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Taking on Textiles

Posted by Cecilia Walker on

Calisole© and Royal Blvd© in progress

A couple of years ago, someone asked me if I’d consider designing fabric.  It reminded me of a time in my childhood when my mom had suggested the same thing, as we sat at the dinner table where my sister and I would linger, pushing our vegetables around on our plates, and would trace the designs on our tablecloth with our fingertips.  Growing up, my mom, an interior designer and artist, could tackle most creative projects — she’d wallpaper our house, sew clothes and curtains, crochet blankets — and saw design in everything.  She encouraged us to use our creativity in our career pursuits, telling us that anything was possible.

Designing fabric, however, wasn’t on my list.  I have gone to seminars and learned about the process that other designers, like Lulu deKwiatowski and Mally Skok, had gone through to create their fabric lines, and always left those presentations feeling so inspired by each one’s artistic skill.  So when the subject was broached with me, I shrugged off the idea, doubting my ability to find a place in a saturated market full of beautiful textiles.  But last summer, something changed.

A trip back home to Los Angeles stirred up childhood memories.  The architecture in our neighborhood varied from 1950s to ’70s homes, with revival style houses of the 1920s and ’30s and few minimalist traditional houses built in the 1940s in the historic district, where the streetscape feels very Hollywood Regency and Roaring Twenties.  Palm trees and the skateboard culture that were a part of my youth, crept back into my soul and I became inspired.  I started to sketch and research more into textiles and patterns.  Still feeling skeptical, I showed my mom my drawings — knowing she’s my toughest critic — and when she liked them and could see the designs translated to interiors, I felt confident to go forward.  I knew I wanted a hand-made quality, not digitally processed, and decided to start to build a line.  Product development was my favorite job in my past fashion-life, so it’s been exciting to be back doing another thing that I love, and seeing my hand drawings repeated on fabric is thrilling!

I have lots of sketches on deck, but naturally, my first patterns draw inspiration from my childhood memories in California.  Stay tuned.

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