Feature: Clare Nicolson

By / Feb 18th, 2014 / No comments

Clare Nicolson, a London-based textile designer and stylist, is a self-confessed collector of everything vintage, patterned and boldly coloured.

As a graduate of Heriot-Watt University, Nicolson certainly isn’t afraid of the ‘less is more’ mantra. With a love for vintage textiles, in particular those from the 1960s and 1970s, she likes “to use as much colour as possible” when creating new designs and always sources her collection of vintage fabrics in times of inspiration.

For someone who doesn’t “do minimal very well”, there’s no denying that Nicolson has a well-honed creative eye. Having created a lasting relationship with interiors, Nicolson admits to wanting “to decorate any surface” she sees fit, perhaps a perfect ingredient from which to craft a successful designer.

Having recently purchased the Mountain Print myself, which can be seen in the photographs above, it’s clear to see what all the excitement is about. I love the minimal, geometric lines and the contrast between the bold and subtle colours. The print now has pride of place of my bedroom and I’m currently debating my next buy from the Nicolson collection.

A champion of digital printing, Nicolson believes, “it allows you to be completely free when designing a print in terms of colour and pattern”, and I would have to agree. For someone, like me, who constantly rubs out their mistakes, the delete button is a godsend. Although she recognises the beauty in screen-printing, digital design essentially allows her free reign to do what she likes. Nicolson makes her vintage-esque designs all the more distinctive by drawing with computer aided design and, “adding in other elements like scans of paper, embroidery stitching or illustrations making it more of a digital collage”.

With a penchant for collecting scraps of interesting papers, Nicolson is a girl after my own heart. Made in Britain, her pretty patterns help to keep design alive in the UK and that’s surely no bad thing. Yet, Clare Nicolson has many strings attached to her bow.

Also working as an interior and prop stylist, Nicolson’s favourite project involved the styling for Kate Lilley’s ‘Mini Eco Book’ (2013) which can be seen in the images above. The overall styling really reflects the minimalistic paper, origami and craft creations, with the use of sharp, vibrant colour helping the products to really stand out. Who would have thought that the combination of a retro, orange clock, a mini cactus and an oversized origami product would generate such a strong, striking impression?! Take note: it’s most definitely an aesthetically pleasing craft book, that will look pretty on any a bookshelf and coffee table.

While trends come and go, Nicolson admits to not taking them too seriously. A lover of all colours, she professes that she has “a new favourite practically every week”. However, an emerging fashion trend for SS14 that Nicolson is really excited about is graphic check prints. Confessing that she “really likes the idea of looking like graph paper this summer”, I can’t wait to see what Nicolson has up her sleeve…

You an see more of Nicolson‘s work on her website: www.ClareNicolson.com.

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