Like any fashion business, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi has faced a tough few months, losing many of its revenue sources overnight.

But when things looked like they’d fall apart, Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi got crafty and found ways to piece them back together — both figuratively and literally, by way of patchwork pieces galore.

It made for one of their most personal collections yet, with every piece layered with stories of family love, creativity and resilience.

Having spent lockdown in their countryside home, the husband-and-wife duo searched for inspiration around them, and found plenty of it in their children’s art projects; in old prints that were lying around their home and studio, having never made it to production, and in the nature that surrounded them.

They kept it all in a vintage book, discovered in their garage and turned into a scrapbook — and from there, they began to piece their ideas and the new collection together.

A photo of foxgloves from their garden was turned into a striking print and splashed all over a ruffled midi dress; a blush pink quilted jacket that hadn’t made it into the last resort season was given a new lease on life with gold embroidery; different scraps of knits were pieced together into cool oversized jumpers, while an old floral print originally developed for Bregazzi’s wedding dress and never used, was revisited and made into a layered chiffon dress.

Bregazzi and Thornton had a helping hand from their daughters too, who draped dresses, turned vintage crockery into statement earrings and, inspired by a school assignment, dyed fabrics using beetroot.

“We had to do what we know best,” Thornton said.

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