The celebrated British fabric house Christopher Farr Cloth is known for their bold aesthetic, oversized motifs and geometric patterns. DECO spoke to Cloth director Michal Silver about their process and some handy tips.
What is the process of starting a new collection?
There isn’t a specific moment when we decide to start working on a new group of designs – we constantly develop our collections in collaborations with contemporary artists, designers as well as archival collections all the time. Once we see something that is near ready for a new launch I start focusing and pushing like a long distance runner nearing the final line. Our relationship with the designers is a very important part of the process as each designer approaches the creative process differently. Our job is to lead them through and establish the connection with the Christopher Farr Cloth ethos.
We are exposed to so many new ideas and trends, how do you ensure your works originality?
I am convinced we all have something original and personal to say, we just need to find our voice. I started my design career in fashion – my last job was with Mulberry as head designer for both the mens and women’s collection – and being original and new was a very important thing, but difficult to achieve. When I started Cloth I said to myself that I would like to do ‘something’ personal that I like, and connect to my lifestyle. I think that that was a defining moment and an important element to being original.
Your fabric’s bright and bold aesthetic lends itself to a sense of humour of sorts, would you say that is an accurate description?
Yes absolutely. I think mostly there is a sense of joy, celebration of pattern, colour and honesty.
Have you ever drawn inspiration from South Africa?
I have only been to South Africa once (5 years ago) and it had a huge impact on me. I came back energised and very optimistic about the great potential there was and still is. I was amazed at how updated designers and architects were with what was happening in Europe, it enhanced my love for craftsmanship and we developed a small group of outdoor woven fabrics based on African wedding baskets, which we names Kazulu and Lalla.
Your fabric is such a high quality, where do you source your raw materials from?
All our linens are sourced and purchased from Belgium mills. We are always looking for different weave structures and weights to print on so we can create texture through printing.
Where and how does manufacturing take place?
We print most of our collections at a relatively small family owned printer at the outskirts of London which become a laboratory for our experiments and plays a big roll in the development of the collections. A good part of the design process takes place in collaboration with the print studio and printers. We discuss with the patterns, scale, repeats and colours so when the design is finalised we have already discussed every element, what can go wrong and how we should print this design.
What important advice can you give our readers when choosing fabric?
I find the world of fabrics overwhelming because there are so many variations and options available, so I am always surprised we can sell anything. I would approach it the way I shop for my cloths: stick to a few designers which you find their work inspiring and reflective of who you are and your budget.
LIKED THIS? THEN YOU WILL LOVE…
All images and text courtesy of christopherfarrcloth.com and @christopherfarrcloth