Origins & Inspirations Behind Pyne & Smith

Origins & Inspirations Behind Pyne & Smith

We love exploring the influence and passion behind design. Every creation, whether it be sculpture, writing, painting, architecture or illustration has its own unique story. Exploring and expanding on influences allows one to create beautiful, authentic work that resonates with their audience, becomes a form of communication and creates a community. Pyne & Smith’s story is one of a love divided between two countries.

View of beach in Beer, Devon UK 

Pyne & Smith garments are created in California, but the story behind their design is a mixed origin. The beautiful Californian weather may have ignited our passion for linen and all its benefits, but the English countryside inspires the roots of our unique Pyne & Smith patterns and designs. Joanna, Pyne & Smith founder & designer, actually grew up in the county of Devon, England before moving to California at the age of 19. Throughout her life she has gone back and forth between the two and refers to them both as home. The love and appreciation shared between these two magnificent places is directly reflected in the design of each Pyne & Smith garment.

 View of Hound Tor on Dartmoor in Devon UK
Model wearing Pyne & Smith No. 35 dress in Grey Graphite linen


Tucked away in the southwest of England is the county of Devon with all its beauty and eccentricity that sparks the design of Pyne & Smith. Magical rolling hills, beautiful beaches & fishing villages, moss covered fairy forests, haunted moorlands, medieval villages filled with quaint cottages, cities filled with architecture spanning nearly a thousand years, stacked upon each other like a teetering tower. These are just a few reasons to love Devon.

 Wild ponies grazing on Dartmoor in Devon UK
Model wearing Pyne & Smith No. 31 linen dress in Nutmeg


Pyne & Smith’s uniquely rich, earthy colours and patterns are influenced by from the surrounding shades of the natural countryside; whether it be the rust coloured cliffs of Sidmouth, the moss covered forests in Dartmoor, or the rich green hills that roll through Devon. You can also spot inspiration in the architectural aspects that so greatly blend and complement the countryside. The ancient stone walls that weave over the hills inspire our more earthy patterns. Interestingly, the colour of stone varies greatly throughout the UK; the deep grey and tan stone of Dartmoor differs from that of the warm tan stone found in the Cotswolds, or even the black sooty stone of Edinburgh. Pyne & Smith’s combination of earthy and bold colors reflect the imagery of weathered red brick of the local medieval village parish churches emboldened by a blue sky. Whereas, rows of brightly painted thatched cottages along the village high streets lace in the inspiration for our more vibrant linens. 

Thatched cottage in Lustleigh village, Devon
Model wearing Pyne & Smith No. 10 linen dress in Bramley Check


When it comes to Pyne & Smith style design; it is heavily influenced on practicality, quality and beautiful simplicity which originates from the historical style of English fashion, with a touch of California contemporary. Particularly from the 1930’s through WWII when women’s fashion transformed to reflect and accommodate the changing role of women who were now working, voting and beginning to participate in a society made for men. This all-encompassing role women have is even more relevant today, which is why practicality, alongside the pride and individuality of a dress is such an important aspect behind the Pyne & Smith design. 

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