The rain is currently lashing against my studio window one minute and the sun is beaming through the next… I’m hoping this is a sign that winter is starting to lose the battle to spring. It seems a long way off into the distance until we will be back in the heady days of summer.
This little girls high summer story I designed for Uttam Kids was inspired by memories of growing up in the 70s, playing in my grandparents garden, summer holidays where we explored country lanes with little cottages covered in roses.
As I worked on the prints, a slight Clarice Cliff influence started to emerge, I went with it on the garden print as it felt right. But then where did the 70s get it’s inspiration from after all?
Also just arrived is my Peacock Story. Last summer after a lot of cajoling I managed to get a wonderful electric blue colour into my high summer Uttam Kids range. It looked fantastic and sold really well, so getting this blue story in this year was a breeze. Uttam Boutique always do well with an oriental inspired story every season, so it made sense to do one for girlswear. The brief for this story was for items that could be worn everyday, but also be dressed up for parties and weddings. For a change this range was not predominately cotton poplin, but a soft drapey viscous. My favourite piece in the story is probably the party dress, the photo doesn’t really do it justice, the mesh is electric blue, with a silver lurex shot lining, silver glitter belt and silver bead and sequin work.
Actually I guess that title is wrong. It should read “It’s amazing what printers can do these days”. Gone are the days of the 5 colour print. Digital printing onto fabrics has revolutionised the role of the print designer. Our days used to be spent trying to get a print to look as good as possible with a limited number of colours that were dictated by the cost of screens and the limitations of the factories. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a lots of that going on, especially in kidswear, but with the price of digital printing slowly coming down and the quality constantly going up, I wonder how long the old fashioned screen and roller printing factories have left. The images below are all prints produced in photoshop for Yumi and Uttam Boutique, some are more obviously digital then others.
It used to be that girlswear themes were about a year behind womenswear. That has changed over recent years and trends tend to run across all areas now. (obviously there are some trends that are not appropriate for girls) As well as coming up with Palm Springs inspired prints for Uttam Boutique, I also used the trend in my Uttam Kids range. Adding in the flamingo garden ornament to the cactuses, helped make them a bit more girly and added a lovely highlight to the sun faded brights palette. The boss hated pastels, so the only way I could get them into the range was by mixing them with brighter colours.
Some more of my SS16 prints have hit the stores. This Palm Springs inspired photographic print has arrived for Uttam Boutique.
For the print I used photos of Palm Springs architecture mixed with a variety of cactuses and a desert vistas at sunset. I added some paste filters and found a tutorial on how to give images give them that bleached out high contrast look to get the effect I wanted.
My Uttam Girls SS16 Collection has finally started to hit the stores, Can’t wait to pop into the House of Fraser Oxford Street store to have a look at the concession. The manager there makes such an effort to merchandise it beautifully.
After the seaside theme worked so well last summer, it was on the cards to do another. The trend prediction services were trumpeting mermaids as being a key graphic emblem for SS16, but having done a mermaid theme not so long ago, I new I needed a different angle. I stumbled across a fantastic photo on pinterest of a little girl with a donkey and realised that was the way to take my seaside story.
I wanted it to have a watercolour feel, which I knew would be a challenge for the factories in india. There was a lot of backwards and forwards to get the effect I wanted. At red seal sample they looked great, sadly for some reason they brightened some of the print colours in production, so the subtlety was lost.