Last month Annie Moir, Mokum Product Coordinator, joined Design Director Stephanie Moffitt for her annual trip to Proposte followed by supplier visits in Italy and the UK. We interview Annie about their time abroad.
For those who don’t know, what is Proposte?
Proposte is an internationally recognised textile trade show, where high-end European mills present their latest collections – 2018 was the 26th edition. Traditionally, Proposte exclusively showcased local Italian mills, however the show has grown in popularity and now invites selected mills from wider Europe, Turkey and India to exhibit.
Officially held in the Villa Erba Exhibition Centre, Proposte runs for just four days, however the whole town of Cernobbio is taken over by the textile world for the entire week. Many suppliers locate themselves within luxurious villas and hotel rooms to showcase their exclusive collections. It’s an amazing opportunity to experience the latest textile trends, techniques and innovations, whilst catching a glimpse inside these magnificent Italian homes, many right on the shores of Lake Como.
What is the main purpose for Mokum to visit Proposte?
The Mokum studio is based in Sydney yet we work primarily with a European supply chain, so to have all our key relationships in the one place for a whole week is a wonderful opportunity. It is a time for Mokum to search for new constructions and innovative ideas to bring into our collections over the next two years. Each year we have a specific hit list and this year we found some stunning qualities which we are really excited to start development work on.
Can you describe the buying process for the Mokum brand?
In our Sydney design studio we create bespoke textile designs to sit within thematic collections. Buying trips are critical to discover and source exclusive new constructions for luxury drapery or upholstery development. Examples could be a stunning print base cloth, a sophisticated weave with interesting binding detail, or new yarn innovations.
From the studio we will then create a bespoke design to suit the chosen textile, often tweaking elements of the construction to ensure it meets our visual brief and passes stringent testing standards. Once we sign off development trials and finalise specialist finishing techniques we begin the lengthy process of custom colouring to ensure the fabric offers the desired palette for our brand and markets. We work with the finest mills from all over Europe, so for the Mokum brand the development process is a true partnership between our studio and the mills specific expertise.
What was the highlight of your week in Lake Como
Lake Como holds a special place in my Grandparents heart; our Chairman John Dunlop and my grandmother Rosemary have travelled regularly to Proposte since it began, so I’ve grown up hearing so much about it!
Proposte didn’t disappoint, the diversity of product and level of quality was world class and the gathering of all our key mills made for extremely productive discussions on current and new developments. Additionally, I was blown away by the beauty of Lake Como; the colours, the architecture and the surrounding landscape was astounding - it was a very inspiring setting.
You also travelled after Proposte, where did you go?
We spent two days visiting key Mokum suppliers in Prato, the home of many beautiful Italian textile mills. Here we worked alongside the design teams to progress current developments and review quality control. We always enjoy touring the mills factory, it’s insightful to observe what’s in production and very satisfying to see many looms busy weaving Mokum product! In Prato we were lucky enough to visit a specialist yarn factory who exclusively produce felted wool yarn, a manufacturing process neither Stephanie nor myself had experienced before.
Leaving Italy we headed to the United Kingdom to visit an important printing mill for the Mokum brand. We’re developing a comprehensive print range for 2019, the largest print range Mokum has ever released! We spent a day working with the mill’s design team, reviewing colour trials, making amendments and finalising specialist finishing techniques.
Our final day was spent in London undergoing research and development at both a design and colour level. After an early start at the Design Centre in Chelsea Harbour, we hit the streets to review current trends across high end retail fashion covering Liberty, Valentino, Alexander McQueen, Stellar McCartney, Prada, Miu Miu, Gucci, Alice Temperley, Vivienne Westwood.
The Mokum brand pulls inspiration from high end fashion for both palette and motif references, seasonal fashion trends are often a lot more brave than the interior industry which requires longevity so we reinterpret these trends to suit our industry and the Mokum brand philosophy. Our favourite showroom of the day was Victoria Beckham’s Dover Street store, which is very much a gallery style with lots of negative space and beautiful architectural details.
Victoria Beckham's Dover Street store - London
The afternoon was spent exploring the Tate Modern, where we saw original artworks of Joan Miro, Yves Klein and Piet Mondrian whose work inspired Mokum’s latest collection release, Pure. My personal favourites were the works of Monet and Picasso.
It wouldn’t be a weekend in London without seeing the inside of the iconic restaurant, Sketch. We opted for the high tea experience in The Gallery, designed by India Mahdavi and featuring artwork by David Shrigley. An abundance of millennial pink, plump blush tulip chairs upholstered in mohair velvet, rose gold finishes, marbled herringbone floors, walls of witty David Shrigley works, galactic bathroom pods and impeccable wait staff to suit, I couldn’t help but feel as though I’d fallen down Alice’s Rabbit Hole. An absolute must-do for lovers of food and design alike!
The Gallery at Sketch - London
Published July 2, 2018
We ended our trip feeling very excited to get back into the studio to review colour work that we had instigated prior and whilst travelling, as well as new designs and constructions sourced at Proposte.
Our day in London provided confirmation that our upcoming 2019 print range based around decorative florals is very much on trend. We can’t wait to show you what we’re working on…stay tuned!