All week I've been after a good curry. The sad thing is you can't get a curry from Brick Lane in Seattle. I think the craving has been brought about by creating a paisley print all week. Paisleys too have their origins in India. Anyhow, on my instagram feed i spotted some super spicy cushions from Baba Souk. That photo managed to pull all the narratives whizzing around in my head together to create this weeks Colour Me Happy. Thanks Stephanie for sharing some spicy!
Since working for myself I have come to realize what a close and supportive industry I am in. I Feel so blessed to have really lovely people reach out to me on a daily basis. One such person was Samantha Mureau the creative force behind Trendline Europe and Dovetail living.
Samantha has worked in the fashion, interior and lifestyle industries for over 15 years and has a vast knowledge base. She started her own trend reporting service Trendline Europe 7 years ago and works with retail clients in the UK, France, Portugal, South Africa and here in the USA. Her unique taste and expertise helps guide her clients, spot forthcoming trends and appropriate merchandise to create a brand specific product presence.
Anne Marie - What were the most important lessons you've learned from working in the fashion industry?
Samantha - Gosh this is a heavy loaded question, there are so many lessons but I guess at the end of the day it is one of the biggest industries in the UK so I certainly have learnt a lot from over the years and it is the basis of all that I know today and that has enabled me to set up my own businesses.
One of the key lessons that I have learnt is that the customer is always right and you have to respect and listen to what the customer or clients needs and likes are, and offer a service in order to make someone feel special, be it a Designer or a client coming to buy a product from me.
Anne Marie - What aspect of your job do you love the most?
Samantha - There are quite a few aspects that I really love and that drive me. The first one is discovering talent and Designers whom have a passion and total belief in what they are doing and the drive and energy and vision to achieve their goals and make their products work.
I love meeting the Designers and finding out about their inspirations and if I'm lucky, actually going into the factories and workshops and seeing the products being made first hand as this further enhances the beauty of the product. I think that finding out about the product in terms of its origins and initial inspirations really gives more depth and interest to a product and it makes me fall in love with the pieces even more.
Anne Marie -Tell me a little about Trendline Europe ltd and your on-line store dovetail living?
Samantha -Trendline Europe Limited is a trend forecasting and consultancy business for the fashion, interiors and lifestyle industries. I work on private projects for the Design teams of large global retailers, sending them information and ideas of what I'm seeing in Europe and that could be used to inspire their own ranges. I also take Design teams to Fashion Capitals through to resort towns across Europe in search of new ideas and looking for the "next big thing".
Dovetail-Living goes hand in hand with Trendline Europe as whilst I'm looking for newness and ideas for the retailers in new stores and up and coming places, I'm also looking for new labels and Designers for Dovetail-Living. Dovetail-Living is about bringing beautiful products in homewares and interiors that have been hand-made or hand-designed in Europe to my own clients and offering them styling services in their homes too.
Anne Marie - How do you spot a trend and choose a product to feature in your store?
Samantha - I'm constantly out and about in the stores and on the streets of London, in particular, in restaurants, bars, going to the latest exhibitions and the latest trade shows to keep an eye on what's happening trendwise and in order to identify trends. I also travel to Paris for the Shows and then check out new destinations too, such as Stockholm and Marrakech for newness or even go and discover artisans in Provence for example so that I mix products that are on-trend with pure classics too.
In fact from all of the trend work that I have been doing, that is something that is emerging more and more, that I'm not endlessly searching the trends nearly as much for Dovetail-Living as I have done previously and that for Dovetail-Living I'm picking out more of the pieces that I love and that I consider to be timeless classics over being trend right.
Anne Marie - Who or what is inspiring you at the moment?
Samantha - At the moment I'm really enjoying meeting Designers that are hands on and are totally into making their products. One lady in particular, whom I'm going to put up onto Dovetail-Living for September is a lady that has a large workshop working for her producing the most beautiful metallic woven cushions in Marrakech. I was so impressed with the number of people working for her and that they were making everything by hand, from the fine cutting of strips of leather to the weaving of the leather inbetween cotton yet on old and traditional weaving machines. Just watching the process was like taking a step back in time.
