The hottest new talent of the week brought to you by PSFK x Arts Thread. This week a young fashion designer who has brought London’s Nottinghill Carnival to life in her latest collection.
Why we like Minnie-Mae: We love her clever mix of London’s multi-cultural references to create new patterns that pulsate with the city’s energy.
Tell us about yourself, your background and inspirations:
I’m a London-based textile designer and I was born and live in Hackney, East London where I grew up. I’ve returned to Hackney after graduating in 2011 from Loughborough University School of Art and Design with a BA (Hons) in Printed Textiles: Innovation and Design. Since graduating I interned with, and am currently working for, the Textile designer Cressida Bell; along with working on current textiles projects of my own, visual styling, teaching and costume design work. I’ve also worked alongside British photographer Tom Hunter as a photographic assistant.
Talk us through the pieces in your ARTS THREAD portfolio:
Having grown up in East London, a large body of my work is inspired by my inner London surroundings; I am drawn to the vibrancy and energy of urban life and culture that holds such a wealth of visual reference. My collection Notting Hill Carnival’ was designed with the intention of being really bold, I wanted to try and portray the carnival’s vibe, colour, brashness, excitement, without shying away, toning or scaling down the colours. Having been in the procession or attended Notting Hill Carnival most years since the age of one I felt I had a clear image in my head of what I wanted the collection to evoke.
All prints in the collection were hand screen printed, with mainly pigment dyes, as I wanted to get the vibrancy of colour and stiffness in order to produce sculpted garments, utilising the properties that pigments offer. The focal point in the collection is the black and white print, it’s my favourite as it works both in interiors and fashion. I printed it onto both leather and cotton, then used the cotton to hand-make a layered cuffed blouse. The leather I made into a hat.
I really wanted to include the movement of the processions into my designs. The print that best shows this is the eleven layered print as shown behind the blouse. It is an amalgamation of different designs puzzled together to create a print that works best on a length of fabric, where you get the impression of looking down on a carnival procession.
The print on the dress was inspired by stationary sound system scenes at carnival, including parts of infrastructure from the buildings that form the backdrop. The dress is designed as two straight cones on top of each other, when the upper cone is set straight it extends above to the chin. I designed the garments to be theatrical, as with the carnival costumes; yet using simple straight lines, I hope to have allowed them to be accessible as fashion garments.
What are you currently working on?
In terms of work, although printed textile design and visual styling are my fortes, I love designing or working on creative projects at any level. I would love to gain more industry experience, and I am open to a range of employment opportunities, so feel free to contact me.