I appreciate a lot of simple things in life. Beautiful sunsets, the sound of crashing waves, the many different forms flowers take, the way that children manage to make you smile so effortlessly, the way certain types of natural light can create the perfect photograph..
It’s easy to see that design is everywhere in the world. It surrounds us all, without us realising. Each thing is created; even the way a shadow falls is not an accident. And isn’t it great to be able to use the design around us to make slightly less attractive things more of a design feature?
Inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere, and a lot of designers and photographers use this in their work.
I have talked a lot about the ‘things’ I like in life throughout this blog, but I haven’t so much mentioned designers or photographers that I like and who inspire me. This is the perfect opportunity.
Matthew Williamson is most well-known for his range of clothing at Debenhams. But what most people probably don’t know about him, is what inspires his work and where it comes from.
He actually started designing for Monsoon after spending many years in India working for the company. Monsoon takes inspiration from the bold colours and the intricate beading and embroidery used across Asia, and Matthew Williamson obviously fell for the beautiful design from this part of the world. He took this inspiration on further in his own work displaying countless collections for fashion shows worldwide.
This was then when he started designing for Debenhams. It’s quite a spectacular thing to be able to own something so affordable, but by such an established designer, and his popularity grew when his clothing range expanded to soft furnishings, and also when he went on to design a range for H&M.
There is something so striking about the colours and the statements his designs make, that I think they become really recognisable and so desirable, yet still completely wearable. His designs are one hundred percent eye catching, and to me, memorable – I think this is such an important quality for a designer to have in their work.
His interior design compliments his fashion design… they go together, are intertwined, and seem to inspire the other. The same vibrancy comes from both, and the feeling you get from his designs are unexplainable.
Almost a year ago, some of his work was displayed in Somerset House in London. It was a kind of gallery collection of photographs, and seeing this only made me more passionate about researching Matthew Williamson and his designs. Here are some of the photographs I came across:
Even from the photographs you can appreciate how the colour jumps out from the clothing and the walls of the room, and while this shows off Williamson’s design and his love for boldness, I can’t help but appreciate the photographer behind the photos.
This brings me nicely on to Damien Russell. I came across this interior photographer during one of my projects at University – and even now, I like to visit his website and flick through magazines just to look at his more recent work. He is an established photographer having worked for Harrods, Habitat, Elle Decoration and many other well-known companies and publications.
His use of lighting is just perfect, in framing shots, full rooms, studio photography – everything! I have come to appreciate more and more just how sympathetic he is to whatever he might be photographing. He considers every aspect of the shot, as any photographer should, but he just manages to make products and interiors look completely desirable!
Having attempted interior photography myself, I understand it is much more difficult than one might first imagine. Damien Russell makes me want to succeed in this area of photography – he inspires me, pushes me to want to achieve what he can. I know it comes with practice and the need for a lot of equipment, but having the inspiration to begin with is the most important point.
As you can see, it is so important to look around at other designers. If you study fashion, try getting some inspiration from interiors, and interiors, look to food for influence. You’ll be surprised where you can look to for ideas… Next time you’re wandering around town or are sat in a cafe… have a look to see what might stimulate your creative flow.
You might be surprised what you find…