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Inspiration from the V&A exploring the Fashioned from Nature Exhibition

Inspiration from Nature

by Leona Connelly

Being immersed in wonderful fabrics and all things interiors  in our lovely showroom never gets tiring, but it is always useful to spread our wings and look for inspiration further afield.

 I spent  a wonderful day at the V&A  exploring the Fashioned from Nature exhibition. This exhibition looks at the links between fashion and the natural world and how design has historically been linked to the colours and flora and fauna in nature.

 It soon became apparent that the world of interior design is also closely linked to the world of fashion and common themes seem to run through each. The huge trend for Botanicals might appear quite current but back in the 1800’s fashion was taking inspiration from Botany and from unusual plants brought to the UK. The stunning and intricate  botanic embroidery on the silk  waistcoat  is not dissimilar to design  found on fabrics such as …….This demonstrates how historic and classic design can be re-worked and used in a contemporary way. The cole and Son Palm wall paper from the ………….collection is a perfect example of this. They have taken a classic botanic image and re-worked it in contemporary and striking colour way. 







Another current trend that clearly has its roots in fashion and history is the animal kingdom. The monkeys embroidered on this  waistcoat  from 1780 reminded me of the Cole and Son Ardmore collection, one that is so relevant in interior design today yet clearly has been inspired by the Georgian and Victorian fascination with the exotic and unusual. It is  fascinating to think that a trend that appears so current in interiors was hugely fashionable in fashion design as far back as the 1700s, proving I suppose that nothing in design is new it is always re imagined. Insert images

Cole & Son Wallpaper from the Ardmore Collection


One of my favourite pieces in the exhibition was this stunning dress by Giles Deacon, insert images it instantly reminded me of the gorgeous and understated Embelton Bay collection by Sanderson. This collection is one we have used really successfully for clients who want a pared back, natural, beachy scheme( often used in clients sea- side holiday homes).  Where they feel they can have a bit of fun and choose something they perhaps wouldn’t use in town.


As designers we are constantly seeking inspiration and it is always exciting to look back to the past and discover that schemes you are working on today have a really interesting link to our history, our clients always find it fascinating to discover that a scheme in their own home could have been created in this way.


Next stop the Frida Kahlo exhibition, A constant source of inspiration in the world of both fashion and interiors, we can’t wait to get creative and pull together some exciting new schemes based on her eclectic style, so watch this space.

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