Handprint fabric specialist Bennison has teamed up with cult shop EGG to have some shift dresses made with their luxurious fabrics
Fashion has long had a strong influence on interior design but this time
the reverse holds true. Hand-print specialist Bennison has seen its
interior fabrics turned into clothes and even shoes.
Bennison handprints striking 18th- and 19th-century designs, often rich
in Oriental themes, on the finest silks, which are woven and dyed
exclusively for them.
Bennison also produces a dramatic linen collection featuring graphic cut
out collages by fashion editor Michael Roberts, such as the cheeky
Monkey Puzzle (seen here on the chairs and wall covering).
Bennison has long had a connection with fashion. Interior designer and antique dealer Geoffrey Bennison, whose period textiles provide the basis for many of the company's designs, used the Oakleaf and Bird and Basket fabrics to upholster some chairs and a sofa in Oscar de la Renta's New York home more than 20 years ago, while current owner and director Gillian Newberry worked both at Vogue magazine and David Bailey's studio. In the past, Bennison has also fashioned stunning jackets and gowns with its linens for its idiosyncratic calendar shoots (pictured).
This year, Bennison has taken a big step into fashion, thanks to Maureen Doherty of Knightsbridge cult shop EGG. Bennison's lavish fabrics feature prominently in some of the world's most exclusive homes, hotels and boutiques, including Maureen's EGG corner at the Rei Kawakabo-curated Dover Street Market shop. But Maureen didn't just choose Bennison's Monkey Puzzle, a quirky grey and blue design on oyster linen that's part of the Michael Roberts Cut Out collection, as the walling for her EGG space - she also went on to create some amazing shifts with the same fabric. The dresses' simple lines really underscore the fabric's cheeky monkey pattern.
EGG"s Maureen Doherty is not the only one to have spotted the fashion potential of Bennison's fabrics. The company's dramatic Dragon Flower design - an Indienne arboresque that was originally available in red and blue and has recently been presented in a sophisticated blue and green colourway - has been crafted into an elegant pair of slippers by bespoke Singapore tailor Kevin Seah.