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.

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