We are print-led British brand that uses our own hand painted, bespoke prints on beautiful silk dresses, shirts and blouses. With an aesthetic that is feminine and elegant, we have an artisan touch and a commitment to British craftsmanship and luxury finishes.
For our first season of daywear, we collaborated with dress designer Sharon Cunningham, whose eye for design details and cutting skills are second to none. It turns out, we met 25 years ago at Catherine Walker but it took us a while to work out how we knew each other! The collection of perfect shirts, fluid dresses and bias cut camisoles in stunning prints feel utterly sublime to wear and epitomise modern British style.
Longstaff Longstaff was a family name given to Sophie’s grandmother, her six sisters and all the women born to that family for generations before them. The Longstaffs were pioneers, inventors and philanthropists and by giving all the daughters Longstaff as a middle name, made sure they kept their family identity after marriage.
Always breaking the mould, their mother smoked a pipe and their father, a mountaineer and explorer, took the older girls on expeditions to Nepal and the Rockies. The sisters grew up in the 1920s and 30s when days were spent outdoors but the evenings were a time to dress up, whether they were staying in or going out.
The family’s British eccentricity has always struck a chord with Sophie who was captivated and inspired by the stories of elegant parties, wild adventures and handsome suitors and by the seven, self confident, assertive and adventurous Longstaff Longstaff sisters.
… made in Great Britain
Longstaff Longstaff has proudly used British excellence in all areas of production, making sure every piece of our collection is designed with thought and made with care.
Made in Great Britain isn’t just about the principle of supporting British manufacturing. We love finding small companies with extraordinary skills, who are driven by quality and innovation. By talking to the makers, understanding their skills and experience, we can collaborate to achieve brilliant results.
… Sophie Barnard
English on one side of the family and Russian on the other, I loved the dressing up box in my childhood home. It was full of bear skin hats, sarafans and a beautiful kokoshnik, a traditional Russian head-dress, belonging to my great-grandmother. The Russian decorative arts have been hugely influential on my work. Folk art and embroidery and the work of designers and illustrators such as Ivan Bilibin, Leon Bakst and Natalia Goncharova, as well as the English Arts and Crafts movement are constant sources of inspiration.
My design career started thirty years ago and spans theatre costume design, accessories, textiles and fashion. My first job was as a buyer with English National Opera which meant knowing every back street and fabric house in Soho. Then a change of scene with couturier Catherine Walker before starting an accessories brand stocked by Liberty, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Browns.
Family life was my focus for many years but one day, picking up a paint brush for the first time in a decade, I found that I couldn’t stop. The ideas kept coming until my unique prints and colour ways led me to start Longstaff Longstaff.