Sight Unseen commissions Memphis-influenced
print collection

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Sight Unseen and Print All Over Me collection

New York 2014: American magazine Sight Unseen asked designers to add bold prints to fashion and furniture designs using digital customisation company Print All Over Me.

Sight Unseen and Print All Over Me collection
This image: t-shirt and leggings on female model print by Saskia Pomeroy, shirt on male model by Damien Correll and chair by Fort Standard with print by Damien Correll. Main image: shirt print by Saskia Pomeroy and chair by Eric Trine with print by Dusen Dusen

The collaboration between Sight Unseen and Print All Over Me for the magazine's New York exhibition earlier this month resulted in a collection of prints that harked back to early 1990s fashion.

Sight Unseen and Print All Over Me collection
T-shirt print by Saskia Pomeroy

"The big comment we got was 'oh, this reminds me of [TV show] Saved By the Bell'," said Jesse Finkelstein, who founded Print All Over Me with his sister Meredith.

Sight Unseen and Print All Over Me collection
Dress print by Saskia Pomeroy and chair by Fort Standard with print by Damien Correll

Print All Over Me's digital printing service allows anyone to upload any graphic they chose, and have it printed onto white garments and accessories.

Sight Unseen and Print All Over Me collection
Dress print by Saskia Pomeroy

For this project, designers created patterns for garments and furniture pieces that were printed onto fabric and upholstery using the service.

Sight Unseen and Print All Over Me collection
Shirt print by Damien Correll

The bold colours and strong graphics used for the prints and the styling of the photoshoot are reminiscent of those used by members of 1980s and 1990s Italian design movement Memphis.

Sight Unseen and Print All Over Me collection
Shirt print by Damien Correll

"Memphis was definitely a unifying theme amongst the prints, and I think this speaks generally to a nostalgia," Finkelstein told Dezeen. "We're obviously seeing a 1990s moment in fashion, but its references are a bit more tech and future inspired. The group of prints shown at Sight Unseen represent a similar touchstone but far less ominous."

Sight Unseen and Print All Over Me collection
Shirt print by Louie Rigano

The same influence could be seen in a number of projects across the Sight Unseen Offsite exhibition and the style was back in favour at Milan design week last month.

Sight Unseen and Print All Over Me collection
Shirt, bomber jacket, leggings and dress prints by Louie Rigano, and bean bag print by Will Bryant

"Memphis is clearly back and I feel that while the furniture and industrial design community has been ready to embrace, fashion has lagged, which is interesting because I often feel that fashion tends to be the trend driver," Finkelstein commented.

"Promoting this aesthetic wasn't our intention, however, by virtue of working with a lot of designers that create textiles and materials for home, I think we were tapping into that current."

Sight Unseen and Print All Over Me collection
T-shirt print by Saskia Pomeroy

Designers Camille Walala, Louie Rigano and Saskia Pomeroy were asked to apply all-over prints to bomber jackets, dresses, T-shirts, backpacks and other clothing. Brooklyn studio Snarkitecture also created a range of prints for garments.

Sight Unseen and Print All Over Me collection
Shirt and backpack prints by Louie Rigano and chair by Eric Trine with print by Dusen Dusen

Seattle designer Erich Ginder modified his faceted Dot/Dash lamp to display a digital illustration by Santtu Mustonen and Will Bryant created a series of beanbag chairs.

Sight Unseen and Print All Over Me collection
Dress print by Saskia Pomeroy and chair by Fort Standard with print by Damien Correll

Graphic designer Damien Correll created a squiggly blue pattern printed onto the leather sling seat of a new wooden chair by Brooklyn brand Fort Standard, while fashion designer Ellen Van Dusen lent one of her colourful geometric prints to four new outdoor seats by Eric Trine.

Sight Unseen and Print All Over Me collection
Shirt by Saskia Pomeroy

Finkelstein believes that the resurgence of bolder prints is driving simpler shapes in clothes themselves – something he dubs the "Instagram effect" – which will eventually influence furniture design.

Sight Unseen and Print All Over Me collection
Bomber jacket print by Camille Walala

"The Instagram effect is very real," said Finkelstein. "There's clearly a flattening of design, where prints are becoming responsible for dimension and scale. So in fashion shapes are becoming simpler, and the prints are driving much of the visual interest and I would imagine that this will also have an affect on home and furniture design as well."

Sight Unseen and Print All Over Me collection
Chair by Eric Trine with print by Dusen Dusen

The collection was shown at the Sight Unseen Offsite exhibition during New York design week – see our pick of the designers and studios from the event.

Sight Unseen and Print All Over Me collection
Chair by Fort Standard with print by Damien Correll