142 weeks | Matalan SS16 Press Show

Last Thursday I spent the afternoon at Somerset House, in London.

It’s a glorious place, which is a feast for the eyes, in every sense of the word. A neo-classical building — of epic proportions — that sits between the Strand and the Thames. For years, Somerset House was the national archive for birth, marriage and death certificates but these days it’s home to the visual arts.

Fabulous events — everything from fashion shows to art exhibitions — and most famously it now hosts a gorgeous outside ice-rink, each winter, for budding ‘Torvill and Deans’ to show off their skating prowess.

But I wasn’t there for any of those things. I had been invited to the Matalan SS16 Press Show.

Now, last Thursday was grey. Cold and wintery, with wall-to-wall rain.

The kind of day that makes you wish you’d stayed indoors.

Until I stepped into the warmth of the East Wing Gallery and saw some of the lovely items on display! SO much colour. A real treat on such a grey, miserable day — there were so many gorgeous things.

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Preppy casuals for all ages, plus jewelled and beaded sandals for the girls and lots of lovely nautical stripes and detailing.

The  coastal feel extended to homeware too, with lovely driftwood ornaments and chunky storm lamps, styled to resemble glass fishing floats.

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Strands of gorgeous lights; everything from tiny, colourful houses to miniature jam-jars, lit with a tiny bulb.

Beautifully decorated cushions — a sea of colour with lovely appliqué work and overstitching.

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And finally, my very favourite thing of all.

Beautiful homeware, printed in glorious technicolour. The absolute antithesis of  last Thursday’s weather, this was an explosion of all things summer, based on beautiful original watercolours by Matalan’s homeware design manager Mags Milliken.

It was so lovely to see the framed originals, side by side with the new homeware ranges. Watercolour has been pretty huge in graphic design, over the last year or so, but I haven’t seen it on any homeware, up until now, and it was lovely to see it making such a bold appearance on the bed-linens and cushions; even on a sweet little storage crate.

I loved everything on offer, at the Matalan SS16 Press Show, but these items were by far my favourite.

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So whilst it was grey and miserable outside last Thursday, the East Gallery of Somerset House was a riot of colour.

It cheered me up no end, I can tell you!

Instead of feeling depressed about the long winter ahead, I am now buoyed by the anticipation of these lovely products, hitting the shops next spring and summer.

Bring it on.

Caro Davies

Caro Davies art directed fashion and interiors before leaving the world of design to pursue a career in social media. She can now be found chasing the light — and two small twin boys.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook

24 Comments

  1. 25th November 2015 / 6:34 am

    Beautiful pictures, I used to be obsessed with matalan as it was on my way home in Leeds. Regretabky there isn’t one close to me now!

    • 25th November 2015 / 9:54 am

      Gosh — they really have got a strong collection this year! Some absolutely lovely stuff! xx

  2. 25th November 2015 / 9:00 am

    Shopping options are quite limited here on the Isle of Wight, but we do have a massive Matalan and I LOVE it! I have found some wonderful hidden gems there over the years – judging by the above I’m looking forward to SS16 already! xx

    • 25th November 2015 / 9:43 am

      Were all in for a real treat next year — they had some BEE-OO-tiful stuff!! I need some of those lovely fairy lights in my life! :)

  3. 25th November 2015 / 9:52 am

    Lovely post. It all looks fab. I really want some light bulbs like those ones hanging – I think they’d look so cool in the spare room / office #HomeEtc

  4. 25th November 2015 / 2:21 pm

    I absolutely love those flower prints! The cushion selection is gorgeous too. Also I didn’t realise that Somerset House was now an arts centre – I guess I just spend too much time reading about it as the archive! :) #HomeEtc

    • 30th November 2015 / 2:39 pm

      Ah me too!!! LOVE the floral duvet cover. I’m a bit of a fan of plain bedding so it’s quite a rarity for me to like something with such a hectic pattern!! Totally loved it! :)

  5. 25th November 2015 / 4:43 pm

    I love shopping at Matalan, especially in the home department, wandering around the aisles. The new stuff looks very exciting, and I love the blue and yellow theme in your first pictures, perfect for bring the sunshine inside xx
    #HomeEtc

    • 30th November 2015 / 2:38 pm

      Aah I totally agree — I love their clothes and shoes too but the homeware stuff is definitely the biggest draw for me. Absolutely loved what they have in store for next spring!

  6. 25th November 2015 / 8:23 pm

    Ooh, lovely! That rabbit cushion would be a big hit in our house.
    Such a great range of stuff. Brilliant.
    #HomeEtc

    • 30th November 2015 / 2:32 pm

      I nearly left the watercolour rabbit out — then felt so sad that no-one would see the pic of him, that I popped it in at the last minute!! Totally LOVE their range for next year! SO exciting :)

  7. 25th November 2015 / 11:47 pm

    Wow, what a collection. Definitely a burst of (much needed) sun! And isn’t Somerset House fab, was there for the London Design Festival in Sept. Thanks for hosting #homeetc xx

    • 30th November 2015 / 2:17 pm

      I feel embarrassed that I’d never been there before! I lived — and worked — in London for so many years!! And actually worked on the Strand for a year and a half too!! I NEVER went to visit Somerset House! Glad I’ve rectified that though now!! LOVE the Matalan show — so many beautiful things! :)

  8. Kim (sisterkin)
    26th November 2015 / 8:31 am

    Oh I love it – especially the light garlands – wishing it was spring already. #HomeEtc

    • 30th November 2015 / 2:15 pm

      Aaah me TOO!! When I saw those little strings of light, all I could think about was sitting in the garden!!!! I can’t WAIT for the lighter nights again!! :)

  9. 26th November 2015 / 10:36 pm

    WOW I love all of these. I have just found a huge matalan near me I can’t believe I didn’t know there was one and it’s amazing for home decor. I am always getting little things here or there from it. Cushions are a huge soft spot for me. Great post hun. I could play with home decor everyday!

    • 30th November 2015 / 2:09 pm

      Aah — honestly — their new ranges for SS16 are SO fabulous!! I was so impressed with some of things they’ve got in store for us! Can’t WAIT until spring!! :)

  10. 27th November 2015 / 1:47 pm

    Caro its looks like it was a fantastic day, I just love all of those colours and those cushions are just gorgeous, I love days like this looking a new inspiring ideas x

    • 30th November 2015 / 2:03 pm

      It was SO good to see everything they’ve got in the pipeline. I was blown away by the choice — the little string lights are fabulous!! I want them all!!!

  11. 28th November 2015 / 2:12 pm

    Looks like a superb collection and what a stunning series of photographs! Love this store – need to check out whether there is one near our new house! xx

    #HomeEtc

    • 30th November 2015 / 2:01 pm

      Honestly — I was blown away by the new range! Absolutely loved the new products — particularly the homeware xx

  12. 28th November 2015 / 9:47 pm

    Gosh it really is a feast for the senses!! Do you know in the now nearly 14 years I’ve lived in London I’ve never been to Somerset House! I must rectify that, thank you for inspiring me to do so Xx

    • 29th November 2015 / 7:38 pm

      It really, really is!! I lived — and worked in London — for 15 years and it’s the first time I’ve ever been there!! I’ll definitely, definitely go again! SUCH a beautiful place xx

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