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Design Q&A with Paula Wallace

08 Mar, 2021

We sat down with Paula Wallace, our Design Director, to discuss homeware trends for autumn and the inspiration behind the latest collection.

I love playing with each new collection and seeing how many different combinations can be put together.

Q: Can you talk us through how the collections take shape?
A: We begin with a few beautiful new prints, inspired by our feelings for the coming season, whether coming out of a cold winter into spring, or leaving the heat of summer to transition into autumn. Our seasonal colour palette will be a combination of some hero colours from the past, with new colour trends woven in to create a new inspirational collection, which still carries the narrative of our Wallace Cotton brand aesthetic.

We adore painterly florals and botanicals, which with modern technology, can be printed to show every beautiful detail while keeping the essence of the design. Seasonal textures and stripes are then included which add some calm to the collection as well as enhancing each printed design. I love playing with each new collection and seeing how many different combinations can be put together with one print, a woven texture, a stripe and white or natural elements. Our talented photographic team bring these combinations to life with amazing inspiring images.

Q: What is your inspiration behind the autumn collection?
A: In autumn the home needs to feel more cosy, as we begin to look inwards. This collection will suitably and beautifully nurture us through the colder months and still unknown times.

Q: What are your favourite pieces from the autumn 2021 range?
A: Night Garden duvet cover with its beautiful hand painted colours. The amber Society quilt in lustrous colour and texture, so soft and sumptuous.

We feel it is our responsibility as textile producers to be sustainable and to minimise wastage in all areas of our business.

Q: As a kiwi business, what challenges have you faced due to Covid19?
A: We spent the first half of the year trying to survive. Then we spent the second half of the year trying to get more stock due to high consumer demand for homeware. We first heard about Covid19 during a regular visit to Heimtextil, a premium textile fair held each year in Frankfurt. It is hard to imagine going there this year, as textile people gather from all over the world.

In April 2020 we closed our stores and tried to forecast what would happen next, meanwhile still working on our Christmas range during lockdown. Our suppliers were thankfully supportive and we managed to push orders out for later delivery instead of cancelling them. As a result, we now have stock arriving weekly – when the port is operating.

Our team have been amazing, everyone leaned in and put everything into ensuring the survival of Wallace Cotton. The biggest surprise was demand from customers, both here and in the UK. This was completely unexpected and wonderful. We spent the end of 2020 trying to expedite the orders that had been pushed out, to make sure we can keep our customers happy in 2021.

Q: Can you tell us a bit about the importance of sustainability at Wallace Cotton?
A: We feel it is our responsibility as textile producers to be sustainable and to minimise wastage in all areas of our business. From the way we design a range, the materials we use, the suppliers we choose, the quantities we order, how we package our products, our emissions to what ends up in the waste paper basket in head office – we are continuously improving every process to become more sustainable.

Q: What bedding and homeware trends are you hoping to see this year?
A: Simple relaxed textiles, sustainable and ethically sourced, are our way forward to ensure our environment is as comfortable as our beds. We will be more thoughtful about where and how our homewares are made, with local design being at the forefront of our focus.

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