StephieAnn was launched in 2014 by founder Stephie, offering a luxurious range of the finest silk products, spread across quality briefs, eye masks, slips and camisoles, which are versatile as both day and nightwear, transitioning effortlessly from one to the other.
Stephie grew up near the South Downs in a countryside village, and as such embodies the area’s signature floral aesthetics and the British countryside in the creation of StephieAnn products. A graduate of the Chelsea College of Art and Design, Stephie soon joined The Prince’s Trust and threw herself into the world of business.
StephieAnn pieces are made in the Welsh Valleys, utilising couture techniques using the softest, finest quality silk. Through StephieAnn, the company’s founder seeks to share a poetic story of love and romance, brought to life through the brand’s innovative and creative hand drawings and cinematic photography. Stephie achieves this through her use of photoshop, where designs are digitally printed onto silk.
We explore two of StephieAnn’s best-selling ranges, ‘That Tender Light’ and ‘Hammer Through Daisies.’
First, That Tender Light.
“She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.”
Above is the opening stanza of Lord Byron’s “She Walks in Beauty”, from which Stephie takes the name of the collection, due to its contrasting effects of light and dark, of purity and immorality.
Stephie achieved this juxtaposing aesthetic by filling a glass bowl with water. She then added white flowers to add a twist of life and light, before dripping black ink into the water through the surface of the flowers. As the ink artfully embraced and constricted the flowers, Stephie captured the results through the means of drawing and photography.
This was all set against a background with a distant aesthetic of blurred lights, known as the Bokeh effect. Stephie aspired to recreate the light spots created when one squints their eyes, or the background of a photograph. Combined with the darkened flowers in water, the result was a striking and innovative piece of artwork in a picture, which Stephie then translates onto silk satin. It takes approximately 35 photographs and images to produce just one of Stephie’s designs. This artful process undoubtedly means that no two pieces in the That Tender Light collection look the exactly the same, making for a bespoke product every time.
Second, Hammer Through Daisies.
“And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.”
The name ‘Hammer Through Daisies’ comes from the closing stanza of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas’ “And Death Shall Have No Dominion”, which depicts the fight for love against times of adversity.
In order to recreate this, Stephie placed flowers in the freezer overnight. As the sun rose the next morning, she began to draw and capture the flowers’ frozen beauty, capturing the ice crystals and petals encased in ice. She then smashed the ice sculptures with a hammer, attempting to destroy their frozen beauty. However, Stephie was thwarted by the invincible flowers, remaining as beautiful as Thomas’ expressed love in his poem.
Turning to photoshop again, Stephie was able to combine her photography with intricate drawing skills to create an innovative display of unbreakable love, which she then digitally printed onto silk before sending it to the picturesque Welsh valleys to be made into luxurious garments.
As with all StephieAnn designs, the name of the author and the poem are sewn into each garment created.
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