The Story of a Dress: The Naomi

"Our Naomi dress epitomises timeless elegance. This is a British classic revisited, made extra special with exquisite detailing." 

Sara Madderson, founder & creative director

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"I always start the design process with a very clear picture of the woman I’m dressing. With the Naomi, that woman is confident, in control & inherently stylish. She loves to look polished but effortlessly so; she’s comfortable in her own skin, dressing in a classic way that she knows works for her, while seeking pieces that have a contemporary twist. I like to think of her as a little playful too…she’d never take herself too seriously.

My inspiration largely comes from luxury fabrics and with the Naomi, the sheen and lustre of the navy lambswool from British textile mill Hainsworth was love at first sight. Its richness needs to be seen to be believed.

For me, a fabric’s provenance is also hugely important. We love our clothes to tell a story and often find ourselves drawn to suppliers with a rich heritage. Discovering, for example, that Hainsworth supplied the glorious scarlet fabric worn by British soldiers in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 brings a sense of history, is incredibly inspiring.  It’s a testament to the amazing quality of their fabrics that they remain just as desirable today, 200 years after the Napoleonic Wars.

Coincidentally, Hainsworth purchased their Lupton mill in Yorkshire from the Duchess of Cambridge’s great grandparents over 50 years ago, and latterly provided the wool for Prince William and Harry’s uniforms at the Royal Wedding in 2011.

Tweed, that most classic and quintessentially British fabric, in all its textured glory, has always been a favourite of mine. It has substance, derived from the craftsmanship involved in its production, and I tend to use it liberally throughout my collections. For the Naomi, this pink, navy and cream French tweed (with just a hint of metallic thread) was supplied by Mahlia Kent, one of the oldest and most well renowned fabric creators based in Paris.

The Naomi came to life with the help of our team of talented and experienced pattern cutters and was produced in London at a factory with impeccable standards.

The silhouette and detailing on this dress was inspired by the iconic shift dresses which first appeared during one of the most influential decades in fashion history – the Sixties. It’s a strong, classic look that embodies stylish, feminine dressing and yet, the Madderson twist makes it relevant and eminently wearable by modern women."

Sara x

Tweed pocket detail and trim on the Naomi dress 

Photos courtesy of Hainsworth

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge wears our Naomi dress

Sara Madderson is founder and creative director of Madderson London. She loves history, literature, art and a good bottle of claret.
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