If you've never come across the work of Mexican architect, Luis Barragan it's a definite 'must google'. Clean lines, and the most unexpected of colour combinations are placed against the arid neutral landscape of South America – to form a true aesthetic treat – and the basis of the latest KØBN collection!
In line with the new season arrivals (now including complementary bath mats!) , we connected with designer, Sophie Matson about her creative inspiration, process, sustainability and thoughts on her latest design award nomination.
What lifestyle elements do you research when drawing inspiration for your collections?
"For me, the starting point is always with colour. I look at all sorts of things for inspiration from fashion, art, architecture, interiors and lifestyle shoots. I always find a pattern with things I'm drawn to that season and once I pull together all my reference shots there always seems to be a natural synergy."
Can you share a little about your design & prototyping process?
"I start with colour chips and playing with different combinations before I draw anything up. I look at the balance of colours and try to imagine how they would weave up in the stripe with the cross weave. I then draw up a million different versions of the colours and tend to whittle down to 10 designs. From there, I consult with one of my best friends who has an incredible eye for colour and we workshop and rework designs. I then relook at everything and think of it from a commercial angle and range balance. The process can take up to a month – with a bit of procrastinating in between! I send off colours to be lab dipped so that by the time I am ready to brief I already have a selection of base colours to choose from. The factory I use turn samples around pretty quickly. Sometimes designs don't look as strong or commercial as planned so they either get dropped from the range or held onto for a later time."
Congratulations on your finalist placement for The Design Files textile category! What does this mean to you?
"Thank you! I'm completely blown away to be a finalist in this category and selected from entries across Australia. The design files have such a global reach it really gives KØBN more exposure to those in the industry. I'm excited about this collection and always a bit nervous before launching a new one so it gave me reassurance that this range would be accepted well."
Tell us about BCI cotton!? What is it and why have you upgraded?
"I'm constantly looking for new and more environmentally friendly ways of working so this season I paused to research and experiment with new materials. BCI cotton ( Better Cotton Initiative ) farms are an initiative making global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment and better for the sector’s future. The organisation works with a diverse range of stakeholders across the cotton supply chain to promote measurable and continuing improvements for the environment, farming communities and the economies of cotton-producing areas."
We adore your collection look books! What inspired the styling direction this season?
"I had a clear vision from the start that I wanted it to be layers of pastel or metallic draped curtains in the background. From me, it is important that the shoots don't dictate how the towels should be used as everyone has interpreted them differently – from indoors to outdoors. The metallic blocks are an abstract nod to water (last season we used the plastic to do this) and I love that these are pressed metals ready for recycling. This reflects our move towards a more sustainable product. Kristy Barros of @makersofbelief worked with me on refining my concepts and we had so much fun pulling it all together. Her styling of the towels more worn as garments showcases not only the stripes but the size of the towels also!"
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