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.
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.
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.
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.