Welcome to our new website and journal! We are extremely excited to share it with you.
To celebrate its launch, we interview our founder and designer Hadley.
Hadley sketches out our swimwear and bodywear concepts in her North London studio. A self-taught designer, who is passionate about UK manufacturing and ethical production - Hadley chooses the highest quality French-imported fabrics to craft garments with elegant, ultra-feminine silhouettes.
TALK US THROUGH THE DESIGN PROCESS - FROM FIRST SKETCH TO SAMPLING. WHICH ARE THE MOST EXCITING MOMENTS? AND THE MOST SATISFYING?
"The begining is always exciting. Starting with fresh ideas taken from many different forms of inspiration, touching on my surroundings and thoughts at that moment in time. At this stage, the designs vary hugely and are at their most extravangant and abstract. My sketchbook at this stage will often be filled with cut out images, postcards, colour swatches and sketches of anything that has provoked my imagination.
The next step is taking those initial ideas and gravitating towards the ones that excite me the most. It's an instinct rather than pure logic. Naturally, patterns and themes begin to emerge and the collections start to take shape.
Moving onto the sampling stage is very telling and crucial in making sure the designs work beautifully in reality, as well as in my imagination. Watching the designs come to life is always the most fun thing! Each time we unpack a new garment sample, I get a rush of butterflies and excitement and even with amends or alterations, nothing beats seeing it for the first time on my fit model. That is the moment the little romantic idea from a sketchbook transforms into real life."
HADLEY SMYTHE COLLECTIONS ARE NAMED AFTER FAVOURITE BOOKS OF YOURS - FOR EXAMPLE, GARDEN OF EDEN BY ERNEST HEMINGWAY AND DELTA OF VENUS BY ANAIS NIN. HOW DO YOUR LITERARY INSPIRATIONS INFORM AND INSPIRE YOU?
"Reading has always been my strongest link to a magical fantasy world and an escape from the everyday. Reading a compelling or vivid story helps take me away into that dreamland where the ideas flow. My library is varied but often has a theme and as well as discovering new stories and characters I love to revisit old favourites. Garden of Eden and Delta of Venus both come into that category - books I revisit regularly and benefit from in different ways with each read. The mood and atmosphere of the stories are powerful, helping me to create my own characters and narratives for the designs."
YOU TAKE INSPIRATION FROM YOUR TRAVELS. WHERE WOULD YOUR DREAM HOLIDAY TAKE YOU?
"Exploring every tiny beautiful part of the French Riviera would be my next dream trip! Stepping into the worlds I read about of the extravagant, creative, wonderful minds who lived, holidayed and partied there from the 1920s-1960s. Being by the water and in the sun - surrounded by the simple, elegant architecture, reading a captivating novel and eating delivious food. Simple pleasures."