Friday, 19 September 2008

Inspiration.. and a little perspiration.

A bit of a social week - charity events, exhibitions not to mention the various events on during London Design Week.

Inspiring Tuesday:
Popped into a neighbour and friend, Judy Goldhill's, exhibition opening on Portobello Road. Beautiful images exploring Neshamah, a Hewbrew term denoting divine breath and infinite capacity to bring with it transcendence. Whatever the philosophical meaning behind them may be, they are really lovely following images with vibrant colours.

Perspiring - Wednesday evening I was out of my territory, not to mention my depth - but hey what do I care about cricket.

A friend, Ed Williams (take note of his name, one day he will be known) set up charity Cricket without Boundaries a few years ago. Charity dinner was a bit of a stuffy affair in the Houses of Parliament, a strange venue choice, til you realise Ed is a raging labour supporter. Cricket without Boundaries Dinner. Comedian had us cringing in the corner with his completely unPC and bad taste humour.

Inspiring - Thursday marked the beginning of 100% Design and Earl's Court. I arrived, looking forward to inspiring new products, but found nothing with the wow factor.

Highlights for me:

Michael Angove Wallpaper
Charlene Mullen lovely embroidered cushions
Johanna Basford Wallpaper - particularly her clock wallpaper.

Joanna Basford wallpaper, image for Joanna Basford website.

Weekend promising to be truly creative - it's London Design Week and London Open House...

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Interview with Preeti Gilani

Roost Living designers are all so wonderfully passionate about their craft. It has been such a joy getting to know them and I wanted to share this with you. Being the nosey creature that I am, I love to delve in and really understand the inspiration behind their creations as well as getting to know a little about their day to day lives.

This week I spoke to Preeti Gilani, textile designer who joins Roost Living later this month. We spoke not only about her craft and lovely products, but also about what she loves, dreams of, and how she started out.

When and why did you decide to be a designer?

I always knew I wanted to work in art and design. I did a foundation course after my A levels which helped me make the decision to specialise in textiles. I then went to Winchester School of Art to do a BA in Fashion and textiles. It was there that I discovered woven textiles and went on further to do an MA in Woven textiles at the Royal College of Art.

What are you main creative influences?

I think new technology always lead to new design because it increases the possibilities. I create my design work on my mac which is my most valued tool at the moment.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

I always take inspiration from several areas. This I think helps me produce something new, rather than putting a slant on something I have already seen. I love pattern and colour. My colour is often inspired by nature.

Who is your favourite designer? What aspect of their work do you most admire?

I love Dries Van Noten and Kenzo. Both these design houses use colour and pattern in such a delicious but wearable way.

What aspect of your work gives you the most pleasure?

I reach a satisfaction point when the designs get the fine tuning touches and the collection starts coming together.

What is your workspace/studio like?

I work from a purpose built design studio in the garden. Both my husband and I work from here on our individual businesses. I also have a separate workroom where I put together all the products.

How do you describe your style?

Sophisticated with a bit of fun.

What is your greatest triumph so far?

Finding my life soulmate and having two amazing children.

What are you currently working on?

I have just put together a collection inflluenced by cross-stich, folk art and flowers. I am also introducing an official menswear range of scarves and ties. I am hoping to launch this in October 2008.

When you first started out, what was the best advice you received?

I was told by a friend to decide on a style rather than doing a bit of everything. People like to see you have a signature way of working.

What advice do you have for other designers starting out?

As above. Also only make things that you feel passionate about as this is the best selling tool.

How do you achieve a work/life balance?

Still working on it. I think this is probably the best way as life is constantly changing, especially when you have children. The balance has to be constantly addressed.

What are you other passions?

Design is my biggest passion, whether it be my own work to the design of a car, I just love attention to detail. I am also a film lover.

What is your favourite food?

Favourite meal:

Roast dinner followed by fruit crumble and custard.

Favourite food: krispy kremes

Trousers or skirts?

Skirts for the look, trousers for comfort.

Are you a dog or cat person?


What is your creative motto?

I always take inspiration from several areas in order to produce something new rather than putting a slant on something you have already seen.

Preeti Gilani's cushions, handbags, purses and ties will be available from Roost Living from 29 September.

Preeti Gilani's cushions will be sold EXCLUSIVELY by Roost Living.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Upmarket Weekend

Last week I was looking forward to a wonderful weekend in Paris, with lovely food, lovely things and lots of fun. But, as I arrived at St Pancras, suitcase in toe, my dreams were suddenly squashed...the Euro Tunnel fire had extinguished my chance of a Parisian getaway!

So, feeling a little disheartened, my friend Zoe and I (we were to go together) decided to make the most of our weekend in London.

Sunday, with the sun shining bright, we made our way to Spitalfields, to find the once vibrant market replaced by modern, soulless stalls selling tat...

Disappointed we made our way to Sunday Upmarket, the new market off Brick Lane - and realised Spitalfields hadn't died, just moved across the road. Wonderful local artists and craftspeople showing their lovely wares in what seemed a grotty old car park.

Braving crowded Brick Lane we made our way to Cheshire street, a treasure trove of lovely shops such as Labour and Wait and Mar Mar Co and the wonderful Luna and Curious just around the corner.

We completed our girly weekend with Sex and the City in Leicester Square - I must admit leaving the movie feeling, daggy, dowdy and rather ugly.
Mental note - must buy Jimmy Choos....

So, we may have missed the inspiration and delight of Paris, but we did find real inspiration and wonderful treasures right here in London....

Image above from Luna and Curious website.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Polly Glass

I recently discovered the work of a young British Designer, Polly Glass.

Polly is inpired by traditional techniques such as Cross Stitch and crochet and incorporates their elements into her modern floral designs.

Cross Stitched Wallsticker, in rose shape.

Her most recent work is Te-Ly's, Norwegian for tea-light, made using pewter and recently exhibited at the Worshipful Company of Peweterers...

Place mats once again using floral imagery, and taking inspiration from crocheted doilies.