T&A Designs For The Rolling Stones: Exhibitionism
Head of design Dean Gomilsek-Cole talks us through T&A's new collection for The Rolling Stones' new exhibit at the Saatchi Gallery.
When we were first approached to be involved with the collaboration for Exhibitionism, I wanted to make sure the products we were creating would bring something unique to their collection.
I was given access to a huge archive of thousands of pieces of stones imagery, from album covers to tour posters and unseen photography - as a personal fan of the group it was a lot to take in. I wanted to do the band, and their fans, justice by producing some new memorabilia, while at the same time showcasing the great British design innovation that Turnbull & Asser is famous for.
The selection of images that first caught my eye were the vintage photographs of ticket stubs – this may have seemed an unexpected choice as a starting point but I loved the idea of turning these memories into wearable artwork. The colours, locations and dates really resonated with me, it was almost as if I could instantly capture the anticipation of thousands of fans over the decades.
I selected about 12 different ticket stubs and reconstructed them into a pattern, which we then set about weaving for ties and printing for pocket squares; the result is very interesting and for any fans it would be an exciting part of Stones history.
Later I started to look for familiar elements from some of the album covers but without lazily regurgitating ideas. I started to look at what the guys were wearing back in the late 60s and 70s as inspiration and found Mick Jagger wearing a silk shirt by Mr Fish - an ex-employee of Turnbull & Asser.
After getting some period inspiration, things stared to take shape; the scary figure on the Voodoo Lounge cover became an abstract paisley, a silhouette of Jagger from a 1972 American tour poster was flipped and mirrored to create a pocket square, while Exile on Main St became a repeat pattern for a one-of-a-kind smoking jacket. Balancing bold with classic, even the famous ‘licks’ logo underwent a neon makeover before being placed on some exquisite silk scarves - the type I imagined any of the Stones would have worn exiting Tramp nightclub on Jermyn Street.
To stay true to T&A’s values all of our products have been woven, printed and made in England, and we are very proud to have been asked to work with such an iconic British band.
As for the future, we still have a number of ideas up our sleeves and are talking with the Rolling Stones’ team to discuss designing exclusive products for each country the Exhibitionism exhibit visits. As both a designer and a collector it has been a great experience.
The Rolling Stones: Exhibitionism is on at the Saatchi Gallery and runs from 5th April until 4th September 2016.