Laurie Robertson owner of AnorakHomegirl London pays homage to Anorak.  I’m not paying respect to a waterproof jacket or someone obsessed about a particular topic, but I am to the funky functional products inspired by the great outdoors as designed by Laurie Robertson.  After graduating with a masters in printed textiles at the Royal College of Art, Laurie launched Anorak in 2008 because she wanted to encourage people to bring a touch of the outdoors inside and vice versa.  Inspired by childhood memories of family camping trips, Robertson creates bold, colourful prints featuring; binoculars, canoes, seagulls and various kissing animals – stags, rabbits, horses and robins.  These patterns adorn bedding, blankets, sleeping bags, towels, tableware, picnic ware, storage trunks, holdalls and cushions.   I caught up with the queen of camping to ask some questions …

Q: Tell me more about your childhood camping experiences.

A: We went on a lot of camping trips during the late 70’s and early 80’s across Europe on long summer breaks.  My favourite place was Mallaig in the Highlands where we stayed in the middle of nowhere – I remember getting bitten by a lot of midges and mosquitoes.  Our only neighbour was a little old lady called Flora who made Kilts.

Q: How have your camping holidays influenced your designs and products?

A: All of my designs are about functionality whilst being stylish as well.  I base a lot of my designs and prints on 1970s design featuring simple yet bold shapes while also making the products compact and easy to transport.

Q: What type of holidays do you go on now?

A: We don’t go away as often as we would like to as we now have a toddler and are working hard.  I do love going on staycations to small holiday rentals by the coast and countryside though; Walberswick in Suffolk is one of my favourite places to go on a short break – lovely beaches there and it’s also not too far a drive from London.

Q: Can you recommend a good campsite in the UK?

A: Blackberry Woods in Sussex is a great place.  It’s close to Brighton and if you fancy taking a bit of London with you, you can camp in an old routemaster bus.

Q: What are the three most important things to pack when you go camping?

A: Anorak tuck box – for putting things in so they don’t get squished, toiletry bags – so there’s no mess when our shampoo bottle inevitably decides to pop open in the car (always does!) and my Dolly Parton CD – gotta love a bit of Dolly to get us in the country mood!

Q: You work with your partner – who does what and how do you resolve issues?

A: Matt is a perfectionist and goes through everything with a fine toothed comb – he makes sure everything is perfect to the last millimetre.  My colleagues call me the Tasmanian Devil – a whirlwind of ideas.  I’m the creative one and Matt’s the practical one, we never really have to resolve any issues as we are both quite easy going and bounce ideas off each other.

Q: What’s coming up for Autumn / Winter 2012?

A: The Proud Fox has now joined our animal print family for AW 2012.  We have also expanded our products into travelling essentials such as mugs and lunch bags and also our popular Polar Bear print into placemats, cushions, picnic blankets and much more.  Winter 2012 is going to be an exciting season for Anorak!

See below for some examples of the products available from Anorak which you can purchase from Anorak.  Credits: text by Homegirl London, images courtesy of Anorak, special thanks to Laurie Robertson and Sophie Stevens.

STAG melamine group

Kissing Stags melamine plate £5.50 and beaker £4.50

Anorak kissing stags sleeping bag

Kissing Stags sleeping bag, £59

Anorak kissing stag box and kissing rabit tuck box

Kissing Stags steamer trunk, £200 and Kissing Rabbits tuck box £125

Anorak kissing rabbits picnic blanket

Kissing Rabbits picnic blanket, £36

Anorak kissing rabits box toiletry bag

Kissing Rabbits box toiletry bag, £14.50

Anorak kissng bears large toiletry bag

Kissing Bears large toiletry bag, £18

Anorak bears cushion

Kissing Bears cushion, £37

Anorak fox coaster

Proud Fox coaster, set of 4 £12.50 (available from mid September 2012)

Anorak foxes placemat

Proud Fox placemat, set of 4 £27.50 (available from mid September 2012)