New Designers

Colour in design with One Year In textile designer, Olivia Holland

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Colour is at the core of textile designer Olivia’s practice, allowing colour to shape the patterns of her collections. New Designers asked what are her predicted trends for 2020 and we found out that the future is…..

It is clear that colour is an integral part to your design process, tell us – what does colour in design mean to you?

Colour is always a starting point for my design. My palette evolves as collections develop but I always look at colour before thinking about shape and pattern.

I think that colour is essential to design. Good colour choice, or in fact a choice to instead use no or very little colour at all, is at the core of all good design. Colour grabs a person’s attention, often before the shape or functionality of something, and so it’s use is key to design.

Choosing a colour palette not only enhances the design but can entirely shift a mood or perception. How do you go about curating this experience for your audiences?

My collections are always inspired by a specific place (Berlin or Iceland for example) and I aim to use colour to capture the mood of this place within the work. Each collection I will always have some brighter and some more muted designs but the mood flows within every piece. For example, ‘The Glacial Collection’, which was inspired by Iceland, has a cool, elegant and serene mood, whereas ‘The Berlin Collection’ has a more fun & playful vibe.

I like to play with colour contrast too, I often add a very small contrasting colour detail at one edge of the piece as a little surprise.

Do you have any predicted trends for 2020?

Purple, lilac in particular has made a huge comeback this end of 2019 and I think we will see this carrying through to 2020. I think that 2020 will see a mix of bright and more subtle, elegant colours; royal blue, rust red and olive green. I think what with the huge trend for vintage & second hand clothing at the moment, we could be seeing a lot of bold colours from the past too!

I feel that in general people are wearing more colour and the trends for the year will most likely reflect this. When there is uncertainty and a bit of a nervous and sad mood about the political climate and state of the world around us, people try to combat this with positivity in other parts of their life, such as interior & fashion choices (that’s my theory anyway!).

Creative block is just the worst, what are your tips and tricks for smashing through this wall?

Get outside and look around! Take pictures of anything and everything, put your phone down and observe, there is beauty and inspiration in everything if you look for it.

A world without colour! Tell us how you would cope?

By listening to lots of music and imagining colours instead. I suppose it would make putting an outfit together a little simpler!

Hypothetically, if your studio was a blaze and you could save 1 thing, what would it be?

Such a hard question but probably my knitted jacket from my graduate collection. It’s a one of a kind piece that I am still so proud of and is definitely irreplaceable. I like to keep it in the studio so I can see how far I have come.

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I was part of New Designers 2017 where I was lucky enough to win the New Designer of The Year Award. Since then I’ve been working with some amazing people, more about them later. I’ve just released my second non-fiction children’s book Darwin’s Voyage of Discovery with my brilliant publisher Pavilion Children’s Books who I met whilst at ND17!⁠

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