Projects at Poepke: Andéol

April 4th, 2013

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Andéol’s scarves and textiles are rich in print and colour, vivid and detailed in their expressions of regional traditions. In ‘The Dreaming’, the prints capture the spirit of India with a strong focus on traditional textile techniques.

We speak to creator Emilie Cacace about her experiences, her inspiration and her Project at Poepke.

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Emilie, can you tell us a little bit about your background? Do you consider yourself primarily a textile designer?

Yes, over the last couple of years I’ve been able to answer confidently ‘I’m a textile designer’, where as I used to answer ‘I work at Think Positive Designer Prints working where we develop original textile designs and print digitally for the Australia fashion and apparel industry’.

It’s six years now that I’ve been working at Think Positive Designer Prints. We’re a small team so I’ve worked in all areas of the business – textile design, sales, production, management etc which has been great and has kept things interesting! It’s also given me the opportunity to learn skills I wouldn’t otherwise have learnt being constrained to the one role. These skills and this experience has helped me over the last two years in setting up my label Andéol.

Andéol is such a creative outlet for me. I love designing prints for my customers but working on Andéol means I can design prints without being limited to someone else’s brief. I can be totally free to let my designs have a life of their own as I channel all the stories, colours, textures and ideas that I love and which inspire me.

Where do you draw inspiration from in developing your prints?

Each collection, I draw my inspiration from a yearly trip. First, I visited Guatemala, then India, Australia’s Blue Mountains and recently Mexico! On each trip, I gather my inspiration for the next collection. The current collection ‘The Dreaming’ references my time spent in India in late 2011. These designs have been applied to scarves, cushions, bags and jewellery, printed on a range of 100% silk and 100% cotton fibres at Think Positive Designer Prints.

You create such a wonderful range of pieces, with the printed silk that ties it all together. Can you tell us a little bit about the range you’ll be presenting in your Project?

The silk cushions and silk scarves which will be on display and selling at Poepke over the coming two months will feature the ten print designs from Andéol’s current collection ‘The Dreaming’. I’ve printed and made a few different silk cushion styles with a selection of the prints from the collection. The cushions haven’t recently had a chance to shine in Sydney so I’m excited to release them and see them in store at Poepke!

I love seeing the prints applied to different products and sitting side by side in store. I think it paints the Andéol picture nicely.

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What is the concept behind this collection, which you’ve called ‘The Dreaming’?

‘The Dreaming’ is a series of individual prints that are created from mementos of my experience in India. Each design is derived from photos, textures, patterns and all of the colour and energy of India! The experiences while travelling through India are some of the best and also one of the most intense! The designs in the collection are also dense and active and full of vibrancy, energy and movement. I also incorporated and focused on the various local textile traditions I came across and studied whilst there. Techniques such as bandhani (traditional tie dyeing), Ajarakh (block printing using natural dyes), detailed embroidery, appliqué and patchwork. While there, I visited a few regions bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan and learnt about the history in relation to textiles and traditional craft and the influences between the three countries. These influences make India one of the most detailed art cultures in the world so there was a lot to take in.  I love creating prints that express how I respond to each country I visit and culture I experience.

The collection was photographed in the bushlands of The Blue Mountains, Australia hence the names of each scarf being derived from Australian native flora. This might give you a hint of what’s to come in Andéol’s next collection…

Craft is also a significant touchstone in your work. What kinds of techniques and textures do you incorporate?

Yes, craft has always been a love in my life. I guess all children are exposed to craft in one way or another whether at home or at school. It was strongly encouraged as a way to keep me busy and entertained. Both my parents have their own creative businesses, so if I wasn’t at school, I was at work with either Mum in her textile design studio or Dad in his leather manufacturing factory. I think from an early age I’ve had that desire to create and feel creative and as I got older I realised how much I liked travelling to new and exciting places. Andéol is a combination of the two. I don’t think I would be as keen on designing two print collections each year without being able to explore new cultures and their creative traditions and expressions.

The textures come naturally as most of my design work is derived from antique textiles for example or paint chipped walls… basically all things old and full of character! In our modern world, we’re constantly trying to perfect and clean up and I feel there is so much that is special and real in what can be left and what was… texture and colour and detail is everything for me.

You’ve developed quite an incredible installation for Poepke. Can you give us the scoop on what you’ll be presenting here?

I’m excited to create the window display and this will be my first, hopefully of many!

I’ve made a patchwork using all of the prints from the collection patched together in little squares and triangles. As I mentioned, I love to see all of the prints together and feel this is the perfect way to present ‘The Dreaming’.  A patchwork quilt and two patchwork cushions will be the feature one-off pieces made especially for Andéol’s Project at Poepke.

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The Andéol Project begins on Thursday 4 April. If you’d like to hear more about Projects at Poepke and our other events, please email us at mail@poepke.com

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