Susan Campbell. Print Designer.

Central Saint Martins is known for churning out it’s one-of-a-kinds, geniuses and go-getters. Take a quick peek at the alumni and you find the likes of Luella Bartley, Peter Blake and M.I.A to name a few. Well, this little lady is no exception.

Meet Susan Campbell, a Textile Design graduate and print designing enthusiast. The Congleton-born, bob-flaunting individual quite frankly has the patience of a saint with her intricate, neoprene print design but boy, does it pay off.

Susan’s heroic creative process involves drawing her initial designs onto Adobe Illustrator as vector lines, then printing out these designs and deciphering where she will place her colours followed by breaking the design up into various pieces, again on Illustrator. After this, she laser cuts the designs onto coloured neoprene, leaving her with a thousand tiny jigsaw pieces. From here on she pieces those neoprene nuggets back together on a glue coated lycra base and voila! To see the agonising journey itself from drawing to dream, head over to her tumblr.

Currently working at Ted Baker taking on the role of Womenswear Print Assistant and spending her London days like any young print designer should; picnicking, partying and printing. I caught up with the Campbell herself and asked her the all important question of which One Direction member she would kidnap and keep..

 

One Direction then.. who would be the member of choice?

– Zayn, without a doubt.

So then, onto print I suppose. What tickles your fancy in the way of inspiration for your prints?

– I love going to exhibitions, looking at blogs and magazines and genuinely, just walking a lot gives me inspiration from the things I see along the way.

Who is the ‘Susan Campbell’ consumer you have in mind when designing your prints?

– Someone who is playful yet sophisticated. Someone that doesn’t take themselves too seriously. 

If you could pluck out a celeb of choice to be donning your designs, who would it be?

– Robyn. 

How would you describe your own personal style?

– Colourful and sporty with lots of leopard print.

Fashion icons?

Eva Fontanelli and The Queen. 

New York, Paris, London or Milan?

– London.

What do you love about where you live right now?

– Everything you could ever want is on Bethnal Green Road. Literally, anything from David Beckham pencil cases to giant bubble machines! I also love that you can never become bored because there is always something fun going on.

Share a charming anecdote (no pressure.)

– I broke my collarbone aged 10 whilst dressed as a prostitute. I had to go straight to hospital unchanged..

And what does the future hold for Miss Campbell?

– Good question! A lot of enjoyment hopefully. I’m also working to push my ideas and concepts in a way I’m really excited about.

You heard it here first ladies and gents! Want even more from Miss C? Well, isn’t that what good ol’ social media is all about? Have a peep at her wonderfully artistic Bethnal Green life via her instragram or maybe even pop over to her official website.

 

Edinburgh College of Art Textile Design Graduates Part One

The Textile Design department at Edinburgh College of Art is always full of hardworking students amongst a vivid display of patterns, drawings, colour, fabric samples and an array of colour. Inspiration behind this years graduates work ranges from growing up in the 90s to a tiny Eastern European village called Koniakow famous for its crochet. As well as exhibiting at Edinburgh College of Art’s degree show the inspiring graduates have also just returned from exhibiting at New Designers in London showcasing their designs to various designers and those in the industry.

Katrina Bell‘s collection (main image) ‘a nod to nostalgia’ is a bright and quirky interior collection aimed at new parents who want to recall their childhood in the 1970s/80s. Stamps, shapes and colour is really important to her collection which involved traditional screen printing, heat press techniques and embroidery on woolen blankets, drawer liners, cushions and fabric samples. Alongside her youthful approach to design, Katrina has an array of skills and with plenty of experience during work placements in industry (and a few in the pipeline!) the future is very bright (and colourful). See for yourself on her  website

Kirsty McCann‘s collection (left image) is a definite must see for anyone who grew up in the 90s. ‘Acceptable in the 90s’ celebrates the 90s cliches, inflatable bubble bags, trolls and incredibly recreates the ‘scratch and sniff’craze through screenprinted scents on to fabrics. Bold, bright and unexpected Kirsty’s collection shows her skills in embroidery, screen printing, digital printing and hand embellishment. Relive your childhood on her website

Graduate designer Olivia May O’Connor’s collection is inspired by the act of collecting, birds, bones and historic, iconic textiles. Her atmospheric colour palette and great use of scale is really shown off in the eye catching curtains while her fabric samples combine leather, interior fabrics with digital printing, laser etching and traditional techniques. Olivia has amazing hand drawing skills (right image) and designs for both the Fashion and Interior market. She is a very versatile designer and won the Duchamp Luxury Menswear Digital Print competition while at university. Delve more into her collection on her website

 

 

Mary Benson

Mary Benson is a young fashion designer from the Northern city of Leeds. This creative 22 year old produces some of the most amazing and forward thinking designs I have seen in a long time! Before creating the ‘Mary Benson’ brand in 2010, she had already gained a huge list of experience within the industry that has helped her on her path.

Her past experience included opening a pop-up shop with her friends at the age of only 16 and appearing on Mary Portas’s TV programme ‘Mary Queen of Shops’. Not to mention working at some of the most iconic brands within industry, such as my personal favourite Alexander McQueen as well as Vivienne Westwood and Richard Nicoll. Since then her designs have been featured in all sorts of amazing publications such as Vogue, Rookie, and WGSN as well as being worn by fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson and singers like Rita Ora and Brooke Candy.

I think her designs speak for themselves, so it is definitely worth checking out her Tumblr site! I’m predicting she will be the next big thing at London Fashion Week! Apart from making me regret not studying fashion design, Mary has now inspired me to start up my very own pop-up shop, so friends get in touch!

