Celebrated textile designer Sarah Campbell brought her keen sensibility, warmth and signature style to Faces & Places in Fashion this past Monday. “She was really heart warming, and intrinsically British,” said Assistant Dean Sass Brown who was in attendance.
Currently a collaborator with the furniture company West Elm, Campbell’s client list includes Yves St Laurent, habitat, and Marks & Spencer.
“You have to know your customer, but the reason they’ve hired you is for you,” Campbell said regarding how graduates can retain their own style when entering the industry.
Following tea and cakes Campbell critiqued the silk scarf paintings of 10 of Prof. Sussman’s students whom she mentored in the use of Campbell’s techniques. The scarves hung as part of a temporary wall exhibit in the foyer to the Katie Murphy Amphitheater. The students received copies of “The Collier-Campbell Archive: 50 Years of Passion in Pattern,” which Campbell co-wrote with her late sister Susan Collier and Emma Shackelton.
“Her career is ideal. She’s doing the collaboration with West Elm but her name is on her work. Most times your name isn’t recognized,” said fabric design student William Storms. “They’re just going to take your design and it’s the end of the day.”
“She’s invested in the hand process,” says Brown about Campbell’s paintings on silk. “For her the physical process of working with water color was really valuable. The connection from the brain down through your arms down to the paper — it just isn’t always as direct with the new technologies.”
Campbell mentioned her FIT talk and “crit” of the scarf paintings, as she called it, on her blog, Sarah Campbell Designs.