Its Not Everyday You get to meet a Creative who has so much soul and passion for what they do but we are glad we met paris based textile & print designer nina warmerdam who has worked for global brands like hussein chalayan, maison martin margiela, Nike and Siv Støldal to name a few.
With a Flair for details and colours it was a natural decision to collaborate With nina on SOL'S first collaboration: morphogenesis, which will be available for purchase soon here.
Nina sat down with us in her studio to talk about textile printing, some of her Professional highlights and what Inspires her on a daily basis.
You can fall in love and in be inspired by the creative mind of Nina and her Gorgeous prints here.
How did you get into textile printing?
When I was a teenager I was fascinated by the fashion images I would see in magazines, and luckily I was accepted into art school where I was able to explore all types of creative arts. I ended up completing both a Bachelor and Master degrees in Fashion Design (womenswear). During these studies I found myself always trying to personalize my designs by creating my own materials. I could spend weeks and weeks simply experimenting with different textile dying techniques, heat treatments, laser cutting and so on. This curiosity became even more apparent during several internships I did. I got the freedom to create prints and come up with fabric manipulations. After graduating I was working at a fashion house as a design assistant, and as much as I loved my workplace I realized that my ambition lead me more towards textiles. When the head designer & the team were replaced I found myself looking for a new job, which wasn’t easy. To make the most of my free time I decided to start The Imprint Project, for which I designed & published a new print for every 48 hours. Because of this self-imposed deadline I ended up creating quite a few print series during the course of a year and a half.
It was a way for me to explore different printmaking techniques, and at the same time build up a print portfolio and get my work out there. After a few months I started getting some freelance work opportunities, and soon I realized that perhaps I could actually continue working for myself. That’s exactly what I ended up doing! I love the freedom to work on a variety of projects with different collaborators. It’s also very exciting to see how my designs can transcend other disciplines.
What is one of your earliest memories of a print that impacted you?
When I was little, my bedroom was on the first floor of the house I lived in. I was lucky to have a huge window in my room, overseeing the whole street. In the street there were lots of big trees, and during certain hours of the day the light of the sun coming through my window would cause the trees to showcase a lively pattern on my bedroom wall. It was very fascinating; I could look at it for quite some time until the angle of the light coming in would change. Plus, the seasonal changes would influence the patterns, which made it even more compelling.
Take us through your creative process when coming up with a print or series.
There’s usually a natural starting point, whether it is a color, an image or just a specific feeling I have. I try to visualize this, and in my research I usually create some type of ‘red thread’. From there I lock myself up in my studio and start playing around with different techniques and materials.
I think it’s important to be guided by your instincts and not get stuck or feel limited because of a preconceived idea in your head. Some of my best work is unintentional. Therefore I’ve learned to never underestimate accidents during the design process. Once an idea clicks in the right way visually, I try to build out this idea into a series. I like working in series because it gives me the opportunity to tell a story, from beginning to end.
Some of your most memorable highlights professionally?
During my studies I interned for Hussein Chalayan in London. This really was an eye-opening experience for me, as I had always admired his work. It was very inspiring to experience the conception of the collections, and watch up close how he builds out a story that transcends so many other areas besides just the ‘clothes’ themselves. It was his unconventional yet poetic approach that really impacted me.
Later on I worked for Maison Martin Margiela in Paris, as part of the Artisanal (Haute Couture) team. The pieces in the collection were completely made by hand, from start to finish. It was touching to see how much labour and thought went into each piece. There weren’t really any limitations; anything was possible when creating materials. I really experienced and came to understood the appreciation for these unique creations firsthand.
More recently my personal work has been published in multiple design books, which I consider to be a highlight too. It feels great for my work to be recognized and shown alongside the work of other designers who I admire.
What inspires you on a daily basis?
So many things! Anything can set off a creative session, whether it is a specific color, texture or the view of the ground seen from a plane. Always keep your eyes open! One thing I always come back to is art. I love how art has the ability to take you back or forward in time. It’s one of the greatest ways to stimulate the senses. Apart from that I find inspiration in traveling, vintage textiles, entomology, old natural history books and strange objects found at flea markets.
Tell us a bit more about the the collaborative series with SOL.
The collection is named ‘Morphogenesis’, which references the biological process that causes an organism to develop its shape. Butterfly wings have played a present role in my work, and after the idea for this collaboration emerged we quickly agreed to explore wings as a point of departure. I tried to look for a specific type of butterfly wing and was very pleased to find the Amauris Niavius wing. It is a butterfly of the Nymphalidae family that is found in the forests of tropical Africa. I love the patterns and texture of the wing. The top part has this dreamy, almost cloud-like identity where the bottom part shows a more geometrical structure. An inherent characteristic of butterfly wings is the ‘mimicry’ pattern formation. Mimicry is the ability of a species to resemble another for the purposes of protection or predation. The resemblances that evolve in mimicry can be in appearance, behaviour, sound or scent. I liked the idea of mimicry in relation to the scarf, which is a form of protection in its own way.
I wanted to approach the scarf as a canvas and it’s own form of mimicry, being overtaken by the wings. In the collection I played with the constant tension between the impromptu positioning of the wings and the geometrical limitations of the canvas (being the scarf). By letting the wings fall onto the canvas in an uncontrolled manner they form their own interesting new patterns. I love the idea that eventually the patterns on the scarfs can be manipulated once again because of the way someone wears them.
How can one connect with you?
Finally if you could sum up yourself in a print which it would be and why?
I would be a bold hand painted irregular floral print in all shades of blue with a geometric underlying structure! I somehow find myself always trying unite these two contrasting sides in my work. I think it has to do with my personality. The bold florals might refer to me being direct (blame it on the Dutch roots), positive, outgoing and perceptive. But there is also a side of me that is very coordinated and leaning towards structure and order. Blue is the color I could use endlessly, it never fails to evoke.