I'm also loving all of the incredible patterns out there right now and also the new mixing of colour palettes, especially what's coming through now for Autumn Winter, it's going to be good.
Anne Marie - What is next for you?
Samantha - Next for me is to evolve Dovetail-Living and incorporate more of my interior styling services for private clients and also working more closely with interior designers on their projects and helping them with sourcing new products for them.
A special thank you to Samantha for her insight into customer service, trend and craftsmanship. Check out Dovetail Living for some wonderful designed and selected products for your home. Below I have selected my favorites, enjoy!
When commencing my Pattern Occurring 101, I thought it only right to start is with one of the greatest textile and surface designers ever, William Morris and his apprentice/co worker John Henry Dearle. Predictable I know, but very essential. I have already covered a few of my favourites so be sure to check those out if you haven't already Lucienne Day, William Killburn and Anna Maria Garthwaite.
WIlliam Morris (1834- 1896) Is one of the major contributors to what is now known as the Arts and Craft Movement. He was profoundly influenced by the Pre Raphaelites, Medieval arts, the writings of John Ruskin and poetry of Tennyson. Morris rejected industrialization for hand craftsmanship. Elevating the craftsman to artist and creating affordable hand-made goods. Morris's unequalled genius continues to floor me and is is still cherished and adored world wide today. His vast legacy includes poetry, writing, manuscript illuminations, calligraphy, tapestry, stained glass, furniture, textiles and wallpapers. It can also be credited to Morris, the huge a love affair and respect for print and pattern in the UK. His influence is also clearly seen through the works of several other designers such as John Henry Dearle.
You may be forgiven for not knowing John Henry Dearle. Beginning in his teens as a shop assistant and then design apprentice, Dearle rose to become Morris & Co.'s chief designer by 1890. Dearle created designs for tapestries, embroideries, wallpapers, woven and printed textiles, stained glass, and carpets. Following Morris's death in 1896, Dearle was appointed Art Director of the firm, and became its principal stained glass designer on the death of Burne-Jones in 1898.
Morris's reputation overshadowed Dearle's work throughout Dearle's career: Dearle exhibited early patterns under Morris's name and Dearle designs continue to be sold as Morris patterns. Critical assessment of Dearle's work then underwent a significant change, during the final decades of the twentieth century, recognizing Dearle's mature work as having a unique artistic vision of its own. Dearle always remained close to Morris's aesthetic, however should be more readily recognized in it's own right.
Sounds odd but I am still playing catch up from my big trip home to England. Yesterday I finally got the chance to chat with my agent about work i had done for summer and new fall trends. Below are some of my summer prints. Turned out rather good if i don't say so myself! Fall is a super season for prints this year and next. Tweeds, plaids, chinoiserie and rug patterns are on my to do list. Excited to get started.
Also Yesterday I strolled past the Seattle Art Museum aka SAM and saw one of my designs for Joseph Joseph in their gift shop. Exciting as they always have a great merchandise.
If you haven't seen the exquisite work of Karen Knorr you are in for a treat today. This should get your work week going!
Karen Knorr was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany and was raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico in the 1960s. She finished her education in Paris and London. Karen has taught, exhibited and lectured internationally, including at Tate Britain, Tate Modern, The University of Westminster, Goldsmiths, Harvard and The Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently Professor of Photography at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham, Surrey.
Since her life changing journey to Rajasthan, India in 2008, Karen Knorr’s work is now exploring Rajput and Mughal cultural heritage and its relationship to questions of feminine subjectivity and animality. India Song, a series of carefully crafted photographs explores the past and its relation to India’s contemporary heritage sites across Rajasthan.
I can not get enough of her work. Sensational!