“It’s all about apples,” said Merchant Archive creative director Sophie Merchant, who comes from a line of British apple farmers. She was inspired by childhood memories of pushing open the door to the apple house and being hit by the scent of stored apples. (She later inherited an apple house — where apples are traditionally stored — when her grandfather died.)
This translated into a refreshingly literal apple jacquard and a palette of greens, reds, pinks, black and white, and silhouettes derived from traditional Victorian apple-pickers clothes, all updated for the Merchant Archive women, who is very much about glamour.
That meant lots of dramatic volume and full-length pieces, with highlights including a fresh jumpsuit that had a corseted strapless bodice that fell to huge volume in the legs; and a beautiful full-length jacquard shirtdress with a frilled hem that musician Florence Welch, a longtime client, would look beautiful in.
For more everyday options, there was a lovely little bell-sleeve jacket in dusty pink worn with a red silk blouse and matching red trousers.