Come with us as we take you inside peony House to chat with our incredibly talented and humble designer, Sophie Thomas. Our Spring '18 Narrative collection is our most exciting collection yet and Sophie shares with us some of the inspiration and processes that went into creating it.
Starting a new collection is the calm before the storm. The months ahead are filled with sketching, toiling and fitting. I work my way through vintage stores; inspiration comes in the form of forgotten beach towels, swimsuits of yesteryear and embroidered-anythings. The team is forever collecting fabric swatches, trims and print references to add to our mood board, this helps to visualise all ideas in one place. Through this process, a colour palette is revealed and concepts are refined.
Spring '18 became about telling a story, with fairy tales and a sense of whimsy in mind - the pieces have a very nostalgic feel. Narrative features shirring, scallop detailing, ruched carriageways, panelling, ruffles and contrast stitching. The centre of the collection is the Whimsy print, a peony office favourite for it's perfect Charcoal hue and our eternal love of ditsy florals.
Each piece is designed with the peony girl in mind – we know her so well; her destination bucket list, her favourite go to swimwear shapes and her love of the ocean. We also know our girl is caring, conscious and has a deep love for the environment - we know this because we listen to her and we feel the same way.
This season, we take our first step on our journey towards sustainability. This has been in the pipeline for quite some time now and this conscious shift has stemmed from our genuine love for the environment and our desire to create something that is beautiful as well as sustainable. We are so excited to release this range with 50% of styles made from beautiful recycled and sustainable fabrics.
In terms of shapes, I mostly enjoy designing one pieces, they are so versatile; I imagine how they might be worn with shorts or a high waisted skirt after an ocean dip.
I have always been drawn to textured fabrics, I am swept away by small details, and this is a key component in every peony range. Narrative features cotton based twill fabrics, in shades of petal pink and off white. Our signature Essential One Piece, returns more luxe than ever before in Charcoal, a sueded recycled Italian fabric with off-white contrast stitching and we welcome the return of our original jacquard stripe in the black and white colourway, Hayman.
As always pieces are designed to mix and match. I love this philosophy that peony is built on, so it is at front of mind when choosing new season hues. I think it is important the range talks back to the previous range so we can encourage our girl to update last seasons go-to treasures with new season updates – this nod to slow fashion is important to us.
With months of designing, sourcing, altering and workshopping, campaign day arrives. Seeing the designs in motion and brought to life on a shoot day is a truly amazing feeling.
I hope you love Narrative as much as we do. Enjoy!