United Kingdom
Odstock Road
wiltshire, SP5 4NZ
+44 01722 326 625 Fax +44 01722 338 541


founded by

Georgina von Etzdorf, Jonathan Docherty, Martin Simcok

belongs to

Georgina von Etzdorf


In 1981 three friends, Jonathan, Docherty, Martin Simcok and Georgina von Etzdorf, founded the partnership and design house Georgina von Etzdorf.

In the tradition of the Arts & Crafts movement, GvE is a flexible, innovative and entirely hands on design enterprise that has made a lasting contribution to developments in international textiles and fashion. Their silk scarves are famous, their velvet dressing gowns sumptuous and their clients range from rock stars to royalty.

The exhibition explores the company�s evolution from hand-screen printing on silks in a Wiltshire barn to an explosion of creative techniques and media including paper, metals, techno fabrics and fibres with a range of collaborators around the world.

The resulting luxurious and eclectic fashion products have opened up the options for the way both men and women dress today. While the GvE look remains faithful to its artistic roots, it has evolved to embrace new directions in jewellery and interiors.

The three partners contribute equally to the partnership with their complementary skills: Jonathan, focusing on design development and business co-ordination, became the Managing Director; Martin�s role includes sales, merchandising and design research and development; Georgina, the most visible of the three, is Artistic Director.

Failure of commercial printers to adapt their processes to meet the challenge of printing Georgina�s designs forced the partners into their own small scale batch production of fabric in 1983 at their converted barn near Salisbury, Wiltshire. Some designs were sold to fashion designers such as Yuki, Victor Edelstein, Donald Campbell and Carolina Charles but they had more success in selling the finished scarves and ties.

Lack of money in the early years was a challenge, which GvE turned to their advantage. By hand printing their designs they could produce short, exclusive print runs. The screens were expensive, so they only made a limited number but used them creatively. By having designers controlling the printing process, the production became a creative activity so when accidents happened there could be a positive creative outcome. This, rather than money, was critical to their production process. Designs were transformed by changing the number of screens used, the colourways or the base cloth.

In 1984, GvE made its first appearance at the autumn London Designer shows. By 1985 they had produced their first clothing collections and were being written up in the influential American trade journal Women�s Wear Daily.

In 1985 they began printing on mohair, cotton and rayon velvet, jacquard woven silks and in the following year they went on to print on suede and leather for shoes, gloves and belts.

Their first London shop opened in 1986 in Burlington Arcade. Ten years later they not only had two London shops, a concession in Selfridges and a �shop within a shop� in Barneys, New York, but were selling to 400 other shops in 25 countries, with agents in Japan, Italy, Belgium, Germany and France.

From 1989, they also created custom-made invitations and announcements.

In 1997 the company launched its research and development department, encouraging the designers to experiment with a range of innovative new materials and techniques.

Winter 2006 will be the last GvE seasonal collection, as the partners return to their original ambition � applying their design ideas and philosophy to all media.

Who Wears It

The Stones, Janet Jackson, Robbie Williams, The Pet Shop Boys, Kylie,

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