An interview with print designer Alice

designandcolour@gmail.com

designandcolour@gmail.com

Alice

Alice, print designer at Miroglio Textile

How did your interest in fashion start? Where did you go to college?

I have liked to draw since I was a child; my mum despaired because I used to draw on every wall of my house! So, I decided to follow this interest and I started to study graphics in high school. I studied Graphic and Virtual design at the Politecnico Institute in Turin.

Politecnico Institute in Turin

Politecnico Institute in Turin

Honestly, I had never thought about working in fashion, but after my degree I wanted to go on and study for a Masters and Miroglio were offering a 6 month course. I learned a little bit of everything: how to analyse a garment, to design it, to make it while I also studied accessories and prints. Due to my graphic studies, the company offered me an internship in the Miroglio textile style office for another 6 months, after which they offered me a position in the style office of Sublitex.

I had never really thought about working in fashion but it was a beautiful discovery and I immediately fell in love with it. I’ve worked for Sublitex now for five and a half years.

What are your main inspirations for fashion – people, places, buildings etc.?

What I really like are markets: I love to see all the stalls with so many different things! I like vintage markets and go often to the ‘Gran Balon’ in Turin, which is a very big and famous market.

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Turin’s Gran Balon Market (Photos: italianways.com)

However my favourite city for inspiration is, without a doubt, London: you can find everything and also the markets are great. It is great for new ideas with lots of different young designers. The shops are interesting because you can see the big high street brands such as River Island, Topshop, and more, but it’s also possible to find smaller shops and boutiques with fabulous clothing and lots of new ideas. Every day I have a look at websites for inspiration such as Pinterest, Pattern Curator, WGSN and Stylesight.

Pattern Curator is 'an insightful forecast of mood boards and color stories' (patterncurator.org)

Pattern Curator is ‘an insightful forecast of mood boards and color stories’ (patterncurator.org)

Since I started this adventure I began to look at everyone in the streets: I’m very curious and like to see what people wear and how they combine different prints in one outfit. I also like to go to ‘unconventional’ places such as tattoo conventions for example. It is great to see how people show their personality through their tattoos. Last but not least, I read lots of magazines; Marie Claire, Vogue, Elle, and Grazia are a few of my favourites.

Alice at The Textile Fair, London this year, with a close up of one of her tattoos.

Alice at The London Textiles Fair this year, with a close up of one of her tattoos.

What are your favourite English shops – designer and high street – and why?

My favorite brands are River Island to see the trends, Religion and All Saints because of the style: rock and a bit dark. The Ragged Priest for their interesting and colourful pieces and Illustrated People for their crazy prints! I love Urban Outfitters for quirky objects and books. However if I want to buy something for every day, my choice is Primark, as I like to buy a lot of clothes, so the prices appeal to me!

Illustrated People SS15 (Photo: Illustrated People)

Illustrated People SS15 (Photo: Illustrated People)

#IP Era SS15 Lookbook:

lookbook-17     lookbook-22 ip15

And your favourite Italian shops?

This question is much more difficult as in reality we don’t have a large choice of brands as in other countries. In Italy we have lots of very famous luxury brands such as Valentino, Armani and Gucci, as well as a few lesser known but still high end brands such as Pinko and Liu Jo. As these designer shops are quite expensive, I usually only go there for a dress for special occasions.

pinko

How do you find European markets differ? Is the UK very different to the rest of the world?

I think the UK is very different from Italy or Spain or France. My impression in Italy is that we are a very classically stylish country, and we are much more simple and traditionally dressed than the UK. We are almost scared to play with colours and prints, which is why I feel free in London. People are more used to seeing different kinds of outfits. The first thing that you notice in the English market is that there are lots of prints and lots of colours, and I noticed the same on my visit to LA. Read Alice’s LA story here.

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Do you have any tips for people wanting to get into the industry?

I think I’ve been very lucky to find this job, but what I would like to suggest is to work hard and stay hungry, just as Steve Jobbs said. It is very important to try to learn as much as possible everywhere: beginning at school and through a company, always try to participate, ask lots of questions because it’s the only way to really learn something. Even if what you’re doing at the moment is not your ‘dream job’, don’t give up!

Absorb everything you learn, it will help you in the future. It gets harder every day to find someone with experience and who understands how to work in this environment, so try to get the best from every experience because every time is a chance to improve your knowledge and be better for the next job.

And, of course, a little bit of luck isn’t bad! I played volleyball for 11 years when I was younger and I had a fab teacher who told me: “In life there is a 3 ‘C’ rule: cuore (heart), coraggio (brave) e culo (bottom/that in Italy means ‘lucky’)”, and this is so true!

aliceworking

Mo Coppoletta – The Family Business

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I went to a fascinating talk by Mo Coppoletta at the Museum of Fashion. It was partly out of curiosity as to the relevence of tattoos in Fashion plus Alice and her partner Maximillion did a wonderful article for this blog about the Milan Tattoo convention and I thought it was about time I found out more.

Tattoos are a phenomenon sweeping the UK and it is estimated that half the population has one. Something this big must be having an influence on other aspects of surface pattern design and Mo Coppoletta is the living proof of this.

