Monday, 16 October 2017

Happy Monday

Happy Monday! I hope a good weekend was had by all. Mine was lovely, with a great combination of city visits and country walks. On Saturday I went to the Tower of London and I loved it! I hadn't been since I went on a school trip when I was about ten years old and I was very impressed by it. There is lots to see and even the views over London and the river are really spectacular from the ramparts. It reminded me of what a great city I live in. On Sunday I went for a lovely brisk walk in the Oxfordshire countryside, ending up at a pub for lunch. It's a stunning time of year and the leaves on the trees were all changing to vibrant shades of orange and red.

On Friday I ventured to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace to check out what's going on. It's always great to see everything under one roof, to see the fabrics I've designed and to also see what other people are doing.

It was great to see that bright colours were very popular. I loved the selection of scarves above and the use of the kantha stitching. I might use that technique for some of my Cheeky Leopard scarves.

It's always great to see the Liberty floral fabrics. They come in all shades and look so pretty lined up.

I love a folk-inspired print and have designed a few in the past which you can see on my website here. The one above is a lovely multi colour version.

There were a lot of quirky novelty prints at the show. I loved the polar bear print on yellow and the multi colour umbrellas.

Higgs and Higgs had a selection of lampshades made out of the Sophia fabrics I designed for Makower UK. They looked really pretty hanging up.

These cute panda bear heads would work well in a nursery. I love the gender-neutral yellow and mint green colour palette.

I came home with some beautiful sari fabrics from Bazaar. One piece is a vibrant pink colour and the other piece uses softer pinks. I love the combination.

 My sari purchases came in this pretty little bag, also made from sari fabric! I can't wait to get creative with the fabrics I bought and think both pieces would make stunning clutch bags.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Autumn delights

I love this time of year. The leaves are changing colour and the weather is beginning to turn a little colder. To celebrate this I decided to add some autumn-inspired items to my store which include sweet apple designs and bright leaves in lovely fall colours. The leaf fabric is a cotton furoshiki that I bought in Japan. Furoshiki is a traditional fabric used for wrapping presents and they come in many interesting varieties. When I first moved to Japan I was intrigued by the choice of colours and patterns on offer and bought many of them for my fabric stash.

With the apple fabric I made a coin purse and card case combo. The red and white polka dot fabric was the perfect lining for both items.

The leaf fabric is a bold orange and beige colour and I decided to make a fab little tissue holder and glasses case. The perfect lining for these items was a brown and beige leaf fabric from Liberty.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Art therapy

As a professional textile designer, I spend my days designing patterns that are printed onto cotton and sold around the world. I feel very lucky to have a job where I am designing every day, but nowadays it's all done on the computer. When I first started designing textiles, all patterns were created with pencil and  paint and took a lot longer to do. I am happy that times have changed and the process is easier and quicker to create now, but I do still miss proper painting.

Last night I decided to get my paints out and try a spot of painting. It was so therapeutic! I'd forgotten how pleasing it was, squeezing out the paint from the tube and mixing it to the right consistency before bravely placing the first brush stroke onto the page.

I decided to paint one of the clutch bags from my collection and chose a bold red clutch made from a kimono fabric with blossom flowers on it. I started off by roughly drawing out the bag in pencil and then I slowly filled in the red areas around the white flowers, with a touch of yellow for the centres. It was finished off with some bold gold for the clasp.

Here is the original bag. You can find it in my store here.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Little stunner

I've just added this little stunner to my store. It's made from a vintage kimono piece I had in my collection and comes in a vibrant orange colour with accents of vibrant green and yellow. The fabric lends itself perfectly to a mini clutch bag and makes quite a statement. The best thing is, nobody else will have anything like it!

I love the brightness of the green on the leaves and decided to match the lining colour to that.

The original fabric was a small piece that was waiting for the perfect clutch bag to be made into. It also incorporates touches of gold outline to really bling it up.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Silk scarf

I've just added another scarf to my store. This one is made from vintage Japanese kimono pieces sewn together and comes in vibrant shades of red and cream. It has some stunning patterns in the mix and is long enough to wear around the neck a few times. You can find it in my store here.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Dries Van Noten

I love the work of Dries Van Noten who always creates an innovative yet wearable collection. His latest collection was shown at Paris Fashion week on Wednesday and was full of gorgeous colour and print, heaven for any textile designer. Fabrics were sourced from the 30s, 40s, 60s and 80s and these decades were also echoed in the shapes of the clothes. The designer was influenced by Picasso who took scraps of wallpaper and worked with those instead of using paint and a brush, and this has created a scrapbook look in his clothes. Dresses had open seams, or looked like they were made entirely out of scarves, that had been beautifully draped.

The outfit above beautifully pairs plaid trousers with a silk dressing gown.

 The outfit above has a fabulous lip print, reminiscent of Schiaparelli. I love the draping of the bright yellow scarf, which has also been belted at the waist.

  The androgynous look above has been softened by the draping of a silk scarf at the waist. I love the inclusion of the slouchy leather clutch bag.

The bold floral and colour way of the coat above is stunning!

