Barbour love collaborations, their styles are so timeless, and well loved, that every year they simply revamp their classic capsules with a refreshing new print. They’ve used William Morris, Emily Bond and now we’re proud to announce that their next partnership is with Yorkshire-based, artisan crafts designer, Julie Dodsworth.
Our favourite thing about JD (we’re calling her that because we think she’s cool enough to pull it off) is that she lives on a canal boat. The even better part is that her boat is called Calamity Jane, my absolute favourite film growing up! Her cherished narrowboat home is the muse behind her designs, which effortlessly capture the unique beauty of Britain’s canals and rivers, and evoke a charming vintage feel.
As soon as I saw the print design ‘Mill Stream’, my personal favourite, I was whisked away to a spring-field full of flowers, sipping bubbles on a checked blanket, under the happy beams of the sun, one could only wish… Only my incessant hay fever could possibly ruin that fantasy!
Inspired by 18th Century Folk Art, Julie’s prints are designed to fit in with the strict rules that canal boat art traditions uphold, by only featuring specific flowers and shapes such as Roses, Daisies and Hearts. Sitting in Calamity Jane, watching other painted boats float by, enjoying the different colours of the seasons and the constant changing light on the water has resulted in a collection of four intensely colourful prints: Mill Stream, named after the Grand Union Canal; Nature Walk, inspired by the variety of the flowers often found alongside canal tow paths; Daisyfield, referencing the famous landmark on the Leeds Liverpool canal; and, May Fair, celebrating the Canal Festivals that take place in May.
Named after the Grand Union Canal, the longest canal in the UK, Julie couldn’t help but be inspired by the stunning Mill Wharf in Northamptonshire, which provides a home and mooring for many canal boats. It’s a combination of pastel pinks, peaches and purples on a cream background, delicate roses and subtle greenery, all in harmony together to form a delightfully light summer print.
Canal life isn’t restricted to those with narrowboat homes, the beauty, tranquillity and variety can be enjoyed by all, whether it’s on the river or gently strolling along one of the long canal tow paths. There is a rich abundance of nature to discover in the picturesque world surrounding a canal; these treasures are elucidated within the intricacies of the Nature Walk design. Here you will find rich green flora set on a gorgeous violet/blue base, tiny red roses and dainty pastel hearts.
Daisy Field lies on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal and is a shining example of the preserved mills, wharves and industry that form an important part of the heritage of the British Waterways. Daisy Field has similar qualities to Mill Stream, it encompasses pastels on to a light background, but the artworks are positioned closer together giving a more tightly formed pattern. It predominately consists of lush lime leaves complimented by tiny red roses and two shades of purple blossom.
Celebrations of the British Waterway’s long heritage take place in the form of lively canal festivals at the youth of every summer. Bunting, flowers and beautiful hand painted decorations adorn the narowboats and barges, revelling in the colours and crafts of canal-life traditions. May Fair is a vibrant floral display of summer, epitomising these festivals with a plethora of bright colours. The print consists of prominent roses with contrasting centre detail, entailing abundant shades of strawberry red, petal pink, peaches and cream, and set upon a dynamic background of rich greens and lighter leaves.
Julie’s unique prints have appeared on Ceramics, Home Furnishings and Candles before, and Barbour is now the first clothing company to feature the artist, and a great move that was. We adore the classic jackets and summer staples, Julie has really manage to brighten up and ‘summer-ize’ Barbour clothing!