His work has been reviewed in the press including the Financial Times and he has collaborated with the likes of Damian Hurst to Liberty of London over the last few years.

Tattooist Makes Mark on Luxury

“In an effort to expand his business, tattoo artist Mo Coppoletta has begun work with high-end brands such as London’s Liberty and watchmaker Romain Jerome. Emma Jacobs Reports.”

Click here to watch the Financial Times video on Coppoletta.

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The watch Coppoletta designed for luxury brand Romain Jerome is drawn from seafaring icons of the 18th century. The anchor represents stability and the swallow, a bird that never flies far from the coast, represents hope. He discussed every detail with the Swiss watchmaker and an animated film was produced to launch the watch.

Click here to watch the film A Sailor’s Grave on mocoppoletta.com

The Tattoo-DNA collection comes in two versions and only 25 of each is being made. The lightning bolts have an underlay of superluminova and there is a choice of strap, one of which is skin-coloured and tattooed by Coppoletta.

TATTOO DNA – ROMAIN JEROME

TATTOO DNA – ROMAIN JEROME

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Liberty Art Fabrics collaborated with Mo Coppoletta for the Earthly Paradise collection as part of the Tattoo or ‘touch’ story.

Quoting from this site below:

You’ve helped create three designs for the collection – Daydream, Growing Fonder, and Joy and Sorrow – what inspired each one?

With “Growing Fonder and Joy and Sorrow” I wanted to explore the possibility of reinterpreting Liberty’s famous logo and ever-present symbol, the peacock feather. In “Growing Fonder” I had a more graphic approach with a nod towards art nouveau lines and shapes, but still retaining a good dose of romanticism with the 2 peacocks outlining a heart shape.

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The Duvelleroy company was established in 1827 in Paris and is one of the rare fan makers still in existence today.

To find out more, please visit www.duvelleroy.fr

Mo Coppoletta has created a delicate image of a caged and uncaged bird following the idea of mounting the fan « à la sultane », with half the sticks in front, and half the sticks at the back of the leaf. This way, the frame of the fan becomes the cage from which a bird is set free. The exquisite fan has been designed by Mo Coppoletta for Duvelleroy’s prêt à porter collection which will be followed by another piece for their remarkable couture collection in September.

From mocoppoletta.com

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I found the talk that Mo gave fascinating and was much comforted by his insistence that Tattoos are something very personal and private. He urged recipients to carefully consider the type of tattoo they wished and the quality as this is something that should last forever. He normally has several consultations with his clients to discuss their design needs and the appropriate style and positioning on an individual.

Does this not sound so familiar to print designers parse?

My mind has been opened to a form of pattern design that I had not truly understood nor appreciated until recently. The influence of tattoos on fashion in recent years has been great and excellent surface pattern design should be championed in all mediums.

Examples of Mo’s work from thefamilybusinesstattoo.com where there is a gallery of his and his colleagues work

Examples of Mo’s work from thefamilybusinesstattoo.com where there is a gallery of his and his colleagues work

Alice attends the 20th Milan Tattoo Convention…

On Sunday 8th February I visited the 20th Milan Tattoo Convention, because this was a special anniversary event lots of famous tattooists had come including Stilian Smokov, Paul Talbot, Phil Wilkinson and more:

the milan convention

SmokovWIlkinsonetc

My boyfriend is a tattooist too, so I can share with you the current trends and the most important tattooists in Italy!

Alex De Pase, is known for his incredible realistic style:

Credit: inkedmag.com

Credit: inkedmag.com

Amanda Toy, specializes in old school tattoos:

Luca Natalini, famous for his style in new school and cartoon:

Credit: lucanatalini.it

Credit: lucanatalini.it

Ueo is quite a young artist who began his career as a graffiti artist, and is now giving new life to the oriental style:

Carlo Formisano, is the guy who tattooed our starlette Belen and started an overnight craze with Italian women for butterfly tattoos:

Belen

Belen

This kind of tattoo is the oldest and still the most popular in Europe and started with the sailors into the XIX century.

Not everyone knows the origin of the legend about having an even number of tattoos and that it brings bad luck and comes directly from an old superstition amongst seafarers. Sailors traditionally used to have a new tattoo before they left on a long voyage as a “good luck” charm. When they reached their destination they would have another to complete the pair. The second tattoo was made in a far off place. A third tattoo was made when they finally came back home. A sailor with only a pair of tattoos was therefore a dead sailor as he never got back home.

This old school style is very popular in the last years thanks to the Hipsters, who have revived the taste for everything vintage.

Here are some of my photographs from the tattoo convention:

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If you want to see more from the convention you can have a look at www.milanotattooconvention.it

Here is the link to my boyfriend’s studio, so next time you are in Italy you benefit from a discount on your next tattoo…. Just say you’re a follower of The Print Affair!

www.veracruztattoo.it


Sarah:

This was a project I worked on in New York in 2005 with a company who commissioned traditional Japanese tattoo artists to make designs for digital placement prints. I love this shirt and wear it to my Pilates class just to be different.

tattoo shirtsarah tattoo shirt

Milan Convention

The Milan Tattoo Convention