Some things do just sound better in French. Which is clearly what our Victorian ancestors thought when broderie anglaise, or English embroidery to you and me, exploded onto the UK textile scene in the 19th century. Despite its fussy French spelling, this form of intricate needlework is English through and through.
Broderie anglaise, a close relation to lace, is a whitework technique, which means it is created using white stitch on white fabric. It’s charaterised by patterns comprised of round or oval holes, called ‘eyelets’, which are cut from the fabric and bound by buttonhole stitches. These are surrounded by simple embroidery details to create the final cloth.
It’s thought to have originated in 16th century Czechoslovakia, but broderie anglaise erupted in popularity in the 1800s, fuelled by the tastes of Victorian England; it could often be spotted on children’s clothing or, far less often, decorating the cloth of women’s underwear. The style fell somewhat out of favour until the 1950s, before it saw another surge in popularity – with 60’s sex symbol Brigitte Bardot even opting to use the unique fabric on her wedding dress.
Since then, it’s justly maintained its status in the world of textiles, and is now widely used within contemporary fashion. Thanks to its robust design it can handle much more wear and tear than its delicate sibling lace, while still adding a pretty, feminine and relaxed touch to any outfit – which is exactly why it’s recently made its way onto the catwalks of Valentino, Louis Vuitton and Oscar de la Renta, to name but a few.
The Blessington (pictured above)
This is the LWD (little white dress) your wardrobe has always needed. The Blessington is the perfect dress for transitioning from day to night; wear it with straps and flats for day-time events then grab your heels and go strapless for a night to remember (or not?).
A perfect choice for garden parties or brunch with friends, the Bealbury features broderie anglaise detailing and its fit ‘n’ flare shape is inspired by vintage couture. Pair it with the Aylestone denim jacket and our Limbury leather sandals for chilled get-togethers, or dress it up with the Austerberry blazer and heels for more formal events. Now please pass us some Pimm’s.
The ideal way to include summer whites in your new season wardrobe, the Tidmington brings a touch of everyday elegance to casual outfits. Team it with a pair of Fernham skinny jeans and the Deansbrook plimsolls.