would make a beautiful addition to any wall!

Categories ,#TWWDNU, ,Camira Fabrics, ,Discovery Channel, ,Fibonacci, ,Interior Design, ,Order from Chaos, ,Peter Saville, ,Rosetta, ,Sarah Parris, ,Suffolk, ,surface design, ,Tent London, ,Textile Design, ,That Which We Do Not Understand

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Amelia’s Magazine | New Designers 2011 Part One: Textile Design Graduate Show Review

New Designers review 2011-Louise Collis Loughborough
Textile design by Louise Collis of Loughborough.

New Designers is held every summer at the Business Design Centre in Islington and it’s a great one stop shop for anyone interested in the best up and coming new creative design talent, information pills boasting two weeks of exhibition to visit. I went along to week one to check out the best in textiles, viagra approved surface design, ceramics, glass, jewellery and craft, and I hope to also visit the second week which is currently taking place and features product design, photography, illustration and graphic design. It really is a crucial place to showcase work and snag the best graduate jobs: it was where I caught the eye of the gift card company I wanted to work for and was subsequently snapped up by a major textile print design agency when I graduated from the University of Brighton… Quadriga later folded and took all the money I earnt, thanks, but that’s another story.

New Designers review 2011-Louise Collis LoughboroughNew Designers review 2011-Louise Collis LoughboroughNew Designers review 2011-Louise Collis Loughborough
New Designers review 2011-Louise Collis Loughborough
New Designers review 2011-Louise Collis Loughborough
My first stop was at Loughborough University, where my eye was caught by the laser etched wall panels of Louise Collis, who pounced on me the minute I revealed my camera. She’s created a stunning range of interiors textiles that she displayed on padded stools and as cushions.

New Designers review 2011-Olivia Streatfield-James New Designers review 2011-Olivia Streatfield-James
Next door Olivia Streatfield-James had produced some wonderful monochrome animal prints.

New Designers review 2011-Gillian Armstrong
Gillian Armstrong had gone for a flowery theme, but her bold use of colour and shape made sure it stood out. Check out Gillian Armstrong’s blogspot here.

New Designers review 2011-Stacey Laura Houghton
Stacey Laura Houghton was inspired by mathematical equations and radical design to create these stunning neon light shades.

Louise Collis
Design by Louise Collis.

Turns out that Loughborough University turns out a very high standard of print graduate. I would have stayed longer to admire the rest but I got frightened out of the area by my constant need to justify why I’d like to take pictures – I understand student’s reticence in case ideas are nicked by big commercial companies but it’s also surely a good thing to get some much needed press… and they should have websites showcasing their work anyway!

New Designers review 2011-New Designers review 2011-Carrie OsborneNew Designers review 2011-Carrie Osborne
At Leeds College of Art Carrie Osborne had won the Tigerprint award for her very detailed and possibly quite commercial wallpaper and fabric designs. My favourite were the unabashedly out there floral designs. Follow Carrie Osborne on twitter here.

New Designers review 2011-Damien Barlow
New Designers review 2011-Damien Barlow
New Designers review 2011-Damien Barlow
Round the back I met Damien Barlow, who stood out with his illustrative papercut designs. We had a bit of a chat and he expressed excitement at his sudden discovery of the powers of twitter – interest from magazines within seconds. I’m not surprised because his work is ace.

New Designers review 2011-Damien Barlow
New Designers review 2011-Damien BarlowNew Designers review 2011-Damien BarlowNew Designers review 2011-Damien Barlow
He starts with text and then layers images around the words. Dinosaurs roaming amongst billowing clouds would be ideal for kiddie’s books, which he told me he has considered. He also has a zine and some exhibitions in the pipeline. I look forward to hearing more ideas soon. Follow Damien Barlow on Twitter.

Leeds College of Art also produced the New Designer of the Year 2011, Louise Tiler, so they must be doing something right!

Next up: Surface Design. Part Two of New Designers continues until Saturday 9th July 2011. Follow New Designers on Twitter for updates.

Categories ,2011, ,Business Design Centre, ,Carrie Osborne, ,dinosaurs, ,fashion, ,Furnishings, ,Gillian Armstrong, ,Graduate Shows, ,Islington, ,Leeds College of Art, ,Lighting, ,Loughborough University, ,Louise Collis, ,Louise Tiler, ,New Designer of the Year 2011, ,New Designers, ,Olivia Streatfield-James, ,Quadriga, ,Stacey Laura Houghton, ,surface design, ,Textile Design, ,textiles, ,Tigerprint, ,University of Brighton

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Amelia’s Magazine | A Review of The Pattern Sourcebook: A Century of Surface Design

PatternSource_jacket cover_drusilla_cole
The Pattern Sourcebook: A Century of Surface Design is a new mini edition of a recent larger volume, and includes the work of well known contemporary designers such as Eley Kishimoto, Angie Lewin and Ella Doran amongst those of unknown origin from decades past.

The Pattern Sourcebook_Spread_7
The Pattern Sourcebook_Spread_6
The Pattern Sourcebook_Spread_5
The author Drusilla Cole has also included her own work, which is heavily influenced by the minimalism of Japanese textile design. This mishmash approach stretches across 350 pages and provides a subjective snapshot of surface design as collected by one person. It will appeal to designers and aesthetes who prefer an unorthodox approach to finding inspiration, dipping in and out of years, locations and styles.

The Pattern Sourcebook_Spread_3
The Pattern Sourcebook_Spread_1
The Pattern Sourcebook: A Century of Surface Design is published by Laurence King. It costs £12.95 and is available here.

Categories ,Angie Lewin, ,Drusilla Cole, ,Eley Kishimoto, ,Ella Doran, ,Laurence King, ,Mini Edition, ,pattern, ,review, ,surface design, ,Textile Design, ,The Pattern Sourcebook, ,The Pattern Sourcebook: A Century of Surface Design

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