As a Victorian designer, I collaborate with local artists to create fun prints. Working with an artist helps me offer something new and exclusive to the customer as well as supporting the local creative community. Applying the artwork to the fabric through digital print gives creative freedom with colours and details so we can set out to make the most of this feature. My role was taking Kate Phillimore artwork and reworking it into a repeating pattern.
I find menswear boring and wanted to create a unique Australian Print. Kat Phillimore is an artist living in Melbourne and has a beautiful illustrative style. Her drawings lend themselves well to digital print, which does an excellent job capturing all the details. We worked together to produce this floral pattern, which incorporates expressive watercolour paintings. An extension of HEW’s continuing focus on nature, this illustration explores Australian Flora and Fauna.
Digital printing creates minimal wastage with dyes for a lower impact print. We chose to use cotton because it is biodegradable and certified by the independent certification system SO Oeko-Tex.
The introduction of coconut buttons is exciting as we attempt to transfer all areas of the garment (trims and care labels) to biodegradable materials. We produce over 70% of our products in Melbourne at ECA certified factories.
Collaborating with local Artists brings awareness to the artist and the brand. We include a swing tag on all products to inform the customer about the artist. The collaborative process of designer and artists working to take a two-dimensional print and translating it into a repeating pattern that could adapt to a three-dimensional form and work across genders created a unique outcome. Artists are keen to explore new forms to exhibit their work and potentially will reach a new audience.
At HEW our collaborations create wearable art, allowing the wearer to enjoy a piece of artwork by incorporating it into their everyday dress. I took Kat’s painting into Photoshop to begin the process of translating it from the canvas to the body. I had to arrange it as a repeat pattern. The next challenge was to determine the scale of the print so it worked well on men’s shirts and women’s dresses
The ‘Flora’ print explores Australian Native Botany expressed through Phillimore’s signature watercolour style. The repeat of the artwork is over 60cm in diameter resulting in an individual and unique look for each garment.