It sounds like a plot from a Wes Anderson movie, minus the quirky family antics and murder intrigue. In 2014, a woman from South Africa travelled to Jaipur, India, where she taught a course in pattern design to a group of international tourists in the shade beside a leafy poolside courtyard at a charming old hotel called Diggi Palace.
Upon her return she was inspired to create a new collection of fabrics in subtle, sweet colours and delicate patterns, which was snapped up the decor-loving masses. She wrote in her diary:
I have come away with a sense of sweetness and calm beneath the clamour and chaos of the traffic. Delicate fabrics, the finest lines, the softest tones: My experience of India has been all about exquisite skill, craftsmanship and attention to the finest detail.
The woman was Heather Moore of Skinny laMinx and the fabric collection is Diggi Dot. The focus of the tour to India was traditional block printing and dying techniques, and Moore’s role was to teach the group to design and create pattern, using linoleum printing blocks.
While preparing for the trip, the designer did a lot of lino block printing in her studio, finding this method of generating pattern very exciting, because of the way the simplest shapes can generate endless combinations and variations, with just a shift of direction or colour.
She had thought that the trip to India would awaken a craving for clashing colours and excessive patterns but instead, she found herself inspired by the calming surroundings of the Diggi Palace.
The Diggi Dot collection, her latest since Paradise is Here in 2014, uses the simplest block-printed motifs – a line, a half circle and a dot – in various combinations all rendered in the freshest of colour palettes: lemon, mint, liquorice, glass, fog, steel and signal red. There are four patterns: Simple Stripe, Sway, Gridly and Block Circle.
Diggi Dot is born into a kaleidoscope of colour in the form of Skinny laMinx's existing range of prints, which has yielded "lots of new and unexpected colour combinations", Moore says. Her new 2015/6 COLOUR BOOK revels in the myriad combinations of these colours, offering themed schemes for aspiring decorators.