o I’ve finally started my blog! I know it’s usual to use your blog to keep everybody up to date with new projects and products, I thought however, it would be worthwhile just using the first two or three posts to talk about how I got to where I am, and to talk a little about the designs I already have on the site. Hopefully in the process I can answer some of the questions I'm often get asked.
A lot of the background information on me can be found in about the designer, but in short, my background is in costume and design. Within this role I have often had the need to produce small amounts of bespoke fabric when nothing else could be found. Although this would usually be hand painted or screen painted, the notion that, if you can’t find what you want...you make it, is not new to me.
As you will discover one of my passions is history, so The “Wars of the Roses” design was a pure indulgence on my part. I was researching the period, and had spent the previous weeks clambering over Garter stalls at St George’s Chapel Windsor and pouring over books on heraldry in the British Library. Although the research had nothing to do with design, I couldn’t help thinking that some of this stuff would make great fabric, so the designs were already starting to develop in my head. And so I fancied a scarf that would reflect the beauty and vibrancy of the images I was seeing, but when I looked, I couldn't find anything, so in true costumier fashion, I thought I’d make one myself.
Medieval art and illumination is full of icons and hidden messages, and I wanted my scarf to give a reference to this, so the finished design...for those who care... depicts a brief history of the struggles during this conflict.
In short, The Wars of the Roses were a dynastic struggle between two branches of the same family. Over the period of 30 years they met up and down the country in a series of scuffles, grudge matches and full blown battles. In the beginning it was a struggle to control the crown, in the end, a struggle for the crown itself. By the end of this conflict, the crown had changed hands 7 times and only one of these kings had died naturally in bed.
I wanted to create a design that told a little bit of this story and to pay homage to all of these kings, from Henry VI, through Richard III to the final victor, Henry VII, who was to become the master of iconology as spin. With a background of chain mail, and a nod to the layout of the heraldic flags used to such effect during this period, the royal emblems of all the kings are laid across the design sandwiched between the constantly changing red and white roses, which have come to depict the two branches of this feuding dynasty. Like so many medieval conflicts, the causes of The Wars Of The Roses, were complex and deeply rooted in previous disputes, both sides often raging against something they would eventually become, and so the design also reflects this repetition of state, as it relentlessly repeats across the scarf. I had the best of times creating this design and It was so well received I ended up producing a small batch, and so the need for a website to sell them on arose...and so that’s it really...here we are!