SS21: a moodboard

How do we curate a collection? It is a question posed by many in the Rowen & Wren community to our in-house creative team. We decided then for our Spring/Summer 2021 collection to share with you an aspect of how our design cycle unfolds, for it always starts and ends with a moodboard. 

Slightly more than a year ago, just before the very first lockdown, our creative team gathered around two very large cork boards in our little attic office in the Surrey countryside, where our co-founder Lucy presented her direction for the season. She shared stories of living off the land and how she could see new pieces from coarse basketry for garden harvests to the towering spires of willow obelisks to train climbing runner beans helping us to tell such a tale; she liked the idea of showing our more playful side via shadow play puppetry (for our new collections aren’t solely about product ideas but developing our creative identity too); and so too did she encourage amongst the newness continuation of our unwavering philosophy – to savour the simple things in life and appreciate the joy within. 

Our moodboard (or moodboards in fact as the one often overflows into another) soon became crowded as we gathered photography and references that would gradually shape our collection. Some of design ideas; some of colour and of texture relating not remotely to product upon first glance but that could be latterly translated into fabric, into glass, into timber; some of mood and of feeling that we sought to capture some way, somehow – how does one translate the sensation of biting into a crisp, tart apple through a product assortment? It is certainly something that we sought to achieve. 

And there the boards stood. Photos taken of each one so that they could stay close to us while the office lay deserted for many sorrowful months on end. That was, until September came, and we were allowed into the wild in time for our socially distant Spring/Summer 2021 photoshoot. Our moodboards followed in our footsteps, being propped up and referred to over the full three days of shooting, there always as our tonal reference, our visual guide, our creative direction. 

Upon wrapping up a collection, it’s always rather fun to observe how closely aligned our pieces and photography are to those original boards. And for Spring/Summer 2021, for the first time, we decided to pull together a retrospective board presenting just that – an assembly of imagery and notebook tears of our intended stories. 

While we shall always keep those initial moodboards a guarded secret of ours, let us tell you this – how marvellously they mirror one another. A vision realised indeed.

Peruse our Spring/Summer 2021 assortment here.