King Charles III’s Highgrove garden inspires luxury womenswear collection

Items from the second edition of The Modern Artisan project, in collaboration with The Prince’s Foundation (PA)
Items from the second edition of The Modern Artisan project, in collaboration with The Prince’s Foundation (PA)

A new luxury womenswear capsule collection has been inspired by King Charles III’s beloved gardens at Highgrove for the first time.

The 13-piece collection is the second edition of the Modern Artisan project, a training collaboration for design and textiles graduates between The Prince’s Foundation and online fashion retailer Yoox Net-A-Porter.

Designs made from natural fabrics like organic silk, cashmere, and biodegradable buttons include a glamorous pink silk evening dress inspired by the deep fuschia of the monarch’s Highgrove rose.

The dress is shaped in honour of the curves of the topiary along the Thyme Walk.

Other pieces include a vibrant green shirt-dress with an oversized collar, inspired by the large leaves of the gunnera plants in the grounds, and a yellow cashmere knit jumper that replicates the colour of the benches placed around Highgrove.

The shade of yellow that the benches are painted was personally chosen by the King for his garden furniture, to contrast against the green foliage.

King Charles’ love of gardening is well-known and he has spent more than 40 years transforming the grounds around Highgrove House, which is his private retreat in Gloucestershire.

The modern artisans comprise of four British fashion and textiles graduates and four Italian graduates from the leading design school Politecnico di Milano.

They were invited to the gardens to sketch, paint and explore the environment as part of designing the collection.

The grounds also serves as the backdrop for a fashion shoot for the first time, with models photographed among the foliage wearing the hand-crafted items.

Photo issued by Yoox Net-A-Porter of a yellow cashmere jumper matching the benches at Highgrove being modelled at Highgrove House, Tetbury, Gloucestershire (PA)
Photo issued by Yoox Net-A-Porter of a yellow cashmere jumper matching the benches at Highgrove being modelled at Highgrove House, Tetbury, Gloucestershire (PA)

The collection was shown to the King when he was still the Prince of Wales earlier this year at The Prince’s Foundation’s headquarters at Dumfries House, in East Ayrshire, where he also met the graduates.

Isabelle Pennington-Edmead, 24, from Cheshire, said of meeting the monarch: “It’s really good to know that he’s proud of everything we’re doing.”

Emily Dey, another of the modern artisans, said that the standout piece from the collection was the pink evening dress, which features multi-way faux tie straps, with seam detail and an A-line shape.

Photo issued by Yoox Net-A-Porter of the then Prince of Wales (now King Charles III) with modern artisan Isabelle Pennington-Edmead as they admire her fashion designs on show at Highgrove House (PA)
Photo issued by Yoox Net-A-Porter of the then Prince of Wales (now King Charles III) with modern artisan Isabelle Pennington-Edmead as they admire her fashion designs on show at Highgrove House (PA)

“The evening dress is a very special piece for us as it’s inspired by the Highgrove rose,” she said.

“I am so happy we were able to produce this garment as it elevates the elegant, feminine mood we wanted within the collection.”

The collection is available exclusively on Net-A-Porter and Yoox, and 50 per cent of the recommended retail price from sales will be donated to the King’s charity to support its training programmes.

Photo issued by Yoox Net-A-Porter of a cashmere coat (left) and a check coat  being modelled at Highgrove House (PA)
Photo issued by Yoox Net-A-Porter of a cashmere coat (left) and a check coat being modelled at Highgrove House (PA)

Prices for the items in the collection include £600 for the silk gown, £550 for the green shirt-dress, and £350 for the yellow cashmere knit top.

Other pieces on sale include a chunky cropped hand-knitted green vest at £350, a grey stone-coloured cashmere coat at £795, a dark green waistcoat with biodegradable beetroot buttons at £495, and dark green wide-leg trousers at £495.

It marks the first collection to align completely with Yoox Net-A-Porter’s sustainability and circularity design guidelines, and its first carbon-neutral collection.

The inaugural Modern Artisans menswear and womenswear collection was launched in 2020.

Additional reporting by PA