Embroidery designer Jayne Goulding describes her work as “inspired by perfection and imperfections in nature”. “It’s a bit cliché, but I love florals”, she says. “Most of my new designs start with sketches of flowers, just to get things going. I suppose it’s about looking at nature closer to home, particularly during Covid, because you couldn’t get out and visit things.”
Much of the Peachaus collection is informed by natural motifs and particularly the swallow and the blossom, representing renewal and change. For us, this imparts a real sense of optimism, a notion shared by Jayne.
Lots of her work draws from natural beauty, in all its haphazard glory. She’ll often start a design by sketching something from her garden before developing it into a collage. “It’s kind of like little happy accidents come from that way of working”, she says. “It might be something I experiment with on stitch that doesn’t go quite right, but it will lead to another idea. I like that that way of thinking, not trying to create this perfect final piece, but getting ideas which naturally develop into others."
Jayne’s fluidly creative approach is evident in her work with Peachaus. In the short time we’ve been collaborating with her, she’s designed embroideries that illustrate the trademark birds and blooms seen throughout our collection and across our packaging, exploring different ways to evolve the mood of our pieces.
“And there’s lots more to come hopefully”, she says. “It’s all the things I love: the aesthetic, the floral elements. It’s not girly, though—it’s got a bit of an attitude, in a good way.” She waxes lyrical about the Peachaus style, adding, “And I like what the brand stands for”. “I like that it’s doing lots of collaborations to keep things fresh and exciting, giving people that recognition. And I respect its ethos around sustainability.”
Jayne has been in fashion for a long time. “Literally from the age of six or seven I used to make my own little collections”, she says. “I used to draw the outfits and have these pages and pages of sketches.” She grew up in Solihull, a town in the West Midlands just south of Birmingham. While she was at school, she obsessed over Chanel, then, when she went to art college, she developed a taste for Versace. “Lots of ornamentation, big shoulder pads and bright colours.”
After studying art, her interest in textiles grew and, later, while at university in Nottingham, she moved into lingerie. While most fashion students complete a year in industry as part of their training, Jayne had nobody she could stay with in London, where the vast majority of UK fashion houses are based. Instead, she did a summer placement at lingerie giant Triumph between semesters. “I found it really frustrating at the time because all my peers could do all these great unpaid internships in London, staying at home or with relatives. For everyone else, you either get into debt so you can live in London, or you can’t do the internships.”
When she left uni, Jayne got a job with a catwalk designer, then a fashion supplier on Brick Lane, where she worked with high street brands like Topshop. She was hired as a fashion admin assistant and then promoted to designer. “At the time, leather and suede were really on trend”, she says. “That was really exciting because Topshop was at its peak.”
She went on to work for Marks & Spencer as an assistant lingerie designer, “which was brilliant”, she says. But it was before M&S, while working for a small business doing trade shows around Europe, that Jayne decided she wanted to start her own company. “I could see it was really hard work, she says. “But I just loved the idea of having my own product.”
She left M&S and relocated to Bristol, where she now lives with her two children. And her work has continued to go from strength to strength. After studying for a Masters degree in embroidery, she went to Paris’s Première Vision expo to sell her work under the name Jayne Goulding Design for the first time. “During the Masters, I chose to focus on embroidery with the aim of launching my own studio, not knowing how it would be received and whether it would be a viable business”, she says. “When I showed my work at the trade show, I was blown away by the positive reaction it received. I sold to designers and brands from all over the world. It affirmed to me that it could work, and it was the start of building my client base. It was such a thrill to see the responses and meet the buyers. I knew that I’d done the right thing and that, with a lot of hard work, I could grow and continue my practice.
Being outside of London does have its drawbacks, but Jayne tries to visit every six weeks or so for inspiration. She mentions an exhibition at the Tate Modern last year, which showed the work of Swiss artist Sophie Taeuber-Arp. “She’s this amazing painter, architect, sculptor—she literally turns her hand to everything”, says Jayne. “It was her gouache paintings that really inspired me, the detail and the geometry of them.” Jayne also says she’s taken inspiration from embroidery artist Karen Nicol, as well as occasionally checking out catwalks to try and stay up to date with the fast-moving fashion world—which helps her work quickly when she needs to.
“I think I work well under pressure”, she says. “I hate it at the time, but usually with my job everything needs to be delivered yesterday, so I’m always either not working or working ridiculous hours. It isn’t very nice really, but then again, if you’ve got too much time, you can overthink everything. So, I kind of like that faster pace.”
Having already collaborated on two seasons with Peachaus, Jayne is about to start on designs for Autumn/Winter, and it’s clear she can’t wait to get stuck in. “I feel really excited about it all, because I think it’s going to be really big”, she says, adding that she’s getting along great with the Peachaus team. “They are really nice people. Everyone’s really genuine, and that’s quite infectious.” Look out for Jayne’s gorgeous interpretations of the Peachaus birds and blossoms in the months ahead. And peruse our Icons Collection for her latest works.
Sam Davies is a freelance writer, born and raised in London. His writing has been published by the BBC, the Guardian, the Financial Times, the i, Condé Nast, Vice, Dazed & Confused and many other outlets covering all areas of culture, including music, TV, fashion and photography.