We’ve just launched a brand new Spring 2017 print collection that I want to tell you all about! I’ve been working away like a busy bee for weeks perfecting my ‘Let’s Bewitch Them’ collection and am so pleased with how it has all come together. I wanted to release a really witchy gothic-esque collection but still keep our signature cosmic vibes and throw in some more personal touches too. Even though it’s a spring launch I thought it was time to have a darker colour palette in the range that could be glam-ed up day to night as I felt ‘going out dresses’ or ‘GOD’ are they are known in the industry was something we hadn’t focused on before. Working on a capsule collection release is something we haven’t done before either so it was really exciting to work full time on a project with the freedom to create something I’ve seen in my minds eye for so long now.
Of course I just had to throw in another sun and moon print, because I’m besotted and simply cannot stop designing them. Sun and moon prints have been a cult trend for a while now, mostly coming from the 90’s revival thats been going on for the last few seasons. For me however the love for them began so, so much earlier in my life, back in about 1993 when I was a wee nipper and my parents re-decorated their bedroom in navy and gold sun and moon wallpaper, border (when borders were a thing) with matching curtains and bedding. They even stencilled suns and moons on the radiator in gold paint, after they’d rag rolled it first! So many of my early memories were made in that room and those suns and moons were smiling down on me from the walls that, to me were part of the safest place on earth. There’s something nostalgic for me in every sun and moon print I’ve worked on and they still make me giddy.
I also pulled inspiration from vintage photographs of travelling circuses, and the costumes worn by the performers during that time. I wanted to capture that mystical, magical feel in the individual illustrations.
I wanted this design to pop in rich earth tones, which are more traditional for this style of print. I also wanted to add some colour to what would have otherwise been a very black collection! The colours came out even more vibrant once printed on fabric than I planned them to be, but I thought they were absolutely stunning, and gave the print a 70’s nod.
An insect/arachnid print design was an idea I’d had on the self for a while and I felt like now was the perfect time to call upon it.
I was always a bit of an outsider as a child, choosing to spend my time running around the garden digging up worms and collecting ants rather than playing with dolls and such. I was sent home from nursery on my first day for having pockets full of woodlice. At the age of about 7 I was the founding and only member of the MSPCI (the Mitchell’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Insects) I would run around the neighbourhood making sure all of the other kids weren’t squashing spiders and would rescue any insect in need of help, this usually entailed me scooping bees out of ponds and helping snails cross the road (I actually still do this). Needless to say I didn’t have many friends.
I used to love beetles in particular and would keep them in jars in my room. The bigger the beetle the happier I was. I remember finding one that was rather large, a stag beetle to be precise. I had no idea at that age what all the crawlies were really called so I gave them all my own names. Due to this ones spectacular pincers I decided to call it ‘The Scorpion’. One morning I was woken by a scream, immediately followed by my mother screaming ’Sarah is this yours?!’ ’This was of course the beetle that had escaped and was marching down the stairs in a desperate bid for freedom. The Scorpion was promptly evicted from the house. 20 years later and he is one of the star characters of the entomon print, alongside a shield beetle, formally known to me as pong beetles and a weevil formally Nellies.
Each insect was drawn by hand and then mirrored in photoshop for symmetry. One of the things I adore about insects is their anatomy and how it’s so incredibly perfect. I wanted to capture that in the print and thought that some hints of geometry would highlight that perfectly. I also wanted to incorpate our signature witchy style and join it nicely to the other black and white print so added some hand drawn symbols into the shapes along with some star dust to inject some detail into the spaces. This print by far dominated my time spent on this capsule, I spent about 5 full days working on the illustrations alone, I wanted the insects to be as anatomically correct as possible so used vintage illustrations from the 20th century as guides for body shape, and then changed the patterning for a more dramatic visual effect.
Alchemy was the last print I worked on for this collection. Again, I knew that at some point I wanted to explore symbology more and put an artistic spin on that for a print design. I spent days researching alchemy illustrations and symbols from the 19th and 20th century, as well as studying medieval illustrations and tapestries of mythical beasts as a bases for the dragons and serpents. I also wanted to incorpate a celestial aspect to sit with the sun and moon concepts so included astronomy charts that I wanted to be as accurate as possible to their original counter-parts. I spent a long time plotting out numbers and moon phases! I illustrated in a naive heraldic style and also drew on wicca and pagan symbology. The result is a bit of a mash up of imagery with elements of history and culture from around the globe, time and space!