THE TROPICAL PRINT
Our in-house design team took inspiration from London’s Kew Gardens and its iconic palm house to create a vibrant palm print, omnipresent across our summer collection.
Our summer ’17 collection takes inspiration from The First Overland explorers and the record-breaking journey they made when they drove from London to Singapore in 1955. The challenging terrains they encountered included the mountains of Europe, the deserts of the Middle East and the jungles of the tropics. Championing the latter stages of their journey in particular, our designers (whose researching budget doesn’t stretch quite as far as India) looked to one of the only places in London that boasts as vast and continent-spanning a collection of environments – the Royal Gardens at Kew.
Established in 1840 and with more than 8.5 million different pieces in its collection, Kew Gardens, in the southwest of London, hosts the largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collection in the world. It represents over 95% of known flowering plant genera and more than 60% of known fungal genera – which to our designers meant one thing: exotic print-spiration!
The next step for Olga, one of our print specialists, was to translate the lofty leaves of Kew’s iconic palm house into a design that could travel. From men’s shirts, dresses and bikinis to tees and accessories, the feat was certainly mean, with stakes only heightening further when our Visual Merchandising team was inspired by her print for global window messaging too. Using an archive print obtained from our long-standing partner The Design Studio, Olga reworked a print using Photoshop to incorporate the colours from our summer colour palette, ensuring the right balance was achieved between the contemporary and the classic.
With the beautiful design finalised, and distributed to our global suppliers, it needed to be printed and the products made. Two factories in Portugal, Esfani and Central Vest, were tasked with printing the Eddington tee, using a technique called discharge printing; the print remains invisible to begin with but, once the fabric has been passed through steam rollers and specialist developing machines the colour is eventually revealed. You can see the full printing process in the short film below.