Friday, 19 July 2013

Designer Q & A: Emma O'Malley


Emma approached Godiva early 2013 to see if we would accept her scarves into the showroom. We didn't hesitate! Her imaginative and skilled illustrations are so stylish and timeless. Not only this, but Emma's range is one of the most exclusive high end collections to sell in the showroom so far. They may have a higher price tag of £100 plus but they are well worth the investment.
Emma prints on high quality silk crepe and they are produced in Britain, supporting UK manufacturing and design. 
Her scarves have reach acclaim in the store and we are looking forward to a new delivery soon after a sell out in the first 6 months. 
These scarves are a fantastic gift and a long term investment to your accessory wardrobe. 

We asked Emma, who is currently in Paris to answer our blog Q & A, and her is what she had to say. 
Hello, I am …Emma O’Malley - a printed textile designer.

I design ………Currently a range of printed silk scarves.

When I am creating my typical day involves ………I tend to spend the first hour or two at the computer doing the not so creative things like e-mails, preparing orders, researching suppliers, maintaining the website and sorting my head out for the day. Then I get to do focus on the more creative aspects like drawing, painting or taking photographs. Then it’s usually back to the computer for the afternoon! All the imagery for my designs is hand drawn and then scanned into the computer where I put the designs together and can edit the scale and colour.

When I am not designing and creating I am………….I am currently based in Paris so I have been taking French lessons and spending time getting to grips with the city. The studio is pretty small and can get a bit claustrophobic so I try to get out and about as much as possible during the evenings and weekends. I enjoy visiting the flea markets and vintage boutiques, great places to go a get some inspiration

I get inspiration from ……………An idea usually comes to me when I’m daydreaming, just before I go to sleep or when I’m on a long train or flight. I get a little bit of an idea and let in snowball!
The idea for my current collection evolved after a trip to London. Originally the collection was going to be about the city and the architecture, but while I was sightseeing I saw a rhino costume in the V&A and it changed the direction of the collection completely.

Of course I also look towards trend forecasting reports and try and make my ideas fit in with the fashions, but I don’t like to rely on trends too much though and I use them mainly as a guide for colour. I suppose I work a bit backwards…I get an idea first and then try and find a trend that will accommodate it!

Being an independent designer is important to me because………………The freedom and flexibility that comes with being an independent designer is great, although obviously it can be difficult to stay motivated at times. I think the biggest perk is being able to design what I like and enjoy and not being restricted by anything. It’s always really rewarding to see my ideas develop into a finished product and then see it online or on a shop shelf.

I knew I wanted to be a designer when I was……………Actually it was fairly late on. I always knew I wanted to do something creative, but I didn’t know I wanted to be a designer until after I had finished a general Art and Design Foundation year at uni and sampled a bit of everything… I changed course a few times until I felt at home in printed textile design!

My greatest achievement so far is ………………………..It sounds silly but I think that my first sale meant a lot to me…it was such a nice feeling to see it boxed up and ready to go. I liked the thought that someone would be walking around wearing one of my designs.

I cannot live without………………Definitely my very patient Dad - he can fix anything and has a solution for everything.

My favourite thing I have ever bought or found is ………When I first stared I bought a pantone colour book and had a colour chart printed on to a length of silk which I use to choose and match my colours. Having them has saved me a huge amount of time on sampling and it’s a great way to communicate colours accurately to others. It’s also very pretty!

Lulu Scarf available online

Carnival Scarf 

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Designer Q&A: Queenie Browne

-->Queenie Browne approached Godiva in May of this year to join the designer showroom and we are ever so pleased she did. Her hand made lavender bunnies and Scottie dogs are not only super cute and Scottish they also fill the shop with the lovely smell of lavender. The beautiful framed prints are really great and at a bargain price of around £35, the perfect home gift and the embroidered framed pictures are extra special. We really love Louise's work, it's feel is very honest and homely, stylish and of course Scottish. 

