This Spring, Ulla Johnson Fashion Evokes Vintage Rugs
Over the past few years, we have been seeing more and more runway designs pop up that are inspired by folk art and arts and crafts of cultures around the world. Just like rugs, tapestries, and textiles, these pieces are created with love and represent the different people who made them. One of the designers whose designs have been very rug reminiscent lately is Ulla Johnson. Her runway pieces have been reminding us of the motifs, patterns, and styles in some of our favorite vintage rugs. Let’s explore her style and inspiration, as well as some of her rug-esque pieces.
Ulla Johnson and Her Inspiration
New York based fashion designer Ulla Johnson has been slowly and steadily growing her business since 2000. Over the past five years, her designs and popularity have blown up, and she is now a well known designer. Her pieces are sold at major fashion retailers and worn by celebrities. She’s also a regular on the runways at New York Fashion Week. Anyone with an interest in fashion would recognize her name, and she worked hard to make it that way.
Ulla Johnson designs are notoriously polished and chic, yet incorporate a handmade, artsy feel. The daughter of immigrants from the former Yugoslavia, she is a supporter of ethnic harmony and connection. Much of her soft clothing is meticulously hand designed and sourced by artisans anywhere from Peru to India. Her biggest inspiration is tribal, cultural folk art and her runway designs reflect that. Japanese shibori techniques mix with Dutch wax prints, next to recycled glass jewelry and hand-beaded bags from Africa. Plaids loomed in India meet seashell embellishments and embroidery that looks hand-done.
Vintage Rugs Reflected in Ulla Johnson Designs
If you haven’t already made the connection, the arts that inspire Ulla Johnson designs are incredibly similar to the local weaving arts in so many countries across the world. The first similarity is that, of course, both ready to wear fashion pieces and vintage rugs and embroideries are both textiles. Johnson draws her inspiration directly from the individual techniques and symbols of these different cultures, and brings them all together in a cultural melting pot in her fashion designs.
Ulla Johnson’s designs are heavy in arts and crafts. She favors bright color and bold, geometric patterns. Her clothing uses many of the same materials seen in the rug and tapestry world. Her most recent collection for spring of 2020 used ikat textiles, quilted cotton inspired by Panama’s mola textiles, and patchwork stripes inspired by the Seminole Tribes.
One of the most popular designers to currently be producing, Ulla Johnson is unique and creative in her spin on classic, cultural patterns and motifs. Browse some of the rugs and textiles below that are similar to the ones that inspired these styles, and see if you can spot the similarities.