London was the source of inspiration for our Autumn/Winter 2023 line of linen dresses, crafted in deep saturated color linens - rich checks and stripes reflecting the depth of an old, diverse and vibrant city.
Finding an old Georgian house to shoot our collection in London was a huge highlight, both for Pyne & Smith, and me personally - it’s always been a dream of mine to shoot our dresses in an authentic Georgian house, and it felt like a home coming for Pyne & Smith.
Set in the east end of London, bustling Spitlefields, known for its nightlife diverse restaurants, our location was built in the 1700’s and set among a row of tall, brick Georgian homes on a surprisingly quiet street.
Spitalfields is home to the largest collection of Georgian homes left in London, over 200 exist in spitalfields alone, built by the Huguenots (Huguenot Protestants immigrated to Britain in the 17th century, fleeing religious persecution in France) in the 17th & 18th century, used as both homes and work spaces by silk & textile weavers and clock makers, with their large windows giving incredible natural light making for an ideal working environment.
Interestingly, Spitalfields is home to generations of immigrants - during the 19th century, Irish and Jewish settlers migrated to Spitalfields, settling in these Huguenot houses and using them for tailoring and weaving, followed by Bangladeshi immigrants who joined the garment trade in east London.
It’s fair to say the Spitalfields area was hugely impactful on British textiles, garment making and tailoring, making this location all the more special for Pyne & Smith.
There is such beauty in worn objects - old cobblestones worn down by hundreds of years of feet wearing them smooth, wooden handrails shiny from thousands of hands using them, floorboards bent, tweaked from years of use, shiny copper saucepans, weathered brick walls, bronze door handles and flickering candlelight all providing endless sources of influence for our linen dress collection.
Fun fact: Spitalfields takes its name from the fields which lay east of the Priory of St Mary Spital (Hospital), founded in 1197.