Every summer, breakthrough talents in fashion, textiles, surface design, jewellery, furniture and more converge under one roof in Islington, London. Over the years since its launch, New Designers has heralded many emerging designers who went on to become household names. This year's event was no different: over three-thousand new graduates of the top UK Art and Design universities wowed visitors with their creativity and ingenuity.
One designer who caught our attention was Erin McQuarrie. The Glasgow School of Art graduate studied Printed Textiles and developed a keen interest in mixed media approaches. Her work pursues finding a marriage between craft and digital techniques. Inspired by a strong connection to sites and their history, McQuarrie uses archival research in combination with site photography as a starting point for design work.
McQuarrie creates new hybrid fabrics, which pay homage to methods of handcraft and utilise the benefits of modern technologies. Often using familiar everyday base materials, she challenges their potential through process, creating textiles with interesting colour harmonies and intriguing tactile qualities.
Having spent half a year in Tokyo, Japan on an exchange programme with Tama Art University, McQuarrie has clearly been inspired by a country in which a traditional textile culture coexists with cutting-edge textile technology. Her work perfectly conveys a deep respect for age-old textile techniques while also incorporating an entirely contemporary aesthetic. Bold splashes of colour, geometric patterns, and varying textures all feature on McQuarrie's designs.
At this year's New Designers, McQuarrie was awarded the Dulux Colour in Design Award and named "One to Watch". She certainly is a designer to keep an eye on as she makes her steps into the design world.
Blog post by Jessica Edney