My recent discovery and post on textile savant Charlotte Linton has been blogged and reblogged (thanks to the lovely local Miss Moss), so I thought I’d go a little deeper into the story behind Charlotte’s exotic, whimsical prints. The narrative behind her many prints really comes to life in her finely illustrated and painted figures, creatures and other imaginings.
Inspired by antique imagery of naturalists and narratives of colonial exploration (including references as diverse as Hergé’s The Adventures of Tin Tin and archive papers held at the London Zoological Society), Charlotte invented her own fictional muse, Ermantrude. An eccentric zoologist travelling the globe in the earlier part of the 20th century, Ermantrude has a suitably tropical and inspired wardrobe to accompany her on her travels.
Each of Charlotte’s collections is based around Ermantrude’s wardrobe. Mixing cultures and era seamlessly, Charlotte’s aesthetic is tempered with vibrant, eclectic prints that tell of Ermantrude’s many travels.
In Charlotte’s own words, ‘Emphasis is put on practicality and simple cuts enabling the garments to carry eclectic prints that have an ingrained narrative. As the wardrobe of an adventurous young academic, they must be practical, stylish and essential.‘
Charlotte’s Summer 2010 collection is, I think, perfect for our upcoming Summer. Jaunty ethnic and anthropological prints, vivid colour and easy, glamorous shapes. These print dresses look fit for an urban savannah priestess with a hipflask in her pocket and a compass in her hand.
Follow Ermantrude’s travels here.