I’m a new fan of Bespoke Uprising. I only discovered Roisin Fagan’s work at our last trunk show and I promptly treated myself to a pair of her paper airplane screen-printed tea towels. (They hang pretty in the workroom’s blue bathroom) Roisin’s subject matter are beautiful, everyday things like mason jars, ferns, power lines, and nasturtium. For me, her prints alone would be enough but Roisin then turns her printed fabrics into wallets, buttons, pillows, reversible dresses and more. Be sure to browse her lovely goods in person at the Kids Trunk Show on August 23rd.
Roisin also has a new venture with Arounna of Bookhou called, “repeat“. They’ve only just set up shop, but I already want everything. I’m especially excited that repeat will be selling fat quarters of their printed fabrics.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Roisin : When I was very small, I wanted to be a unicorn. I used the watch the movie, ‘The Last Unicorn‘, over and over. Then I wanted to be a teacher, and finally i settled on an ambition to be a scientist. I think I’ve fulfilled the scientist in my small self, as I use plenty of chemistry in dyeing and screenprinting.
Who is inspiring your work these days?
Roisin : Anni Albers has been an inspiration since high school. Her sense of colour and pattern are wonderful. The printed textiles from the Arts & Crafts movement are also a favorite. I had a very enthusiastic Craft history prof at NSCAD that really piqued my interest in William Morris’s textiles, Liberty textiles, and the tilework of William de Morgan. Currently, I’m loving the work of Julia Rothman – her patterns often have a strong narrative content, like mine.
What is your favourite product that you’ve designed and why?
Roisin : My favorite things to make are my reversible garments. They involve a lot of problem solving, which, while often frustrating, is so satisfying to work out in the end. The ruffle dresses are the most elaborate thing that I make and took me so long to figure out! I also love the new caps that I’ve done. I have started using an organic linen in my work and these were the first thing that I made with it.
What is the most challenging thing about having your own business?
Roisin : The most challenging this is definitely the paperwork! I like to do everything myself, including my taxes, and it takes up a lot of my time.
What is your earliest crafting memory from childhood?
Roisin : I was always crafting as a child, my mom and dad were very big on encouraging creativity with my brother and I. One of my earliest memories is making a card with my best friend Sarah – I think we were about five. I had asked to sleep over at her house, and my mom said no [must have been a schoolnight]. We spent the afternoon in my room, writing things like ‘pretty pretty please with a cherry on top’ in Elmer’s glue on construction paper, and then pouring on sprinkles to make big, sparkly words.