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Color | Electric Feel | Bershka | Sally LaPointe | Zara | Marion Hamaide

Step into the energy of spring with an electric jolt of international klein blue. This iconic shade, first mixed by artist Yves Klein, relies heavily on ultramarine to create its visual impact. Combine with soft shades of pink and mint green with pops of paprika or mustard for contrast.

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Pressed Flowers via Pinterest

Contributor, Anna, writes about her love affair with florals in all forms starting at an early age with Laura Ashley prints. Read on to hear more…

Flowers; a constant, a fail-safe, for many of us as designers, an ever reliable source of beauty to draw inspiration from. The possibility of interpretation and application seems endless, and our passion for creating heavenly floral patterns for fashion and interiors never wavers, or seems to go out of fashion….ever!

William Morris | Liberty

In the 1700’s fresh flowers were often found on hats and in hair. By the Victorian era, flowers took on more meaning, communicating the most forbidden topics of the time through what became known as Floriography (the language of flowers). Of course, the wondrous William Morris created a legacy of work as a designer during the arts and crafts movement with stylised botanical wallpapers and textiles. At the turn of the 20th Century, Liberty, with their famous Tana Lawn fabrics, ushered in a new floral direction with their iconic small scale ditsy prints which continue to appear on clothing, homewares and accessories.

Laura Ashley

My own love affair with florals began in the 80’s with what seemed like the one and only floral fabric I thought I would ever need to last a lifetime. The Strawberry Floral Red Country Kitchen print by Laura Ashley was just beautiful. In the days when one matched the wallpaper to the curtains to the cushions to the festoon blinds, we paired this pretty floral print with red and white check sofas to balance it just a bit. It really was the dream team, and it made for such a warm and inviting feel. It created a cottage look but was also sophisticated in equal measure, and, I think, really did make for a happier space.

Orla Kiely

Throughout history, the interpretation of flowers in design has been to depict them in their truest form. But, there have also been designers like Orla Kiely, for instance, who have picked out more abstract detailing to create graphic standout floral prints, adapting this look into a whole range of contemporary interior products and fashion lines. Of course critics from the Victorian era would have disliked any such interpretation, wishing instead to display floral wallpapers and fabrics with prints that were true to their most natural aesthetic. Personally, as a designer, I put myself more in the abstract camp and love to play with certain elements of a flower. There is so much potential and one can make a flower truly unique.

What is it about such floral designs we can’t get enough of? No doubt there is a romance associated with flowers that so many of us are sensitive to and can understand. Their whimsical quality and their colours when one looks at in broad daylight are often hard to believe. The shapes, textures, and the complexity of how a flower can evoke such power, yet be so delicate at the same time, is perhaps why we love to surround ourselves with them so much. They seem to appeal to each and every layer of our emotions. We can of course use florals on walls, fabrics, dresses, shoes, accessories, and more, while making as much or as little of a statement as we want. Perhaps it’s the combination of the vast potential within floral design and the emotions they evoke which make using them easy and palatable. Even the most pattern shy, I’m sure, can appreciate the charm and beauty of a floral, and how they can convey a certain type of elegance.

I don’t think we’ll ever see florals fade, and I’m certainly very happy about that! Now, off to do some flower pressing…

Anna

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Kate Towers | Limited Edition Spring 19

We took a moment to sit down and chat with artist and fashion designer, Kate Towers, to discuss her love of “grandma floral” prints and how she finds beauty in what may be seen as “ugly” to others. A busy mother of two, Kate runs her eponymous independent label designing, cutting, and sewing the majority of the collections herself. Kate’s talent extends beyond fashion. Viewing herself as more of an artist who makes clothes, Kate’s creations span across non-fabric mediums as well with a recent solo exhibit at Nationale.

How does color and print play a role in your design process?

I find both play a fairly large roll in the process because either the fabric guides the design or the design guides the fabric choice.The same dress in a simple gray can take on a new life in a loud colorful print. I think every designer dreams of creating their own prints and color ways. 

What are some of your favorite colors of the moment?

I’m a fan of color combinations that are a little bit gross and unusual. My current faves are deep ochre and lemon yellow, rich mossy green and chartreuse, both look great with a pop of pink. I also love what I like to call “modern baby blue.” For staples, I like a deep midnight blue, most shades of gray, and white. It really depends on what the color is being applied to.  

Kate Towers | Limited Edition Spring 19

Is there a favorite pattern style you are drawn to? 

I am very drawn to what I call “grandma flowers” or floral patterns you might see on an old couch covered in plastic, or vintage sheets from the 70’s. I find these to be very beautiful in their own ugly way. I also love prints with a hand illustrated feel. Anything painterly. 

Kate Towers | Limited Edition Spring 19

If you could design something other than clothes what would it be?

A small hotel, like 9 rooms. Also, attractive kids toys that don’t age out, are made of beautiful materials and colors, and that make you want to have them strewn about your house forever. 

What are your 3 favorite inspiration sources of the moment?

I am always stumped by this question but then I find myself getting inspired throughout the day from various random moments. Getting away from the city and moving through outdoor spaces usually helps. 

Thanks so much, Kate! Want one of these limited edition dresses? Contact Kate here.

