Olivia J Holland

Olivia Holland grew up in South London, fascinated by art, and dreaming of becoming a fashion designer.

Olivia completed an Art foundation course at Camberwell College Of Arts and then went on to Chelsea College Of Art and Design to study BA (HONS) Textile Design, where she specialised in Knitwear and graduated with a First.

A year and a half after graduating (a period in which she saved diligently and managed to purchase her own industrial knitting machine) she was accepted to Cockpit Arts on the Cockpit Arts/Haberdashers award and moved her home studio into Cockpit Arts Deptford where she continues to be based.

As a designer Olivia is constantly growing and developing her work. Her work is inspired by the world around her: the people she surrounds herself with and the places she visits.

Olivia has always loved taking photographs and making art. In her spare time, she makes large-scale paintings, drawings and collages, which in turn inform her textile design work.

Olivia begins with colour before developing the pattern or structure of any of her designs. Her colour palettes develop organically, drawn from what she sees around her and hues captured in her photographs. Olivia finds that this the most effective way to create a unique and beautiful colour palette.

Once she has her colours, Olivia draws from her photos, taking shapes and lines that she finds in the images and playing about with them to create patterns.

The main stage of her design process is done on her knitting machine. Olivia tests out combining techniques, yarns and colour combinations to try and translate into the fabric the aesthetic and shapes found in her photos and drawings.

These ideas evolve over time, get refined, and get scaled up in order to create her final designs for the collection.

Olivia’s textiles aim to challenge pre-conceptions of the aesthetic of knitwear, whilst being detailed, luxurious and full of colour.