Sunday, 11 April 2010

Ties in Testing...

The above sample reminds me of the Madras Check and is un-intentionally reminiscent of the original Indian Textile inspiration piece! Although the patterns are busy and the colours very bold, I feel it does work successfully as a statement tie.

A few more images of some of my designs visualised as the final outcome. I placed the fabrics on a bias beneath a window template (drawn round an actual tie to get the correct proportions and shape). It's exciting to see my designs looking significantly like the end product that they are intended for.

H&M, Hammam's and Madras Checks

Just a quick post, but after researching the Hammams and Madras Checks on Friday, while shopping in H&M on Saturday, there was obvious influences from both these areas of research which I found pretty exciting! I recommend a visit and the most beautiful 'Hammam's' and checks are in the menswear department now. Above are some images taken from the website but there were more beautiful colours in store!


Friday, 9 April 2010

J.Press Ties and Madras Checks

While researching Madras Checks, I came across J.Press, an American company founded by Jacob Press who focus on quality and bespoke style with an emphasis on heritage. What interested me further is how the Madras check as been taken through and been used as a key inspiration for the tie designs which is great inspiration for my current project! Although all using the check design, each tie does have a very individual, bespoke feel about it through the use of colour and proportion. The ties are also woven with cotton as well as silk, another yarn for me to consider for my own work to achieve variation within the swatches.

This idea of colourful checks and striping, with a focus and consideration for that of the 'Madras check', is certainly something that I feel will add a sophistication to my designs. Alongside incorporating the detailed structures and patterns I have been previously experimenting with taken from my visual research, to ensure that an innovative and personal approach remains in my final outcomes.

Madras Checks

Madras Checks are another fabric that I had not heard of until I visited Drakes. These beautifully colourful fabrics pick up on smaller sections within my own woven samples, and it is interesting to see how I could perhaps choose an area from one of my samples and replicate it in a similar, geometric and colourful design to that of these Madras Checks.

As stated on the LA Times website ( the Madras checks originate from Madras, in India (now called Chennai). The colours were dyed with vegetable dyes and the checked pattern drew upon Scottish tartan influences in the 1800's when Scottish regiments occupied the land.

The images remind me of my very first initial research for my project when I looked at indian textiles as initial fabric and colour inspirations:

Hammam Towels

As wider research towards to my current project, Kathryn Rickards from Drakes of London encouraged me to take a look at 'Hammam Towels'. I had not heard of these before and so I decided to take this advice and have a look!

Although they are not a similar end product (in terms of bespoke suiting/menswear), as originally they used for turkish bathing, the colour palettes are similar to my own and some of them are even hand-woven which is particularly interesting as I feel passionate about the importance of hand-weaving today.

The proportions of colour are significant in the sense that the towels may only have 2 or 3 colours in them, but when displayed together as small collections as part of one large collection, the colours become heightened.

To see the collections of towels together please take a look at the source:

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Missoni Home, Beverley Hills

In the recent Missoni Home newsletter there are images of their new, first single-brand store in L.A. Designed by Patrick Kinmonth and Antonio Monfreda, it particularly interested me because the store exterior imitates a woven fabric composed of interwoven aluminium bands. This concept is reflective of the fabrics within the Missoni store and is taken even further though the lighting.

The store has small bands or slits for lighting, and as a result, further implying notions of a woven fabric ideally when the store is lit up at night but also providing more subtle suggestion to woven fabrics inside the store in the day.

A Beautiful Piece of Writing

While on the Drakes of London website, researching ties and products ahead of a visit later today, this beautiful piece of writing on the 'Inspiration' section of their website caught my eye and made me really consider my ideas in perhaps a more sophisticated fashion. Read below:

'We tend to agree with the maxim that men of style are never too fashionable, that idiosyncrasy always plays its part in stylish dress. And yet there are unspoken rules that a gentleman ignores at his own peril. Not exactly an arcane code, but there are unwary subtleties of dress. The smaller points of wearing a tie makes a good case for adhering to a certain form.'

I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did.