Best newcomer of 2016 - HalfDrop design studio
As the year is coming to an end, I can't help but think back on all the great events that happened in the design world. So many wonderful industry fairs with newcomers from all around the world. I've seen some products that caught my eye instantly and some that kept me thinking about them long after the event was over. But throughout all of these new concepts and ideas, one design studio has stand out for me. And the main reason for this is that it's not your typical design studio, it's a pattern studio that (to put it in their words) "create and define identity through fabric, colour and rhythm". You can see why I am so excited about this studio, right?? You know how I'm a sucker for a good concept story, a reason behind a product.
So without any further addition, I present to you HALFDROP, an amazing fabric design studio run by two amazing girls, that even have the same name. Peeked your interest? Grab your cup of coffee/tea and let's begin the interview.
SO WHO IS HALFDROP?
Halfdrop is Romanian Design Brand that lives and breathes between two cities: Shanghai and Bucharest. It brings to life stories through fabric designs for interiors. It was founded by two Romanian Architects - Alexandra Lazarescu & Alexandra Petrache - as a place where passion & curiosity mixes up with hand drawings, printing techniques and digital illustration. The result? Amazing patterns, designs and most of all - collections!! Take a look here, there is quite a variety to choose from!
What made you decide to start Halfdrop?
Halfdrop: Halfdrop is the layout in which the motif is repeated halfway down the side in the vertical direction (the most frequently used repeat in textile design). Our name derives from this, as the most versatile and used layout when designing patterns, that has both dynamic and rigor, balance and movement.
Tell me more about your studio.
Halfdrop: The HALFDROP story started in the late months of 2015, challenging a great distance and time difference between Shanghai and Bucharest. We always had in mind to start a design project between the two of us, and we both adore fabrics. HALFDROP began as an intention rather than a brand, a common desire of creating things that can really make a difference when talking about interior decor.
We had a lot of time on our hands, testing, figuring out mistakes and improvements. But definitely, it was one of the most interesting times because beginnings are time frames devoid of rules. Until the actual need of finalizing the product we had in mind, or really defining what it would be exactly, we got to play with the "in-between", the "what if's", the "how would it look like if".
The key concepts that define the brand are balance, contrast and complementarity. These concepts define our work as a team as well, by using our differences and particular visions for our clients best advantage.
A little fun fact: The dresses that you see in the picture above, are designed by them too!
What sparked your passion for patterns and product design?
Halfdrop: Create the things you wish existed! We both have an educational background in art and painting, besides Architecture, so we have been as long as we can remember sketching this or that, analysing historical styles, periods and various forms of decorations and aesthetic principles. Besides, we grew up with our grandparents and Romanian traditional motifs, with their rhythm and structure. All there was left was to channel all of these into a thing we'd love doing: fabrics.
Where do you find inspiration for your patterns?
Halfdrop: We get inspired from absolutely every texture or repeat motif we find around us. More often than not, those textures are found in the built environment, in some facade texture, enclosure design, even decorative ironwork. It seems there is always going to be the architect's hand in our patterns and motifs. The various cultures encountered during both our travels also have a great impact. The various ethnic art, in any form, speaks volumes in term of geometry and colour.
Halfdrop: HALFDROP’s goal is to surprise you with a contemporary, full of energy design, based on original concepts. Our style is defined by experiences and constant alterations rather than a specific approach, the style itself will certainly shift with the things that will inspire us along the way.
There is a process that actually defines us, rather than what we call a style. We break a designed motif apart and make its pieces into something completely new, so we might say that Halfdrop patterns are reconstructed. More on the process here.
What was your biggest challenge so far for Halfdrop?
Halfdrop: Quantities definitely. When you can't order a large amount of fabrics/printed products, often you have to let go (at least for period of time), of a specific project or certain colour variations.
What is the best material to work with?
Halfdrop: Before the pillow, there was the fabric!
We prefer natural materials: cotton and linen, with weight and texture. The best material actually depends entirely on the pattern printed on it. The design and the textile support are always linked in our opinion.
Favourite colours to work with?
Halfdrop: Mustard yellow, grey, deep earth tones, pastels mixed with somber coal tones. Always include darker tints.
Favourite brand that you would like to work with?
Halfdrop: Marimekko. We love large scale patterns, and their colours.
Name 3 items of furniture /accessories you couldn’t live without?
Halfdrop: Cushions (ha-ha surprising, no?), drapes and coffee tables.
Your favourite Halfdrop pattern?
Halfdrop: Shanghai20 - Tulips and Shanghai20-Yellow Diamonds.
Your top 3 tips when decorating with cushions?
Halfdrop: Always go for a large scale print for at least one of the pieces.
Less is never more, so go wild!
Select the colours from a large artwork in the room, or those decor objects whose presence can't be ignored.
So there you have it my detail lovers, peeking inside the brains of two brilliant Romanian Architects and their wonderful brand. I have to say, I love the story behind their concept, and I really like that their inspiration comes from the most unusual of places. I mean facade texture??? Love it!!
Thank you Halfdrop, for the wonderful interview and for sharing these beautiful photos. Until next time peeps!
* I have not received anything for writing this post. As you may know by now, I only write about products that I really love and think that you, the readers, can benefit from as well. So please, share this with your friends and support these wonderful artists, as they do deserve at least a shout out for their hard work. *
All images that are credited as '©Detail Movement', are done by Raluca Vaduva for Detail Movement. All rights reserved. All pictures that are not my own, I credit them to the best of my knowledge & research, to their online sources. I do not claim ownership over them in any way.