A love of the bright, bold and beautiful textiles of the 60's and 70's together with a skilled eye for pulling a look together has placed Tamara Watts well and truly in the retro spotlight. We are really excited to have Tamara with us in a couple of weeks at the St Kilda show.
How did Retro Print Revival come about Tamara?
About five years ago, I held an exhibition of vintage fabrics stretched over canvasses. Almost as afterthought, I made a lampshade to go with an old lamp base I’d found, and put in it the exhibition as well. It totally stole the show, and Retro Print Revival was born!
What is your background?
I studied Visual Merchandising at RMIT, and worked in the industry for over five years, both freelancing and for Country Road as a Visual Merchandiser/Stylist. The transition to full-time lamp creation only happened about two years ago after completing the NEIS Scheme in early 2010.
First childhood memory of yourself as a creative person ...
As a young girl, I would create scenery collages, cutting out fabric people, horses, houses and trees and sewing them onto a background. I wonder if my mum still has them folded away in the linen cupboard!
Who are your style icons – furnishings and fashion?
I admire the beautiful nature inspired and geometric designs of Florence Broadhurst wallpapers and fabrics. My wardrobe is full to the brim of Twiggy (although I don’t have her frame) and Edie Sedgwick style outfits. Anything vintage, bold, sparkly, a mini, or a maxi, I’ll wear it!
doe eyed 1960's model Twiggy and the original "it" girl Edie Sedgwick
You have had great PR – any tips for new starters
I’ve been very lucky. Newspapers and magazines have always approached me to do features, I haven’t had to be too aggressive with my media presence. My advice to up-and-comers is: try and find a unique market that nobody else is doing, you’ll find it a hard road if you’re just churning out the same stuff as everybody else. Make sure your website is eye-catching and up-to-date, a good online presence is cheap or free and could gain you attention around the globe!
Tamara's gorgeous website at www.retroprintrevival.com
Where do you source all of these amazing retro lamp bases?
That’s my biggest secret! It’s taken me two years, but I finally have managed to find some wonderful sources for great lamp bases and fabrics.
Have you had a favourite lamp?
I’ve just released a new line of Danish-inspired Rocket Lamps, they are really special and hard to come across these days. I have a carpenter make legs for them out of Mountain Ash and Oregon. I then varnish them in teak, make the shades in vintage fabrics and put them together. I really love these lamps, and I’m hoping that they “take off” at Magnolia Square! …Sorry.
Danish inspired rocket lamps
How do you get around a creative blockA cup of tea solves everything.
What are you listening to on your ipod?I’m teaching myself Martha by Tom Waits on the piano, so I’ve been listening to it on repeat for weeks!
Find out more
website | www.retroprintrevial.com
contact | Tamara Watts
email | firstname.lastname@example.org