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via Lava Lava | Stella Jean | Pinterest | Pattern People

Dust to dust. We return to the earth for inspiration sourcing colors from rich hued stones, soil, and organic matter. Add lilac shades and pops of minty greens and blues for unexpected combinations.

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We go behind the scenes with surface designer, Angela Hooker. A Parisian by birth, Angela now calls Brussels home. She’s the newest addition to the Pattern People team bringing her unique take on prints to life through various digital mediums.

How did you enter the surface design world?

I was born in Paris in the 14eme arrondissement near Cirque du Soleil. I started working during my school holidays in 1999 for Malhia Kent, creator of the Chanel tweed.

Then, at 17, I studied at Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in London where I received a BA Honours in fashion print. After graduating in 2006, I started freelancing, working for catwalk label, Felder Felder, and designing textiles for high street clients like Nike, Topshop, Primark, amongst others. Since 2015 I have been based in Bruxelles, Belgium designing textiles in collaboration with the Mauritius based designer, Sarah Seneque. I am planning on launching a unisex  fashion label, Original Vêtement, in a year or two.

What are your favorite types of prints to design?

My favourite type of print designs have to be African textiles. They are the most inspiring textiles in the world to my eye, with animal prints being the most fun to design. I can never be bored designing yet another leopard or snake print.

Do you have a particular tool that you’re partial to when designing (besides a computer)?

I could not work without my tablet which is like an extension of my hand, as well as my iPhone to capture ideas around me. I have a purely digital approach to textile design currently.

Can you share a few design tricks with us?

Record all your ideas on your phone. It’s a useful tool that follows you everywhere, plus it’s a good way to have a handy library at all times. Pinterest is also helpful to store your concepts, as well as Instagram, which allows you to create private personal inspiration files.

African print inspiration by Vlisco

What are three sources of inspiration you turn to at the moment?

At the moment my main sources of inspiration are:

Marolles Flea market in my area in Bruxelles. I go once a week and it’s full of inspiration from around the world.

African textiles are my main passion at the moment. They are so rich and full of dynamic details and patterns to get inspired from.

Street fashion. It’s fun to observe what everyday people actually like wearing.

Thank you so much for sharing, Angela!

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I have a huge appreciation for designers who evoke feelings of romance in their work, notably Chanel and Valentino, and interior brands, such as Sanderson, who have channelled much of their work through a feeling and emotion so many of us can connect with.   

Florals, frills, satins, lace, and a little nostalgia can all evoke the feeling of romance.  Soft muted colours of all kinds, and sometimes a slightly faded texture, create the perfect love story between colour and pattern.

Especially in the summer months, as we move ever so slowly to warmer climes in the UK, we as designers and consumers instinctively make the move towards pieces which play with flirtation and intrigue.  Our summer personalities come alive and we love to incorporate a lighter, more romantic feel to our wardrobe and colour palettes at home.

It’s interesting to explore themes of emotion in the creative process and feelings of all kinds which form the basis of so much output.  It’s also fascinating to observe how brands use emotion to engage with consumers and how the psychology behind colour and pattern plays such a huge part in what and how we buy.

What feeling are you wanting to evoke in your designs? and how do you want that to resonate with your clients?

– Anna

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Having grown amongst a family of artists and interior designers, Anna followed suit and set up her design journal in 2016 exploring colour & pattern.  She recently launched her own collection of homeware and wallpaper designs inspired by a love of 80’s Laura Ashley and her passion for painting abstract brush strokes.  Anna designs and writes between London and her studio in Herefordshire.

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Fortuny | Trina Turk | Carolina Herrera | Maria Likarz-Strauss

In every season, the garden has its stars. From the happy, dancing tulips and narcissi in spring to the heady tumbling roses in summer, it’s in winter that the supporting evergreen plants get to shine. Red rose hips take center stage against smokey evergreen eucalyptus leaves, and the dark rich almost black greens of the rhododendrons, creating a dramatic contrast. It is here in the garden that we find inspiration as we look forward to the arrival of spring and its new set of stars.

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Marlies Plank | Pinterest | Nuria Mora | Vivetta

Do bright colors bring positivity? Let’s hope so as Pantone’s color choice for 2019 is Living Coral. This pop color, reminiscent of sunshine and the 80s, is sure to bring some good vibes for the year to come. Pair it with pale lavenders, electric yellows, or minty greens for a helio packed palette that simply radiates.

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Laurie Maun | Jil Sander | drop it Modern | Marimekko

Move over pumpkin, there’s a new pie in town. Look to banana cream shades as soft yellows ease us into the new season.

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We’re so excited for our Abstract Botanical Pattern Collage Workshop coming up this Saturday. We only have a couple spots left so if you’re in Portland, come join us! Learn tips on color, composition, pattern, and form, as we get inspired by the beauty of nature and delve into the world of pattern making. Using abstract collage techniques, we’ll demonstrate how to turn your designs into repeatable patterns perfect for gift giving this holiday season. Each attendee will leave with a new set of skills, along with a botanical pattern design ready to use on wallpaper, textiles, wrapping paper, and more. We’ll supply all necessary materials and tools, along with light edible treats. All skill levels welcome.

Saturday November 17th
1pm to 4pm
Portland, Oregon location

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