Texprint 2016 Paris: Première Vision Designs
15 September 2016 by Roger Tredre in Fashion, Home, Interiors & Auto, Sponsors, Judges & Champions
Texprint’s young designers exhibit for the first time on the international stage at PremièreVision Designs in Paris. We report on a very special three days.
The 24 young UK-educated designers who are selected and sponsored by Texprint every year unveil their work to a professional audience for the first time in London in July at Chelsea College of Arts.
But that’s just the preamble to the main event: the step up to present to a truly global market at Première Vision Designs.
© Eloise Holmes 2016
This year, the excitement of the three days in Paris (September 13–15), was palpable from the start. The designers reported plenty of orders on the very first morning. Such as Eloise Holmes, who sold a woven stripe design to a leading European retailer that she had precisely in her mind when she first designed the piece. “I was shaking with excitement,” she said. “It’s so nice to sell to a company I know and like.”
Print designer Mikey Womack also had a sensational first day, selling six designs to an Italian buyer within the first hour. “It was the most insane thing I’ve done!” he said. “I gave her a good deal because she was my first-ever customer.”
© Mikey Womack 2016
Later, he picked up a commission from another leading high street retailer, while one buyer even bought one of his paintings as a present for her husband’s birthday. “I didn’t expect us to be selling like this,” he said. “I thought people wouldn’t be interested in graduates, but they’re all saying, ‘we’re bored with what we see elsewhere, you’re different’. Texprint is like a playground of creativity for them.”
© Grace Lomas 2016
Mixed media star Grace Lomas, who won the Texprint Fashion Award, was thrilled by the quality of the companies she was meeting. “One moment it’s Marc Jacobs, the next it’s Nike. People are so curious to see our work. They say this is the best area of PV. Maybe it’s because we are working without the constraints of the more established companies.”
© Helga Aradottir 2016
Supported by Texprint’s experienced team, the designers are given plenty of advice on the commercial aspect of the textile business, learning how to market and sell their work. And the 24 designers, drawn from leading design colleges and universities all over the UK, are mutually supportive, a point emphasised by Isla Middleton, an exciting new talent who develops print designs from her drawings of plant forms and flowers. Middleton, who recently graduated from Falmouth University, was winner of the Texprint Interiors Award (sponsored by the Clothworkers' Company), “It’s a really nice group,” she said. “We’re all ready to help each other.”
It’s important for the designers to do their very best to impress every visitor to their stands. Embroiderer Martin Bonney said: “People were wanting me to put designs aside and on hold so that they could come back later with their bosses. You see these Chinese girls in their early twenties who are actually working for very big companies. There’s a bit of haggling going on, which I’m not so good at yet, but it adds to the experience!”
© Emma Kendall 2016
Texprint Creative Director Peter Ring-Lefevre commented: “The 2016 designers are individually very different – across the twenty-four, there are few common threads, which makes this year’s show very eclectic. I love that there are very traditional hand-drawn skills applied to fashion and interiors – it’s very heartening to see because these are skills we don’t want to lose.”
Also among the winners this year was Megan Clarke, who won the Texprint Pattern Award (sponsored by Liberty Fabrics) and Chloe Frost, who won the Texprint Colour Award (sponsored by Mode Information).
This year’s judges, who made their choices back in July at Texprint London, were Nadia Albertini, a couture embroiderer; Fi Douglas, founder of Glasgow’s bluebellgray; Pip Jenkins, head of design at John Smedley; and Andrew Croll, senior design recruiter for Nike.
The Woolmark Company Award, judged by Aline Galimberti, chief designer of Dormeuil, and rising menswear star Jonathan Christopher went to Jacob Monk, a weave designer who studied BA Textile Design at Central Saint Martins.
Prizes were presented by Martin Leuthold, Artistic Director of Jakob Schlaepfer, who pointed out that he was attending his 80th PV, dating back to 1976 – no breaks in 40 years!
Martin Leuthold, with winners Megan Clarke, Grace Lomas, Chloe Frost, Jacob Monk and Isla Middleton
Following PV, two of the designers – Amy Smith and Jacob Monk – repeat the experience at the major Asian show, Intertextile Shanghai (October 11–13).
Seven of the designers are also preparing for extended internships in Como this autumn, continuing Texprint’s long-running connections with the finest Italian mills. Amy Smith is again in that group. In fact, she mused, she is visiting Paris, Shanghai and Como within a two-month period. “And I’m squeezing in a holiday in Blackpool,” she laughs. Texprint designers may be living the international lifestyle, but they have their feet firmly on the ground…