The Journey of a Print: The Botanical
– Posted by Helen
By Caroline Taylor, our in-house print designer
‘The Botanical’ print is a personal favourite of mine and a true celebration of British Flora. I champion the sheer beauty of our British countryside and found inspiration for this print in the hedgerows of my native Wales. The central motif is a poppy, a flower I revisit again and again. There is an irresistible fluidity to the petals which I long to draw. The surrounding elements are Honeysuckle and Sycamore, which I spotted on a leisurely walk one evening. And finally, the insects bordering the print were developed during a month studying and drawing at The Museum of Wales’ Entomology department.
‘The Botanical’ design process was a lengthy one! Each singular component is separately hand illustrated before later digitally combining. Each element is scanned, and for days I will manually rotate, flip, resize and overlap each image until the design begins to take shape. It’s the multi-layered design of this print that make it particularly interesting, drawing the eye. The overall effect of the combined floral designs is unbelievably special and perfectly unique.
Sara & I worked together to trial the design in multiple colour ways. We loved so many but the juxtaposition of grass green and deep navy against a white background achieved our goal of a colour palette that was at the same time striking and Spring-like. The Claudia dress, the hero piece of our SS15 womenswear collection, allows the print to speak for itself. We magnified the design, printing it on a simple A-line shift in silk twill and added a kimono-style tie to cinch in the waist. Our Leonie blouse made from crisp lawn cotton is the perfect foil for such a floral print. The ruffled detailing mimics the edges of the poppy petals which initially inspired me.
Rarely does a print work for both fashion and interiors, however, I have to admit I have visions of ‘The Botanical’ as a wallpaper or upholstery fabric…I daydream about using this print in an interiors scheme in a country home! We’re all obsessed with the beauty and rarity of this print and I’m thrilled to think this print will remain in our archives and perhaps make a re-appearance in future Madderson collections.