My Last Pattern Design of 2018! "Living Collections" was Inspired by the Collections at Kew Gardens, London
Kew Gardens in London was wonderfully inspiring for me. I took so many photos and managed to make some of the "specimens" I saw into this repeat pattern design (part of a new tropical-themed pattern design collection!) I've also included a few photos that inspired this pattern!
One of Kew's purposes is plant conservation, and it is thought-provoking and alarming that some of the plants in the Palm and Temperate Houses here are the last of their kind and now extinct in the wild; in one case, there are two plants of a specific species growing at Kew and all specimens of this species that now exist in the world are clones of the two plants here.
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.
Jackie Tahara of UnBlink Studio