When it comes to trying new things, we here at Consort are less "dip our toes in" kind of people, and more like full-sprint "cannonball" types. So when we decided to launch a fabric by the yard program, we knew we wanted to make a splash.
To do so, we sought to enlist the power of an artistic collaborator, someone with intimate knowledge of the textile space and a strong design vision that aligned with the Consort sensibility.
Enter: Caroline Cecil.
We stumbled upon Caroline's Instagram feed one day while on our daily hunt for inspiration, and it was love at first sight. We were immediately smitten by Caroline's textiles; they had the playful sense of pattern, sophisticated approach to color, and clear commitment to quality we were seeking.
We wasted no time in joining forces, and have since introduced Caroline's handprinted fabrics by the yard, as pillows, and on custom Consort upholstery. We also collaborated on creating an all-new Sage colorway, available exclusively through Consort.
Scroll below to meet Caroline, uncover her artistic process, and discover more reasons why we fell in love:
Consort: What part of the creative process excites you the most?
Caroline Cecil: My obsession with the creative process runs deep and when I’m in the midst of designing a collection I completely immerse myself in it. My favorite element of the creative process is how it twists and turns—beginning with initial visual direction to paintings to reworking things in the computer and exploring colorways. Everything in my collection is hand printed in California, and I very much consider the production process to be part of the creative process. Hand printed textiles are infused with so much vibrancy compared to mass produced fabrics. The texture, the way they smell, the color—everything becomes elevated.
C: What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have?
CC: Journaling, painting, cooking and exercise are a big part of the routines that keep me energized, positive and creative! As an artist I love working with my hands, so cooking and baking come naturally to me and are a great stress reliever. I’m also a huge fan of the Dailey Method, the barre fitness class. It helps me refocus and keep sane during the craziest of weeks running Caroline Cecil Textiles.
C: What inspired you to start your own fabric line?
CC: I grew up in a small coastal town in Maine—my grandmother was a professional watercolor artist and taught me how to paint from a young age. She also had an amazing collection of historic French and Italian textiles from her travels and her home was filled with the most gorgeous and inspiring pattern and color. Also, my father was an entrepreneur and was a pioneer in the travel industry, so his influence led to my interest in entrepreneurship.
After getting my degree in Textiles and Graphic Design from MICA and Parsons, I spent 10 years working in the corporate textile design industry before launching my own line. Most recently, before launching Caroline Cecil Textiles, I worked in Silicon Valley as the Design Director for two start-ups where I had the chance to dive headfirst into how to build a brand from the ground-up, manage production, marketing, etc.
A big part of running Caroline Cecil Textiles is managing the logistics and coordinating production and always, always trying to identify ways to optimize the business as we grow. I LOVE the creative component of being a textile designer and creating new collections, and I also LOVE digging into the nuts and bolts of the business-end of running a company. It’s this mix of loving both the left and right brained activities that led me to want to start my own fabric line. It’s endlessly creative, while also challenging and I find the rollercoaster invigorating and inspiring.
C: What was your inspiration behind the patterns in this collection?
CC: Our newest collection, BALINESIA, was inspired by the plant life, iconography and textiles of the Southern Pacific Islands. It’s a part of the world that is overflowing with rich color, pattern and shapes. At the start of the collection I created our lookbook or inspiration bible which includes inspiration imagery, color palettes, keywords…the general direction. This type of creative exploration really helps me focus in and establish some helpful guidelines before diving deep into artwork development. BALINESIA’s color inspiration came from some of the emerging trends I’d been watching in interiors—Midnight Blue, Copper Peach (Millennial Pink) and Teal. These colors, while being “on trend,” also have the staying power of classics.
C: What's your favorite pattern in the new line?
CC: KETUT is my favorite pattern in the collection. It’s made up of very small dots that make up larger diamonds; it’s a very complicated pattern that looks deceptively simple. I gravitate towards KETUT because it’s more of a texture print and has a lovely fade effect when seen from a distance.
C: In what kind of space do you envision your fabrics?
CC: The beauty of designing fabrics is that they can be integrated into a variety of different chic interiors. Our more bold, graphic prints such as BRIDGE / Black works beautifully in a clean, predominantly black and white space. BERLIAN, KETUT, or TITIK look gorgeous as upholstered pieces or draperies or pillows and can flex between complimenting a more boho space abundant with plants and indigo textiles, or a more minimal space that celebrates simplicity.
C: What other artists inspire you?
CC: Robert Motherwell, De Kooning, and the textile greats like Anni Albers, William Morris, and Florence Broadhurst. I also recently purchased a photograph from Gia Coppola whose work I think is really provocative and interesting. She recently collaborated with the new Creative Director at Gucci, Alessandro Michele, who I'm also a big fan of, and I'm a proud owner of one of the photographs from their collaboration. At the start of my career I worked in the Chelsea art gallery scene in New York, so I've always had an appreciation for the curation of art in my own home.
C: What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
CC: We live less than a mile from the beach in LA and since I grew up in coastal Maine I love a good coastline. I also love going to museums and art galleries with friends, exploring LA, painting, journaling, traveling, cooking. My toy Pomeranian Taos is a keystone in my social life; he’s 5 lbs of blonde fluff and has a huge personality. I’m also a nail art fanatic and spend time every few weeks getting my nails done at Two Brown Eyed Girls in West LA. Believe it or not you can be an artist, cook a lot, AND have nice nails—just make sure you get gels, ladies ;)
C: What 3 songs are on your personal soundtrack?
CC: There are so many amazing emerging artists on the music scene. My personal taste leans towards minimalist pop electronica. A few current faves:
C: If you were a crayon, what color would you be and why?
CC: Do they make a Millennial Pink crayon? If not, Crayola needs to get on that. Yes, I know that most Millennials don’t buy crayons...ooh, what about glitter crayons? OK, bad question to ask a color obsessive, lol. I could go on forever generating new ideas for crayon colors.
CC: Chocolate croissants and hot chocolate at the Paris Ritz.
C: Piece you sold?
CC: When I was getting my degree in textile design I created a collection of immersion dyed, hand painted silks in a range of soft pastel pink and salmon colors. All of the dyes were mixed from scratch by myself, and the whole process was very labor intensive but the end result was soft and romantic and beautiful. The first textile piece I sold was from that collection.
CC: Valentine's Day, 2nd grade.
CC: 1998 Cadillac DeVille which was basically like riding around in a big couch on wheels. After that it was a vintage Mercedes coupe (SWOON!!!! … minus the breakdowns and none of the parts are being manufactured). We have an SUV now—my husband is much more practical, hahah, he’s been a good influence. Also, fabric rolls didn’t fit in my vintage Mercedes, definitely a downside that my husband pointed out early on :)
C: Phone call?
CC: To my fabric suppliers in Belgium talking about some new gorgeous grounds to print on for our next collection. I’m planning a trip to Belgium this late summer/fall to see the manufacturing process first hand. Stay tuned on Instagram @CCTEXTILES to see the magic unfold.
CC: Homemade kale enchiladas with black beans, avocado and some hot sauce I picked up in New Orleans.
C: Time you were drunk?
CC: On that same trip to New Orleans where I got the hot sauce. The cocktails there are so divine, I simply couldn’t help myself!
CC: Two weekends ago when we went to New Orleans. Where we got the hot sauce.
C: Emoji you used?
CC: Chili pepper emoji 🌶️