As always the HIGH USE collection takes inspiration from creative activities that combine the pursuit of practical purpose with the appreciation of beauty.
Gardening is often used as an embodiment of these principles and in HIGH USE Spring Summer 2019 it is the working cottage garden that comes into focus. The earliest cottage gardens go back centuries and originally were practical spaces with the main emphasis on edible plants, herbs and fruit trees.
Originally flowers were planted in between to attract bees and help pollinate food crops before becoming cultivated equally for their beauty. HIGH USE SS’19 has parallels to these organic, working yet decorative spaces with floral patterns mixed with practical hard wearing cloth, plain compact surfaces embellished with embroidery and classic stripe finished with lace and fil-coupé details.
In these gardens the planting fills the space in an apparently organic manner with no boundaries between working and decorative areas. It appears as though nature did all the work. In HIGH USE there is also a mixture of decorative and working details and the line between purpose and ornament is blurred.
Roses, daisies, violets, geraniums, marigolds were mixed with herbs and vegetables, jumbled in a way that could appear wild but in fact is quite deliberate. In HIGH USE different Liberty prints are mixed together and floral motifs are embroidered or printed over other patterns in apparently random but actually carefully arranged designed.
There is also a glorious mix of colours; rose red, fuchsia pink, sunflower yellow, marigold and leaf green appear in super-light cotton poplin shorts, skirts and dresses.
Throughout the collection these colours are shown with fresh white and cream, or layered over every shade of blue. At their most extravagant they combine in bold colour clashes pulled together with tan leather belt and topped with a natural colour straw sun hat.
As in the idealised country cottage garden the impulse behind HIGH USE Spring Summer 2019 is a fantasy of gorgeous chaos. The reality is a controlled and a carefully ordered harmony that is both useful and beautiful.