“Twenty years from now you will more disappointed by the things you didn’t
do then by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the
safe harbour. Catch the trade winds. Explore, dream, discover”
Happy New Year everyone. 2018 awaits.
January is always a month I spend hibernating and enjoying inspirational books
I’ve recently discovered. These books are usually given by close friends as presents
over Christmas as well as ones I have come across usually at Art exhibitions and on my recent travels.
A great book always seems to get the New Year off to a wonderful start as I plan
what and where I would like to discover and explore in the year ahead.
I hope you find the following books and places inspire you to go explore, dream and discover your own unique path throughout 2018.
River Café 30
The River Café 30 is a wonderful book that celebrates one of the World’s must iconic restaurants on its 30th Anniversary. Not only is it a vibrant and beautifully designed book,
It a story about two wonderful women and best friends (Rose Gray and Ruth Rodgers) who turned their creativity and culinary skills into a World class Italian restaurant.
Perhaps the most wonderful thing about the River Café is not just the delicious food created using the best and freshest ingredients but also of the ethos of “kindness and integrity” afforded to both employees and customers alike. Bon Appettio!!
One of my favourite bookstores in the World can be found in 10 Corso Como in Milan Italy. This is a store filled with the most inspiring books on art, photography and all areas of design. You can spend hours here pouring over beautiful images from some of the most gifted creative people working today.
On my last visit to Corso Como I visited photographer
Paolo Roversi’s Exhibition “Incontri” held in the Galleria Carla Sozzani Milano.
I have huge respect Paolo Roversi. His incredibly beautiful and poetic work never fails to inspire and move me.
Wishing 2018 is full of good health, happiness, love and laughter.
December 2017 – Bloom and Grow
“My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece” Claude Monet
Photography and images above by Nick Knight.
As the year draws to a close it seems to have passed by so quickly.During the month of December I always love to take a step back and reflect on the last twelve months and on what has happened over the course of another year.
This year I spent a lot of time outside in nature.From creative inspiration to running and general well-being there is something so incredibly calming about spending time in Nature.It is so good for your soul.
Nature especially flowers seem to inspire so many creatives past and present.
Here are a few incredible examples of the amazing work some of my favourite florists and designers and dreamers create.
This year I discovered even more wonderful work by Makoto Azuma and his incredible “Botanical Adventures”.
Azuma blows apart every single pre-conception you might have about flowers and how to use and arrange them. Quite simply spellbinding!!!
Nikki Tibbles is one of the most celebrated British Florists.Her unique vision and creative approach to flowers has earned her incredible commissions from some of the World’s most luxurious brands and venues.
Wild at Heart iconically flanks the entrance of Liberty London department store as well as being housed in its original Turquoise Island shop in Notting Hill and a flagship boutique in the heart of London’s Premier Design District, Pimlico Road.Niki’s fresh hand tied flowers have an unrivalled reputation for creative excellence and quality.
Wishing you all a wonderful and peaceful Christmas and everything you hope for in 2018.
October 2017 – Happiness is the secret to all beauty.
“Happiness is the secret to all beauty.There is no beauty without happiness”.
Last month I spent some time in Paris. A visit to the “City of light” always
leaves me feeling uplifted and incredibly inspired. Wandering and exploring the Parisian streets filled with amazing architecture, history, cafes and specialist shops is one of my favourite things to do.
Premiere Vision is a Fabric Fair held every September and February where
designers from the fashion Industry go to seek out fabrics for their next collections.
This September Autumn Winter 18/19 Fabric Collection were being launched at the show.
Although I create fabrics mostly for interiors I feel it is important to visit this show
as it serves as a barometer of what is to come and it also allows me to see what some of my favourite fabric mills are creating and developing.
Dior Exhibition- Christian Dior, Couturier of Dreams -
The Christian Dior exhibition is a must see.
This exhibition is the largest-ever fashion exhibition to take place in Paris.
It is in a word “stunning”.
The exhibition is staged on two floors of the Musee Des Arts Decoratifs
in a grandiose setting. From the remarkable representation of artefacts from every era of the brand, to the Womenswear collections both Ready to Wear and Couture to design directors past and present this exhibition will leave you mesmerised.
If you are unable to get to the exhibition in Paris then try to escape your everyday for a few hours and watch Dior & I.
While Raf Simons is no longer the Creative Director
Dior & I is a beautiful and touching film made in 2012 during Simons first few weeks of his appointment as Creative Director at Dior and the 8 week build up to his first couture show.
