In 1980, a young Prince Charles purchased Highgrove House and its 353 acres of land in Gloucestershire and began devoting his energies into transforming its gardens. And now, his vision has inspired a luxury fashion collection, created by young artisans and being sold on Net-a-Porter and Yoox.
The 13-piece ready-to-wear womenswear collection is the second fashion line the King has collaborated on, following the reveal of a first sustainable collection back in 2020. This new venture goes one step further in being described as carbon neutral. It is also the first time the King’s beloved private residence has served as inspiration for a fashion line and the location of an editorial fashion shoot.
The collection was designed and crafted by eight students, four Italian and four British, through the Modern Artisan training program, which is run by the charity The Prince’s Foundation alongside Yoox Net-a Porter. Pieces include a deep fuschia evening dress inspired by the Highgrove Rose, a yellow cashmere cardigan, which takes its inspiration from the garden’s yellow benches chosen by the King, and several other items in multiple shades of browns and greens. Prices range from £350 for a white shirt to £795 for a cashmere coat.
“The Highgrove inspiration was critical to this whole philosophy of learning in and from nature that we put at the heart of our education programs,” Jacqueline Farrell, Education Director of The Prince’s Foundation at Dumfries House, told T&C. The eight students spent several days at Highgrove generating ideas, drawing, and taking photographs.
Artisan Arianna Safayi, 23, from Perugia, Italy and a graduate of Politecnico di Milano, described the experience as an “amazing privilege.” “As an Italian I didn’t know want to expect [from Highgrove Gardens] but what I felt is that, apart from the obvious royal atmosphere, I felt a really strong sense of humanity while walking about…it’s a place where nature collaborates with man-made tailoring of nature,” she said. Arianna described taking inspiration from the “very fluid and feminine silhouettes; the flowers, specific plants, the colours…intertwined with some very structured and defined and rigid topiary.”
The artisans spent 10 months on the paid program, which supported them through designing, handcrafting, and bringing the collection to a global market. They spent six months at Dumfries House in East Ayrshire, Scotland, undertaking intensive training in small batch production, and the collection will be displayed at a public exhibit at the house today (November 3) alongside a series of talks about sustainable fashion. The 18th Century stately home Dumfries House was bought and preserved by King Charles in 2007 and now runs multiple education and outreach programs in collaboration with the local community.
“We have been blown away by this group of next generation artisans and are delighted to bring this unique collection to Net-a-Porter and Yoox customers around the world,” said Alison Loehnis, Interim CEO of Yoox Net-a-Porter in a statement. “With sustainability principles applied throughout the design and production process, the collection aligns with our ambition to drive a more sustainable and circular fashion system.”
“I think what I enjoyed so much about the experience is that it was a blending of culture,” said artisan Arianna Safayi. “I myself am a mixed woman, I’m half Persian, and experiencing the atmosphere of the British culture intertwining with the Italian culture is something that we were able to tell through the collection. Obviously the inspiration came from Highgrove but we have both an Italian take from that inspiration and a British take…every piece sums up this collaboration and tells the story of this collaboration.”
The new womenswear collection has launched on Net-a-Porter and Yoox. 50% of the RRP from the sale of the collection will be donated to The Prince’s Foundation.
Town & Country Contributing Editor Victoria Murphy has reported on the British Royal Family since 2010. She has interviewed Prince Harry and has travelled the world covering several royal tours. She was the Daily Mirror‘s Royal Correspondent and is a frequent contributor to Good Morning America.