For the Love of the Wild
South African brand Ardmore (available from Colony by Casa Luiza) has a recognisable style all of its own. Starting life as a ceramics company, it has harnessed the skills of its in-house artists to create fabrics and wallcoverings, too. Several collections later, the theme remains the same: the abundant nature of Ardmore’s native country, expressed in beautiful detail across often complex designs.
Thanda, its latest launch of fabrics, has a special place in the heart of Ardmore’s founder, Fée Halsted. It is named after the game lodge where Halstead’s son Jonathan married his fiancée Kate (the name “Thanda” means “love” in isiZulu) and celebrates the joy of their union during difficult times in the depths of the pandemic in 2020. It has taken a couple of years to come to fruition, but the results are as charming as any of Ardmore’s collections, perhaps more so since they are charged with sentiment and meaning from the long weekend of nuptials.
The hero design is ‘Pangolin Park’ (pictured top and above centre), where kudu antelope, zebras, pangolins, hornbills and leopards play among wild gardenia seed pods and spiky aloes. ‘Thanda Toile’ (above left) is a very Ardmore take on a traditional design – toile reinvented with elephants, warthogs, giraffes and crowned cranes, a reminder of the wildlife-watching that wedding guests were able to partake in; while ‘Thanda Nests’ (above right) depicts weaver birds and their intricate nests, not just a reminder of the reserve’s birdlife but a symbol of new life, and the building of a home together, just like the newlyweds.