Tulips in Silks

During the Netherlands’ tulip bubble period, the stripy Semper Augustus with its’ “broken bulb” was among the rarest and most valuable. 

As a centre piece of this surface pattern designs it is enveloped in the dance of floating silks bordered with decorative lace, thus creating a truly, flamboyant and feminine design. Soaked in a romantic palette, but arranged in a diagonal, dynamic manner this pattern is bold yet quintessentially elegant.

This sur­face pat­tern design 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.

Starting Point

This sur­face pat­tern design was com­mis­sioned for the client’s Spring-Sum­mer Col­lec­tion aimed at girls aged 18 to 36 months. Below you can view the ele­ments I have pre­pared for this series, which focus on the detailed, lin­ear hand draw­ing of a crown of stripy petalled tulips, matched with ani­mat­ed sheets of soft silks. Addi­tion­al illus­tra­tions include knots, rib­bons and repeat­ing tiles used to make a bor­der pat­tern, which imi­tates a lace rim.  

On the left-hand side please notice the colour palette, which was com­posed by Kidspat­tern and is a taste­ful selec­tion of blush, warm and nude beiges matched with a brass gold and con­trast­ed with a soft choco­late brown. 


Here is a pat­tern ver­sion that com­pris­es of only the strips of silks and lacy rib­bons; all tied up in a dynam­ic arrange­ment. These exam­ples present two dif­fer­ent print sizes and colour schemes (light and dark). In the sec­ond of the two, the over­size ele­ments were equipped with a drop shad­ow effect to add to the design’s dimen­sion­al­i­ty. 


Please view the two dif­fer­ent colour­ways of the main ver­sion of this pat­tern; the first del­i­cate, whilst the oth­er strik­ing, yet both inar­guably sophis­ti­cat­ed and flam­boy­ant. Here, the ele­ments are equipped with a drop shad­ow effect and are arranged in a diag­o­nal man­ner, which con­tributes to this design’s dynamism and dimen­sion­al­i­ty. 

The first sur­face pat­tern is visu­alised in a medi­um size and blends soft­ly into a del­i­cate blush back­ground. Whilst the sec­ond one has all the ele­ments filled in with white and stands in con­trast with the back­ground. This colour com­bi­na­tion is inspired by an image of a Sem­per Augus­tus with its coral stripes flam­ing against the white. This ver­sion was then matched with the silks — recoloured with antique brassy gold — and aspires to draw upon Flem­ish sentiments.

Print on Clothing

Below, please browse through a slideshow selec­tion of var­i­ous exam­ples of this sur­face pat­tern in print. These are pho­tographs of the client’s first cloth­ing sam­ples pro­duced to dis­play at a trad­ing fair as a launch of their over­all Spring-Sum­mer col­lec­tion. Here you may observe how the pat­tern was used and print­ed across mul­ti­ple items. I have also attached close-ups of the mate­r­i­al and a dif­fer­ent colour versions.

Please note that these images are pro­vid­ed cour­tesy of the client and Kidspat­tern and are used for port­fo­lio pur­pos­es only.  

“Dutch tulips from their beds
Flaunt­ed their state­ly heads.”

James Mont­gomery, The Adven­ture of a Star Scot­tish hymn writer and poetr