• Claire Barnard

Orla Kiely exhibition with my design twin

On a hot summery day at the end of June in London town, I met fellow pattern designer and now firm friend Claire Elsworth (my Claire twin) for the first time in real life! That sounds a bit weird and a bit like 'blind date' but after 'meeting' each other a few years ago on our first module with the fabulous Make it in Design courses and sharing many a late night designing session completing oodles of briefs, we decided it was time to meet in person. And what better place than the Orla Kiely exhibition in London.

Claire has blogged about it over on her website and totally covers everything in such great detail and has some brilliant photos - take a read here . I can only add to her account by saying what a great afternoon it was! We chatted non-stop about everything from patterns, sketches, kids, travels, colours, work, family and our aspirations and we were both wonderfully inspired by Orla Kiely's design work - who knew she'd designed quite so many handbags! The highlight of the exhibition for me were the giant dresses and coats, the scale-up of the patterns were incredible. The highlight of the afternoon was the fabulous healthy but tasty, bright and great value lunch we had in a little cafe opposite. But the real highlight of the whole day was meeting CE in person. We found out a lot about each other in the few hours we spent - we're very similar in sooooo many ways, both Aquarians, both mums of similar age kids, both passionate about creating and both on our own exciting adventure in the design world. We really encouraged other, gave hints and tips and are definitely keeping this up in the future.

We're very grateful for the MIID courses for bringing us together - as well as meeting loads of other like minded creatives virtually too. We're both doing the Summer School which starts next week and we get to be design buddies again! Yay!

Follow our progress here: www.instagram.com/clairebarnarddesigns


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