February 9, 2013

designing to trends: to do or not to?

i am not someone who follows trends, but i realize that as a surface pattern designer i need to show some knowledge of them. so i have been debating whether or not to create a collection based on a trend that suits my style. since my portfolio is lacking in the floral department, i decided to challenge myself and research trends for F/W2013, and then come up with a collection, even if it's too late, more like an exercise. the end result will be one more collection in my portfolio, and that can't be a bad thing.

don't ask me how these things work, but i came across a 50's floral trend report, and really liked the idea, mainly because lucienne day and marianne mahler are two of my favorite textile designers.

so today i spent most of my time either curled up on the sofa reading the "contemporary" chapter in twentieth-century pattern design by lesley jackson or at my desk pinning like mad on pinterest.

one of my favorite books

lucienne day | perpetua | 1953

marianne mahler | linear flowers | 1953

jacqueline groag | 1953

ruth adler schnee | seedy weeds | 1953-4

what i found out was that what's referred to as "contemporary" pattern design was influenced by another set of artists i admire: paul klee, alexander calder, joan miro and jackson pollock. in my visual research, i decided to leave out pollock, because of my preference for clean lines.

alexander calder

paul klee | fruits on red | 1930

joan miro |  collage | 1929

now i have a good collection of images for my inspiration board. the trick is too be inspired and influenced without loosing my own voice. i came across this great quote by zika ascher (founder of ascher london): "the most successful designers are those who effortlessly express their own personality in their designs."

makes me wonder if i should forget about all this research and just be myself!


  1. Great post! I cat wait to see what you come up with:) Julie

  2. Marvellous post, Alik. I am sure you'll not loose your own voice just because you did all the research. In fact, it will become stronger. Like a singer, who keeps training all the time and improving every time. I'm anxious to see the result of all this. I love the influences you showed here.

  3. thank you for the feedback! will keep you posted:)

  4. Yes! Miro! When I saw the first lucienne day, I thought of Miro. I think my fav up top is the Mahler. Go, Alik! Nice blog!

  5. Such a great blog and i love the 50s designs.