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Olivia J Holland

Textile Designer

I grew up in South London, was always fascinated by art, and dreamt of being a fashion designer. I completed an Art foundation at Camberwell College Of Arts and then went on to Chelsea College Of Art and Design to study BA (HONS) Textile Design, where I specialised in Knitwear and received a First.

After graduating, a brief interlude and scrupulous saving in order to buy my own industrial knitting machine, I decided that I wanted to work for myself and build my own dream and so set up my business. A year and a half later I was accepted to Cockpit Arts on the Cockpit Arts/Haberdashers award and moved my home studio into Cockpit Arts Deptford from where I now work.

As a young designer I am constantly growing and developing myself and my work. The past 9 months have been spent designing and creating my new knitted textiles collection which I launched in May 2017. The initial product outcome was scarves but I am currently developing my ideas further to add other products to the collection as well as offering my bespoke design service. So much time, passion and love went into this collection and I feel it is a true representation of me as a designer-maker.

My work is inspired by the world around me: the people I surround myself with and the places I visit.

I have always loved taking photographs and making art - In my spare time I make large scale paintings, and also love drawing and collage and so I use these processes in my textile design work. My most recent collection was inspired by a holiday to Lisbon. I loved the colours, light, tiled floors and detailed windows.

I always start with colour before pattern and structure. I get my colour palette for my collections very naturally, drawing colours directly out of my own original photos. I find this the most effective way to create a unique and beautiful colour palette.

Once I have my colours, I draw from my photos, taking shapes and lines that I find in the images and playing about with them to create patterns. The main stage of my design process is done on my knitting machine. I test out combining techniques, yarns and colour combinations to try and translate into fabric the aesthetic and shapes found in my photos and drawings.

These ideas evolve over time, get refined, and get scaled up in order to create my final designs for the collection.

My textiles aim to challenge pre-conceptions of the aesthetic of knitwear, whilst being detailed, luxurious and full of colour.

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