The Designer: Zoe McCarthy
Zoe has worked as a designer for over 15 years and has studio experience in the graphic, fashion and textiles industries. Trained to MA level in Fashion and Textile Design, Zoe combines her love of art to showcase her talent as a stylised and fashion forward stationery and fabric designer for weddings.
Since setting up her own studio in 2010 Zoe has been commissioned by businesses and individuals to design various personalised paper and fabric products. These commissions led her to the wonderful world of weddings in 2012, where she discovered that both fabric and paper were prevalent and where it was apparent that emotional design had a place. A passion for sustainable, artisan design was re-ignited and she now hand draws and paints for stylish couples internationally.
Brides and grooms across the UK and worldwide trust Zoe for her design judgement, attention to detail, communication, professionalism and talent.
“She has the ability to deliver something magical, on brief and personal each and every time.”
Since training at the prestigious Chelsea College of Art and Design, University of the Arts, London followed by Winchester School of Art, Hampshire, Zoe has honed her style and enhanced her knowledge and skills further working in design studios and as a self employed designer. Now running her own business, Zoe is also a recognised member of the Higher Education Academy Fellowship and lectures in her specialist area at university level.
Zoe’s Wedding Day
Zoe McCarthy (was Barker) married her soulmate in 2016 at her dream wedding venue, a beautiful Georgian house close to her childhood home (Hill Place, Swanmore). The wedding was everything she had hoped for and more and what made it so was her relaxed approach to planning and her ability to see the bigger picture.
“What was important to me was that my guests had the best time. That drinks flowed, fun was had and that everything was effortlessly pretty and recognisably ‘us’”
The fact that a lot of effort was put in to creating something effortlessly pretty was irrelevant on the day. The wedding did indeed feel effortless, cool, classy and design-led in an understated way. Drinks did flow and guests did dance – but they also commented on the little things that made the day so memorable such as the designs that ran seamlessly through the paper and fabric decorations.
“The small design gestures we made seemed big to our guests. I wrote poems for the wedding party, printed them on to fabric, framed them and hung them on a brass tree which was placed on the gift table, it made my bridesmaids and our parents cry, which was touching – and it looked so pretty too!”
Table names were printed on to fabric, framed in embroidery hoops and propped up against clusters of rose gold vases on each table. Place settings were fun – Zoe painted toy dinosaurs with copper spray, tied a ribbon round each ones neck and attached a hand coloured tag with their guests names on. And as favours the wedding stationery design (English Rose) was carried through to a wish card with sentimental poem and a hand made charm bracelet attached.
“We were complimented on so many of our ideas, which we kept simple as we were aiming for a relaxed affair but I suppose, being a designer I was bound to go all DIY, it was a given really.”