The William Morris SOciety
HOPE & IVY COLLABORATION
The william morris society
When it comes to prints, all of us at Hope & Ivy like to think we know our stuff. We pride ourselves on our hand-drawn designs and walk through life picking up inspiration wherever we tread. You may be wondering where this passion originally arose, and for our founders Beth and Sarah, much of it was thanks to the timeless work of artist, writer, textile designer, and revolutionary socialist William Morris.
If you’re not familiar with his name, we’re sure you’ll be better acquainted with his instantly recognisable prints, many of which adorn walls and soft furnishings across the country and even further afield. The ‘Strawberry Thief’ is one his most iconic repeating designs, inspired by thrushes he found stealing fruit in the garden of his beloved home, Kelmscott House.
Morris lived at Kelmscott House from 1878 until his death in 1896, and while the main section of the house still acts as a private residence today, the coach house and basement rooms are home to The William Morris Society.
Beth and Sarah were lucky enough to be invited to visit the society on a cool, crisp morning last December, where they learnt that it was founded in 1955, and was today made up of both an exhibition space and a Morrisian reference library. Acting as a small, charity-run organisation, the society follows the word of Morris, hosting regular events and educational outreach programmes for schools and community groups.
With a love for Morris’ prints dating back to childhood, and knowing that the society relies heavily on the efforts and support of many volunteers and members, Beth and Sarah felt this collection was an unmissable collaboration opportunity. Unique prints are the very essence of Hope & Ivy, and we couldn’t be happier that this celebration of William Morris’ iconic heritage prints means five spectacular new dresses are now ready to be launched!
The Design Process
When the team browsed through the extensive selection of prints in the society’s immaculately-preserved archive, they found work from both William Morris himself, and his youngest daughter May. With a distinct vision of the end product in mind, it seemed especially important to stay true to the original designs wherever possible, and with such a vast array of options to choose from, it was especially difficult narrowing them down.
Once decided, everyone sprung into action, aiming to create each dress with the classic Hope & Ivy silhouettes you know and love, all while using recycled, sustainable, and responsibly-sourced fabrics. The result is five wardrobe staples that we’re sure you’ll find yourself reaching for time and time again ― think vintage elegance reimagined to help you stand out at every modern occasion!
Providing perfect transition wear between the summer and autumn seasons, with shades of deep blue and vibrant greens, this versatile selection of dresses are fresh enough to act as an it-girl outfit for a mid-summer soirée, but can easily be paired with boots and a light jacket to carry you through to days when the weather is a little more chilly. Whether you love a plunging neckline or feel like a magpie when you spot a delicate dress with frills and a little something extra on the trim, our William Morris Society collection truly has something for everyone.
with daisy Payne
When it came to planning the shoot for these brand new styles, there was only one space we had in mind - Emery Walker’s Arts and Crafts home in Hammersmith, London. Emery Walker was a long-time friend of William Morris, and worked with him on many creative endeavours, including designing the typefaces ‘Golden’, ‘Troy’, and ‘Chaucer’ for the Kelmscott Press books.
Today, his former residence is believed to be the most authentic Arts & Crafts house in Britain, and the Hope & Ivy team couldn’t wait to have a look around! The quirky and eclectic interiors have stayed largely untouched and have been meticulously maintained since the Emery Walker Trust took over in 1999, providing a blissful backdrop for our dresses and the gorgeous Daisy Payne, who we were lucky enough to work with as a model.
Daisy is best known for her gardening skills, masterful presenting, and effortlessly stylish appearance on ITV’s This Morning, making her an ideal choice for this particular campaign. With beautiful blooms in hand, and direction from the brilliant John Lander behind the camera, Daisy encapsulated everything we love about these dresses and their focus on florals, foliage, and the wonder of nature. If you don’t believe us, just take a look at these stunning shots!
If any of our Morris-inspired styles have caught your eye, be sure to shop them now on our site while you have the chance! We can’t wait to hear what you think and look forward to seeing how you wear your latest Hope & Ivy creation!
Shop the collection