Long before artist Tanya Ling was renowned for her dreamy, elegant fashion illustrations, which have appeared everywhere from Louis Vuitton collections to ad campaigns for brands such as Selfridges, she was a designer, working with Christian Lacroix among others. And her latest project, a collaboration collection with cashmere specialist Queene and Belle, brings her full circle, fusing her recent paintings with fashion in the most fresh and modern way.
Cosy intarsia funnelnecks (£854, first picture) in antique white are adorned with Ling’s dynamic line paintings in ultramarine or black. Cashmere wraps (£896, second picture) or roomy sweatshirts (£868) are variations on the same theme. All the limited-edition pieces are made to order in the Scottish Borders. “There’s something beautifully romantic about these hand intarsias and having to wait for them,” muses Ling, “this fusion of something so artisanal with high tech.” The high tech that she refers to is her Instagram account (Tanya_Ling) – a vivid, ever-changing tableau of her work and life that has not only gained devoted followers, but also inspired the collection.
“I had been following Tanya’s work on Instagram for quite some time and was completely inspired and intrigued by her art,” says Queene and Belle founder Angela Bell. “I loved the way she approached the collaboration as an extension of her artwork; she seemed to instantly connect with the cashmere as a new medium to depict her amazing ‘Ling Lines’.”
The fluid progression from painting to product is, of course, nothing new. As Ling points out, it’s something that artists such as William Morris or Sonia Delaunay did effortlessly throughout their careers. And just like them, she sees the beauty and gravitas in both. “There’s a real privilege in making things,” adds Ling. “And a poetry too.”