Monday, December 27, 2010

Pattern Picks: Sequins

Sequins are all the rage these days, and with new years eve almost here and sales raging, it's the perfect time to stock up on festive sparkles and jewels. Here are some of our favorite retail picks.

1. TopShop Knitted Sequin Jumper, $85,
2. West Elm Sequin Animals, now $9.97 at West Elm ($5 of sale goes to St. Jude Children's Research Hopital)
3. Parker Sequin Dress, $297, at
4. Ashish Sequin Silk Pants, $550, at
5. Sequin Oversize top, 11 pounds at

(special thanks to dirk schuster for gifting us the beautiful font used on the numbers.)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Red Hot

Guy Bourdin

Yayoi Kusama | Verner Panton

This feisty color adds a bit of spice to the holiday season.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

10 Gifts for the Pattern Lover

Sugar and spice and everything patterned is nice. Here are our top picks for holiday gift giving:

1. Notebooks
Sanna Annukka

2. Playing Cards

3. Hosiery

4. Kenzo Book

5. Blocks

6. Erdem x
Globe Trotter Luggage

7. Fitzgerald Collection
Penguin Publishers

8. Patterned Nails via Alexander McQueen SS11

9. Lipstick
Paul & Joe

10. Set of Pencils

2012 Print Predictions!

Press Release:

New York, NY – December 2010 – Printsource New York, the leading textile and surface design show in the USA, announced its list of the TOP TEN PRINT IDEAS FOR SPRING/SUMMER 2012.

The list, compiled by Claudia Brown and Jessie Whipple Vickery, of the Portland-based textile design studio Pattern People, highlights some of the most directional print and pattern ideas for Spring/Summer 2012, both for the fashion and home textiles markets.

1. Under the Microscope, Ana Romero, Portugal | 2. Ink Blot Camos, Studio L2 Design, USA

3. Eastern Color Block, BG 2770, USA. | 4. Pop Art Conversational, Pattern People, USA

5. Tribal Wash, MLD 0039 by Margherita Leonardi, Italy | 6. Shanghai Florals, MLD 0039 by Margherita Leonardi, Italy.

7. Abstract Elements, Emma Schonenberg for Theo & Hugh, El Salvador | 8. Photobased Prints, Oaffi, USA

9. Bohemian Folk, Gather No Moss, UK. | 10. Baroque Opulence, Studio L2 Design, USA.

1. Under the Microscope - science and design collide with detailed images shown in overblown scale.

2. Ink Blot Camos - watercolor and ink spots create an organic update.

3. Eastern Color Block - influenced by Bauhaus and Mondrian with a hand painted feel.


Pop Art Conversationals - bold, outlined shapes take inspiration from Roy Lichtenstein's technique.

5. Tribal Wash - ethnic prints that are hand-painted yet look as if rain has washed part of the design away.

6. Shanghai Florals - stylized Asian florals with a slick nighttime feel.


Abstract Elements – tie-dye textures that take inspiration from the earth such as minerals and other organic matter.

8. Photobased Prints - 3D and chromatic aberrations.

9. Bohemian Folk - geometrics, paisleys and floral designs influenced by Ballets Russes.

10. Baroque Opulence - rich, ornamental, embroidery inspired designs with an antique feel.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pre-Fall 2011: Animal Print

Carolina Herrera, Thakoon, Temperly London, Carolina Herrera
Animal prints continue to have a big presence on the runways. See our previous post on leopard print in street fashion and retail.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Pre-Fall 2011: Neutral Geometries

Max Azria, Thakoon, Reed Krakoff, Jason Wu
Zero + Maria Cornejo, BCBG, Doo.Ri, Herve Leger
Pre-fall collections feature a heavy dose of geometrics in neutral beige tones and black and whites. Stark geometrics seem to be have a larger presence than softer techniques, but painterly prints are far from going out of style. They still look modern, especially in the black and white tones seen above.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Pre-Fall 2011: Chanel

The blogosphere is a'twitter about Chanel's pre-fall collection, and with good reason. The dresses are opulent but balanced, the hair is effortlessly chic, and of course the surface details are phenomenal. Inspired by ancient Byzantine tile work, the applique is contained in crisp geometric strips, fusing the past with the present in true Lagerfeld fashion.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mix it Up

from,, Gregory Parkinson Spring 11 , Louise Gray Spring 11
Mixing prints in one outfit is a challenge but when mastered, the results can be multi-layered, sophisticated and of course, impressive.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Camo and Boessert Schorn