The film is a wonderful insight into Simon’s creative process, the couture house and of the incredible team who create such unimaginable collections of womenswear by hand season after season.
It is creativity and craftsmanship at its absolute finest.
August 2017 – Inspirational People – DRIES VAN NOTEN
Dries Van Noten is without doubt one of my all time favourite designers.
Dries was born in Antwerp in 1958 and is the third generation of a family of tailors. He studied Fashion at the Antwerp Royal Academy and opened his first store in Antwerp in 1989.
Since 1986 Dries Van Noten has presented collections for women and men for Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter each year. His work is characterised by bold use of prints, colours, original fabrics and layering.
In 2004 he celebrated his 50th fashion show with a dinner for 500 guests seated at
a table that later became the catwalk for the women presenting the collection.
In 2014 the grand opening of Dries Van Noten, “Inspirations”, a first ever exhibition featuring his designs and influences took place at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Another configuration of the exhibit moved to Antwerp in 2015 and each welcomed record visitors.
March 2017 saw the 100th Dries Van Noten fashion show take place in Paris.
The film Documentary Dries was realised to mark this 100th Anniversary.
It gives a wonderfully intimate look inside the fashion company that Van Noten
established over thirty years ago. The documentary allows us to see the entire creative design process that Dries and his team undertake each season and the unimaginable amount of work and preparation that is involved in creating such consistently beautiful fabrics and incredible Women and Menswear collection season after season.
In a World, full of Global Luxury Fashion Conglomerates Dries Van Noten has always followed his own path and in doing so has created a uniquely Independent design company that has remained true to his own exceptional vision of fashion.
This August I hope you are inspired by the wonderful Dries Van Noten.
July 2017 – Go Explore
We are over half way through 2017 already and Summer is here.
It is a great time of the year to take a step back and see where it has taken
us so far.
Taking a step back or break allows some space for us to reflect and also an opportunity to go explore
a new place or in my case visit some great Summer exhibitions.
Balenciaga “Shaping Fashion” Exhibition at the V&A
This Summer sees the V&A’s Retrospective of the Spanish couturier Cristobal Balenciaga.
Cristóbal Balenciaga’s innovative pattern-cutting, use of new materials and bold architectural shapes
have been greatly influential on a new generation of fashion designers today.
The V&A Museum has always been my favourite museums to visit.
The museum houses over 2.3 million objects that span over 5000 years of creativity.
There is everything from fashion, textiles, photography to ceramics that provide a wonderful source of inspiration for all creatives.
I’ve also spent many wonderful evenings at the V&A listening to some of today’s most iconic designers from Thomas Heather wick, Paul Smith, to Louise Trotter Creative Director at Joseph share their career stories and incredible industry insights .It is so informative and inspiring.You always leave feeling anything is possible!
Visit the V&A Website to see all upcoming talks at the Museum.
I am also loving the resurgence of painting, drawing and fashion illustration that we have seen over the past year or so.
Liberty of London
I dropped by Liberty one of my favourite stores in London. A wonderful surprise awaited as The Liberty Design team were instore drawing& painting and sharing some of their research with customer about how the textile collections are created and produced for selling in store and around the World.They were creating such beautiful detailed drawings and paintings it made me think
of the power of creativity and how good it can make us all feel.
Wishing you all a wonderful Springtime and if you happen to be in London
then the Hockney Exhibition and a trip to Liberty are not to be missed.
I look forward to sharing some on my own drawings &paintings with you very soon.
March 2017 – Colour is Emotion
“Colour is emotion and emotion is what moves people”.
Every moment of everyday we are surrounded by the most amazing kaleidoscope of colours.The power of colour is incredible and can hugely affect our mood and feelings.I am constantly reminded of this whenever I am travelling from place to place.From bright red London buses, to the dazzling New York skyline to the patch work of green fields I see from the plane as it comes into land in Dublin airport.These colours never fail to evoke a feeling of well-being, happiness and familiarity.
Colour has such poetic qualities and an incredibly powerful aesthetic in design.
The design industry is full of wonderfully creative individuals who are so gifted with their use of colour. Two of my favourites creatives are Sarah Moon (photographer) and Lucinda Chambers (Fashion Editor of British Vogue). Their incredible sense of colour and innate ability to use it in every hue and proportion possible have enabled them to create an amazing body of photography and fashion images throughout the last two decades.
My earliest memories of the impact that colour can have was while watching
“The Wizard of Oz” for the first time. As a child, I was mesmerised by how Dorothy left Kansas in monotone “black & white” and arrives in Oz where she opens the door to a World of technicolour. From Dorothy’s ruby slippers to the yellow brick road this film is chock a block with vibrant colour.
