If you read our tale on British knitwear designer Alex Gore Brown, you'll know her light-filled studio is at her magnificent home, Tidmington House, in Wiltshire. A busy hub of children and animals, she has two children, Tilly, 10 and son Teddy, eight – not to mention the two donkeys, Pluto and Pepsi, two Shetland ponies, Fudge and Oreo and four dogs, Tigger, Moon, Disco and Piglet...
Her husband, Jo Bamford, son of Lord Bamford and heir to the JCB-digger business, whom she met through a mutual friend in Ibiza, was the one who first spotted the Grade II listed manor house, parts of which date back to the 1600s, and they instantly fell in love with it. And as luck would have it the family’s Daylesford estate – the organic farm founded by Jo’s mother Lady Bamford – is close by.
Alex’s knitwear brand is shifting the goal posts on how you perceive tradition.Her new ‘Dress Your Jumper’ range means her elegant, painstakingly hand-crafted cocktail jumpers can be eternally reinvented with a wardrobe of extras: ruffle collars, rosettes, cuffs. Her silk knit bows are fast becoming a must-have addition.
“I always stumble when asked what I do,” says Alex, who is also adding tracksuit bottoms, knitted dresses and other accessories very soon. “I start by saying I’m a knitwear designer followed by ‘but not woolly jumpers sort of knitwear’. 20 years on I need to work on a better response.”
“I try and push the boundaries as much as I can creatively. I am always looking for new techniques but still making knitwear that’s wearable.”
Alex launched her label in 2000 after completing a BA in Textile Design at Central Saint Martins alongside the likes of Jonathan Saunders and Roksanda Ilincic.
Her designs, produced in Italy and Scotland, have caught the eye of many key luminaries including Donna Karan, Louis Vuitton and the late Alexander McQueen, whom she designed and consulted for.
If she had to pick a career highlight it would have to be Kate Moss walking into her Notting Hill boutique and buying the whole collection: “That was a good day”.
She recently hosted a beautiful press lunch at her country home, complete with the most exquisite English country garden on a table (decorated with her signature bows, of course). And before you ask, Tess Newall was behind the gorgeous menus.
Looking for festive season inspiration? Here’s a peek at the divine lunch.
Go to www.alexgorebrowne.com
Alex Gore Browne