Serbian-born textile designer Bernat Klein (1922–2014) emigrated to the United Kingdom in 1945 and based his textile manufacturing business in the Scottish borders. From humble beginnings this young émigré designer went on to produce couture fabrics for the leading fashion houses of Europe. Klein also worked as a colour consultant and industrial designer during an illustrious career spanning four decades. This article explores Klein’s design process by drawing on the archive and collection of his work held by National Museums Scotland. Heriot Watt University also holds a substantial collection of Bernat Klein’s work and comparisons are made between the two collections. Focusing on fashion textiles, this article investigates and draws connections between objects within the collection, shedding new light on Klein’s practice as a textile designer in post-war Britain. The relationship between Klein’s paintings and textiles and his pioneering approach to colour is also investigated. The extensive press archive held by National Museums Scotland and Klein’s own writings are called upon to contextualize the discussion of Klein’s design process and his changing relationship with the fashion industry.
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