Monday, 28 September 2015

Wedgwood swaps pottery for fashion - as Topshop unveils clothing inspired by iconic prints

Wedgwood swaps pottery for fashion - as Topshop unveils clothing inspired by iconic prints
It marks a major departure for Wedgwood which has been making pottery for centuries.

A Wedgwood spokesman said: "Focusing on eccentric tea party glamour with a devil-may-care casualness, Topshop has worked with us to create a 'Cupid' pattern from Jasperware, the most famous of Josiah Wedgwood's prints.

"The iconic light blue jasper colour, which was popular in the design, has also inspired the wash of Topshop's high-waisted 1980s-inspired jeans.

"A non-precious take on garden party style has also seen the creation of the 'Blackbird' print, inspired by the best-selling Wedgwood pattern Wild Strawberry, featuring finely-drawn leaves, flowers and strawberries."

The new collection will hit Topshop's stores – including in Hanley – in February.

IN PICTURES: Here's how the clothes looking on the catwalk

A Topshop spokesman said: "We have taken on the new season with a quintessentially British spin by collaborating with Wedgwood. It continues the heirloom prettiness of our Autumn collection.

"The new collection pairs relaxed tailoring with romantic softness. Customers can expect exaggerated French cuffs, collars, and oversize drop shoulders, along with plunging v-necks, daring flashes of leg and fluttering georgette sleeves.

"Our inspiration was a beautiful British rebel with an appetite for fun."

Marketing experts believe the collaboration is great news for Wedgwood.

Staffordshire University lecturer Vicky Roberts said: "When you think of Wedgwood, you think of ceramics. However, you don't think about the rich design heritage and pattern archive which has so much potential away from ceramics.

"This creative alliance, which refreshes the prints with new fabrics, will open up the Wedgwood brand to a younger demographic. "Meanwhile, Topshop now has access to the wonderful archive of Wedgwood patterns.

"I believe Topshop is hoping the prints will inspire an emotional connection in older customers, who will be more familiar with the works of Wedgwood."

Vicky believes Topshop is trying to tap into the growing popularity of afternoon tea among women.

She added: "These are not clothes you'd wear for a night-out or to nip to the shops. They have a very specific audience. This signals an exciting and modern change in direction for the Wedgwood brand and may well lead to more collaborations."

Fashion design graduate Holly Nancarrow – who owns the HollyCrow boutique in Leek – cannot wait to see the clothes.

The 31-year-old, from Leek, said: "The collection sounds fantastic. Something like this will raise awareness of Stoke-on-Trent's heritage with the pottery industry. The fact that a big brand like Topshop has decided to use the designs of Wedgwood for inspiration is great."

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