An Interview with Mara Nicolle
How long have you been working as a designer?I’ve been enjoying work as a designer for 21 years now. I undertook my Textile Art and Printing studies at the Ecole Duperré in Paris and then the Escola Massana in Barcelona, becoming a Textile Designer and, more generally, Artistic Director.
What made you want to be a designer?
My fascination with colour and decoration began at a very early age. I often marvelled at the beauty of everything around me, becoming fixated on beautiful patterns and textures – a passion I still regularly indulge today. I’m of French-Venezuelan nationality and have lived most of my life between Latin America and Europe, resulting in a rich mixture of ideas and life experience. I grew up surrounded by contrasting lights and colours and amazing interiors with a variety of diverse objects and fabrics. I see Textile Design as a way of expressing this upbringing and cultural heritage and I like to combine materials, textures, pattern and colour in all of my work.
What’s it like to work with silk as a material?Silk is first and foremost synonymous with sensuality; with silk, everything is a pleasure, and you have to use this quality to its full advantage. Everything about silk and the way it makes us feel is beautiful. From a technical point of view, the tints and sheen of plain coloured silk are magnificent and elegant. The shine is subtle and soft, with a unique luminosity. Jacquard patterns are even more beautiful because of the way light interacts with the surface of the fabric. These are great qualities to have when designing luxury products. Silk is a material that is extremely pleasant to work with, to imagine with and to design with.
What were your main inspirations for the Rubans and Lace collections?
The inspiration for the Rubans Collection was a desire to combine textile elegance with sensuality. I created a wide textile weave to act like a wave on the smooth silky surface – like a big silk scarf – while the Ribbons create a geometric symphony that takes a new look at a classic design. The inspiration for the Lace Collection was a desire to evoke the femininity of lace to create a strong sense of sensuality. Bouquets of flowers intertwine with lace patterns to create a contemporary boudoir style that is both classical and modern.
What would you say is the most important aspect of your design process?I think it’s important to be curious and the observe everything around us. It’s imperative that you be attentive and listen to objectives and desires, and then use your knowledge and observations to solve the problems presented to you by the client.
What advice would you give to new and emerging designers?
You must always remain open to new ideas and know how to adapt to change, whilst remaining true to your own ideas. Developing a style is important, but be flexible and don’t let your work become repetitive.