It’s Saturday morning at the Port Eliot Festival, and Charlotte Taylor is swathed in yards of marble-printed silk scarves. ‘Isn’t it amazing that they all look so nice?’ she says, lifting the airy fabric from around her neck.
Taylor, a fashion designer admired for the whimsical prints of penguins, donkeys and geishas in her eponymous brand and Charlotte by Charlotte Taylor line, has arrived at Port Eliot with the Anthropologie contingent. The retailer brought three of its designers—upcycler Lou Rota, ceramicist Jacqui Roche, and Taylor—to the festival to encourage nascent creative to get more hands-on.
Taylor experimented with several group-friendly techniques before deciding that marble-printing scarves would make for a perfect festival workshop.
‘This is a brilliant thing because it’s quick, easy, and the scarves always come out beautifully, so everybody gets an amazing product at the end,’ she says.
She begins the workshop by demonstrating the technique, swirling inks into a shallow trough of water and gingerly laying a strip of silk into the tub. In no time, 20 participants set to work on their own scarves, dragging forks, combs and toothpicks through the swirls of ink in pursuit of the ideal marbled look.
Marble printing is new to Taylor—she set up a paddle pool in her studio to test the technique. Lately she’s moved into more abstract territory in her fashion prints as well. Although she’s carrying on with her signature animal silhouettes, she’s combining her creatures in new and different ways. It’s only on a second look, for instance, that one geometric, bamboo-like print in the Anthropologie collection reveals itself as groupings of grasshoppers.
A recent trip to India furthered her curiosity about other techniques. ‘It’s gotten me to be a lot more crafty,’ she says. ‘Our whole studio is overtaken by experiments and print development for SS13.’