After my visit to Tokyo last year, I felt my eyes were opened to was how important plants are to a city environment, and my thoughts about this ended up with the fabric collection we’re launching this evening, called Paradise is Here.

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Plants in a city – but maybe particularly in like Tokyo, which was extensively rebuilt after being heavily bombed in WWII –  are essential to softening the concrete edges, sending us sensory messages about the seasons, joyousness, and wildness that urban humans crave.

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The row of potplants outside a store, or the carefully-trimmed shrub on a sidewalk are not just there for decoration, but they also speak of the values of the people who care for those plants.

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Since my Tokyo trip, I’ve started noticing plants everywhere in the city – the lonely, sad ones in dentists’ waiting rooms, those bravely taking hold in pavement cracks, as well as the wild jungle scenes in staid suburban settings – and I’m increasingly aware of how this intersection between concrete and cholorophyll affects me.

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With Paradise is Here, I hope to express the energy and exuberance of city plants, and how they afford us respite, escape, encouragement, and an opportunity for expression. Their zig-zag softening of hard lines, the gentle shade they make, the exuberant wildness they evoke as they grow from sidewalk fissures, all help us to remember that we’re not machines in this relentless urban world.

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And why is the collection named Paradise is Here? Well, it’s a reminder to all of us urban dwellers: The next time you’re feeling frazzled by the city, look around you for a plant. Perhaps it’s beautifully nurtured and expresses the consciencious nature of the person who looks after it, or perhaps it’s springing up from an unlikely crack in the tarmac, telling you about resilience and beauty in adversity, or perhaps you can just look up as you pass under a tree and notice the golden light filtering through the leaves. And for that moment, enjoy the gift of feeling paradise right there with you.

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Check in again tomorrow to see all the fabrics in the Paradise is Here collection, as well as links to the new Lookbook.

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