The Rainbow Morris Print
“Be daring, be different, be anything that will assert imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.”
So said Cecil Beaton, whose photography chronicled the Bright Young Things. This Rainbow Morris print captures their ethos, with its whimsical cacophony of the playful and the exotic. On the collection’s moodboard, these pleasure-seekers sit next to a more cerebral British icon, William Morris, whose talents stretched from poetry and politics to illustration and print.
“William Morris was such an influential figure of art and design in the early 20th Century – a starting point for inspiration to create our own decadent picnic print!”
Morris’ block-printed fabrics and wallpapers were created with hand-cut pear-wood blocks. He looked to the garden and wild hedgerows of England to capture the randomness of nature. The studio’s designs evoke the same natural abundance but take an uproarious, wild turn with the arrival of the party-goers.
With watercolour pencils, the blades of a leaf and seeds of a strawberry are drawn with such detail you could almost touch them. Using real fruit, the sketches were a patient, precise study of nature. When the cocktails, parakeets and ducks came to join the party, the studio referenced photography for their hand-painting (or we would still be chasing a Mandarin duck around Mayfair).
Each detail came to life, with a final scene as spectacular as the most fabulous party, but designed in silhouettes so clean that it fits a modern-day midsummer night. As Vogue.com concluded, “Less flash, more panache.”