This pattern series envisages a fairytale forest, abundant in its exotic undergrowth and overgrown with wondrous, whimsical botanicals. In particular, this pattern is inspired by the captivating macro photography of Karl Blossfeldt, an artist from 1930s Germany. Here I attempt to convey a similar sense of marvel at the beauty and bizarreness of organic, natural forms. 

This project was a part of my ongo­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion with Kidspat­tern. If you’d like to learn more about them please vis­it their web­site HERE. Alter­na­tive­ly, view the archive of our pre­vi­ous projects HERE, in which I dis­cuss in detail the his­to­ry and nature of our work.

All cloth­ing-mock­ups pre­sent­ed here are pro­vid­ed cour­tesy of Kidspat­tern and are used for visu­al­i­sa­tion pur­pos­es only.

Inspiration and Technique 

Due to this design being inspired by the motif of a fairy­tale won­der­land, I packed it with wild imagery of bil­low­ing ferns, bizarre botan­i­cals, alien-look­ing mush­rooms and exot­ic flow­ers. I exper­i­ment­ed with these ele­ments’ scales by por­tray­ing them as if viewed from the per­spec­tive of the for­est floor, which makes them appear much more remark­able and extra­or­di­nary. To high­light the fan­tas­ti­cal aspects of this pat­tern I opt­ed for a col­lage approach, which blend­ed the botan­i­cal ele­ments with draw­ing. For­est themes recur reg­u­lar­ly in my work, espe­cial­ly dur­ing the A‑W sea­son. This is because I draw a lot of inspi­ra­tion from nature and enjoy work­ing with flo­ral and plant-based ele­ments. 

This pat­tern was part of a com­mis­sion for a client’s Autumn-Win­ter Col­lec­tion and here it is visu­alised on a dress for girls aged up to 36 months. The image is of a sim­ple white-back­ground ver­sion of this ‘Dream­world’ pat­tern, in which the base mod­ule repeats in reg­u­lar columns. It was intend­ed as an under­growth-inspired pat­tern for girls that would com­ple­ment anoth­er one aimed at boys (view HERE). As such, it also con­tin­ued to explore mixed-media tech­niques and was intend­ed for dig­i­tal print. As before, it involved work­ing with dig­i­tal­ly manip­u­lat­ed pho­to­graph­ic mate­r­i­al and enhanc­ing it with hand-drawing.

The roman­tic, dream­like colour palette of blush-pinks and warm-greys was select­ed by Kidspat­tern. 

Version 2

Focussing on greyscale with­in the colour­ing of the ‘Dream­world’ pat­tern gives it a bit more weight and off­sets the pale-blush’s influ­ence. When set against a grey back­ground the pat­tern now evokes a bewitch­ing, dusky mood­i­ness; like a for­est thick­et at sun­down. I am often fond of more mono­chrome colour solu­tions like this that blend in smooth­ly with the back­ground. In this arrange­ment of the pat­tern the main ‘branch’ mod­ule gets reversed but con­tin­ues to repeat in columns. I chose to visu­alise it as an over­size place­ment print on a pair of girl’s leggings.

Version 3

This oth­er ver­sion posi­tions the pat­tern on a blush back­ground and recolours it with more intense tints of corals. Only a few areas of grey remain to off­set this more vibrant colour palette, mak­ing it more overt­ly fem­i­nine and mag­i­cal in tone. This time the mod­ule has been sym­met­ri­cal­ly reflect­ed on itself like a mir­ror. I feel this empha­sis­es the dream-like optics of the pat­tern and adds an intrigu­ing kalei­do­scop­ic qual­i­ty to it.

Final Product

It became appar­ent dur­ing the design and devel­op­ment process that the orig­i­nal ver­sion of this pat­tern was going to be too com­plex for the age group it was even­tu­al­ly aimed at. To resolve this we altered the mod­ule to sup­ply the client with a sim­pli­fied, more uni­ver­sal­ly age-appro­pri­ate ver­sion. This has sub­se­quent­ly gone into print on a puffer-jack­et, which you can view snap­shots of below.

These images are pro­vid­ed cour­tesy of the client and are used for port­fo­lio pur­pos­es only.

I found myself in Wonderland.