Top Of The Town- English Garden Collection

When lockdown first began back in March it felt like an abrupt pause on all work projects. It was hard to fathom being able to carry on as normal or being able to have the same creative freedom as before. Back in mid March I had just announced my Top Of The Town spring collection "Sunday Morning" and to be perfectly honestly I had thought this was going to be the last collection in a long while, because logistically I couldn't see how creating vintage collections, shooting pieces and sending them out efficiently was going to work within the terms of lockdown. It was disheartening and throughout the few weeks I promoted Sunday Morning, I was worried that "trying to carry on as normal" would be viewed negatively. I was very wrong! Sunday Morning was such a success and so well received. It was a true testament that what we all need at times like this is content which makes us happy and acts as escapism. As the weeks have rolled by I'd like to think we've learned to adapt to our new way of life. We've been able to sit back and think constructively about how we can carry on with some kind of new normal and from this I was able to look at creating a Top Of The Town summer collection through new, proactive eyes. And so it's with a little bit of compromising, a touch of optimism and a teeny tiny bit of modification that I've finally been able to create the ever so lovely "English Garden" collection.
Call it a blessing, call it a curse but my addiction to hunting down vintage pieces meant that pre lock down I already had enough Top Of The Town pieces stocked up to possibly cloth a small village. Ordinarily I buy things as I find them, then once I've decided on a collection concept I will look through what I already have and see which pieces I think fit. If I feel like something is missing from the collection, that's when I will go out hunting with the sole purpose of looking for items which fit within my idea. Obviously with this collection I simply didn't have the luxury of being able to pop out and look for new, amazing items and I was working with what I had which to me felt a little scary. That said, it would seem the vintage gods are looking down on me because I think this is possibly my favourite collection yet. Maybe it's because I had to get a little creative with it or maybe it's simply the concept itself but something about this collection feels like it's very close to my heart. I've absolutely adored creating it and subsequently I'm so excited for you all to see the full shebang go live this evening.
The English Garden collection is real a celebration of two things which both mean so much to me personally and I'd like to think many others out there too! Firstly it's based around learning to appreciate the importance of your grass roots and your home comforts, something which is more than relevant to a lot of us right now. It's an ode to appreciating  the little things in life; from making a Victoria Sponge and the sweet, warm smell of baking filling the house, to learning to watercolour paint and the tranquility of mastering as art whilst enjoying your own company or in my case, learning to garden and fully appreciating the beauty of nature. If there's one thing lockdown has truly taught us, it's to take stock in the little things around us that ordinarily we take for granted. I've never felt so thankful for the beautiful English countryside walks which are virtually on my doorstep. I've really found joy in being able to pause from the normal chaos of life to watch spring bloom and turn into summer. And so first and foremost this collection is really an ode to the splendour of summer and all it's incredible flowers.
Secondly this collection is simply a celebration of vintage florals in all their varied and wonderful glory! One the main reasons I feel so deeply in love with vintage shopping was because I just couldn't get enough of how beautiful the prints were and so it seems only right I would dedicate a collection solely to this. In particular I just can't get enough of 1960s and 1970s retro florals prints. They're often bold, bright and a little kitsch whilst simultaneously being delicate, sweet and feminine. I adore the variation of tones in each pattern and the colour combinations used, which we now look as as quintessentially retro from burgundies matched with pinks to olive greens teamed with lemon yellows. There's an unapologetic vibrancy there that I adore and the attention to detail is always second to none. Within the English Garden collection you will not only find a whole world of floral prints from paisley to ditsy to down right loud and proud, but you'll find a carefully curated selection of summer staples. I've tried to pieces together a good representation of what a perfect summer wardrobe looks like to me! There's tea dresses, smock tops, midi skirts and of course a couple of statement maxi dresses in there for good measure. All the pieces I've chosen I would deem perfectly acceptable to wear around the house. They're comfortable and functional, whilst still being incredible beautiful and well worth wearing summer after summer. Let's reinvent the idea of home wear and let's make it floral!

The English Collection launches tonight, 19th May at 8pm (GMT) over on Top Of The Towns Instagram page.

Sophia x

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