This is a collection of five 4”x4” gouache on wood illustrations. During COVID-19 and trying not to go to the grocery store as much, I became very reliant on the random food items that usually go unnoticed. I consider this an ode to the food that sits in the back of my pantry or fridge. Jars of olives, cans of chili and instant coffee suddenly became moments of delight.
The designs of these prints are meant to go together in a way that creates a visually interesting mix of patterns for a fashion collection. The inspiration came from folk art and folk tales which remind me of history and the way culture and traditions are passed down. Historically “folk” often refers to the rural or peasant class, typically making folk art and writing about and by “regular” people. In choosing fairy tales as the inspiration for the designs I was specifically attracted to the small moments of magic that happened to ordinary people.
Helmstedt is a Danish brand that inspires me with their collections of brightly colored silky garments influenced by vintage lounge wear with whimsical prints of fish and fairy tale castles. These designs feel effortless and fun, and allow the wearer to play and dream, while bringing the pieces into everyday life. My aim is to do the same with this super feminine, playful and dreamy collection that strives to create an escape from the mundane of the everyday.
This collection of prints was designed for an antique Victorian dollhouse. I referenced Victorian wallpaper from the book Bitten by Witch Fever by Lucinda Hawksley and one of my favorite books, We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, for design inspiration. Jackson’s book is set at a remote family estate where two sisters and their uncle live in exile. The famous documentary film Grey Gardens (1975) provided a similar aesthetic and mood inspiration for the prints. The theme of escapism continued in this collection, specifically the negative effects it can have. Drawing from my own life experiences I was thinking about feelings of isolation, anxiety, and an underlying sense of foreboding or dread. Now more than ever these feelings are manifest in our lives during quarantine due to COVID-19. It’s interesting that now the whole world is having this shared experience that forces us to slow down, stay home and feel isolated in one way or another. Working on this miniature dream world allowed me to have total control over something, in a time where everything else feels very out of my control.
This print collection was inspired by a trip I took to Portugal last Winter. These patterns and surfaces are intended for interiors and are based on trend research that showed that geometric and middle eastern inspired designs are popular in the interior market. I researched brands that included West Elm, Pottery Barn and some lesser known companies and found a mix of painterly, geometric and Islamic influenced products. This collection was inspired by an “escape” to a new destination and an immersion into a new landscape with unique and beautiful daily activities, like entire shops dedicated to canned fish.
Inspired by historical quilts, this piece was my own interpretation of the act of slowly piecing together segments to create a larger whole. I consider this to be a labor of love, deliberately taking each soft linen piece and stitching them together in a repetitive motion. This act felt similar to the process of growing as a person; each piece of fabric a building block in the formation of a complete person. It made me think about the people in my life who have helped shape me and helped me grow. Each machine embroidered piece on silk organza is a nod to vital people in my life, each object personal symbolism that I relate to them.
As a part of my studio production class this collection of scarves was inspired by my weekly trip to the Savannah Forsyth farmer’s market during quarantine (with gloves and a mask of course). This little outing was a big source of happiness for me during the weird time created by COVID-19. The scarves are intended to feel like a sunny spot in the grass at the park with your goodies from the market laid out on a blanket with friends, ready to enjoy.
The Farmer’s Market represents a strong sense of community, access to organic produce and support of small local businesses with an added benefit of some great dog watching. With a focus on sustainability, the scarves will be “heirloom” products. I also plan to include the service of fixing or mending any products that need it free of charge, no matter how much time has passed. This will help create a closed circle supply chain.