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Arabian Elegance

We are blessed with some of the most creative and artistic customers that entrust us to recreate their beautiful artwork onto printed fabric. Jacqui Sinnatt is one of those. Over the years her brand St Agnes Eve has been at the forefront of scarf design.

The most recent of Jacqui’s works has been a collaboration with the Mathaf Studio London  – and, what a collaboration it has been. We interviewed Jacqui to hear all about her work and find out a little more about the glorious silk scarves that are now available.

boxed scarf

Q: How did design and in particular scarf design, begin for you.

“I have loved design all my life – as a child I wrote and illustrated books (the ‘Parrot and Bee’ series telling tales of curious mixed-species life!), designed (unwearable) fashion ranges and spent most of my time drawing. After studying graphic design at St Martins School of Art I had a career in branding and marketing and was the creative partner in a design agency. I loved the mix of business and creativity, but I found I was spending more and more time on the business and not enough on the creative.

When we sold the business and the opportunity came to return to my creative roots I jumped at it.

I have always loved photography and was using my photos to creating digital art images, a friend commented that they would make great scarves….and St Agnes Eve was born.”

Q: Tell us how your collaboration for the Mathaf Studio scarves came about and the sumptuous double layer scarf idea.

CAMELS“I met Gina MacDermot, owner of the Mathaf Gallery London, through a mutual friend and she mentioned that she had a huge archive of images of 19th Century Orientalist paintings that had been through her Gallery over the years, for which copyright is held. She wanted to use these images to develop a range of products to sell through the Mathaf Studio, a creative atelier to the Gallery. As we discussed the options (scarves being a natural first step) we agreed they needed to be more that just printing the painting on a piece of silk. Her clients expect a high degree of creative integrity, quality and luxury, so we were aiming for a very premium product right from the start.

We took a trip to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, met some of her clients and discussed ideas, researched Middle Eastern culture and took many photos!

Gina was very clear on what she did and didn’t like and we developed the designs in close collaboration. We tested a number of different fabric combinations with the Silk Bureau, but found putting 2 different fabrics together created problems with how the materials sat together, the double layer of Satin had the right combination of luxury and quality of finish.”

Q: The Mathaf Studio project beautifully combined subtle photography with repeat geometric designs. How did you resource and design for this?

“Some of the geometric designs on the reverse side of the scarves came from details in the paintings – sometimes just a small tile or feature in the background, then painstakingly repeated to create the pattern. Others were created from my extensive collection of photographs – many from travels in Morocco and the Middle East. The pattern on ‘The Water Carrier’ depicts moldings found on the walls and ceiling of Tangiers Museum, the pattern on the back of ‘The Camel Train’ comes from the ripples and textures of desert sand which perfectly complements the romantic images of the camels and riders crossing the desert on the front face of the scarf.”

 

Q: Has this introduced any other opportunities for you.

camel_mosaic“It was a wonderful project to work on, the paintings were inspiring in themselves, and the quality of finish supplied by the Silk Bureau team was fantastic. We have had a wonderful response to the designs, detail of print and quality of finish.

I have since had bespoke designs commissioned, inspired by these scarves. I have also been approached by a few Museums and Galleries with a view to designing ranges for them.”

Q: What about the future? Anything planned?

“The Mathaf Studio scarves are now available through the website www.mathafstudio.com. We are now looking into developing additional products using the designs, so watch this space.

Meanwhile I will continue to create limited edition designs for my own brand, St Agnes Eve. I now have ‘collectors’ who have bought many of my scarves, so the pressure is on to always have something new and interesting for them to choose from. I am currently planning my winter collection (always strange to think about Christmas in mid-summer!) but I love designing, so there is no shortage of ideas!”

The incredible designs, colours, sumptuous silk, and generous size really make these desirable as a special piece to have in your collection. We’re very much looking forward to seeing more of Jacqui’s designs – and the unique stories behind each one.