New York Fashion Week Inspiration at Your Fingertips

Getting the latest trends and inspiration from the runways —and on the street— during New York Fashion Week (Feb 9 – 16) is as easy as checking your favorite social media platform. Look for the hashtag #NYFW to search for new people and brands to follow.

If you want to see the new styles that emerge during Fashion Week, check out our list that includes some of our fashion insider faves for Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat.

Instagram: The freshest looks and many of the best candid style moments are on Instagram. Here are a few people and brands to check out.New York Fashion Week Inspiration at Your Fingertips














Twitter: New styles and trends are often mentioned first on Twitter during Fashion Week. Here are a few to check out.












Snapchat: You’ll find many of your favorite models, celebs and brands sharing a behind-the-scenes view of shows–and how they get ready for the runway and unwind after. Here are a few on Snapchat to check out:

@doublegiforce (Gigi Hadid)

Facebook: Photos, runway videos, and announcements by the designers appear on Facebook. Check out your favorite designers on Facebook first. (You can find the complete listing of designer shows here.) Then hop on over to Facebook for a few of the fashion insider pages including:







A few websites worth checking out…

The complete schedule for NYFW shows are listed here. You can watch the shows live here. Of course the official website NYFW brand is on all the social media platforms, but Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat are the ones to check out first.

Want to know what to wear to fashion week? POPSUGAR has a great Fashion Week page on its website with tips and trends. You can even download an app devoted to Fashion Week on iTunes.

Pattern Observer will be sharing our favorite NYFW moments on our Pinterest board. Check out the latest trends, patterns, color palettes, inspiration and more here.


This post was written by Pattern Observer team member Chris Olson. Chris is a Colorado-based illustrator and surface designer known for her modern playful illustrations and designs that you can view at She writes and sketches about all things design at her Pattern Bliss blog. You can follow Chris on Instagram at @Chris_Coco_Olson









3 Ways to Overcome Digital Artwork Frustration

Digital Tools Pattern Observer2Diving into the creative process with paints, charcoals, pencils, or other mediums is one of the most rewarding parts of our craft.

This creative freedom is exciting and liberating, which is the opposite of how many designers feel when they begin using Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. Because the digital design process is so different you feel like your creativity comes to a screeching halt as you enter the world of small boxes (pixels) and the selector tool (the arrow).

You may be thinking, why should I have to learn Illustrator or Photoshop? There’s a good reason why.

In today’s textile design market, both clients and printers are requesting digital artwork. If you are unfamiliar with these programs it’s natural that you may feel that your hands are tied and you’re unable to take your artwork to the next level. You want to deliver great results for clients and buyers—all while maintaining sanity and a smile. Every designer who has gone through this process gets it!

Are you ready to accept that it is important to use Illustrator and Photoshop? But not ready to deal with the frustrations of finding your digital groove? Here are three problems and solutions that may help you. I know they helped me, and made a huge difference in my outlook and the outcome of my efforts.

1. You are forcing yourself to use the wrong program.

Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator are both fabulous programs for creating and editing digital artwork; however, almost every artist does prefer one program over the other. It’s human nature to have preferences, even with technology. Likewise, it’s human nature to resist technology we don’t fully understand.
Painters and fine artists with a looser, more organic style tend to be drawn to Photoshop.
Those artists who are more technical tend to be drawn to Illustrator.
Neither choice is wrong. Both programs serve a purpose and assist in creating amazing digital work for clients and buyers. So, take a moment to reflect on your current “go-to” program and evaluate if it’s perhaps time to switch things up and try something new.

2. You don’t understand what all the tools are, much less how to use them.

There’s an old saying that sums this frustration up perfectly: “You don’t know what you don’t know!” What an appropriate saying, one which applies to using digital artwork programs such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. These programs are robust and powerful, which is great when you know your options and have mastered the techniques and tools they offer. But…if you don’t know what tools or options are available to use it can be a frustrated experience. The best way to overcome this frustration is to make sure you receive the proper training to help you learn how to use the tools that help you do your job better. It turns a potentially frustrating experience into a fabulous one.

3. You feel out of control.

When you don’t know which tools will work best for you the software will guide you off of how it’s programmed. Why not know the software and improve your process and experience? Many artists find that they lose their style and creative vision while working in programs they don’t fully understand. Learn the digital tools of your digital trade and avoid the software dictating the flow of your designs. This is all in your control!

