Design Update: Fashion, art and interiors

As autumn greets us with its crisp mornings, we find ourselves reflecting on the year that was and making plans for the months ahead. For the team at Designmade, March marks the date of our first annual trade event, the Designer Preview. It’s a sensational time as we see the release of many new and exciting collections from the beautiful brands we represent.

Design houses are encouraging the world of interiors to view textiles as works of art. Art educates, prompts emotion and embodies forms which can physically house us. In the broad sense of the word, ‘art’ describes the environments we create for ourselves; in the spaces we live in and the items we adorn them with.

Last year we saw somewhat of a vintage revival where nostalgic imagery was uncovered from the archives and reproduced to create interesting fabrics, wallcoverings and accessories. Designers Guild collaborated with British decoupage artist, John Derian to form the Picture Book Prints collection. This collection reflects John’s ‘innovative and sensitive’ style through botanical illustrations, floral designs and motifs; imagery which has been drawn from John’s archive of antique prints and lithographs. Recently released, Picture Book Prints II is a continuation of the tale as it reintroduces existing designs in stunning new colour pallets and presents a curated assortment of the artist’s latest work.

Illustrative designs, artist collaborations and large scale panels have featured in many recent collections, all of which exemplify the idea of art in textiles. Panoramique is an awe-inspiring collection of large scale wallcoverings by Elitis, France. With its whimsical drawings and rich colours Panoramique is a visual statement claiming that ‘art is everywhere’. William Yeoward produced a vibrant collection of cushions in collaboration with UK artist, Electra Harris, whose work depicts a surreal interpretation of domestic spaces. Mind the Gap, a recent addition to our Christchurch showroom, has an eccentric range of wallcoverings which are displayed in books as grand and fantastical as the papers they contain. Splendidly decorated Indian elephants march across the pages as futuristic Martians peer out from their star scattered playgrounds.

This year we’re seeing an appreciation of past movements in fashion and ancient, artisanal techniques alongside international influences. Mizumi by ROMO Black Edition tells the story of a Japanese artist who uses a combination of ancient and contemporary techniques to create beautifully elaborate woodcut prints which reflect the beauty and delicacy of nature.

Harlequin’s ‘Atelier’ draws inspiration from 70’s fashion and the techniques used in mid-century pottery studios. The result is a vibrant collection of fabrics and wallpapers with a retro flair. This collection is a perfect example of why the ‘retro’ comeback is still trending in interiors and fashion in 2019. The design concepts of the era were strong in the patterns and colours used, adding substance to the spaces they’re applied to. Perhaps it’s because these concepts are malleable with many different styles and environments that ‘retro’ design is still going strong today.

Cole and Son’s Botanical Botanica is an exploration of the English landscape and a nod to Arts and Craft; a movement that embraced handicraft. ‘Allium’ is a unique floral stripe created with hand rendered designs of blooming clusters and long stems, reflecting a folk style of decoration.

Collectively, these brands push the envelope when it comes to design for interiors; creating fabrics, wallcoverings and accessories which are works of art in their own right. Here’s to an exciting year ahead, as the design houses encourage people to live more boldly, to be inspired but not heavily influenced by trends and to surround themselves with pattern, texture and forms that excite them. It’s time to create!