Studio Tour: Meet Silken Favours

August 4, 2011

I know that you’ll walk away feeling motivated and refreshed after reading this interview and seeing this quirky East London studio so I’m just delighted to share it… But first, a little background… I recently had the honor of interviewing Vicki Murdoch, the creative lady behind the Silken Favours brand who recently launched her first collection of scarves at the prestigious Liberty of London. I first found out about her via Liberty and this video, which made me want to learn more since I fell in love with her scarf patterns and colorways. I want to purchase one to frame or turn into a giant cushion for my sofa.

Studio Tour: Meet Silken Favours

In her video, I caught a glimpse of her work studio and simply had to learn more, and see more, so I approached her for an interview and was delighted when she said her friend and photographer, Martin Zahringer, would be happy to take photos to share on decor8 that haven’t yet been online before so I hope that you enjoy these views. Vicki is an inspiring young woman, just barely 30-years-old, this gorgeous talent is one to watch for sure! Would you like to meet her? Of course you would… so let’s get started, shall we?

Studio Tour: Meet Silken Favours

Hello Vicki, can you tell us where you are from, where you live now and what you do? Yes, I’m from Aberdeen, Scotland, live in London and I’m a designer.

How did you get into design?
I moved to London twelve years ago to start a career in modelling, I was lucky enough to travel the world for a couple of years, living in Tokyo, Cape Town, Sydney and New York but then settled in London and went on to study textiles at Chelsea Art School. When I graduated I worked for a few companies but realised very quickly that I wanted to design for myself, so created ‘Silken Favours’ which started as a bespoke scarf service and I then went on to design my new range.

Studio Tour: Meet Silken Favours

How did you get to work with Liberty on your collection? I went to their Best of British Open Day in April 2011. They give you three minutes to pitch your designs, they then give their expert advice, which I took, and added a dog scarf to my ‘heart collection’. I was then told they would be in touch. Two weeks later I got an email inviting me back for a second interview and a week later they placed an order. So it all happened pretty fast.

Studio Tour: Meet Silken Favours

What are you goals for the future regarding your pattern designs? Do you see them in interiors? I would love to design for interiors, For my final degree show piece I created an environment inside a 1960s Cheltenham caravan (photos above), which I named the ‘Catavan’. Every print was cat-inspired – and I used over thirty designs – on upholstery, curtains, wallpaper, flooring, pillows and dresses. I did a short course on upholstery so I could revamp old chairs using my prints. Basically I would love to see my patterns on most objects.

Studio Tour: Meet Silken Favours

Studio Tour: Meet Silken Favours

What inspires you about your studio space? I live and work in a large, light-filled warehouse in East London which is shared with five other people.  I’ve been here for four years now. We are all creatives and lead busy lives and we each have our own studio space within the warehouse so there is always something going on.  It’s not as noisy and party-filled as it used to be, through our own choice and the small threat of eviction.

Studio Tour: Meet Silken Favours

What motivates you to work freelance? I love being freelance, I was a freelance fashion model for 5 years then a student for four years and now I’m a freelance designer. I don’t think the structure of a 9-5 would suit me. I suppose I’m just used to being freelance so I get on with it. I know you have to put certain amount of pressure on yourself to get things done, but also not to beat yourself up and enjoy life when you can.

Studio Tour: Meet Silken Favours

Studio Tour: Meet Silken Favours

Studio Tour: Meet Silken Favours

What do you do to find inspiration? I find a lot of my inspiration from nature, I had an epiphany once out running in Victoria Park, “All I want to do is dance and draw”, I ran back home very excited and started drawing, the dancing isn’t going as well.

What inspires you about living in London? Lots of things: my friends, Victoria Park, Kew Gardens, the markets, Hackney Farm, the V&A and small up and coming galleries.

What are your favorite interiors and fashion magazines?
1970s ‘Ideal Home’ and ‘House and Garden’, Nest, Wallpaper, Casa Vogue, Amelia and LOVE.

Studio Tour: Meet Silken Favours

Studio Tour: Meet Silken Favours

Studio Tour: Meet Silken Favours

How does a designer get their line into a store like Liberty? The Best of British Open Day, the next one is Saturday, August 20, 2011.

What do you think matters most when it comes to working for yourself? Focus, Determination, Belief and Enjoyment.

What are some trends in pattern design that you find inspirational? Mirrored opulence, nature, animals and anything 1970s.

Thank you so much Vicki for this peek into your life and studio, I’m sure decor8 readers are all going to be big fans of yours now after seeing you in action in your fun space. Thanks again!

(Photographs: Martin Zahringer)


  • Reply Monica Lee August 4, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    This interview was a great way to start the day! Being a serious scarf wearer myself, I am going to have to hunt hers down. A nice way to start my freelance day :)

  • Reply Katie August 4, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Such amazing work! I love the one with dogs! xo

  • Reply alicia August 4, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Her scarves are so beautiful, I love the butterfly one hanging in the window.

  • Reply Michelle @ If Toys Could Talk August 4, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    What a wonderful interview. Her scarves are gorgeous – especially the lovely butterfly scarf hanging in the window. And I love the wide open space she has for her studio. Who wouldn’t want to work in a space like that?

  • Reply Katie August 4, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    I love her work and her studio! What an inspiring space!
    On an unrelated note, Holly, I just saw your feature in Where Women Create. It was lovely, both the words and photos!

    • Reply decor8 August 4, 2011 at 7:10 pm

      @Katie – Thank you so much – I’ve not seen it yet so I’m very excited to see what it looks like!

  • Reply Lana Cosic August 4, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    I fell in love! Thank you, Holly, for this inspiring post!

  • Reply cafenoHut August 4, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    I loved these scarves. All of them are really unique..

  • Reply Piia August 4, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Very unique work!Love!!

  • Reply Jime August 4, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Great interview! Love her work!

  • Reply Megan Gunn August 4, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Wow thanks for posting this interview! I love feeling as if I know something a little more about such an amazingly talented women, it is so inspiring! Her work is beautiful!!! Love!

  • Reply Penelope@thirdroomstudio August 4, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    Thank you for a very inspiring interview – her work is exceptional and it’s wonderful to see someone succeeding in a difficult freelance world.

  • Reply Margarita Lorenzo August 5, 2011 at 12:54 am

    I totally get her, I feel the same way about going freelance, I do not see any other way of functioning in this world…love her scarfs specially the ones with the cats, i need to sell quite a few cushions to treat myself with one of them, but do not loose hope haha…

  • Reply Josephine August 5, 2011 at 1:49 am

    Love her scarves and the colours. I must try to treat myself to one and I now feel inspired to hang some scarves in my garden office windows. A lovely way to start my day.

  • Reply Genelle August 6, 2011 at 2:15 am

    Great interview! Beautiful scarfs! I love the way she rolls them and puts them in a small box — looks like a lovely flower!

  • Reply sally August 6, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    I so enjoyed reading that a breath of fresh air ! thanks for posting :)

  • Reply Desha Peacock August 10, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    I read this interview a few days ago, and couldn’t stop thinking about the designs. My favorites are the horses and butterflies. I love her story, that she just decided all she wanted to do was draw and dance!

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