ATELIER TALKS : experimentation, freedom, innovation and creativity in textile design WITH EVA BELLANGER
We Talk to Textile Designer Eva Bellanger and her evolution from college to production of nature inspired textiles.
1) Why did you study fashion and design?
During my studies of applied arts, I have always been fascinated by materials and colour. I turned to textiles (a bit by chance) because I was looking for a medium, a means of expression tangible and sensitive. There I discovered weaving and it was a revelation! Always learning new techniques, weaving to create new effects (which can be obtained only manually), observing surfaces to be created by the simple crossing of threads, to make a dialogue with materials ... each fabric is an experience! Textile design is for me a place of research, experimentation, creative freedom and therefore innovation.
2) Which courses, in which college/university and at what level did you study?
After obtaining a Bac Applied Arts STI in Caen I studied textile design at ESAAT (School of Applied Arts and Textile) of Roubaix, France. I followed a BTS design fashion textile option, materials, surfaces for two years where I learned screen printing, mesh, the creation of patterns and weaving. I fell in love with this last technique and so I continued with a DMA (arts degree) Arts textiles option weaving (and embroidery) at La Source high school in Nogent / Marne, France. for another 2 years. The rest of my training was done in the field by internships and freelance work for haute-couture.
3) What was the inspiration behind the collection made for your degree?
My diploma collection is called Western (s). Based on the conquest of the American West and the narrative model of the western, this project offers a personal and feminine vision of the myth of the West. The western is an extraordinary elsewhere, with magical landscapes and heroic characters. It is an unlimited space dedicated to adventure, where the earth, the elements have a central place. This textile collection then revolves around three portraits of men from the West: the gold digger, the railway worker and the bounty hunter. Each of these emblematic figures of the Western, linked to an environment, inscribes textile production in a materialistic problematics where the earth, water, metals and minerals mingle, oppose and sublimate.
4) What inspires your current collection and designs?
It is quite varied because I always develop several collections at the same time! As I have two looms, I often sample for two collections simultaneously. And since I also make textile patterns that are not necessarily related to weaving, I can explore many themes at once.
But most often my weavings are inspired by the elements (mainly water and earth), a mineral landscape, or a particular environment / place. So I have a collection around the rain (Rain Lullaby), another on the Moroccan desert (Sahara) or one on Polynesia (Wahine) ... For different reasons, because most responses to client requests must follow the trends of the season. The motifs on the textiles are often inspired by fauna and flora and are mostly figurative.
Images courtesy of Eva Bellanger Discover more at www.evabellanger.com