This month on The Journal we talk to British artist and textile designer, Millie Bridget Henry, about her life, taking inspiration from the English countryside and why Benson & Clegg was the natural home for her new pocket square collection.
Nestled in the British countryside, on the edge of a stretch of beautiful woodland, you will find an unassuming workshop shared by an eclectic mix of artists, sculptors and creatives. It is here that Millie Bridget Henry can be found working at her design desk, surrounded by fabric samples, sketches and mood boards.
Millie grew up in a gate house lodge surrounded by beautiful woodland in a small Buckinghamshire village with her mother and father. “My mother is an established artist who was taught by Henry Moor’s technician. My father is an Architect and builder who designed and renovated the house we grew up in, which is filled with bespoke features, paintings, sculptures, books and bric-a-brac.” Having grown up surrounded by such creative influences, it is no wonder that Millie’s natural calling in life was that of an artist. “I take most of my inspiration from nature and feel this was greatly influenced from growing up in the countryside and living in a creative environment,” she explains.
It was at the age of 18 that Millie was accepted by the prestigious Winchester School of Art to study textile, fashion & fibre, specialising in textile print design. After a number of years honing her craft and developing her own artistic identity, she graduated with full honours and went on to have her work exhibited in London to some of the art world’s biggest influencers.
Millie soon found herself being thrust into the world of artisanal menswear as she took on the role of Product Development Assistant at Savile Row tailors, Huntsman. “This was where I discovered my love for men’s accessories and gained valuable insight and knowledge of the industry.” Before long, Millie established her own eponymous brand, producing beautiful pocket squares inspired by the world around her. “I take inspiration from nature and all the wonderful colours, textures & markings it has to offer. I like to take a closer look at the details of organic structures and then incorporate this within the drawing to blend the design together.” The design process begins in her sketchbook before bringing all her drawings together to create a linear motif or tile repeat. The final design is then printed onto the finest silks and finished with a hand rolled edge.
Excitingly, Benson & Clegg has become the new home for two of her quintessentially British collections, consisting of 15 designs. The Enchanted Forest collection is inspired by the countryside, reflecting her love for the nature that surrounds her studio. The Labyrinth collection is inspired by Millie’s time on Savile row, drawing inspiration from traditional paisley patterns to create a more contemporary design.
“I have great respect for Benson & Clegg. Their reputation for exceptional craftsmanship, as well as their attention to detail, is of the highest standard. I think my pocket squares will complement their tailored suits beautifully!”