Pattern insight + emergence

Delving beneath the surface of life at Patternity Studio


The London Underground was captured from unique perspectives by photographer Huw Penson, who used kaleidoscope and mirroring techniques to present the transport network in a new way.

The aim of the project was to highlight the ‘strange surroundings most of us walk through everyday’, presenting them from an altered point of view. The spaces and textures in the piece create almost science-fictional scenes, elevating the mundane to the magnificent…

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The AW15 womenswear was hotly anticipated and did not disappoint. The resounding reference for this season was the sixties and seventies, with influences in cut, colour and print as well as styling and the way that garments were layered for the winter months. Fabrics were sumptuous with thick rolling knitwear and disco ready shimmers, and hemlines were often flared.

Prints were decidedly geometric: with classic bold stripes at House of Holand and Sibling, and tiling blocks at Opening Ceremony and Acne Studios. Off-kilter shapes adorned both Loewe and Lacoste garments, as well as jagged zags at Gucci and Christopher Kane.

As is custom, PATTERNITY have kept our eye out for the prominent trends in pattern material and form for this latest season…

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German photographer Andrea Grützner captured women partaking in Tanztee’s, or Tea Dances. Grützner focused on the bright and clashing patterns worn by the ladies, and captured the similarity of their chosen outfits – the jewellery, the watches.

The close crops on the fabrics hint at the personalities of the dancers and gives us an intimate view of this traditional pastime…

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The Autumn/Winter offerings for Menswear shown over the past few weeks were decidedly fitting for the season, with autumnal colour palettes of ochres, purples and greys alongside heavy wools and sturdy outerwear.

Many designs seemed inspired by the idea of Utility, with designers such as Christopher Raeburn and Dries Van Noten putting together technical ensembles incorporating hi-vis stripes and waterproof fabrics. Astrid Anderson and Maharishi’s offerings were more militaristic, with camouflage and berets included in their almost anarchist designs.

Scores of designers included leathery, glossy fabrics ranging from slouchy bombers at Nasir Mazhar and Agi + Sam to high gloss macs and slacks at Calvin Klein, using modern textiles to update classic shapes.

Here PATTERNITY Explore picks out the best patterns for Menswear AW15…

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Kicking off the Menswear for AW15, London Collections: Men piqued our interest showing autumnal outerwear with a focus on glossy leathers.

Check back in soon for the full AW15 Menswear PATTERNITY roundup from shows across London, Paris and Milan…

Revisit the menswear pattern picks for SS15 and AW14

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Stanley Kubrick’s eminent 1980 film The Shining has been revered for both it’s story and set design. Many commentators have noted the apparent inconsistencies and confusion created by the labyrinth like set arguing Kubrick’s choice of set dressing was deliberately chosen to disorient the viewer, much like an Escher piece, adding to the horror and surreality of the film.

Once such element is the iconic carpet designs, huge geometric patterns highlighting how small and vulnerable son Danny is as he cycles along the hallways of the hotel, especially when shot using Kubrick’s signature one point perspective. Many other hidden messages and conspiracies are linked to the simple carpet designs, which stand testament to Kubrick’s direction skills and the power of simple pattern design.

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A celebration of our most striking pattern pairings from this year’s PATTERNITY archive, these parallels challenge our perception of the everyday by exposing the common language of pattern, uniting the worlds of fashion and design with science, nature, geology and more…

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More than 60 years ago, at 1951’s landmark Festival of Britain, the designers involved turned to the sciences for inspiration – looking through the microscope to the patterns that lie beneath the surface.

The Festival was intended to restore Britain’s faith in itself as a productive industrial nation after the ravages of World War Two, to promote better and more practical design in the rebuilding of the country’s towns and cities, and to celebrate innovation in British architecture, design, industry and the arts. More than 8.5 million people visited the Festival’s newly developed main site on London’s South Bank ­– those that came to dine at the event’s Regatta Restaurant would have been exposed to textile and furnishing patterns that came from a hitherto unexplored source: the molecular-scale images of x-ray crystallography…

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“Technology shapes our world and we become increasingly inseparable from it, while most of us consider ourselves outsiders with no say in the matter. That does not seem right to me. If something is a major force in our lives, we should be able to ‘touch it’ rather than be at its mercy.”

Lianne Polinder’s textile collection, Technomimicry, explores the relationship “between technology ornament and function”. Wanting to create a tactile reaction to the LCD screens and new technology, Polinder used innovative weaving techniques to create eye-tricking fabrics bridging the gap between screen and the physical, reminiscent of the repetitive cells in LCD screens and solar panels…

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As the PATTERNITY manifesto states “Patterns are something we come across every day. We wear them, we walk over them, we even eat, drink and think them..”

To celebrate World Food Day, PATTERNITY has selected some patterns of food, which serve as a reminder of the variety of food available in the modern world and the many patterns they contain. We also consider the origins of our food as this year we focus on the individuals and small family farms that contribute so greatly to our eating experiences, and consider produce’s journey from ground, sea or tree to our plates…

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Looking ahead to SS15, New York, London, Milan and Paris offered us patterned fashion across the board. From pleating and gathered shapes creating structural pattern in many collections, to daring prints inspired by wildcats at Giles, or repeats inspired by ancient history at Versace and KTZ.

Many of the surface trends reflected those seen in the Menswear: stripes galore and patchwork colour, but much fun was had with form in the womenswear with Seventies shapes and asymmetric cuts providing new shapes, as well as playful textiles of fluffy fur and rippling iridescent fabrics.

PATTERNITY have collected the best patterned picks of SS15….

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One of nature’s most remarkable phenomena, camouflage represents the deployment of one pattern in order to disappear into another, allowing animals from a diverse range of species to blend into their surroundings and protect themselves from predators – or conceal themselves from prey.

PATTERNITY looks at some recognisable camouflage strategies found in the natural world, and considers their visual parallels with other patterns and forms from locations at more unexpected scales…

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A founding element of PATTERNITY’s ongoing mission is to encourage people to take notice of their environment and appreciate the unseen in the everyday. Around 12–19 miles above us, in the lower part of the stratosphere, is one of our great unseens – the ozone layer. This gaseous region absorbs up to 99% of the sun’s ultra-violet rays, keeping the planet from overheating and protecting life on the surface from sun damage. Small (relative to other regions of our atmosphere) and invisible to the eye, it is integral to maintaining the balance of every ecosystem on Earth. Without it, the living world and its landscape would be unrecognisable.

Although the last 30 years have seen united global action to reduce damage to the ozone layer, its preservation remains the responsibility of every nation in our connected world. To mark the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, PATTERNITY selects some of the most inspiring images that can be seen as we ‘look up’ towards our hidden protector.

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Engineers at the University of New Mexico have developed a means of changing hair colour through the use of pattern alone. The technology is based upon the phenomenon of structural colour, whereby the spectrum of light absorbed or reflected by an object – and therefore its perceived colour – is determined by the pattern of microscopic ridges on its surface…

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