“My first Saturday job was in a Patchwork and Quilting shop. I think this probably was my first taste of mixing fabrics, prints and colours and I absolutely loved it. And for my foundation year at Winchester School of Art my final piece was a patch-worked pair of raw silk wide leg trousers - all in neutral textures - very 90’s! I wish I still had them now - but they were well worn out with nights out in Manchester. Which is where I did my degree - Textile Design - before going on to a career in fashion. So The Patchwork Edit is really about everything coming full circle.”
Once a means of using up left-over fabric scraps, in the 1960s patchwork was adopted by mainstream and high-fashion designers, thanks to the influence of hippie culture. Today the technique remains a perennial fashion favourite.
Patchwork's first use in clothing was as a technique of economy – a way of using up scraps of fabrics or of extending the working life of a garment. During the Second World War, the journalist Anne Scott-James wrote a feature for Picture Post, championing patchwork as a technique which wouldn't use up one's ration of clothing coupons. "Cottons and ginghams are by far the best," she advised, "in pale demure colours, with an occasional patch of Victorian purple or red". That's not to say that the fabrics used for patchwork weren't in themselves luxurious – our collection includes clothing created in the 1950s with off-cuts from the London couture salons of both Digby Morton and Norman Hartnell.