Hazel Greene’s designs caught my eye a number of months ago as the vibrant patterns and vivid images in both her artwork and designs are exactly what I look for in accessories. I love to liven up a dark outfit with a pop of colour – you can add in so many different accents with a simple accessory and Hazel’s pieces do this beautifully.
Hazel is a world renowned artist and her skill with the brush has been commissioned by the National Stud and Japanese Gardens in County Kildare, Newgrange Lodge in County Meath and has also presented her work to President Michael D. Higgins and also former President Mary McAleese. She is a visual and textile artist/creator and her creations are visually beautiful, you really cannot look at one without smiling. She uses different mediums in her work – oils, acrylic, watercolours and silks. Below is one of these beautiful images;
What is your first memory of fashion?
My first memory of fashion was from the streets of London, people from the knee down – which was about my eye line at the time!
Do you remember the first piece of artwork that you sold (as I am sure that is quite the moment!)?
I certainly remember my first scarves that sold – a friend of mine in America sold them for me, I had sent her a gift of one of my first scarves and she asked if I liked to send her more and she’d sell them for me!
Could you please talk me through the design thought process? You are such a talented artist as well as designer that I would love to know more!
Each of my designs begins life as a painting, or a combination of two or three, usually in watercolour or silk and occasionally an oil painting. I then translate them into colourful blends often, but not always, incorporating a repeat pattern. Once I think I’m happy with overall design, I’ll test print it to ensure the colours translate as I’d envisaged them, and finally I print onto a luxurious Italian silk and hand finished with rolled hems. It’s a lovely process, I enjoy each step.
The colours on your scarves are just beautiful (I have actually just ordered the Abstract Turquoise print scarf – I couldn’t resist!), where do you get your inspiration for your pieces?
Thank you! I saw that and it’s in the post today!
I do love the colours I work with and the blends they create. When painting pictures, I love to paint realistic things in unrealistic colours, for this reason, if not creating from my own memory or imagination, I use black and white photographs so as not to be effected by other people’s interpretation.
What made you decide to design scarves over any other item?
My first love is of painting, and designing scarves gives me a free reign to express myself without dress making restrictions!
I imagine that day-to-day, your schedule differs hugely. Is there one particular element of your work or schedule that you enjoy most?
To get lost in your painting and designing is wonderful, but what I’ve found I also love is to teach painting to adults and we have classes here at the studio most every week.
I imagine it’s rather difficult to choose… but is there a moment in your career which you’re most proud of?
Winning ‘Accessory Designer of the Year’ in 2015 was amazing!
I think that awards like the Fashion Innovation Awards are so important for up and coming designers as well as established designers and this year you are also nominated for an award. What would winning this mean to you?
I really don’t expect to win two years in a row – but wouldn’t it be wonderful! I’m honoured to have been nominated for the third year in a row. Being part of the Awards night means you put great focus on bringing out your new collection on time and with a ‘wow’ that will shout from the catwalk. It’s great to see your work on the runway, worn by professional models.
If you could refocus the conversation regarding fashion in 2016, what would you put on the agenda?
Colour – particularly in the added accents of accessories!
As a graduate of Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art and Design, do you think that people should go to college before they think about ‘being a designer’?
(I didn’t graduate – but spent a lot of time there!) I think it important to gather knowledge and techniques wherever you can in the fields that interest you. Whether you do this in a concentrated course or apprenticeship-style depends on your personality and opportunity – at the end of the day, you’ll work to be where you want to be.
Is there any advice that you would give anyone who is thinking of being a fashion designer (something that they don’t warn you of!)?
Stay true to your own vision, don’t get side tracked into doing things just because you can.
And finally – a VERY important Tea question? Barrys or Lyons? And favourite dipping biscuit? 🙂
Sorry, I’m definitely a coffee person! and no dipping!
Hazel was nominated in the Fashion Innovation Awards 2014 and then won Accessory Designer of the Year in the Awards in 2015. Hazel is this year nominated as Accessory Designer of the Year in the Irish Fashion Innovation Awards next week in the Radisson as part of Galway Fashion Week. If you would like more information on the Awards or how to buy tickets, you can read more here. We wish her the very best of luck in the Awards in Galway next week. I absolutely love my new scarf and they would make the perfect present so I cannot wait to see her pieces on the runway!
A big thank you to Hazel for interviewing with Floralesque. I love her pieces and cannot wait to see her pieces live on the night. You can check out her designs on her website, Twitter, Pinterest or on her Facebook page.
On a slight sidenote, Hazel also runs art classes in her Studio – Bramber Studios and if interested you can call them on +353 87 2889616 for further information.
If you enjoyed this interview in the ‘Floralesque Meets’ Series, then you can click here to read more exciting interviews with designers, creators, artists, photographers, entrepreneurs and more – enjoy meeting the makers!
All images (except my Instagram one) were kindly provided by Hazel Greene.