The talented textiler joined mydeco last year after wowing us with her brightly embellished homewares at the 2010 New Designers graduate event. Since then, Laura has also managed to win over mydeco’s style-savvy community, with many of her soft furnishings appearing in 3D room designs and moodboards, and mydeco also handpicked her bright designs to feature in our unique autumn/winter boutique collection.
Although Laura insists she does not follow trends, her signature style of contrasting and clashing colours has been one of the biggest trends this year, with the confident colour-clash interior being the sought after look of the summer.
In an exclusive interview with mydeco, Laura Olivia reveals all about her passion for pattern, why she refuses to follow trends and what she has planned for the year ahead.
How did you get into textile design?
Art was always my favourite subject at school, but instead of just painting pictures I would paint something with a pattern on it, or try to work my drawings into some sort of repeated design, adding texture and embellishment wherever possible. After studying art and design at college I realised that all of my work was based around print and pattern, so it was clear that a textile design degree was the next step and, as they say, the rest is history!
What do you love about it?
Colour is the most important element of my work and the most exciting to me. I also love the process of turning a piece of art in to an intricate repeat pattern using Computer Aided Design (CAD). It is very satisfying to see the final design repeated and even better to see it applied to a product and come alive through the use of rich materials.
You were selected by award-winning designer Jethro Macey to exhibit at this year’s One Year On exhibition at New Designers. How did the show go for you?
It was absolutely fantastic. As well as my home accessories range, I showcased my freelance design work which received lots of interest from well-known companies who now want me to design a range of products, such as cards, paper products and wallpaper. I was also one of four designers selected to feature in an article in The Independent which was an amazing opportunity.
What’s more, it was great to get recognition and receive fantastic feedback from the trade and from the public about my designs after so much hard work this year!
You’ve just launched your new collection of lavender bags on mydeco boutique. Why did you decide to create these?
Many people admire my designs but the digital printing processes I use can be expensive. So I decided to create these lavender bags as they offer a great alternative to my larger items and provide the perfect little taster of my work.
What can they be used for?
The lavender bags not only smell lovely, but they look great when hung from a door handle or when stacked on a window sill. They make the perfect birthday or Christmas gift. I have just had a customer send one to Australia as a present.
Are you influenced by current homeware design trends?
I don’t really work to trends as I do not want my pieces to go out of fashion. I love putting colours together and coming up with unusual colour combinations. I want my products to be the inspiration and starting point to a design scheme. Some people think of home accessories last, but if a product really inspires you and is a work of art in itself, then why not build your scheme around it?
Laura’s bright designs are in keeping with this year’s colour clash trend
Which design of yours is your favourite?
I think it would have to be my Butterfly Garde Jade cushion. Fuchsia pink and aqua are my favourite colours and I love the vibrant colours and the richness of the mink background on the soft suedette fabric. The bright pink silk trim sets this off beautifully.
What can we expect to see from you for the rest of 2011?
I am continually working on freelance designs for my agent and some other clients so you may see my designs in the shops soon whether you realise it or not! I will also be working on new product designs toward the end of the year.
As far as shows go, I am taking part in the Craft Central One Day Designer Sale in Farringdon, on September 19, alongside many well-known homeware designers.
Read more about New Designers 2011 and watch our exclusive video featuring Laura Olivia and interviews with this year’s best new design talent.
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