MARKET RESEARCH – JOHN LEWIS
Like Bilbo, I decide to undertake an adventure. An adventure (nightmare) into the City Centre of Cardiff, primarily to visit John Lewis.
You may ask the purpose of this adventure. Simple really…RESEARCH. When initially looking at Mid-High Range Department Stores, the obvious came to mind:
DEBENHAMS, HOUSE OF FRASER, SELFRIDGES, JOHN LEWIS, HARRODS, BROWNS
But then I started to really deconstruct each store, and found that certain stores were targeted at slightly different clientele.
MID RANGE: DEBENHAMS (Sales devaluing brand) & HOUSE OF FRASER
MID/HIGH RANGE : JOHN LEWIS & SELFRIDGES
HIGH RANGE: BROWNS & HARRODS
I would have loved the opportunity to compare JOHN LEWIS with SELFRIDGES, but also the nearest SELFRIDGES is in Birmingham; Cardiff not having a particularly good/diverse range of Stores. The final decision was JOHN LEWIS @ CARDIFF. Upon first inspection in my chosen store I must say I was extremely disappointed at the lack of physical Floral/Busy Bloom Wallpapers/Fabrics.However I did find some of interest:
SANDERSON: A Home & Country Style incorporating English garden palettes. The design offers a timeless and easy elegance to modern family life and offers the warmest of welcomes. Simply put, it feels like home. I was bowled over by some of their Floral designs
HANDPERRY COLLECTION, WISTERIA FALLS, AMETHYST, AVAILABLE IN WALLPAPER, FABRIC & BEDDING, ACCENTUATING PAINT IS LILAC SHADOW
I absolutely adore this design!! The colour is rich, yet subdued. Yes, there is no overlaid print pattern, but that could be really easily incorporated in the form of a continuous line drawing/observational study. There is an abundance of a textural and generous pattern. Is it bold enough for the brief outline?
HANDPERRY COLLECTION, MAGNOLIA & BLOSSOM, BLOSSOM/LEAF, AVAILABLE IN FABRIC & WALLPAPER, ACCENTUATING PAINT IS CREME DE VIOLETTE.
SANDERSON would be a company I would love to explore/research further.
As much as I absolutely adore William Morris, I have purposely chosen to include other brands and designs.
When I had thought that there was not much on offer in terms of research material, I cam across this!!! I WAS IN HEAVEN. Spending nearly 2 hours in this department was invaluable. I came across incredible some incredible Design Companies, most of who I have never heard of before:
SWAFFER: Founded in Peterborough in 1973. UK based. Proud to demonstrate that all production, manufacture and print is carried out in the UK. Offering Prints, Weaves, Embroideries and Velvets.
SWAGGER, IN BLOOM COLLECTION, IANTHE, COLOUR 01 & 06, AVAILABLE IN FABRIC ONLY
ARTEMISIA COLLECTION, ROSA LINEN, COLOUR 25 & 65, AVAILABLE IN FABRIC ONLY
These are some of my all time favourite designs that I feel lucky to have come across on my Research journey. It makes me want to continue on with my observational studies, focusing especially at expressive and beautifully fluid florals. This company’s designs are exquisite; who knows how things turn out, maybe a job working for this company would be exactly what I need.
GP & BAKER: UK Based, and founded in 1884. Designs from GP & Baker are skillfully adapted to meet with today’s tastes and colour palettes and in addition to developing its own unique handwriting, GP & J Baker continues to grow its reputation as one of the world’s innovators of fabric design. Initially purveyors of Turkish Rugs and Rich Artisan carpets, the company eventually progressed into the manufacture and sale of Textiles. Highly inspired by early 1900s Botanical Art and Horticultural influences.
EAST TO WEST COLLECTION, THERAPIA, COLOUR LINEN, OCHRE & INDIGO, AVAILABLE IN CURTAINS AND BEDSPREADS
Having previously listed the V&A in London back in September, I was reminded of rich, textural and vibrant hand crafted Indian Textiles primarily documenting CHINTZ design. This particular design by GP & BAKER really does intertwine the ideas and cultural handwriting of the East and West. Although the images above do not show in detail the spectacular machine embroidery embellished onto the surface of the Linen and Viscose mix, I was drawn to this surface pattern, design and colour like a moth to a flame; one of the most joyous and important jobs of a Textile Designer would have to be finding new areas of inspiration, finding new design companies one would love to work/design for, and being able to explore new processes and techniques to further my own creative journey.
RIO VELVETS COLLECTION, BARCELONA, COLOUR MULTI, INDIGO & TEAL, AVAILABLE IN LOOSE & FIXED UPHOLSTERY, CURTAINS & BEDSPREADS
INCREDIBLE!!!!!! When I saw this design in John Lewis I was blown away by the colour and pattern juxtaposition. The pattern and design has been cropped into square and rectangular areas, of which I found extremely personal and individual to my own style and visual handwriting. The design screams aloud with huge cultural and geographical references to Latin culture, not to mention I can see my previous HOCKNEY, Mulholland Drive surface pattern influence within this design too.
BLENDWORTH: UK Based. Established London, 1921. Influenced by traditional English Home and Country. Focus on original distinct colour and design. Commercially aware design company, aware of trends but not focusing on them.
MYSTICAL COLLECTION, WISTERIA, COLOUR 001, AVAILABLE IN FABRIC & WALLPAPER
Impressionism inspires ideas of enchantment and romanticism. Expressive rich pallets offer a multi-faceted and highly textural approach to the lustrous subject fusion of oriental florals and birds and butterflies. Again, what an absolutely incredible design incorporating both Stitch and Print. I think I will source a workshop looking at advanced Machine Embroidery and will endeavour to practice and explore to make it become second nature.
TULIP STELLATA COLLECTION, TULIP STELLATA, COLOUR FUSCHIA, AVAILABLE IN FABRIC & WALLPAPER.
I purposely choose this design due to the strong influence from the Dutch Golden Age of painting. Vivid, masterful and rich floral observational studies are interpreted through digital and rotary design. Base cloth selection available in numerous fabrics entirely suitable for soft furnishings and upholstery. WOW!! I never considered myself a floral type of person, but have been fully converted by personal and private market research. It makes me want to continually better myself, so I think an intensive drawing and painting class will be sourced.