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Saffron Knight

Monday 12 March 2012
Words Spindle

Saffron Knight is very much a leading lady in terms of the the print pack du jour. Her intricate illustrations put her in the print pin-up, hall of fame alongside Kane and Katrantzou which is gaining appreciative acclamation, the world over. We delved a little deeper and asked Saffron to shed some light on her penchant for all things print.

You’re somewhat of a print pin-up, was it anything in particular that drew you to design prints? As a young a girl I have always been told enchanting stories of past times by my family. Wild tales of magical creatures, exotic lands, heroes & heroines. This all helped to weave a tapestry of intrigue and inspiration for me create my own fantasy tales through illustration.

Kane and Katrantzou are making waves across the fashion shores right now – how do you feel you differ from fellow print fans? My prints tell of love stories that are personal to me, as well as events from history that I can relate to. I like links with the past that echo into the present. This is how I like to channel my truth to you, through heartfelt emotions and stories.

Are there any particular print veterans that you admire? I do admire Basso and Brooke, a sprinkle of them will always cheer you up!

You hand draw each and every print that makes the cut, can you briefly describe what that design process entails? So once the theme/tale is in place, I will draw, paint, collage, spray paint and manipulate the individual illustrations. Once everything is in order I will scan all imagery into the computer and open the files in Adobe Photoshop. There all the illustrations will be slightly adapted to fit the print lay I have in mind. Whether its altering the colours or increasing sizes, its just a case of figuring out what goes where. There is no real break down method in that part, what ever feels amazing, looks unique and is able to carry the tale. Then I play around with the prints and see how they work dropped into the garment designs on the computer and it’s off to the printers.

What elements of Jamaica do you incorporate into your designs? The ferocious colour clashes that are Jamaica! I have personaliSed them to suit my needs.

On a similar note, how do your designs identify with British culture? I believe they identify with contemporary movement and classical eras such, as the 50’s – I do pay homage to that decade. To the music for starters which is always an inspiration that joins me in the process when designing.

Dancehall Culture is a particular inspirational theme you’ve researched and experimented with, what is it about traditional dance genres and cultures that inspire your designs? I’m fascinated by dance cultures because they are a representation of the people of that time and what they were facing, whether it was suffering in love or in war. Expression through art draws me in because it’s a freedom thing

What has been your favourite fashion moment to date? It would have to be seeing Christian Lacroix show and watching how he transports and then ignites the connection between the garments and his creative message

You’ve neatly tucked this collection under your belt, have you thought up any potential ideas for the next one? Oh Yeah! After my journey with the Greek gods in the last print, that spoke of a lot of pain, struggle, battles and manipulation. I was still interested in the mythological characters but something lighter, graceful, powerful still but warm hearted. So I looked into the Goddesses of the Earth, the Goddesses of the stars who‘s role on earth is to sprinkle the stars, the Goddesses of the ocean & the all seeing Goddess.

What’s next on the to-do list, do you have any goals you’d loved to see fulfilled this year? I would like to take the label to Asia and be a part of a fashion week that has a cheeky twist.