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Holly Bradley Gill’s taste of Italy

23 February 2011 by TexSelect in Alumni Stories, Fashion

Texprint caught up with 2010 star, Holly Bradley Gill this week, just before she jetted off to work in Italy for six months. This great opportunity emerged as a direct result of Texprint’s connections with some of the prestigious Italian mills. Holly was offered a paid placement with the Marzotto company following the Texprint showcase. In Italy, she will work between Guabello in Biella, a mill producing mainly menswear fabrics, and Esthehia gb Gonte in Vicenza, who produce fabrics for womenswear. She told us, “Texprint has helped me so much since graduating!”

Winner of the Texprint 2010 Weave Prize, Holly’s “beautiful colour-sense” was praised by judges. Her detailed, delicate fabrics were inspired by wartime Britain. Her nostalgic graduate collection referenced WW2 ration booklets, coupons and other old documents from her visits to the Imperial War Museum’s research area. She told us, “I love this era, – I loved the colours and the marks on the old paper; they had been used and had stories behind them. I wanted to produce fabrics that looked like heirlooms. Fabrics that are special and have the impression of having been loved – hinting at times gone by”.

Her passion for weave emerged in her first year at Central Saint Martins, she says, “When I first tried weaving, something just clicked. It felt right doing it. I like how stable it feels; once you’re threaded up and ready, you’re secure. There’s also a great feeling of the unknown about weaving” Her success at CSM included being Highly Commended in the Rosemary House Creative Weaver Award in 2009. Holly says, “I think weavers have a definite temperament – its quite methodical, repetitive work, so you need patience. It’s also mathematical, and so if you are pragmatic and enjoying solving problems that helps!”

Holly’s future plans are focused on setting up her own business as a designer-maker. She believes her time in Italy will give her an invaluable insight into how the industry works. Her own business plan is ready to put into action on her return to the UK. Holly’s talent coupled with her clear head and determination look set to be a recipe for future success.  

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