Designer Sessions: Kitty Joseph

Designer Sessions: Kitty Joseph

Worn by Lady Gaga, stocked at Colette and with special projects for Absolut UK, MAC Cosmetics, Nokia and Adidas; there is no doubt Kitty Joseph is an influential figure in fashion, print and textiles. Kitty has produced four designs for FLOOR_STORY, echoing one of her most recognised fashion pieces.

As soon as she graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2011, Kitty Joseph immediately found favour with Lady Gaga and leading Parisian streetwear retailer Colette (now closed), who recognised the talent behind her exploration of colour and its application on the body through intelligent print ideas.

Noted for her modern and purist aesthetic, Kitty Joseph also consults for international fashion brands, lectures in fashion textile and print design, and is a well-known for her work as a trend analyst. Kitty really is a force in the fashion and textiles game, and we’re delighted to welcome her to the FLOOR_STORY family with the fabulous Chroma series.

How would you describe your style and what has influenced your design?

My personal style centres around expressive, life-affirming colour. I’m all about maximum impact through minimalist design techniques, letting the colour do the work. I want to design apparel the same way as any other object; to be vibrant and razor sharp.

Can you tell us a little more about your designs for FLOOR_STORY and exactly what inspired them?

Print is always the starting point for my clothing collection - my process begins with exploring graphical arrangements of colour on cloth, cutting and manipulating them to dress the body – but for FLOOR_STORY, I turned to a series of still-life images by photographer Bridie O’Sullivan.

The pictures showed how designs could stand alone, abstract, flat and independent of the body; as textiles in their own right and playfully suggesting they could be turned into rugs. With that seed planted, I knew I wanted the rugs to carry a similar vein to my clothes, creating an immersive and therapeutic colour experience, with saturated tones that you can literally sink your toes into.

What attracted you to working with FLOOR_STORY and more importantly, the process of rug making?

I love the way that FLOOR_STORY partners with designers outside of the interiors field, it makes the offering feel fresh, surprising and non-formulaic. I’m passionate about the life-enhancing, mood-lifting impact that colour can have, so I jumped at the chance to apply my philosophy to interiors. Looking at the incredible array of colour poms in the FLOOR_STORY studio made my heart flutter and with the way Simon and his team approach colour - a bold, unrestrained and exuberant way – I knew my vision wouldn’t be watered down.

Can you describe your new rugs?

It was one of my best-selling clothing designs, the pleated Spectrum skirt, that inspired the Chroma Series for FLOOR_STORY. The skirt is made from a large circular panel of sunray pleated fabric fanning out from the waist, with a spectrum-inspired sequence of colour radiating from the centre, in parallel with the sharp pleated forms.

We explored a faithful translation of this effect in to a rug design, with 38 individually dyed yarns to imitate the circular spectrum, applying hand-carving on each colour band to give the quality of pleats. The soft zig-zag edge mimics the distortion of the skirt hem from the sunray design.

Chroma comes in four colourways; Primary Chroma, Pastel Chroma and Grey Chroma hand-tufted in wool and Pink Chroma hand-tufted in silk. Primary Chroma closely echoes the colours used in the original Spectrum skirt, while Pastel Chroma offers a softer, prismatic effect. The pink and grey colourways are an exploration of monochromatic colour in sequence and in their subtlety of shifting tone, really made the most of FLOOR_STORY’s vast colour bank.

How do the rugs make you feel?

Energised and uplifted. I feel the series expresses my passion for colour and creates a powerful and uplifting experience that can enhance a home or work environment. I love the idea of small accent rugs dotted around, it feels like a modern way of using colour in interiors.