Background: Boessert Schorn.
Foreground: Shirt and pants, Urban Outfitters, Shoes by Matt Bernson
It all started with a trip to my favorite store in Portland, Una, where I discovered the amazing German label Boessert Schorn. The deconstructed camo patterns on their sweater wraps got me thinking about the current military trend. Although the look is full of solids, from a print perspective, there's a lot of cool camo variations to play with. Urban Outfitters have some interesting large scale, almost color-blocky prints and appliques, and there are loads of camo print shoes, from Keds, Toms, Matt Bernson, and others.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Retail & Street: Leopard!

from NYC, From

from, from

clockwise: Stella McCartney Silk Top at , Rare Satin Tunic at, Jeffrey Campbell Shoes, Antipodium Dress at, Azzedine Alaia Skirt at, Forever21 Clutch at

Leopard print is having a huge moment on the streets, runways and stores, in its' natural brown and black colors or in the neutrals and flesh tones that are a huge color trend right now.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Books: Patterns of the 1930's

I just bought this awesome book, Patterns of the 1930's by Pepin Press. It is filled with reproductions of original hand-painted textile patterns from the 1930's, and comes with a CD of art you can use for your own projects. These designs look so fresh and now--a great inspiration for Spring 12.
-Claudia Brown

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Liberty London for Apple

Liberty London has teamed up with Apple to bring you these classic covers that are adorned with the company's signature prints and embosses. These launch on November 30th, but if you want a larger sneak peak, check it out here.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Art: Louise Bourgeois: The Fabric Works

via Opening Ceremony Blog. Photos courtesy Hauser & Wirth Gallery
Little-known fabric works of the late Louise Bourgeois are currently on display in London at Hauser & Wirth Gallery through December 18th. According to the gallery's press release, "Fabric played an important role in Bourgeois’s life. She grew up surrounded by the textiles of her parents’ tapestry restoration workshop, and from the age of twelve helped the business by drawing in the sections of the missing parts that were to be repaired. A life-long hoarder of clothes and household items such as tablecloths, napkins and bed linen, from the mid-nineties Bourgeois cut up and re-stitched these, transforming her lived materials into art. Through sewing she attempted to effect psychological repair: ‘I always had the fear of being separated and abandoned. The sewing is my attempt to keep things together and make things whole."

See more here: Hauser & Wirth Gallery

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cecil Beaton: The Art of the Scrapbook

via Assouline Publishing is coming out with a book about iconic Vogue photographer, Cecil Beaton. We can't wait to see this, he is truly an amazing artist. More here:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Eley Kishimoto Journals

Starting your holiday shopping already? Here's a great idea for the pattern lover in your life. These cloth-bound journals are a collaboration between book manufacturer Noble MacMillan and one of our favorite fashion design duos Eley Kishimoto. Get them here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Exhibition: Alexander McQueen at the Costume Institute


Over 100 pieces by the late Alexander McQueen will be featured in the Costume Institute's next exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, WWD reports.

"Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" will chronicle the designer's work over his 20-year career. Curator Andrew Bolton told the fashion newspaper, "McQueen had such a singular voice and he was a remarkable technician....He really was one of the most provocative voices of the past 30 years in fashion. His catwalk presentations were outstanding and straddle art and fashion. We want to get across two elements -- the spectacle of the runway presentations and the beauty of his craftsmanship."

WWD adds that the exhibit will be organized by themes, such as, "The Savage Mind," "Romantic Gothic," "Romantic Nationalism," "Romantic Exoticism," "Romantic Primitivism" and "Cabinet of Curiosities." It will launch with the Costume Institute Gala on May 2 with co-chairs Anna Wintour, Stella McCartney and Colin Firth and honorary chairs Francois-Henri Pinault and Salma Hayek putting together the fete. The exhibit will be open to the public from May 4 to July 31.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Interiors: Academic Center at University of Oregon

On a recent trip to the University of Oregon in Eugene, I had the privelege or visiting the John E. Jaqua Academic Center for Student Athletes. Full disclosure, my husband Marc Curtis had a big hand in the interior design of this building while working for ZGF in Portland, and brought some innovative solutions to the problem of recognizing award winners and donors while maintaining the integrity of the space.

