Book Review – Textile Designers at the Cutting Edge by Bradley Quinn
What is it about? Who is it aimed at?
The publishers themselves state this:
“Textile Designers at the Cutting Edgeshowcases a selection of textile designs from all over the world, presented in feature interviews with the world’s most visionary young designers. Chosen for their contributions to fashion textiles and interior fabrics, the designers describe their output and inspirations in their own words. Whether speaking from style capitals, such as London, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Berlin, Tokyo, and New York, or in less-trafficked cities, today’s most forward-thinking textile designers showcase exciting work that signals new directions in textile practice and the emergence of new textile forms and fibre technologies.”
The writer Quinn, has already had a wealth of writing experience. He has also been responsible for providing us with The Fashion of Architecture and Techno Fashion which have both become popular with artists and students alike. He has also contributed to a few other publications, including Contemporary Textiles: the fabric of fine art. This gives us a sense of security, we are purchasing a book which holds weight and status within its genre.
Sitting around A4 size, the front cover doesn’t really tell us a lot, which makes us curious, what is the layout? What does it hold?
The 320 pages are divided into two main sections. one based on the wearable side of design, while the other focuses on the 3D, maybe “impossible” side.
My only question here, would be as we move on in this modern world, can we make divisions like this, deciding what should be boxed or categorised as fashion and design and which artists fall into each category? In my opinion, many textile and design disciplines are losing their divisions, making it easier as a student to study a cross section of techniques. Surely this is something we should be embracing? For this reason, it could be said that the publication may outdate itself; however this could be remedied in new editions.
I personally think it is aimed at the student population, this of course defies age range, thus it does have all round appeal in that sense. It would be a great research tool for those studying textiles, design, fashion or surface pattern. It has a modern feel, with many new types of modern technology being mentioned.
It is not an instruction manual, rather it is a research tool, or simply a foundation for learning. I see it as a pick up and be inspired volume.
The quirky features don’t seem too novelty based, they have the timeless quality which will help the publication itself to stay current in style.
A further delve inside
Within Part One, we are blasted with many a designer who has experimented in the field of fashion.
The traditional skills of embroidery are also given a mention, which really gives a balance to the book itself. This helps us to visualise how we could merge the traditional skills with the modern abilities available to us.
Part two opens our head to new possibilities. For example, we see light and wire merged into the design process. This example of risk taking and branching out of the traditional is a core element for students to learn, thus visual material such as this is so important.
Within the two main parts or sections, over thirty six artists are interviewed, with clear and quality biased imagery taking the stage. Thus we can get inside views at each individuals way of working, what materials they focus on or specialise in and why. Looking at this again from a students standpoint, this is a great form of text to reference.
So, do you think it is worth a buy? I certainly did. Its a great “go to” volume and one I will be keeping in my view for the next few months to come.
Pick up your copy of Textile designers at the cutting edge by Bradley Quinn from Amazon today.