All Swash's prints are handmade, painted with watercolor and digitally printed on silk or other selected fabric. The designs are always inspired by natural forms, wildlife, jewels and the puppy Candy - she is a friendly Whippet and the label talisman. The couple graduated from the prestigious Central Saint Martins. After a few years devoting themselves exclusively to accessories design, with a special a focus on scarves, now they endevor women read-to-wear business. The print expertise is providing them some good partnerships. In this interview for Flur Magazine, Sarah reveals Swash universe.
Toshio has been drawing non-stop since a child. Sarah it's all about the colour.
Toshio in the early 90's with Westwood e Jean Paul Gaultier. And for me, since I was a child and then a little later in the 90's with the iD magazine, The Face and daydreaming about fashion as a teenager in the countryside
In 2004 at the Festival of Hyeres and becoming a company in 2005. We have always been making womenswear pieces but decided to build the business upon accessories with a view to expanding the womenswear at the right time. In 2012 sees a massively expanded womenswear line and the launch of some very exciting collaborations. So now, we are a womenswear label with a love of print and the scarf being the perfect canvas for these prints
It was a very exciting time. We were given opportunities like showing the collection on the catwalk and getting invaluable feedback from the industry. but the hard work really started a year or two later.
Massively difficult. You love design, study design and then have to get your head around running a successful business on the back of that. Not for the faint hearted.
It was a great opportunity and showing on a catwalk is undoubtedly hugely rewarding as a designer. But we have decided to build our business on detail, hard work and sales and in more recent years have decided not to factor a show into this. We would love to show at some point in the future but currently the way we work in terms of print is so intricate, detailed and time consuming that we choose to concentrate on presenting our work in other ways.
We have a great team that works alongside us. Between Toshio and I we work as follows: Sarah & Toshio work on the theme and story of the collection alongside our team. Research, meetings, discussions... Toshio draws meticulously by hand every detail of the prints and scarves. Research, meetings, discussions... Sarah & Toshio paint the colours by hand with watercolour. The prints come to life and whilst this is all going on we have been working for weeks on silhouettes, finishes, details which paired with the prints become the collection!
The dog is called Candy. She is our dog. She is elegant and beautiful, more so than any other whippet we have ever seen. She comes to work with us every day and is the undisputed princess of Swash studios. It was automatic and instinctive; Candy is without doubt the face of Swash
The drawings depicted in the scarves are all done by hand by Swash. Toshio firstly draws on paper; numerous studies are done each season featuring anything from plants, wildlife, jewels to their precious dog Candy. These drawings are then painted in watercolour by Sarah and Toshio and at this point start to take the form of the scarves and prints. The final process is a digital print onto silks and individually sourced fabrics. Printing digitally means that the colour and vibrancy of the original paintings is translated in full. The prints maintain their original hand drawn lines and their uniquely colourful appearance.
The idea can be a book we have stumbled across, a photo, a film, a painting. It's often one image that then becomes a story. The result is a patchwork of scenes and ideas which are played out in the scarves and prints. The collection theme comes first but we are researching prints whilst also researching silhouettes & shape. We work on both simultaneously but the collection story is the starting point.
A fantastic collaboration with Wallpaper magazine saw us partner with Rab to create a luxe Swash sleeping bag http://www.wallpaper.com/handmade/2012/products#!/listview/sleeping-bag-by-swash-and-rab/314. We are currently about to launch a luxury shoe collection with a new partner. In two weeks all will be revealed...
A Swash boutique which presents the Swash universe in 3D!