designer influence

Print Inspiration

In my lack of blogging about anything useful for a while, I have been being productive…. I’ve been busy sewing samples, redesigning half of my collection for the 1000000th time, developing prints and ordering bejeweled buttons.

But whilst developing my prints and generally though quite the way through the designing of my collection, Miu Miu has played big role in my inspiration. The prints, cut and styles they use are phenomenal. Quite risky but fun, classy and sophisticated, with still (dare I say it) a hint of trashiness… everything that I am endeavouring for my collection to be!

Here are a few images from their AMAZING s/s 10 collection


Colour Block

After short listing my designs I’m now faced with the task of deciding what colours to use and if I want to colour the prints how many colours to use and if I want to use the same colour+ different hues and tones. My collection is for summer and so I want it to be quite colourful and bright and vibrant and fun. Colours that represent this feeling for me are blue, yellow, flamingo pink and apricot. So now the challenge for me is to try and factor these colours in with the prints that I am using to get some ‘stories’ and flow happening throughout my collection.

One design who used colour really effectively in his Spring/Summer 10 collection showed at London Fashion Week is Josh Goot. I’m not much of a fan of his clothing generally, but I do enjoy is colour pallet, and it’s a really good inspiration and base to get a feel for the colour and feel that I am looking for.

Josh Goot presented a very colour-central, body conscious collection featuring geometric shapes with bright splashes of colour. Minis were the go from long tees to short frocks in spots, stripes, solids and gradients. Models wore pointed elevated pumps and occasionally sunglasses, completing the perfect summer stoll downtown look.


I went to Belgium about 5 years ago and I absolutely fell in love with it… the beer, the food, the cobbled streets and the fashion. I never made it to Antwerp, but ever since then I’ve always had a fascination and love for the place. Not only does it have brilliant beer but has produced some of my favourite designers, Dries Van Noten and Bernhard Willhelm… another thing they have in common is that they studied Fashion Design at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.

Stephanie D’Heygere graduated in 09 with a Master’s degree at the same school.. her graduate collection is called ‘Humanimalus’ and it is AMAZING! A dazzling and breathtaking collection that incorporated feathers, leather, multiple textures and shapes, and even birdcages! Dramatic creations with a dreamy effect transformed the female silhouette to an unworldly creature.It’s really beautiful and fun and glamourous and a bit avant garde… everything that initially I thought that I wanted my collection to be and look like. But now mine is looking a more streamline, clean and chic with a ode to modern craft.

But have a look at her stuff below.. its phenomenal.


Another craft technique that I have been experimenting with and really love the look of is silk painting. I really enjoy how you can make it look as organic as you want or as neat and precise as you want. It allows me to create my own individual interpretation of animals prints, and gives me the freedom to add my personal touch to them.

Using this technique goes back to the whole idea of ‘new luxury’ that I mentioned earlier. Giving people unique, quality and individual garments. I’ve been sketching several different versions of blouse designs, as I would like all (or most) of my shirts/blouses in the collection (reference to early female explorers and what they wore) to be made of silk and all hand painted. This will help to give my collection a point of difference and also ensure that no one else on the market at that time will have the same print as mine. And it will allow the wearer to feel as although I have given a small piece of myself to the garment as I took the time to hand pant it rather than someone else to print it.

Here are a few rough experiments…..

experimenting with a few different prints

zebra silk painting

Using silk paints could allow me to make some silk scarfs for accessories too (with my left over silk) which could be quite nice!

One design who influenced me into looking at silk painting was the work of greek born designer Mary Katrantzou. A Central St Martins graduate who features strong, bold graphical prints. Although she uses digital printing, the organic-ness and free form of her designs resemble that of my silk painting experiments. Her designs, although being a mixture of simple and complex designs are enhanced by the prints the create an exciting aesthetic journey of colour, shape and form.

View her full Spring/Summer 10 collection here

Textile Queens

I absolutely adore RODARTE. I think they are amazing and their designs and textiles are incredible, and not to mention the fact that they are sisters.

Their most recent collection, For Autumn/Winter 2010, the spark for the Rodarte sisters were the murder of maquiladora workers whilst walking to the factories at night in the border town of Juarez, Texas – informing and inflaming their creative fire to concoct a melancholy, haunted story of sleepwalkers dressed in ethereal mixes of colour and texture, shovelled haphazardly onto the body in the dead of night. The sleepwalking beauties were wrapped in tulle, frayed silk chiffons, interlacing florals, chunky knits, plaids and delicate layers of vintage lace and crochet work- all so beautiful its hard to believe that the main source of inspiration for this collection was blood, gore and destruction. The girls stated that horror films like Texas Chainsaw Massacre played a massive role in shaping and defining the colour palette.

With regard to their textile experiments, they said they buy a lot of fabric but tend to be dissatisfied by them, so they physically age them by burning holes, sandpapering fabric and hand painting pieces.

Rodarte Autumn/Winter 10 Collection

(see the collection on the catwalk here)

The final result is amazing, beautiful and breathtaking. I would give my right arm for an internship with them! oh!


Phos-phoro is the project of Sydney based, Australia designer Spencer Webber. A lover of craft and of fashion history, he is both humbled and stimulated by fashion, and chooses it as the medium to express his beliefs, ideas and passions.

exert from RUSSH magazine April 10

Webber at work

Webber at work

He has a really lovely and refreshing approach to fashion and design- wanting his customers not to have to wake up feeling amazing to wear his clothing, he feels that his clothing is something that can transform the wearer and make them feel better just by putting it on. Its gorgeous and a belief that I feel really strongly about when designing clothes. I get really exciting about the journey that clothing can take you on, the way it can make you feel and how it can lift you up to a new level.

You can read the full article in the April issue of RUSSH, and an interview with Webber here

Article in RUSSH magazine April 10

Purposeful and Positive

For her first runway show since leaving Chloe in 2006 to focus on motherhood, Phoebe Philo sent out a fast-marching  group of models swaddled in earth tones, clunky wood wedges, modified trenches, military details, lots of leather, and curiously few handbags, despite Celine’s accessory-brand heritage.

The mood of the collection was “purposeful and positive.” Philo stated “I wanted to clean it up, refocus, and present a strong, powerful woman.”