8:30 p.m. September 14, 2022
“My path in fashion really started from my love of color and floral prints,” says Andrea Maufe, founder of North Norfolk-based fashion label Hollyblocks.
Launched this summer, her capsule collection of beautiful dresses, skirts, jumpsuits and tops is made from organic cotton fabrics that have been hand-printed in India, with designs inspired by the rural landscape where she lives.
“The starting point is always what surrounds us in Norfolk – the flowers we get here are stunning and I’ve designed all my prints based on them,” says Andrea.
Before starting Hollyblocks – the name comes from admiring the hollyhocks around her house – Andrea, who is married to Max and has two daughters, ran a plum orchard, glamping facility and brewery with her family at Branthill Farm .
“But I’ve always wanted to design and worked in fashion PR for a while,” she says.
And from the start she knew she wanted to create pieces that would be treasured and worn again and again.
“I realized that sustainability and traceability are so important in the fashion industry, so I really wanted to be the antithesis of fast fashion in everything I created,” she says.
Andrea draws the prints to be traced onto a block of wood in Jaipur and carves them by hand, then dips them in color to stamp them onto the fabric.
“I’ve always loved India for its vibrancy and color and I’ve always been a fan of block prints because I think they really pop.
“The block printing method is a labor intensive process performed by skilled artisans in India – it is a rare and ancient craft passed down from generation to generation,” explains Andrea.
“The process is sustainable because it’s an ancient craft that’s done entirely by hand. The dyes used are gentle and chemical free and the fabric is organic cotton.”
The designs of the garments with romantic details such as ruffles, tiers and bows are Andrea’s own ideas.
“All the technical stuff is done by the wonderful wedding dress designer Charlotte Wilden and of course my wonderful team in Jaipur,” she says.
Each collection is produced in small, limited editions.
“We will not follow fads. We want to make clothes that stay in your closet for years,” says Andrea.
“In these hot summer months, wearing breathable and organic cotton is so much more comfortable than something that was synthetically made in a factory. And each garment is unique due to the small variations that occur during the printing process.”
In anticipation of the cooler months, the Hollyblocks fall collection is ready to launch – and keep an eye out for a mauve print coming soon, too.
“I gave everything I had when quilting for the fall. We have two quilted bust dresses and two quilted reversible jackets. I’m looking forward to it and now thinking about trying reversible dresses next year,” says Andrea.
A selection of pieces from Hollyblocks will be on display at the Ninety III Store Pop-up in Anteros, Fye Bridge Street, Norwich until Saturday 10th September. To see more visit hollyblocks.co.uk or follow @hollyblocks on Instagram