Holly Giselle Hilden


Holly Giselle Hilden, 22. Bath Spa University, BA (Hons.) Textile Design Graduate 2009.

– specialism: Fashion Knitwear.


Design Background:

When I was born my mother and grandmother ran a wool shop. I sat on the counter surrounded by ladies knitting…. I think that might be where I started! After school I studied Art and Design at Alton College, and did a short course in Fashion Knitwear design at London College of Fashion. Last season I assisted Craig Lawrence for London Fashion Week and his S/S 09 collection, and I’m currently interning with Cooperative Designs.


What was the most valuable thing you learned before starting at your education?

“anything is possible if you try…”




Project title:

“Lola’s Circus”



I am inspired by the use of clothing, particularly creating items that can  be worn in various ways. I wanted to make enjoyable outfits that are wearable as well as expressive. I based my menswear designs on shapes and forms found in the placement of clothing on the body. Knit has a push and pull quality to the fabric and I wanted to amplify this element.




The theme for this project:

An image of a slow twirling mime and 1930s harlequins, faded, forgotten circus performers dancing for no audience.


Where do you get inspiration from in general?

Often from people, London inspires me! If I’m stuck I wonder around junk shops and vintage markets… I am often inspired by found objects and lost forms. I am repeatedly inspired by the concept of memory, the pace of time and the mood of meloncholy.


How is your process when you design?

I gather and collate images and textures,source yarns and fabrics and try to make sense of what i am drawn to within them, then i knit!!then i start drawing shapes based on my swatches, working on the mannequin, and make mood boards, i also use key words and titles.




What do you find most difficult about the design process?

I often have so many ideas at once that I find it hard to focus and see things through… I now try to keep ideas separate.


What are your strenghts?



What are your weaknesses?

Getting everything I want done!!


Describe your collection with three words?

slow-motion, pierrot, pom pom, (- actually I like those words together!)


What techniques did you use:

I used a lot of hand knit, using DK british Alpaca yarn, (I was sponsored by Uk Alpaca) I mixed a variety of traditional Aran cables and textures, an entrelac technique, bi colour ribbing, plain and partial knitting to make the ruffles, hand beading and stitching.




Which machines did you use to create your collection?

Domestic knitting machine.


Which technique was the most difficult?

Entrelac hand knit technique, there is a lot of turning involved and I had designed a specific colour chart for each piece as I wanted no repeats all over.


Do you have a technical or conceptual approach to designing?

My designs always have a concept, to keep me from wondering away from it! But I find that ideas often stem from the technique used and discoveries are made along the way that help make the design original. I would redo designs over and over based on what I had found during the process if I had time!!


Which garment was most difficult to make?

The extended sleeve jumper, the cables change up the sleeves every few inches and get wider leading to the top, so I had to keep learning new ones!




Which garment took the longest to make?

The harlequin sweater.


Which garment is your favorite?

The harlequin sweater, worth every hour!




What technique is your favorite?

I really enjoy partial knitting on the machine, there are lots of possibilities and I loved making huge piles of ruffles!


How long did you work on this project?

8 months…. seams long.


Is there something you regret not doing in your collection?

I wish I’d had more machine knits to include, but the hand knits were so time consuming.




What made you pursue Fashion Knitwear?

Genuine love and addiction.


What designers inspire you?

Ashish, Sibling, Sandra Backlund, Comme des Garcons, Peter Jensen, Louise Goldin, PPQ of Mayfair, Cooperative Designs, and Obscure Vintage 80s knit patterns.


Which designer would you like to work for in the future?

Vivienne Westwood.


Why did you choose Bath?

I liked Bath, and the Arts campus had such a personal atmosphere, we really did have great equipment and access to everything and anything.




What did you think of the education?

It was good, I had inspiring tutors and we had good guest lecturers and technitians.


How were the school? Facilities? Teachers?

I had a good mix of creative people around me from all areas of art and design, which I think is really important, we fed eachother knowledge of different techniques and ideas which kept things fresh and original.


What advice would you give new students?

Be open minded and really make the most of what is available to you, push it!




Which fellow students would you like to highlight?

Lucy Aebischer makes incredible props and 3D illustrations (lucyaebischer.blogspot.com), Samuel Rogers is a very talented illustrator who I collaborate with on print based textiles (lola-esquire.blogspot.com or www.samuelesquire.com).


Why do you want to be a designer?

I love dressing up and I want everyone else to love it too.


What was your childhood dream job?

Fashion designer or tinkerbell at euro disney.


Have you ever been nominated or won a design competition?

No, but I have entered the Knitted Textile awards 2009 and awaiting results!


With one word, what is your best quality?





What are your plans for the future?

I hope to be able to design/consult for a fashion label, and be able to run my own as well. Until then I’d like to work with lots of talented creative people doing fun fashion things… high hopes!


Will you continue to MA?

Perhaps in a year or so if possible.


Will you be selling your BA collection?

I’d consider it, but perhaps re make some items, I’ve become a bit attached.


Were can we find more information on you?


 I will have a website soon…


Contact info:


4 Responses to “Holly Giselle Hilden”
  1. jenifersult says:

    amazing! Great job, really very nice.

  2. These photographs are enough, to know you are creative genius. I loved every photograph, the design, the back ground every thing. I hope you will become one of the best designers in the world. Thanks for sharing with us.

  3. Rosco says:

    Amazing!!! Love your designs! You are truly talented! x

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  1. […] Las dos siguietes fotos hacía tiempo que las tenía guardadas, son de Holly Giselle Hilden, graduada en diseño textil. Podéis ver una entrevista suya aquí […]

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