I love the mix of the diagonal stripe of the trousers and vintage floral of the top above, toned down by a smart, soft brown jacket. Check out that stunning clutch bag!

  The inclusion of lilac in this collection is fab! In the outfit above it is mixed with a stunning shimmering metallic silver to create an asymmetrical skirt. In the outfit below is has been pieced together with completely contrasting fabrics that work so well, to create a stunningly draped evening dress.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Blue and gold

I bought this luscious blue and gold fabric a while ago and have been wondering what to do with it. I love the combination of the indigo blue, mixed with the cream and gold of the bold, stylised chrysanthemums.

 This floral design is a classic Japanese motif, but it has been modernised using scale and colour. I love the colour combination and the touches of teal outline here and there.

 Of course, I knew pretty early on that this fabric would be perfect for making into one of my clutch bags. It fits beautifully with the rest of my collection and really is stunning!

This bag needed a stunning lining to match the exterior and I found the perfect match, a bright acid green cotton that adds a flash of colour when the bag is opened.

This clutch bag can be worn with a little black dress for a glamorous night out or dress it down and wear it with a pair of jeans and a smart jacket.

You can find it in my store here.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Design Junction

The London Design Festival is now coming to and end and yesterday I managed to dip into one last show before it finishes. This one is called Design Junction and held in the Granary Square area of King's Cross. Apart from seeing the shows, it was great to go up there and see how much the place has changed over the pat few years. There has been a lot of new development there and Central Saint Martins is now based there in a stunningly converted warehouse building.

Visitors were met by this impressive installation of arches decorated with varying styles of tile designs in Granary Square.

The Canopy section of the show was an area dedicated to more than 75 boutique pop-up shops showing a mix of design-led trends. I loved the work of Tom Pigeon, a shop that sells prints (above) and jewellery (below) in soft colours and geometric shapes.

There were so many tempting items to buy for the home. I loved the bright simple lighting from Room-9, and could happily see these lights in my home.

I could also quite happily see these bright fun necklaces by One We Made Earlier (below) around my neck! They make quite a statement.

Other, more quirky items for the home were these fabulously funky ceramics (below) by Sena Gu, a ceramicist based in South Korea.

On the same stand were the designs of Yoon Namm who creates gorgeous sushi-inspired pots.

We then ventured into the Cubitt House part of the show where furniture and lighting was on display.

I loved the dark green of the padded sofa above. And it's very comfortable too!

There's still a large influence from Mid Century Modern furniture and I loved the chairs by Morgan London above. They used the rich dark green colour way, but also used the coral pink colours that still seem so popular in home dec right now.

The side board and table combo (above) were beautifully designed and hark back to the Art Deco era of oppulence. I loved the ombre effect used on the sideboard.

The fun furniture above uses a fresh colour palette and retro-inspired designs in large, bold shapes.

Bright colours were still popular and I loved these fun stools.

Items were also interestingly presented and this display above was fab, using a ray of light feel to showcase each piece.

Design Junction finishes today so you still have time to get down there!


Friday, 22 September 2017

Go green

Go green with this fabulous envelope clutch bag! It's made from a vintage Japanese obi fabric using a simple green and white geometric design.

The bag is nice and roomy and is held closed with a silver magnet closure.

I've used a fabulous bright green satin for the lining which creates a great flash of colour when the bag is opened.

This bag makes a perfect match with my green jeans!

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Decorex 2017

London Design Week is in full force and it's always difficult to decide which show to go to in a busy schedule. This time I chose to dip into the Decorex show at Syon Park. It's actually very close to where I live, but I'd never been to it before. It was great to dip in and get inspired about upcoming interior trends both for print and pattern, but also for colour palette and home styling.

As soon as I walked in the door I was met with a sea of vibrant colour on the Mathew Williamson stand. He has designed a stunningly rich home collection for Osborne & Little which you can see above. I also loved the rich colours on Margo Selby stand which you can see below. She uses fabulous geometric designs in woven fabrics.

In contrast, the Barneby Gates designs use a lovely natural linen to print bold images and geometric designs onto, using bright pinks and corals.

They had hung their pretty coral fabrics against an ivy design wallpaper in soft greys which you can see below. Such a lovely colour combination.

Fanny Shorter also used a similar style of simple two-colour designs in interesting colour combinations which you can see below in reds and greys. I like the use of block printing influences in both designers. Check out her website to see some beautifully bright and rich colour combinations using nature-inspired prints as well.

Woodland animals are still a popular theme and I spotted these jolly cushions at the Prestigious Textiles stand. 

I also saw a lot of nature-inspired floral prints and loved the oversized floral designs by Abigail Borg that come in a soft colour palette of pink, green and lilac.

Charlotte Gaisford, below, used a traditional design inspiration of Indian woodblock prints but with a fresher colour palette that is very easy to use for the home.

I love the designs by Mini Moderns and their stand (below) stood out as being simple and modern with a fab fun colour palette of orange and yellow with a shot of grey.

The Santorus stand was quite a contrast to the Mini Moderns one, with an opulent colour palette and dramatic imagery, using elephants and tropical birds.

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