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A Tour de Force

Announcing our third-annual designer of the year: Elodie Blanchard

01.02.2018

Elodie Blanchard’s award-winning designs for HBF Textiles are just a sampling of what the French artist and designer has created over the course of her impressive career.  Photography by Diego Bazan Working artwork for the Scribble XS design from HBF Textiles’ award-winning Raw Materials collection, here in red, led to the final product seen on the following upholstered ottomans.  Photography by The Scribble XS design from HBF Textiles’ award-winning Raw Materials collection, shown on upholstered ottomans.  Photography by Sally Fanjoy; courtesy of HBF. Samplings of Italian wool. In addition to designing, Blanchard has a knack for styling product photography and color consulting. Blanchard's studio in Brooklyn.  Photography by Christina Paige. Sketches for the Scribble XL collection.  Photography by Elodie Blanchard. A Chair upholstered in Sideways by HBF.  Photography by Sally Fanjoy; courtesy of HBF. Blanchard with Sideways samples in the HBF showroom in Manhattan.   Photography by Diego Bazan. Blanchard with Sideways samples in the HBF showroom in Manhattan.   Photography by Sally Fanjoy; Courtesy of HBF. The designer’s larger than-life Growing Out of Scraps “tree” sculptures.  Photography by Michelle Arcila. Blanchard makes one of-a-kind cuffs from parachute cord with embroidered and appliquéd accents. The fabric used is recycled from her studio. The cuffs are available for sale on her website.

Reflecting on some of her most beloved work throughout her career, Blanchard noted that she considers the element of timelessness in commercial textiles, keeping product relevant for years to come. In addition to a statement piece in every collection, the bulk “would be elegant and simple. When I design textile drapes or fiber art, I think about the space and its special needs like privacy, acoustics, etc.”

Her original art projects, on the other hand, are more creative, with less regard of how people will see or utilize a creation. “I just have fun,” she said. “I don’t think
about what people are going to think, if it should be beautiful or fit somewhere—I just make stuff. I will decide to create a forest and make the trees with no plan. It’s dream time. It’s more about feeling. Sometimes when I look at [what I’m creating] I wonder why I am even doing this. I just need to do it. It’s pretty much an egotistical practice.”

For those seeking a career in design, Blanchard encourages up-and-comers to experience as much as possible and to take advantage of different opportunities that
may come up, much like she did. “Do different things, don’t think too much, work with your friends, be active. As early as you can, intern and work for a variety of
designers. You can learn from them and in the future collaborate. I did not choose a job; I chose a lifestyle. I think what’s really important to be happy is to know in which environment you want to work and what kind of life you want: a small studio, hands on, large-scale architecture firms, a demanding job that is fast paced—everybody is different. Just listen to yourself. Designers can have all kinds of jobs that fit various personalities and if you are happy doing your job you will likely do better work.”

On the horizon for Blanchard is a partnership with NappaTile, a Concertex company, and an upholstery collection for Fil Doux Textiles. In addition, her original designs will be featured on pillows in guest rooms in the new MOXY hotel in Downtown Manhattan, which is set to open in May 2018. She also hopes to do some work in rug, carpet, or wallpaper design in the near future. “I love to discover new techniques and collaborate with new companies. For me, keeping a balance between [different] kinds of work is the best, as they all inform each other and I don’t get bored.”


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