From Marc:
"We designed this beautiful building, but there's a huge component of recognizing student athlete achievements, as well as major donors to the athletic department. The normal way, the ugly way, is to have a bronze plaque tacked on to the wall and unrelated to the space. We wanted to avoid that, so we spent a lot of time designing solutions that integrated these recognitions into the fabric of the building, inside and out. There’s a great deal of them, so these solutions are actually what defines the public space. As the viewer looks around in the space, the first things that catch their eye are those many examples…..We achieved this by incorporating graphic elements, typography, shapes, colors, and patterns into the materials that the space is built out of.
One example: The bathroom is a recognition of Don Essig, a famous announcer at U of O, and his famous line "It Never Rains at Autzen Stadium." We recorded his voice, created a graphic representation of that recording, and that became the tile pattern in the restrooms."

Another example is a wall of back lit steel laser cut panels that are the names of notable U of O professors."

-Claudia Brown

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Get Inspired

Holly Fulton

Kolonihavehus | Glasser album cover

Get inspired with some geometric forms in all shapes and sizes.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Scenic Route

Gaetano Pesce for Meritalia

Scenic views are no longer just for Sunday drives. Designers over the past few seasons bring photographic sights onto the runways and even interiors. Gaetano Pesce's sofa lets you enjoy the views without leaving your home.

Prada, Carven, Christopher Kane, Miharayasuhiro

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Spring 11: Stripes

Prada, Louise Gray, Marc Jacobs, Chris Benz, Tsimori Chisato
Stripes came in all many shapes and sizes this season. Many were bold, graphic and solid (Prada, Marni, Louise Gray, Cynthia Rowley,) some nautical (Tsimori Chisato,Clements Ribeiro) and others like Marc Jacobs and Chris Benz were inspired by 70's and 50's vintage respectively. And Kenzo also showed softened stripes on his Japanese textiles.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Spring 11: Photo-based Florals

Jean Paul Gaultier, Isaac Mizrahi, Akris, Jil Sander. background: Pattern People
Photo-based florals were a strong presence on the runways, as well as the photographic fruit and interiors that we wrote about previously. As direct digital printing on fabric becomes more accessible, the freedom to use unlimited color and detail opens up creative possibilities. We especially loved Akris's oversize petals and irises, and Isaac Mizrahi's muted blues. Jil Sander's giant flower on the waist went along with Marc Jacob's big waist embellishments and color blocking. Gaultier used palms tree photos (not strictly a floral but close enough) to create a tropical jungle effect.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Call for Entries

Pattern People is writing a surface design book and we're looking for submissions from you! Show off your design skills and send us your best prints. Entries must be received by October 22nd. For more details visit here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Spring 11: Fruit!

Stella McCartney, Wunderkind (x2), Prada
In a bizarre fashion week twish (ha ha,) fruit prints burst onto the runways of not one, but 3 separate designers in Paris. Prada's sketches of bananas was vintagey and tropical, while Stella's and Wunderkind's prints were photo-based and printed digitally. Stella's citrus was collaged symmetrically. Wunderkind's cherries and equatorial fruits were tossed randomly with checks that look like picnic tablecloths. All these fruities were loud, punchy, and served up warm, with a clever wink.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Spring 11: Asian Florals

Kenzo, United Bamboo, Louis Vuitton (x2), Dries Van Noten
Asian florals were a big presence at the Spring shows. Most notably, Louis Vuitton's glamorous gowns, which were of course styled flawlessly, in that signature Marc Jacobs fashion. Hair and makeup complimented the dark silky garments, creating a mood that conjured a smoke-filled secret society in Shanghai. Dries Van Noten's florals, also on silks, were light and painterly. United Bamboo's trees, blossoms and birds were more folky and felt more playful. Kenzo used archive Japanese prints, which were draped, layered and collaged with both precision and luxurious softness. For next Spring, get ready for peonies, cherry blossoms, chrysamthemums, and birds.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Spring 11: Kenzo

Kenzo's designer Antonio Marras is a master at mixing cultures and ethnic prints. Here, the influence is Japan and his native Sardinia. Japanese prints are layered against earthy textures, creating neverending volume and depth. The overall look is earthy comfort punctuated by pops of brightness and excitement. The word that keeps coming to mind is Balance.