Framed Embroidered Bird

We asked Queenie Browne to complete our Q&A

Hello, I am …..Louise Jennifer Browne of QueenieBrowne

I design ………A range of home interiors and women’s accessories

When I am creating my typical day involves ………  I am a massive fan of vintage fabrics, embellishments and accessories which began when I spent 7 years working in a highly reputable vintage shop in Glasgow. I spend a lot of my time rummaging around the vast array of vintage/ charity shops in Glasgow (as well as the internet) to find some amazing vintage fabrics and clothes that I am able to cut and combine to create my home interior collection. I love the idea of being able to take an unloved item of clothing and rework it into a loved item again.

When it comes to the actual design process of my collections, this is a continued ongoing process that changes with every collection but follows the same initial path.

My starting point for every collection always begins with some quick 30 second sketches which then evolve and progress into my images that I use for my greeting cards and prints. The images are then simplified down using embroidery techniques to create the framed embroideries and brooches and the animal shapes are then redesigned and simplified again to create the shapes used for the lavender animals.

When I am not designing and creating I am…………. I like to get out and about as much as possible. I work from my own flat and it can, on occasion, get quite lonely. So I’ll get out, talk to as many people as possible, go and visit the galleries for inspiration and have a good old dance to some classic 50s girls bands.

I get inspiration from …………… As stated earlier, I am a massive fan of the 1950s and 60s. I love the nostalgia of the bright colourful prints of the 60s and I’ve always been obsessed with vintage tweeds and wools. I get excited when I find a really beautiful vintage fabric.

I am also lucky enough to be constantly surrounded by an amazingly talented group of artists and designers that I have met throughout the years and I am constantly in awe of the amazing work they create. I also still visit ‘The Glasgow School of Art’ to use their resources and as a  Masters graduate, it still eludes an incredible energy. It’s such a wonderful creative hub, full of intensely creative individuals. I still get goosebumps every time I visit.

Being an independent designer is important to me because……Being an independent designer is hard work, but it’s something I would never change.

Being in charge of your own working environment, schedule and work load takes a lot of determination but seeing your work being appreciated makes all the time and effort pay off.

Its hard work competing against the mass market but I think QueenieBrowne is successful in creating one-off, individual items that people buy and treasure because they know they are not mass produced and there is not another one exactly the same. I also love that I am in charge of my own designs and can change and tweak my collection in relation to current trends. With another recession looming, people are yet again aware of the importance of up cycling and handmade and I think my integration and love of vintage fabrics and embellishments incorporates, not only unique, beautiful fabrics but also highlights the importance of up cycling and not wasting.

I knew I wanted to be a designer when I was…………… I always wanting to have a career in the arts but was unsure what path to take. I studied art and illustration and then realized that I wanted to study Textiles at Art School. I specialized in embroidered textiles for fashion and Graduated from The Glasgow School of Art with my Masters in Embroidered Textiles for Fashion Construction.

Last summer however I decided to start my own Home Interiors label as I wanted to create beautiful, individual home accessories that were affordable and accessible to everyone and had an edge over the mass market.

My greatest achievement so far is ………Having the courage to go part time in my current job and allowing myself the time I needed to create my first QueenieBrowne collection that is now being stocked in 5 boutiques throughout Glasgow and Edinburgh. It gives you an amazing boost when you realize that people appreciate and believe in your work.

I cannot live without………The amazing support of my family and friends for this past year. If it wasn’t for my parents support and encouragement, I would not have had the courage to go part time in my job and make QueenieBrowne a growing success.  

My favourite thing I have ever bought or found is ……… I am an avid 1950s collector and I recently bought an amazing 1950s writing bureau for only £30. It’s great for holding all my vintage embellishments, embroidery threads and sewing accessories and I love how it’s turned my living room into an 1950s time warp.

I’m finally in the decade where I feel most comfortable.

Lavender Bunny - Vintage Cotton Fabric

Lavender Scottie Dog - Tartan

Lavender Bunny - Vintage Tweed

Lavender Scottie Dog - Wool

Selection of Lavender Scottie Dogs

Framed Applique Fox

Framed Embroidered Bird