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Inside Jamie Bruski Tetsill’s world

Young designer Jamie Bruski Tetsill is ready to conquer the world with his colourful Spring/Summer 09 collection and with an impressive interior design project.

So far this has been a crazy year for Jamie Bruski Tetsill. Nominated for a few fashion awards, Tetsill is taking in the next few weeks his collections and his interior design projects to Japan and China. In the meantime, his Spring/Summer 09 designs, presented last month at London Fashion Week, have marked a change of direction in his career; the designer has explored further the potentialities of tufting, a weaving technique mainly employed in carpet-making, while also playing with vivid prints. The result is a brightly coloured collection with three-dimensional elements characterised by ‘50s hourglass shapes and by a bold ‘80s aesthetic. This is undoubtedly a glamorously playful collection with an anarchist edge.  

Dazed Digital: What has changed in your current collection compared to the previous ones?
Jamie Bruski Tetsill: The S/S 09 collection is about taking an entirely different direction for me. I wanted to show in it my skills as a print and textile designer, a side of me that not many people know, but I was also trying to experiment more. My A/W 08-09 collection was a very specific collaboration with Alexanders of Scotland and I used in it a lot of very Scottish fabrics. This collection allowed me instead to go wild and have fun without any restrictions on the fabrics and colours. I’ve developed my tufting in this collection as well and taken it towards a different direction, making it softer by using fine black mohair that also gives a luxurious look to the garments. I have used a very technical process in designing this collection, working the pattern onto a computer and building it in a three-dimensional way around the body.  I learnt a lot from using this technique and I think I will keep on experimenting with it in the future. I’m not ready to let tufting go yet as I consider it as my trademark technique, but for this collection I have opted for more wearable motifs that were actually tufted onto the garments with a 1940s machine.

DD: You recently developed also a knitwear collection, which techniques did you use for it?
JBT: Though I ran up against a lot of problems while working on this project, the knitwear looks fantastic and it’s characterised by the geometric motifs and patterns that run through all my work. I used a very traditional technique for my knitwear, which is called “intarsia”. It’s very expensive, but when it is done it gives a gorgeous effect to the garments.

DD: In September you did a side project for Chivas Regal in Madrid, designing for the first time a menswear collection, did you find it difficult doing it?
JBT: I actually found it easier as I can try the garments on myself and do all the fittings. This collection was for the Chivas Studio, a project that moves around the world. They contacted me several months ago and asked if I was interested in doing a capsule collection for them to help promoting Chivas Regal as a young Scottish drink. The collection was basically a young Scottish designer’s take on the traditional kilt. It was actually a really fun collection to do because not being too fashion-related you could do with it whatever you wanted. It was very successful and I also had a few celebrities modelling my designs which was fantastic. Working on this project actually made me think about doing menswear as well, even though I love my womenswear designs too much to just concentrate on menswear.  

DD: You recently designed a rug with a well-known Edinburgh-based tapestry company, the Dovecot Studios. The company worked in the past on creative projects with painters, printmakers and sculptors such as Henry Moore, Frank Stella and Elizabeth Blackadder, but collaborating with a young designer was a first for them. How does such a product fit in with the rest of your work?
JBT:  The quality of the rug is fantastic and it looks absolutely luxurious, but the best thing is that it ties in nicely with my collection. It’s really in style with my current designs, even though this is an interior design product. You can definitely look at it and see that it’s my work. The rug was shipped a couple of days ago to Japan where it will be exhibited at the 100% Design Tokyo Fair.

DD: What are your plans for the next season?
JBT: I’ll be again at London Fashion Week, hopefully with a catwalk this time. I’d like to get a showroom as well and concentrate on production and sales, but I also want to take my collections to China again. Besides, I’m planning to get my tufting to a completely different level for next season and use a lot of fur and leather to create a luxurious collection featuring big coats with cocooning shapes. It’s going to feel really wintry and very glam.

Jamie Bruski Tetsill will be at the 100% Design Tokyo Fair from 29th October to 3rd November 2008.