Heritage Interior Textiles in High Street Fashion

Two quintessentially British interior brands have found an unexpected partnership with one of the most recognised high street fashion retailers, H&M. 

Morris & Co. at H&M

Morris & Co. at H&M

Morris & Co. was founded in 1861 by William Morris, one of the most influential designers in the Arts and Crafts movement.  Only 23 years later GP&J Baker was founded in 1884 by brothers George Percival and James Baker, built on the brother’s collection of rare and iconic designs which is now one of the largest privately owned textiles archives in the world.

Design Insider GPandJ HandM Bright

GP&J Baker at H&M

International retailer H&M is at the forefront of fast paced high street fashion, launching 16 collections every year into more than 3000 stores in 53 countries.

The notable contrast between high street fashion and two of this country’s most distinguished heritage interior brands cannot be overlooked.  So how have these two worlds been brought together?

Design Insider GPandJ HandM Patterns

GP&J Baker at H&M

H&M’s in house design team designed women’s wear garments to carry the heritage patterns.  It is only to be expected that H&M designers will follow up to the minute fashion trends.  The GP&J Baker collection was launched on August 2nd with a focus on light and sheer textiles with a wide range of sophisticated and romantic pieces, each detailed with puff shoulders, balloon sleeves, lace inserts and contrast prints.  These design details are mirrored in the Morris & Co. collection, launched only 2 months later on October 4th.  Both the GP&J Baker and Morris & Co. collections include a wide range of strong tailored coats, jackets and trousers, as well as romantic dresses and blouses, cosy knits and coordinating separates.   They also utilise several fabric weights unfamiliar to the brands’ interior expertise.

‘As custodians of William Morris’ original company we keep his legacy alive today through the creation of beautifully crafted fabric and wallpaper collections inspired by our archive and all aspects of his work. This collaboration enables us to show the relevance of Morris’ iconic patterns today and we are delighted to work with H&M and to bring these designs to a new audience within the fashion world.’ Claire Vallis, Creative Director of Morris & Co.

Design Insider Style Library Morris Blouse

Morris & Co. at H&M

By making the Morris & Co. designs relevant today it is fascinating to see the contrast between the Arts and Crafts ethos of William Morris’ designs applied to more decorative and flamboyant details such as ruffles.

For both collections the interior brands worked closely with H&M to select patterns from their current collections and archives.  Iconic Morris & Co. prints were selected including Love is Enough, as well as Lily Leaf and Marigold, which are both all-over prints.  Alongside heritage designs including Pimpernel sits Woodford Plaid, a contemporary version of a traditional tartan and similarly, The Brook, a print created in 2015 but inspired by medieval tapestries. 


GP&J Baker at H&M

GP&J Baker chose to select some of their most loved prints alongside prints sourced from their archive, including Magnolia which William Turner painted in 1913.  The classic Oriental Bird, Blossom and Hydrangea Bird are mixed with strong geometric patterns such as Fretwork.

‘We are thrilled and honoured to be collaborating with H&M. The prints selected are part of GP & J Baker’s unique DNA. They are some of our most iconic and most treasured designs, so to see them continuing their journey into a new arena in such an innovative and interesting way in the world of fashion is a wonderful prospect.’ Ann Grafton, Managing Director and Creative Director of GP & J Baker.

Design Insider Style Library Morris Tartan

Morris & Co. at H&M

Seeing these two striking collections adorn the window displays of such a prominent high street retailer is wonderful.  The prints do not for one minute look like they don’t belong.  This forces the question of whether heritage interior designs will become the must have trend during 2019?  Which brands will be next to migrate from our homes in to our wardrobes?

‘It’s such a wonderful time in fashion for statement-making prints and patterns so we’re excited to be collaborating with one of the most prestigious textile and wallpaper houses. The pieces from the collection are feminine and strong with an effortless feel, and will appeal to those who love both fashion and great print design.’ Pernilla Wohlfahrt, H&M’s Design Director.

Do you think this new direction from interior to fashion invites new opportunity?  We want to hear what you think, please leave a comment below.

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About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
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