Here is the first of my pattern designs (top left) inspired by my recent wonderful trip to London! On a gorgeous sunny day my friend and I headed out to Kew Gardens and it was glorious how the sun shone in through the narrow panes of the Palm House creating silhouettes of the people there (I’m calling it “Palm House” for obvious reasons!) I actually created the tropical design at top right, called "Dream", before heading to London but I thought it would work to use the same palette...I added some views of the sun-filled Palm House that inspired my design!
Although I did buy some London souvenirs for various family members and friends back home, especially since I arrived back from London only a week before Christmas, when it came to buying keepsakes for me, I couldn't resist these pattern design books which I picked up at the Tate Modern and Textile & Fashion Museum gift shops!
I went to see “Night and Day: 1930’s Fashion and Photographs” at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London. With only a couple of exceptions, what struck me is that any of the evening gowns could be hanging in our stores today and the pattern designs seemed completely contemporary! Here are a few shots from the exhibit...
Back in the 90’s, I completed my Diploma in Textile Design at Capilano University in Vancouver where I focused on weaving, tapestry, basketry, hand-printing and dyeing techniques. Although I now focus on surface pattern design I still love all these processes, so I was completely excited to find out that there was going to be an Anni Albers exhibition at the Tate Modern while I was in London! She was a ground-breaking weaver at the Bauhaus, later teaching in the States with her husband the influential artist and teacher Josef Albers. The exhibit has many of her experimental woven pieces and I was fascinated by them when I looked at the weaves and colours up close. So I took a lot of closeups to show you! Look closely! Hope you like them too!
Happily, I was able to meet up with my fellow pattern designer Claire Elsworth while in London! We first met online when we were doing the pattern design courses offered by Make It In Design and then met in person this past May in NYC while both showing at Blueprint. We stayed in touch and decided to meet in London while I was there...OF COURSE, we had to go to Liberty London where we had afternoon tea and spent hours just looking. Then we met up with another fellow Make It In Design alumna Claire Eden for dinner and had such a fantastic time talking all things pattern design! It was wonderful to meet up with you both!
While in London, I got to attend the London Fashion Awards at the Royal Albert Hall with my very good friend and some of her colleagues. It was a special night, exciting and glamourous! Meghan Markle made an appearance, presenting the award for British Women's Wear Designer of the Year to Clare Waight Keller, the designer who created her Givenchy wedding dress!
London at Christmas is utterly fantastic and festive: bright lights everywhere, gorgeous gifts, and so much colour! I can't begin to show you everything I saw, but here is just a few pics of the wonderfulness (with a surface pattern design bias), both small, hidden gems and grander sights! From left to right: scarves spotted at the Victoria & Albert Museum gift shop, graffiti artist in South Bank, the bright red facade of Fortnum & Mason, jars of pigments at the old art supply store L. Cornelissen and Son, colourful gift items at Pylones in Carnaby Street, a strange blue something spotted at Keith Fawkes booksellers in Hampstead Village, St. Paul's Cathedral at night, Pucci at Harrods, Leadenhall Market at night.
I just spent 9 days in London visiting an old and good friend, playing tourist, eating great food, drinking beer in pubs, going to fantastic museums, and of course...shopping (well, mostly just drooling, not a lot of buying!) So, for you surface pattern designers out there, I'm sure you've heard of the legendary store Liberty London and their gorgeous and famous fabric designs. Of course, one of the first places I had to check out while in London was Liberty's fabrics floor. Here is just a small sample of all the gorgeous-ness!
A couple of weeks ago in the Colour Gang, the creative challenge was to create a tropical-themed pattern using one of 3 (or all 3!) colour palettes given. The one I decided on was called "Midnight Forest"...featuring dark grounds, exotic forests and their inhabitants. So here is my brand new "Dream" pattern design...can you spot the "inhabitant"?
So many people have asked where they could buy my pattern designs on actual products, that I decided to open MY NEW SHOP on the online store site Society6! So far, I have added just a few of my most popular designs which you can now purchase on bags, bedding, bath products, wall art, clothing, tech products, furniture and more! I invite you to have a look and let me know if you see anything you like! And BTW: if you see a design on my website that you would like to see on a product, contact me and I will always try to accommodate your request!
Jackie Tahara of UnBlink Studio