Endeavouring to create unique pieces of wearable art, no two pieces being identical – although themes do flow from one piece to another – my guest this week, textile/fashion designer Linda Blissett, tells me about her passion for textiles and her inspirations which has led to some of the most stunning creations I’ve seen in a long time….
Hi Linda! What inspired you to set up Bliss Studio Textiles in 2013?
I always wanted to have my own fashion/textiles business since I started studying fashion when I left school and went on to study various courses in fashion, art and textiles. I did a combined fashion and textile course while studying at Basingstoke College of Art which was part of Portsmouth University, where I learnt to weave on a loom. I went on to study Constructed Textiles at Middlesex University, which probably heavily influences my work today with textures and colours which are prominent in my designs. After that went on into retail management to learn how to run a team and a business before starting up in 2013.
Have you always had a passion for textiles/art/fashion from a young age?
Yes, the youngest I can remember was when I was about five when seeing all the new romantics on TV and thinking how interesting the clothes looked and tried to recreate it for my dolls. I guess I had cool dolls !:) Also all the punk influences and music of the time inspired me to Vivienne Westwood was just starting to get known and I guess all those influences have stuck with me today.
Your show stopping collections are definitely unique. From where do you draw inspiration for your collections?
I look to the Pre-Raphaelites, and mainly Celtic mythology and art movements like Art nouveau which was also heavily influenced by that time as well and put my own interpretation on it all.
You love experimenting with different textiles, including silks, luxury wool fibres, cashmere, mohair, metallic yarns, ribbons, vintage lace, velvety, stains etc. Have you got a favourite textile that you really enjoy using?
I just love using textures and colour and like to mix and entwine them together to create a fluidity to my designs. I guess I just love working with them all to give that luxury and unique feel.
What has been your favourite outfit/accessory you’ve designed and why?
I like them all .. but I guess I have two so far that are my absolute favourites: one from my last collection Belisama, which I named after the collection, of a red dress with crystals flowing down the dress and one from my current collection, DisarBlot in Iona, which looks to the opposites of Celtic and Nordic deities of good and bad, a dress inspired by Helium, goddess of the underworld.
If it was possible, who would you pick to be the “Face” of Bliss Studio Textiles?
I’ve worked with so many wonderful creatives over the last three years it’s hard to pick ‘ONE’. In my mind they are all the faces of my work, they make my designs become a reality when they walk the catwalks and when in shoots, all a team effort.
Looking ahead to Autumn/Winter 2016, what colours and designs do you hope to feature on your mood board/collection?
I’m looking for my next collection to have a 1920’s /1930’s feel with more of my classic drapes and textures featured and less cutting into, more simplified I guess, with a muted colourway offset with bolder tones.
If you could visit any place in the world for design inspiration, where would you go?
I’m heavily influenced by nature and Art Nouveau so anywhere with dramatic landscapes, like islands of Scotland. I would love to learn more about Celtic mythology and to see how it influences art and design in the past and today.
Have you any plans to launch your designs online at all or do you aim to remain bespoke?
It’s something I’m looking into for the very near future. Future collaborations are coming up soon as well.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
I tend to be more casual now, but I like to mix it with colour and textures and wear my own designs now and then at events, much different to my younger days as a student.
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites ?
I don’t really have any favourites as such, although I do admire Vivienne Westwood greatly also John Galliano, McQueen and Lacroix I do admire
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
I like to rummage in antique stores and vintage fairs so if I see something I love I grab it!
Boots or Shoes?
I love both for different reasons… but shoes for versatility I guess and an excuse to have more of them as well…
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/Twitter etc so that my readers can learn more about you.
It was fabulous having you as guest on the blog Linda and I look forward to seeing your collaborations in the months ahead. I do love clothes (& footwear) in fabrics such as lace and velvet – dear readers, have you got a favourite textile or two that you’re drawn to? Do tell, I’d love to know….
Photo Credits: All photographs have been published with kind permission of Linda Blissett. The photographers: Mike Blissett Photography of Canterbury; James Alexander Lyon; Tim Copsey; K Anthony Photography.