These designs are inspired by an appreciation of the exquisite and unusual form of orchids in bloom. Orchids are both wonderfully ornamental and excitingly exotic in nature and they are meant to symbolise innocence, purity and beauty.
The colour palette, composed by Kidspattern, is a lush selection of warm browns that are then offset by a silver-grey and fern-green.
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.
Pattern Design Development
This pattern series uses a selection of different techniques, ranging from photo-based digital prints, through mixed media, to also incorporating hand-drawn elements and vector-based, cost-effective flat prints.
During the design process I frequently marvelled at the beauty of orchid flowers. They have such an alien mystique about them, which really distinguishes them from other flowers. I think the hand-drawn elements within these patterns particularly illustrate this because they accentuate the lovely detailing within these rare flowers, perhaps more so even than the complimentary photographic elements.
This elegant, white-on-white, floral is a full digital print. It is based on detailed photographs of delicate, graceful orchids, whose stems intertwine into a chain-like mesh. This option is particularly light, airy and dreamy.
This digital print version incorporates some of my hand-drawing, alongside the photographic elements. These elements are arranged more regularly, with more space around each stem. The colour palette of this design continues to be neutral and soaks up some gorgeous auburn tones within it.
In order to provide an alternative version that was simpler and cheaper to print and thus potentially more versatile, I turned the drawing of the orchid into a flat, single-colour vector illustration. I scattered this element around in a polka-dot, in a relatively small size. The neutral colour palette used across all the elements here blends nicely together, particularly when positioned atop the cream background.
Lastly, here is a version of the simplified Orchid pattern, in which the floral elements are enlarged and clustered closer together and more contrasting, darker colours are used. It brings in the eucalyptus shade of green present within the colour palette and combines it well with a milk-chocolate brown background. This more autumnal colouring is particularly fitting given the context of the collection it was commissioned for.
An Orchid in a deep forest sends out its fragrance even if no one is around to appreciate it