When I started doing my design research I began by looking toys that today’s kids play with, but ended up finding vintage toys that took me on a trip down memory lane. I knew I wanted to avoid stereotyped or gender-specific imagery, which seemed to prevail far less then. So, enjoying this nostalgic journey I decided to delve into my own childhood for further inspiration.
My childhood memories are lit by the bright coloured tones of the eighties and tinged here and there with the orange and brown hues of the seventies. Without the digital overload and mass consumption that we live in today, it felt like a calmer, safer time to disappear into. These are the colours and moods I wanted to capture in my prints.
Through this introspection, I knew that as a British-made brand I also wanted to capture something of what it is to be British. For me this is not flag-waving or singing ‘Rule Britannia’, nor the clichés of red telephone boxes and the Queen. But rather the eccentricity and quirkiness that is evident in traditions such as cheese-rolling, sack races and even queuing! The simple pleasures that are still very part of British life today and for some reason, most them ended up being food!
Milk and Biscuits
I wanted to do a nod to the classic British cuppa, but milk and biscuits seemed a more appropriate design for kids clothes! I am old enough to remember when milk came in real glass bottles and remember hearing the clinking sound early in the morning as they were delivered by the (now very rare) milk man. It also comes from a memory of my brother and I having our own biscuit tin, which we had a packet of biscuits in and “when they were gone, they were gone”! You can see the print on our Lucas Short Tee.
Fish & Chips
This quintessential British dish conjures up many happy memories for me, but the one pictured here is from one of my annual holidays as a child with my friend and her family to Wales. We would get our fish & chips from the local chippy (and mushy peas as I am from north of the Watford gap!) and eat them down on the beach. After which we would walk along the sand to the headland to spot seals. On the way back we would stop off at the pub and sip Appletiser and jump off the wall into the dunes (not at the same time!) Our Klein Sweatshirt features this print.
Jelly & Ice-cream
Birthday parties back in my day were simple affairs of some party games, probably pass-the-parcel and a birthday tea with sandwiches (that no one ate), cheese and pineapple on sticks and of course the grand finale of jelly and ice-cream! A thick block of Neapolitan would have been a real treat and sprinkles would have been positively posh! This print is available on our Thunberg Long Tee.
Camping & Caravanning
Harking back again to summers holidaying in Wales, we would stay in a caravan on a farm by the sea. It was so exciting to be in a tiny house on wheels even when the storms raged and rain and wind buffeted the walls. It had a mock wood-paneled interior and we read Famous Five by the light of it’s little gas lamps. I sometimes stayed on a following week with my family, which I resented at first, as it had been my own little world that I wanted to keep to myself. The camping print is featured on our Thunberg Long Tee.
Can you spot which one is me in the photos?
There are other prints in the rest of the collection that have not been included in the launch. Maybe I will tell you the stories behind them one day too.
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