Are you ready to up your digital game? Your artistic style and creative spirit does not have to be inhibited by software or the digital art world. These two different places can merge into an amazing collaborative effort.

Your voices and concerns have been heard by Pattern Observer. This is why we’re so excited to introduce a free course about Adobe Photoshop. Find out the details here:

You’re on the cusp of growing as a designer by knowing how to use the tools in the Photoshop program. We’re so excited to help. Get started here.





Found Color Palette: Pink and Green Plants

FoundPatterns_PatternObserver31Images via: (clockwise from top left)  “Pink and Green Coleus” by Lori L. Stalteri “Pink and green” by Quinn Dombrowski (cropped from original),  “Striped shirt” by Quinn Dombrowski “pink” by Robyn Jay (cropped from original),  “flowers, green pink white” by Lisa Yarost (cropped from original),  “a pink leaf” by A of DooM (cropped from original),  “Flower and leaf” by Quinn Dombrowski (cropped from original),  “Echeveria ‘Victor Reiter‘”  by Seán A. O’Hara (cropped from original),  “Yellow on pink” by Quinn Dombrowski (cropped from original)

10 Reasons You Should be Taking Surface Pattern Design Mastery

I know you’re busy. With so much on your plate, it can feel challenging to achieve mastery in any one thing; especially pattern design. Surface Pattern Design MasteryThat’s why I am excited to share an upcoming course developed for artists, designers and illustrators who want to learn how to quickly develop eye-catching surface pattern designs.

In the Surface Pattern Design Mastery course you’ll:

  1. Speed up your design process,
  2. Discover new ways to get inspired,
  3. Find inspiration to improve your design process,
  4. Download professional design templates,
  5. Watch comprehensive video tutorials,
  6. Learn from step-by-step instruction,
  7. Complete assignments to help you grow your portfolio,
  8. Build confidence in your design skills,
  9. Create eye-catching presentations,
  10. Have a chance to be featured on the Pattern Observer blog and social media

In the past it has taken years to understand why some pattern layouts work and how to develop a process to quickly develop eye-catching artwork. In Surface Pattern Design Mastery you are going to speed up your ability to create the impact you want with your patterns so you can get them out there sooner. Plus, they’ll be better than ever, certainly as superb as your sketches, paintings, and illustrations.

Surface Pattern Design Mastery is a 6-week course which can be purchased a la carte for $79 or it can be accessed for free through our Textile Design Lab. Grab your spot here.

Don’t deny yourself this excellent way to become a Surface Pattern Design Master!















Interview with Kat Karnaky, Guest Expert for January in the Textile Design Lab

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We are thrilled to introduce our first guest expert of the year in the Textile Design Lab, the multi-talented Kat Karnaky! Not only is Kat an in-house textile designer for Williams-Sonoma Home, she also keeps two side businesses running to feed her passion for textile design. We can’t wait to share Kat’s guest expert training on designing for home textiles later this month in the Lab (this training will be available exclusively to Textile Design Lab members–join here to gain access!) Today we invite you to learn more about this inspiring designer in the interview below. Enjoy!


Please tell us a bit about your design background and career path. What drew you to the world of textile design and designing for home decor in particular?

I went to CCA, California College of Arts in Oakland, CA where I graduated with my BA in Textile Design. Right after school, I did an apprenticeship at The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, PA. Once I came back, I attended College of Alameda, where I graduated with my AA in Fashion Design and, I worked various jobs for local hat makers, fashion designers and even taught art to children. Eventually, I felt it was time to go to grad school and I enrolled at Philadelphia University, in Philadelphia, PA and worked at the Fabric Workshop as a Print Fellow and Part-time Apprentice Coordinator. I took an internship at Anthropologie and designed prints for the wovens department which led me to a full time position after I graduated. I worked at Anthropologie for a while and then with a few friends, left to start ANONA, a print studio that sold original designs and vintage to the industry.  I left the studio to go back to California so my husband could attend grad school. I started working at Pottery Barn and eventually moved to Williams-Sonoma Home. There I create the prints for bedding, pillows, rugs and decorative accessories. I also have a side business which I work with my sister on. I have an 8.5-yard table where I hand screen the fabrics and then my sister who is a fashion designer/tailor makes and sews the dresses. It is called Miss KK Sister, My new other side business is called, Baby Cats of California,  I also hand print fabric for 0-2 year old children on organic cottons with dyes and pigments with my original designs. All labors of love but well worth it.