All images from Mary Benson website and Tumblr

Website http://marybenson.co.uk/index.html

Tumblr http://mary-benson.tumblr.com/

Janet Gourlay – Fresh talent from Fife

Janet can usually be found surrounded by research images, photos of sea birds, inspiring colours and beautiful prints. She has amazing drawing skills, is a Photoshop pro and can put nearly absolutely anything into repeat! As a freelance Textile Designer currently starting her own business ‘Ardgour’ (nicely named after her father’s fishing boat in Fife) Janet has a personal, feminine style and her work continues to evolve following on from a MFA in Textile Design at Edinburgh College of Art. With a wealth of experience including designing for Bebaroque and Alex Begg Cashmere, her business is one to watch and her designs, inspired by local wildlife and countryside in Fife have already attracted a local audience.

From fashion Collaborations to producing upholstery fabric and metres of hand printed wallpaper Janet has it covered. A skilled designer she has now turned her eye to sea birds and she spends hours drawing the birds to the finest detail before translating these on to fabric. Her company ‘Ardgour’ is in the starter stages and each item will be proudly made in Scotland. Janet’s designs are a modern twist on the traditional and she is definitely making Fife proud!

Join the Ardgour clan by following on twitter @ArdgourStudio

Follow Janet’s work http://janetgourlay.blogspot.co.uk/to see the development of her own business and to bag yourself a beaut when they go on sale!

Partimi

Let me introduce you to one of the most exciting UK fashion brands to arrive within industry for a while, Partimi. The brand who offers arresting patterns and digitally printed graphics on a simple silhouette garment was founded by Eleanor Dorrien-Smith in 2009. Eleanor a graduate from the infamous Central St. Martins, first big break came when she got chatting to a woman from Anthropologie at her final year exhibition who immediately commissioned a capsule collection.

It was great to get in touch with Eleanor to see how she finds the inspirations to create her unique designs. “I always draw inspiration from personal experience; childhood memories by the sea, places where my parents grew up, teenage obsessions with artists, musicians and writers, familiar landscapes.  I like to focus my attention, or the lens, on something that I have a direct connection with because it helps me to create designs that are simple, clean and that tell a story”. She also mentioned the huge effect Britain has on the way she takes inspiration for the collections, “Prints I have designed have come from British granite coastlines, the undersides of old fishing boats, wild cliff faces, and patterns in the sand at low tide.  The designs have now become even more British as I now also produce all the pieces in London and the printing is done in Sussex”.

The connection to Britain’s coastlines and nature adds a certain uniqueness and an understanding to the collections. The talent of Eleanor is inspiring in her own right and the advice she gives to any other aspiring designers is“to get as much experience as you can working at a variety of different design companies.  If you are planning to launch a label then don’t underestimate the importance of business experience as well as design.  Knowing how to produce balance sheets and cash flow projections is just as important as creating patterns and designing prints.  Also familiarise yourself with the support that’s out there!” .

Partimi’s up and coming projects include the new collection designed for Liberty London Fabrics entitled ‘Wild Perennial’ will be launched in A/W 2014. Check out the current collections on the website with more information about the brand and its stockists.

http://partimi.com/wp/

All images courtesy of partimi.com and Eleanor Dorrien-Smith.

Stephanie Webb

With a background in textile design but a flair for illustration and everything in between, Stephanie Webb (perhaps more easily found as her website name ‘Stephanie-Says’) epitomises the true ideal of a ‘designer’: everything she produces is touched with a clear personal style, no matter the medium.

Her work has a very ‘tea and cake’ kind of vibe; but the more geometric designs and more edgy patternwork definitely carry her portfolio on past simply that. Also she does do some really cool drawings of bears wearing jumpers, and if you say you don’t like drawings of bears wearing jumpers then I’m afraid I just don’t believe you.

Originally from Coventry, Stephanie graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 2009 with a BA in textiles, and she remains there working as a freelance designer and a window dresser for Anthropologie. If you happen to be a native there yourself then you can more often than not find her work being sold at places such at the Red Door Gallery on Victoria Street.

She was also generous enough to answer a couple of quickfire questions from me, which you can read for your delight below…

Your work ranges beautifully from papercuts to very illustrative pieces to textile prints- is there a particular form you enjoy working on the most?

I think I’ll always have a love of print and pattern for textiles, it’s what I studied at college so the screen printing process is something I’ll always go back to. The papercuts were initially a technique I used to create repeat patterns in ways other than drawing and painting, but these have since evolved to become individual commissions which I do really enjoy doing. They’re always so personal to the client and each one is different.

What piece of work, or event in your career so far, are you most proud of?

I’m proud of my wallpaper designs for Anthropologie, still! 

What does the immediate future hold for you and your work?

I’m hoping to expand on my collections of stationery and prints this year, and I continue to sell on Etsy and in craft markets where possible! I collaborated with a fashion designer, Antonia Lloyd, last year and provided her with a print for her Menswear collection. Going forward I’d love to be involved with more projects like this, it’s great to see your work in context and used often in a completely different way to what you’d expected! 

And lastly (apologies, a groaner of a question): what or who is the biggest influence on your life and work?

I’m quite lucky in that for the most part, the freelance work I do is self initiated, at first it is anyway. So I guess I get my inspiration from whatever’s around me.  Living in Edinburgh is pretty inspirational, it’s such a beautiful city. I wouldn’t say there’s one particular influence on my life and work, but I suppose music plays a big part. Ask me that question 10 years ago and I would have said Radiohead. No hesitation.

 

So make sure to go check out her work! She’s got both a lovely website, a blog, and an above mentioned etsy shop

 

You can also follow her on twitter, facebook and tumblr, so you pretty much don’t have an excuse not to check her out really.