It was originally the largest ironworks in Belgium and later one of the main international producers of train cars and railway materials. It has existed since 1818 and it remains in all its original pre-war glory, just 40 km from us. We were lucky enough to spend a couple of days there, shooting our winter 2017 collection, with a lovely model called Ira. The location is no longer used as a production site, but as you browse the photos of this collection, you’ll get a glimpse of what this gem used to be.
For this winter, it was ‘vintage industrial’ with a bohemian vibe. Think concrete floors, cracked and irregular, high ceilings, huge windows, and of course lots of linen and wool furnishings. Through the industrial vibe, you also automatically get a slightly more masculine feeling, which is also a good thing- it brings variation from season to season, which I find necessary. You get a good idea of the inspiration here, with one of my mood boards.
In my mind, I was filling a space like this, so it was obvious from the beginning it would include a lot of black and beeswax brown. However, the design process became so exciting when I started working on the linen wool throws and pillows. I had done linen/wool in previous winters, with great success, but in a heavier quality that we used in coverlets and pillows. The new linen/wool quality was a bit lighter in weight, which meant that I could achieve strong and clear stripes and dobby designs- that turned out even better than I expected. This is always a great thing!
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful” -William Morris
When our stylist, Corinne, found La Brugeoise as location for the shoot, it was like witnessing perfection. It’s always at the shoot that I have the lightbulb moment. Seeing the products in the right setting gives me such a sense of completion, I know at that moment that it’s all good. Or that something needs to be tweaked a bit. It was here that I realized that this winter’s Belgian towel is as good as a throw as it is for table linen – placemats, runner, small tablecloth.
But on a more emotional level, it’s also typically at a shoot, out of the craziness of my office and the factory, where I think wow, I am so lucky to be here, doing this, creating with LINEN. Lucky, lucky, girl.
Sadly, this shoot is long behind me. And, as I write this, we are preparing for our January 2018 shoot, which is happening this week! I have to keep it a bit of a secret now, but I’ll be back to write about it when summer gets a bit closer.