Anthro work

Kat’s work done for Anthropologie

Can you tell us a bit about your position as a full time textile designer for Williams-Sonoma Home? What do your responsibilities include? What are your favorite parts of your job?

At Williams-Sonoma Home, I am responsible for creating original designs, recoloring existing or purchased designs, putting prints into repeat, keeping track of the freelancers and their work flow, working with cross functional departments and keeping them up to date with our work flow and of course keeping the printers working!

My favorite part of the job is the people I work with. I have been really blessed to have fun, creative and passionate people around me. I can’t work somewhere where there is too much drama or lack of respect for one another. Seeing my work online, in a house or on someone is a close second. Nothing makes me happier than someone loving what you do.

What do you feel makes a successful print for home decor, or what considerations do you keep in mind when designing for this market?

I would say obviously sales tell you what is successful but for me it has to be a print design that is timeless and will stay with you in your home or closet for a long time, something that you will cherish and will make you happy when you see it.



Miss KK Sister, Hands That Gather Collection


What are your go-to sources for design inspiration? Any books, websites, design tools, or other resources you would recommend?

I love fashion and home magazines like Lula, British Vogue, W, Cabana, Selvedge, Hali, Elle Décor and Apartamento. I also like to look at the runway fashion shows for inspiration. Instagram, is a wonderful snapshot of our lives and homes, there are so many inspiring people on there nowadays. For books, I like the retrospectives of fashion icons, like Iris Apfel, Zandra Rhodes and the Ziegfeld Follies along with other randoms that I pick up at the flea market or used book stores.



Who are your design heroes (past or present)? What about them inspires you or influences your work?

Celia Birtwell for her style and fashion. Zandra Rhodes for her crazy prints. Raoul Dufy for his timeless designs, composition and color sense. Currently, there are a few fashion designers that are killing it in prints and color, like Gucci, Valentino and the Japanese fashion designers.

Baby Cats of California

Baby Cats of California

What would you consider to be your most proud achievement or greatest success so far in your design career? What are your goals for the future?

We had a concept for Anthropologie and we were missing a few prints for the season. My boss was away and I went and looked at the concept boards and thought up a print. The next day, I showed it to her and she liked it and made no real changes to it. It eventually became pajama pants and sold really well.

This is dorky too but seeing my prints on people. I once saw a girl wearing a cat print I did for Anthro and got so excited I went up to her and told her. She was nice and we both laughed together. I think that sometimes people forget that someone had to make the print they are wearing.

My ultimate goal would be to have my own line, which I am doing, but to do it full time. Right now, I work on it after I get home when the baby is asleep. It’s a tough schedule to keep up with but it is something that I feel passionate about. I also like teaching textile design and would like to do my own take on the Fabric Workshop with long 25 yard tables. Let’s hope for good things in 2017!


Screen Shot 2016-11-20 at 3.52.28 PMWhat have been some of the challenges you have faced throughout your design career and how have you overcome them? 

My biggest challenge is to get into the customer’s mind and know what they want and what they don’t know they want until they see it. Whatever job you do in the industry, you have to figure out who the customer is and it’s not always that easy. There are trends, regionalism and even the weather that makes a customer not buy something. It’s always amazing to me when something sells but there are so many factors as to why. To try and overcome this, I talk to the people in the companies that work with customers all the time, like PR, Merchants and Buyers, they can give you their spin on why it sold or didn’t. Also, I visit the retail stores to get to know the customer. This is constant homework but well worth it in the end.


What advice have you received in your career that has stayed with you or influenced you? Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring designers trying to build successful careers of their own?

You have to work hard for what you want. I am sure you have heard that but it’s true, no one is going to hand you a job or an opportunity if you don’t have anything to show for it. Even if you are just starting out, make tons of prints, find your voice and style and have something ready when someone asks for it. Opportunities come at strange times and having something to show will help you out. Practice! Keep in the habit of drawing, designing and working on the computer. You need to be versatile and constantly improve yourself. And lastly, be passionate and excited about your work. It shows and people pick up on that.

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At Pattern Observer we strive to help you grow your textile design business through our informative articles, interviews, tutorials, workshops and private design community, The Textile Design Lab.