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Meet the 2017 judges: Guy Goodfellow, interior designer

29 June 2017 by TexSelect in Home, Interiors & Auto, Sponsors, Judges & Champions

Interior designer Guy Goodfellow is joining the judges of this year’s Texprint awards. We talked to him and creative director Jaine McCormack about the Guy Goodfellow Collection of fine fabrics and wallpapers.

Langton Street is a charming street located right off the King’s Road in London’s Chelsea. It’s a part of town often known as the Chelsea design quarter, housing a diverse range of luxury interior brands, including the Guy Goodfellow Collection. And Guy Goodfellow himself is judging the Texprint 2017 awards.

Goodfellow founded his own company in 2002. Working with a team of architects and interior designers, he specialises in breathing new life into old country homes, producing timeless, elegant and quintessentially English interiors.

Photo: Robert Barber

He recalls being fascinated with interior design and architecture since he was “knee-high”. He worked at Hackett and Colefax & Fowler, and designed a five-star hotel in Brussels at the age of just 24. “It is all luck of the draw,” he laughs casually, but it doesn’t take long to see the passion he has for what he does.

The company has a dual focus – architecture and interior design. While working on a residential project almost a decade ago, he had the opportunity to develop textiles as a bespoke service for the client’s home furnishings. In 2008, the Guy Goodfellow Collection was established as a separate business with Jaine McCormack as creative director. She introduced the concept of using and redesigning antique textiles. The company’s philosophy is founded on antique textile and artisan construction, carving out for itself a distinctive place in the market.

The textiles are frequently inspired by fabrics found at flea markets and fairs, but McCormack points out that the company develops new prints too. The collections are developed organically by slowly adding in new colours or designs. Manufactured in the UK, the fabrics are produced through both digital and hand-screen printing. Although the process of hand printing produces wondrous one-of-a-kind pieces, it’s an expensive option. That said, technological advances have enabled a relatively small business to produce textiles that might once have been prohibitively expensive and complex – such as the remarkable embroidered antique fabrics in the collection.

On sustainability, Jaine McCormack is honest: “Everybody wants to be ethical, but textiles is one of the least environmentally sound processes.” But the company’s very focus on conservation and craftsmanship has a sustainable philosophy to it – we should treasure what we have rather than endlessly obsess over the new.

Photo: Robert Barber

The artisanal craftsmanship on display in the company’s showroom is a pleasure to explore, decorated with Guy Goodfellow Collection fabrics and wallpaper. The showroom shares space with three other brands. Allyson McDermott’s heritage wallpapers are on one wall, with magnificent panels reaching from floor to ceiling. She is often employed by the National Trust to recreate a historic wallpaper from a scrap uncovered in an old English house. Also in residence is Volga Linen, a textile company that takes all its inspiration from Russian archives. Finally, there is Cloth and Clover, a small printed collection of fabrics produced in the UK.

Although quite different to the Guy Goodfellow Collection, the brands serve as a complement to it, all focused on high quality, artisanal products. The emphasis is on small-scale, UK manufacture, and long-term relationships with artisans and designers.

Currently, the Guy Goodfellow showroom is host to a ‘Maker’s Tale’ exhibition. Swathes of beautiful multicolour silks hang in the window. McCormack explains that the exhibition focuses on a “lady who forages seasonally on the South Downs where she lives. She’ll maybe pick ash, or walnuts, or rhubarb and create dye recipes using those materials. This absolutely speaks to the artisanal craftsmanship we want to celebrate more and more.”

The ‘Maker’s Tale’ exhibition is a project that McCormack wants to repeat every couple of months, a rolling exhibition that showcases the work of an up-and-coming craftsman looking to break into the industryThe next space available is February 2018.

Jaine McCormack’s personal involvement with Texprint dates back some 30 years – and she’s been working with Guy Goodfellow for nearly a decade. Over the years, the Guy Goodfellow Collection has bought artwork from Texprint designers, used for inspiration for developing new fabrics.

They see Texprint as a great chance for young people to showcase their work – and point out that it is important for all textile professionals to check out the young designers’ work. As Goodfellow explains, “We’re always looking for the next thing that is going to interest, so we have to keep our eyes open the whole time.”

Photo: Robert Barber

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TexSelect is a registered charity, entirely funded by the generous sponsorship of industry, by British charitable foundations, and by individuals connected to the industry. All believe wholeheartedly in supporting the next generation of textile design talent and in encouraging innovation and excellence.

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