Most recently the wonderful Academy award winning film “La La Land” left me with a very similar feeling. The beautiful cinematography of the film delivered on every colourful level.
This is a film that makes you what to get up and dance, wear more primary colours and above all is so good for your soul.
Saint Patrick’s Day is fast approaching here in Ireland so wishing everyone a very special one. As everything becomes green for the day it seems only fitting that the pantone colour of 2017 is Pantone 15-0343.That’s green to you and me.
A refreshing and revitalizing shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life,and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work and the only way to do great work is to love what you do” Steve Jobs
For as long as I can remember I have always loved what I do. Drawing, painting and designing have always been my passion.I realised at a very early age that being creative is something that gives me great joy and that I needed to work and collaborate along side other creatives who loved what they did too.
Design and Inspiration
I love blank white pages. A crisp blank sheet of paper is an exciting starting point for any drawing, painting, print or project. I also love to crinkle and crush paper and it’s usually the first thing I do when I have a sheet of paper in my hands before I even begin to pick up a paint brush. Maybe it’s the rustle of the paper and the feel of the texture that helps get the creative process underway.
“I like to live in the now” David Hockney
This February sees David Hockney one of Britain’s must influential and popular
artist return to Tate Britain for a major exhibition of his work and in the same year
he celebrates his 80th birthday.
David’s wonderful northern roots and appreciation for the beautiful Yorkshire landscape enables him to create and paint the most captivating works of art that you I always want to look at and get lost in for ever.
Having visited many of Hockney’s exhibitions over the years I always come away feeling so inspired and energised by the work you have seen. From his landscapes to self-portraits they are so incredibly full of colour, life and energy.
Just like Hockney himself I would imagine.
David Hockney is at Tate Britain, SW1, from February 9 until May 29 2017
Wishing you lots of love this February and Valentine’s day with whom and
however you choose to spend it.
January 2017 – New Year New Adventures
The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” Saint Augustine
In August 2014 I left London, home for 10 years and returned to my native Ireland where I had left over 20 years earlier. My passion for design and travel has enabled me to live and work in some incredible cities throughout the World including New York, London and Milan and meet so many amazing people along the way.
Since returning to Ireland I have allowed myself some space and time to step back, re-connect with nature, travel Ireland and reflect on the design business that began in London back in 2010.
Design and Inspiration
I am always seeking out new ways to create and produce fabrics that are not only colourful & contemporary but made ethically and above all in a way that is always kinder to the environment. These values are built on my love for the Planet we live on, nature, people and travel.
Bringing Nature Indoors
I believe colour and nature has the power to move people.
Creating fabrics that give my customers a “feel good factor” is what I am passionate about.
I look forward to sharing my designs Inspirations, new collections and future projects in 2017 with you all in the weeks and months ahead….
I‘m a book junky so here are two wonderful books to inspire you during the Winter months ahead.
Earthsong by Bernhard Edmaier
A stunning book full of truly beautiful photographs of the Planet we inhabit.
(see image above)
Noma - Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine René Redzepi.
(see image above)
Photography by Ditte isager Photographs styled by Christine Rudolph
René Redzepi has been credited with re‐inventing Nordic cuisine. Noma, His Copenhagen restaurant was recognized as the #1 best in the world by the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant awards in April 2010.
Rene’s unrelenting search for ingredients involves foraging in local fields for wild produce from the Faroe Islands to the purest possible water from Greenland. His philosophy of creating highly innovative dishes with seasonally and regionally sourced sustainable ingredients continues to unprecedented levels. Redzepi is one of the most influential chefs in the world.
Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine offers an exclusive insight into the food, diary from the period leading up to the opening of the restaurant and texts on some the most enigmatic of Noma’s suppliers. The book includes 200 new specially commissioned colour photographs of the dishes, unique local ingredients and landscapes from across the Nordic region.
Finally, if you’re planning some hibernating time this January then tune into the wonderful Planet Earth II on BBC2. The series is presented and narrated by the incredible Sir David Attenborough.
Wishing 2017 is full of good health, happiness, love and laughter for you all.
New Stockist: Grace and Thorn
This September saw the opening of Grace and Thorn’s first Florist store in London.
As one of London’s most exciting florist we are so excitied to have our interiors collection
now stockied at their new store.
Wishing the ladies every success with their wondeful new shop on 338 Kingslands Road