Wild Textiles Blend Photoshop With Rococo Excess

Ukrainian designer Masha Reva preserves the age-old tradition of collecting interesting images found online.

There’s nothing pretty about an unorganized Photoshop file (especially if you’ve been working on it all night). But alongside Ukrainian designer Masha Reva’s dense patterns of botanical drawings and medical illustrations, the Adobe’s good old gray-and-white checkerboard and OS X prompts look downright gorgeous.


Reva lives in London and attends Central Saint Martins. She’s fascinated by the Internet, which she calls a “vast informational field,” and sees her work as a direct extension of its culture. Like so many other people her age, she collects interesting patterns and drawings she finds online and catalogs them for future use. In her 2012 collection Mergings, history collapses into a dense mixture of Rococo illustrations, jacquard patterns, and modern-day cell morphology diagrams. Just in case you don’t get the joke, a smattering of Photoshop GUI elements helpfully point it out.

“I think a lot about globalization and effect of the Internet,” the 25-year-old tells Co.Design. “Indeed, I find it very interesting–the situation within the visual stream we deal with every day–from one point it is related to the layering of information within our minds, from the other, it has a certain connection with print.” Reva also cites the old women of Odessa, whose summertime style she describes as “very colorful, sometimes even vulgar . . . which is fantastic.” She has worked for Thakoon and interned with the Belgian designer Walter Van Beirendonck, one of the Antwerp Six, whom she cites as a major source of inspiration.

For Mergings, she says she wanted to create textiles that mimicked the process of browsing images online. “First, I began to analyze our demands and connections within the Internet, and I found it very interesting that we are hunting for information all the time, and consequently we do not stop to produce information by ourselves,” she says. “It actually looks like we are being blended together with the huge amount of information, and for us it is never enough.” Each piece, then, is a kind of archival Photoshop file, where the sequence of pasted layers preserves the order in which they were discovered.

Check out (or buy) Reva’s work on her website.

[H/t Triangulation Blog]

About the author

Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan is Co.Design's deputy editor.