Behind the seams: The Harry Potter collection

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The acceptance letter
everyone was waiting for…

It all began last summer when our Mini Boden designers’ dream brief landed on their desks (sadly not delivered by owl). We were to going to create a limited-edition Harry Potter collection. It would be like nothing you’ve ever seen – two much-loved British names with adventure at their hearts joining forces for a truly magical collaboration.

And the popcorn came out…

The team started at the only place you can: with a back-to-back Harry Potter film-watching marathon. ‘I dread to think how much popcorn we collectively consumed during our research phase,’ says Harriet Earle, Design Director at Mini Boden, ‘but it got us fully immersed in the world of Harry Potter.’

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Sparks start flying

…and not just from Ron’s wand. Eight designers would meet daily in the (aptly named) Great Hall at Boden House and share what their imagination had dreamt up, armed with lots of sketches. ‘We wanted to focus on what Mini Boden does really well then give it that Harry Potter twist,’ Harriet explains. ‘The style of the collection was to be heritage, traditional and British. Working with these stories all felt very Mini Boden. It happened quite naturally and things quickly gathered momentum.’

‘Dobby would be proud’

‘The collection got bigger and bigger. We added pants and socks (Dobby would be proud). Accessories got involved, so suddenly we had house scarves. Baby Boden came to the party too. So what was initially a small capsule of T-shirts and dresses ended up as a head-to-toe Harry Potter collection.’

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Harry Potter by numbers

Let’s see the designs in more detail…

The Hedwig Cardigan

Laura, one of Mini Boden’s in-house artists, created pen and ink drawings of all the animals from the films. This formed the basis for the Harry Potter prints and appliqués so all the styles would feel like they belonged in the same world.

Laura’s Hedwig the owl was the starting point for this amazing cardigan, which is actually inspired by the catwalk, and also a bit like carrying two birds on your shoulder wherever you go (only without the pesky ear nibbling).

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‘We’d never worked with faux fur this way before’

‘We’d never worked with faux fur this way before,’ says Harriet. ‘Hedwig’s wings started life as jacquard flaps with frills, then the feathers became crochet pieces, and then we had this brainwave about them being fluffy. We were concerned about whether we could pull it off but when the first sample arrived, we knew it was meant to be.’

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The Forbidden Forest Dress

Our in-house designer Lucy worked on this colourful print with a touch of sparkle – our opportunity to squeeze as many Harry Potter elements into one item of clothing as possible. ‘The more you look, the more you find,’ says Harriet. Can you spot them all?

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The Fawkes Superstitch T-shirt

‘It was really important to include the phoenix in a big way. Such a magical creature, and this one’s got sparkle too,’ says Harriet.

You can see the detail that went into this piece by looking at its original sketch, which was made by Kirsty, yet another talented member of the Mini design team. Kirsty’s drawing was transformed into a phoenix made of an impressive 37,478 stitches (warning: try to count them and you may have a beard as long as Dumbledore’s by the time you’re done).

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Believe it or not, there’s loads more to see…