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Bright Side Stories - Cath Kidston
Cath Kidston x Peter Rabbit paintings on a table with paint
Behind the Designs: Cath Kidston X Peter Rabbit™

Cath Kidston x Peter Rabbit paintings on a table with paint

A Tale of Artistry, Heritage and Mischief

In celebration of the 120th anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit, we are delighted to introduce our collaboration with a unique collection of hand-drawn illustrations and story-telling prints that combine heritage with artistry.

Our prints are inspired by Beatrix Potter's life as an artist, scientist, painter and author, The Tailor of Gloucester stitching our story and our print and Beatrix Potter's letters to her governess’s young son, Noel, which depict the beginnings of The Tale of Peter Rabbit story. Our The Tailor of Gloucester print weaves perfectly through our summer narrative of ‘Love Sewn into Every Stitch’ and our beautiful Dear Noel print features Beatrix Potter’s hand-written letters with her own illustrations, intertwined with our own hand-painted florals.

 

We go behind the scenes at our design studio, with our Creative Director Holly and Designers, George and Steffi to discover how they were inspired to create this wonderfully unique collection.

This is Cath Kidston’s second collaboration with Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit™. How did it feel to revisit and reinvent this partnership?

 

George:

The second collection truly celebrates Beatrix Potter as a botanical artist, illustrator and writer. Each print has a story to tell, and it felt great to honour Beatrix Potter as an influential woman in design through the collaboration.

Tell us more about how Beatrix Potter herself inspired this year’s collection, and specifically the Dear Noel print.

George:

We were inspired by the origins of The Tale of Peter Rabbit story and how Beatrix Potter brought them to life through her hand-written and illustrated letters to her friend and former governess’s son, Noel. The print includes her own handwritten story, carrot hearts, and the joyful characters from The Tale of Peter Rabbit hopping around. If you look closely, you can also find one of the mice from The Tailor of Gloucester reading a story within the inky marks of the print.

artist painting floral for Cath Kidston matilda collaboration

What creative techniques were used to design the Dear Noel print?

 

George:

We used pen and ink over pencil on Beatrix Potter’s original drawings from The Tale of Peter Rabbit and added our painted Cath Kidston elements in gouache to bring some colour and life into the print.

cath kidston designer painting florals for matilda collaboration

The Tailor of Gloucester stars in his own print this year, can you tell us what inspired this print?

Holly:

I am a fashion and textile designer by heart, and The Tailor of Gloucester story is just so romantic to me, sewing this beautifully intricate waistcoat, so we wove it into the story telling. The print is a trompe-l’oeil print of every single stitch, replicating the silk he stitched in the story. We also replicated the borders of this exquisite piece using our Cath Kidston floral borders. Look out for the tiny mouse-sized detail in the hand-painting and some amazing computer wizardry where The Tailor of Gloucester and our print design comes alive on our social channels! I heard that Beatrix Potter was inspired by an exhibit in the Victoria and Albert Museum when she was a child, which the whole print team felt really inspired by, as we are inspired by the V&A most days!

 

Mr. McGregor's notorious garden comes to life in the Garden Ditsy print, tell us how you’ve woven in elements of Cath Kidston’s print heritage with Beatrix Potter’s iconic characters.

 

George:

Beatrix Potter herself was a botanical artist, so we created a print to show her love for nature - our Ditsy Garden print. We added her most iconic characters alongside our magical mushrooms and delicate florals.

 

This summer’s collection features some new pieces, including the Mini Billie Mug – can you tell us more about how and why this was created?

 

Holly:

Our classic Billie mugs have a beautiful organic finish and glaze and we created the Mini Billie Mug as we felt these beautiful nostalgic designs are just so perfect for baby and children gifting – everybody loves Peter Rabbit™ gifts. I have Peter Rabbit™ vintage books that were gifted to me as a child and have now passed them onto my children. It inspires me daily that we can create ‘heirlooms’ – beautiful pieces to treasure forever. This new shape is such a little treasure and lovely to hold.

cath kidston designer painting florals for matilda collaboration

Which is your favourite piece from our Peter Rabbit™ collection and why?

George:

My favourite piece is the Sidekick Placement Tote, you can see all the beautiful border details from The Tailor of Gloucester print, which I love. I’m also very fond of the Peter Rabbit pyjamas, which are beautiful.

Holly:

Mine is the children’s Garden Ditsy Dress - a really fashionable ditsy print dress, with the exciting addition of our hidden characters. Every time you look you’ll see a new detail. I also love the use of the bright green colour in the print– so joyful and summery.

Steffi:

I absolutely love our Peter Rabbit clothing, especially seeing our beautiful Soft-Waisted Dress in the vibrant green Garden Ditsy print. It is such a new shape for us, so it is a real treat to see them come alive with Beatrix Potter's wonderful hidden characters. I also love the plates with Jemima Puddle-Duck and Peter Rabbit as a mix and match ceramic collection. They have a real nostalgic feel to them, which makes them collectable, commemorative pieces to treasure for years to come.

 

Is there anything else you’d like to say about this collection?

 

Holly:

This collection is also for my God daughter, Jemima! I hope other little boys and girls enjoy it as much as I know she will. The children on the photoshoot for the collection loved laying the Peter Rabbit™ table with carrots and vegetables!

It was a joy to design the Peter Rabbit™ collection, to tell these beautiful stories through print is a real pleasure. It reminded me of my childhood and when my children were small, to evoke these fond memories and nostalgia is really important to us and makes our print narrative really passionate and purposeful. Watching each of these characters come alive in Cath Kidston’s landscape and celebrating Beatrix Potter’s craft was truly an honour.

 

Join us for a celebration of some of the most iconic characters in literature. Peter Rabbit™, The Tailor of Gloucester, Jemima Puddle-Duck and other much-loved Beatrix Potter characters are at the heart of this limited-edition collection. Sign up here to follow the story and hear more about Cath Kidston x Peter Rabbit™.

 

BEATRIX POTTER™ © Frederick Warne & Co., 2022.