Vivienne was impressed with our designs and products, even though they mainly consisted of the staple pieces of crew and V-neck sweaters. Vivienne would take our twin set cardigan and make it into a desirable product to adorn the catwalk, something that we would never have thought would happen at that time.
We made our traditional men’s and women’s crew cardigans, big scoop sweaters, long pants and skirt all with Harlequin Intarsia designs and the added Vivienne Westwood orb embroidery and Orb button. She was very keen on garments being beautifully made and tailored very traditional, which worked with her tailored Harris Tweed collection.
At the time, our colour palette was very traditional, melange greens, mid-browns, pale blues and primrose yellows; these were the colours that from John Smedley's view were men's traditional outfitters colours and at the time we wanted to move away from this, but to Vivienne the colours were perfect.
And that was how something that was old fashioned became fashionable. We worked with Vivienne for a few seasons, both using Merino wool and also our superior John Smedley Sea Island Cotton, and always using our own colour palette.
For John Smedley’s 220th anniversary we worked with Vivienne Westwood. I went to the design Studio to work on the designs with Vivienne, again to create a collection of fully fashioned designs in Merino wool using our traditional knitting techniques of creating, grandad shirts waistcoat, cardigans long pants, skirt and body.
All designed with wide banded stripe details and banded ties. We also used a new and special embroidery which was focused on the orb and then added jay bird embroidery all to celebrate a special occasion and the collaboration between John Smedley and Vivienne Westwood.