My faithful MacBook Pro is slowly failing on me which is sad. In a attempt to extend it's life I have been cleaning up my files and stashing my files on an external hard drive. In doing so I came across some funny prints and patterns. It would be selfish to not share. Please don't ask where I found these, they have just been littered all over my desk top for weeks now. Shameful, the thoughts of a mad woman! This is a peek into my world and obsessions.
It has been "scorchio" here in Seattle the past week, hence I have one 'sleepless in Seattle' 4 year old. Any excuse right! So one line of attack was to pop to my local Target store to find some summer pj's to replace the blanket sleeper onesies.
I may just be having a hard time with my first born growing up, but I was almost brought to tears by the selection offered. The first stumbling block is that, (for a good reason most houses are made of wood!) here in the USA children's sleepwear can't be cotton unless it is very form fitting. So most pj's are flame resistant polyester. Yuck! I however get this and am totally willing to compromise on fabrication. However when it comes to good print design... that's where i'm not prepared to compromise! I truly believe good design and good taste needs to be nurtured from a young age. Most children do (and probably should) get to pick there own clothes, but when the choices are so limited and overly 'gender' specific this makes my heart sink.
I don't want to litter my blog with images of the poor options out there, so I am going to describe and you can link to Targets web sight if you really can't resist. Examples include the obvious licensed characters of Angry Birds, Marvel Super Heros, or the cliché conversational prints of skulls and ball games.
So sad! So as a print and pattern designer and consultant, here is what I am suggesting companies such as Target should be open to. More unique colours (not just blue and red) and fun conversational prints. I know such companies do value design as they frequently partner with designers (such as Orla Kiely), but we have too start while they're young, if we want the next generation to value design and colour!
Below are some of the better designs I have found out there, that at least are more playful and creative with those licensed characters and cliché's... but it's still a far cry from what it could be!
When I was back home in England recently, i dusted down some of my university work. It was a strange and awkward flash back, as it often is, looking back on your own work from over a decade ago. In this 3 part series i'll share 3 projects I did in my final year of university at CCAD. The First one 'Love and War', went on to win both the Royal Society of Arts 'AWI' and 'Textile Society Lucienne Day' awards and was quite on trend for it's concept and aesthetic back then. I was the first student from my course to enter such a compition and really did have a bit of a fight on my hands to do so. Just to set the scene it was 2002 and Blair and Bush were hell bent on finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The World Trade Center Attack had just happened. Times were quite unsettled. This project 'Love and War' was my little protest for peace. It was fairly daring at that time, as many of the students textiles and surface designs were more traditional in their floral based, gentile concepts. In the end i produced over 35 prints for my 'Love and War' collection, taking a late 40's floral aesthetic and giving it a 21st century conversation about the state of the world. I've often prided myself on my ability to pick up on a trend bubbling under the surface and over the course of that year many other designers started playing with similar iconography, such as Suck UK's gun vase.
If you know me personally you will have noticed I have been in a love affair with tights since I was 18. I have every colour under the sun and more recently have extended my love of prints to my legs. Yes i do get quite a few funny looks here in Seattle. Not to worry I'm used to that.
Strathcona Stockings specializes in fine printed stockings and socks. Every print is original and is designed, collaged, photographed, or drawn in-house. Started in a little-known town situated between the forest and the ocean, Strathcona makes all products in limited quantities and each stocking is locally and individually printed.
My Husband's Grandfather once told me he has 'royal blood'. He said he was 'stung by a queen bee'. Funny man! Honey is one of the yummiest things ever and bee keeping has become a real trend as colonies are suffering from colony collapse. Where would we be with out these precious insects. Fashion hasn't missed this buzz and here are a few brilliant bee inspired prints and designs.