This month’s theme explores nature, calling on emerging talent to discover and dissect the intricacies of design through nature and how our world around us can act as a stimulus for creating.

Carry on reading to discover what our designers think about patterns in nature and how we can recognise the fragility of our natural habitat. 


Kirsten Gair is a Scottish fashion and textile designer. Her textiles are used to contextualise fashion designs, which in turn further influence the finished textiles. Kirsten’s work is centred around an affinity with nature, and she enjoys experimenting with texture and colour, trying new innovative techniques when approaching textile design. Within fashion, Kirsten explores zero waste and other sustainable fashion techniques inspired by organic shapes found in nature. Her aesthetic is centred around an artistic avant-garde point of view – fashion is art – and applying that view to all aspects of her work.

How did you become interested in design?

I remember being a child of about 5 years of age and watching a fashion show for the first time on TV. I couldn’t tell you who the designer was or every piece in the show as it was so long ago and I was so young but I remember feeling blown away and thinking I wanted to be a part of that someday. I have wanted to be a fashion designer ever since then and along the way I discovered my love of textiles and the same desire for it to be incorporated into my work. I see fashion as art, the silhouette as sculpture and textiles as a brush and canvas. It is art you can wear and I love how you can express yourself through clothing and textiles. As time has gone by and I have developed my skills and gained more knowledge, I have a deep respect for the skill and craft of the practice.

How important do you think looking after our natural habitat is?

Extremely important. Everything comes from nature and we are all so affected by nature that we need to take care of it – not only for ourselves but for biodiversity and protecting wildlife. Our natural habitat really is our support structure and without it or if it is weakened everything will be negatively impacted.


 What inspires you most on a day to day basis?

I find that texture and minute details in nature inspire me continuously. Even if the texture is smooth an intricate pattern found in nature can give the illusion of something highly textured. I find it fascinating – all the potential prints you can find within nature.

What’s your go to stimulus when you start to create work?

My stimuli are experimentation and innovation, I may have a specific look or technique in my mind, but I like to keep pushing an idea or technique and then push even further. When I have an idea or innovation in mind, seeing how my work develops and evolves beyond what I first envisioned really drives me. Not knowing what I could discover is exciting to me so I always try to create something new whether that be in technique or aesthetic.

What intrigues you about the patterns and designs you can find in nature?

I find it intriguing that patterns and designs found within nature are so complex. When I stop and observe closely, I can always find beautiful asymmetrical detailed pattern. I find the inspiration endless when I discover all these highly intricate visuals to work with.

Do you think people’s attitude to nature has shifted over the past 18 months?

Definitely, I believe Covid-19 has really reignited this need to connect to the outdoors as many of us were unable to experience it. I also think that the halt in manufacturing, which China and other
countries experienced in the first lockdown, showed how feasible it is to reduce pollution. We saw air pollution declined dramatically. I think we have a great opportunity with manufacturing across the world starting up again to really change our practices and engage in more sustainable manufacturing for a brighter fashion and design industry.