Style Curious

04/08/2008

The curious cushion designer, Laura Berens


Laura Berens has an MA in fine art from Chelsea College of Art and Design and is currently a member of the Fashion and Textiles Department at Central St Martins College of Art and Design. She has previously been involved in the contemporary art market, is a trained sculptor and formerly worked for a decorative design company, who employed her to paint murals. It was only when Laura started teaching at Central St Martin’s and became involved with textile designers that she began to print on fabric, as opposed to paper.

The inspiration for Laura’s range of limited edition exotic cushions (see right and below left) and wall hangings (below right) with quirky imagery comes from everything around her. Her innate curiosity means that she loves to travel and she’s also very curious about rare vintage photography. Influences for her most recent collection include early botanical drawings and still life, Japanese geisha, odalisques, burlesque, 1930’s sirens, nineteenth century ladies and early erotica, Indian saddhus, princes and palaces … and she says she’s totally fascinated by ethnic tattoos.

Laura sources the fabrics for her designs from all over the world – including a local tailor who was going out of business. The images she uses come from a variety of places, but they are usually either her own photos and drawings and/or from private vintage photographic collections. The works are a mixture of hand printed and hand coloured digital prints on a variety of fabrics from silks and taffetas, through to velvets, suedes and even vinyl.



As Laura is so inspired by her travels around the world, we asked her about her favourite places and she responded with the following: “The Chelsea Physic Garden in London is a calm oasis, but I also love markets and vintage textile fairs anywhere … and Paris, New York, Brazil and Sicily.” Who would she most like to sit next to at dinner? “Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Louise Bourgeois and my grandparents, if they were still alive.”


Laura is currently working on a laser etched collection and will be incorporating blankets and throws into her range for next season. Laura also creates special one off commissions like this huge printed silk hanging (see left and right). If you live somewhere with enormous windows, just imagine what these would look like as semi-transparent blinds. Let us know if you’d like a quote to have something made especially for you. Alternatively, Laura’s limited edition cushions and wall hangings are available here at ShopCurious.