LCF Fashion Design Technology alumna Devika Rattu this year saw her design work chosen by the RHS as the logo at the Chelsea Flower Show. Her work was everywhere, covering banners, the official programme, and even all the official merchandise! LCF News caught up with Devika to find out more about her work, her inspirations and how it felt to see her designs on such a large scale.
LCF News: What course did you study at LCF?
Devika: BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology: Surface Textiles for Fashion, Specialising in Print (now BA Fashion Textiles: Print). I graduated in 2013 with a First Class Degree.
LCF News: Why did you choose that course? Why did you choose London College of Fashion?
DR: Whilst completing my A-Levels I was undecided about what I wanted to specialise in at University, so my Art teacher suggested a Foundation Diploma. As LCF offered the course it was my first choice. That year was amazing as we were life drawing every Friday morning, spending time exploring different specialisms from Graphics to Womenswear and during that time I discovered my love for Textiles. Therefore when it came to deciding where and what I wanted to do a degree in, staying at LCF and studying Textiles was one of the easiest decisions I made.
LCF News: Can you tell us about your work with the Chelsea Flower Show and how they ended up using your design as the logo for the event?
DR: In 2013 Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) created a competition for LCF students to create an illustration for a t-shirt to celebrate the 100th year of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. I submitted my designs back in 2013 and at the time I came 3rd place, as they could not envision my artwork on a t-shirt. Then at the start of 2014, they got in touch with me and wanted to use my artwork for the Chelsea 2015 Creative.
LCF News: Can you tell us a bit about the work you submitted?
DR: I submitted a floral illustration of an abstract tulip. Unlike traditional illustrations and paintings my creative process and style is unique. It involves distorting and warping my intricate floral watercolour paintings on Photoshop. I love deconstructing my paintings to such an extent that they are unrecognisable. Combining colours, considering composition and building layers upon layers, I am able to transform my initial paintings into my distinct illustrations.
LCF News: What were the inspirations behind your work?
DR: I use a wealth of resources as inspiration. A key source was reading Horticultural magazines and visiting gardens, my favourites being Kew and Chelsea Physic. I love their ability to capture the essence of nature in its true glory, which I then try to emulate in my own work.
LCF News: We hear the logo was used on lots of different types of merchandise! Can you tell us what these were?
DR: A lot! Mugs, trays, aprons, bags, tea towels, hand towels, biscuit tins, jam jars, pickle jars, jelly jars, sweets wrappers and deckchairs.
LCF News: How does it feel to see your design at such a public event?
DR: Really exciting! I have visited the RHS Chelsea Flower show before so was aware how they use the Creative’s artwork, but seeing my work everywhere and at such a large scale was breath-taking.
As RHS was interested in how I developed my artwork they used the fact that the illustration was made up of layers. They showed the gradual development of how the floral illustration was made by printing each stage of the illustration progressing to the final image, and used those images on long banners throughout the show.
LCF News: What’s next for your future career?
DR: I am continuing to create illustrations! So far I have been designing scarves and prints which are available to purchase via my website. Currently I am in the process of making greeting cards and I shall be selling then soon on my website which is devikarattu.com.