He lives in a house
A very big house in the country
He’s got a fog in his chest
So he needs a lot of rest in the country
He doesn’t drink, smoke, laugh
Takes herbal baths in the country
But you’ll come to no harm
On the animal farm in the country
In the country, in the country, in the country
— Country House, BLUR, The Great Escape album 1995
Throughout history, depicted in literature, art and music — nature has been romanticised. We live in a world with serious environmental problems less greenery and more pollution than ever before and the idea of escaping to the country is as appealing as ever.
Blur's 1995 song Country House parodies the idea of people being happier in the country when in fact often the same problems prevail. Katie Battersby’s Country House is the second part of the Wild Wood collection and draws inspiration from nature and the romanticised notion of country life.
It captures an ongoing enquiry into experimental fabrication techniques through printing, stitching and applique and a series of paintings translated into bespoke printed silk fabrics.
The fabrics feature intense painted blossoms reminiscent of protective camouflage. The prints have a lush quality in four colour ways: citron, lilac, orange-blossom and boysenberry. Battersby explores wet on wet media techniques to attain the fluidity necessary for the translation of the acidic floral imagery onto silk.
The silk pieces are paired with other garments with botanical references. The effect is luscious tropical meets Victorian austerity. There are signature applique pieces in white reminiscent of romantic botanical illustrations, Liberty wildflower cottons, high necklines, flouncing bows, sheer fabrics, and ruffles, contrast with utilitarian denim/corduroy trousers and walk shorts.
This romantic collection will take you from work to party season and beyond through long hot summer days, albeit country house or city side, preferably listening to 90s Brit Pop.