Beautiful Inside and Out: The Fine Art of SteamLine Prints

Beautiful Inside and Out: The Fine Art of SteamLine Prints
The interior and cover of our new Brown Editor Collection by artist Louis Barthélemy.

Somewhere over the course of SteamLine's journey, it struck our founder Sara Banks that the interiors of her cases presented as much opportunity for beauty and style as their outsides. She began commissioning artwork to complement the look and personality of each collection.

Today, the lining and cover of each SteamLine is a canvas for hand-illustrated artwork, resulting in a gorgeous gallery of original prints that further enrich what it means to travel with a SteamLine. For Summer 2021, we are thrilled to introduce you to our newest print creator, Louis Barthélemy! 

Artist Louis Barthélemy in April 2020 as shot by Egyptian photographer Mohamed Sherif in Cairo, where Louis often travels and works.

"To create my original SteamLine prints, I was inspired by a trip in Costa Rica. I visited the peninsula of Corcovado and its astonishingly beautiful natural reserve which hosts the most incredible tropical birds, wild animals, waterfalls and lush flora. This stay in the natural reserve inspired me to translate this unspoiled and sublime gift of nature onto playful and abundant patterns for luggage’s which I hope will bring its future owners to new incredible adventures!"
—Artist, Louis Barthélemy

 The Navy Editor's print, a variation on Louis's cheetah motif in a colorway that perfectly suits this case.

"My process is very intuitive. Working from observations and photographs captured during my travels, and also my archives of references (art, scraps, various visuals found), I start sketching a rough idea of what I want to do. Then I will start drawing isolated elements, bringing in the colors. Once all my elements are drawn, I bring them together in a digital composition/maquette. It’s like a collage  Once a harmony in the composition is found, I explore colorways.”

A sneak preview of Louis's lining for a new collection coming soon!

Read on for further history on SteamLine Prints!

"Being Sara, she was never afraid to let us push the envelope to achieve our most creative work."
—Creative Director, Eoin Dillon

Partners In Print: Eoin Dillon and Meryl Pardoen

Historically, the vast majority of SteamLine prints have been created by Creative Director Eoin Dillon and Textile Designer Meryl Pardoen, who once studied Interior Architecture together at London Met. Today they enjoy an intuitive collaboration that reflects their shared language and common reference points.

Working to complement the character of each collection persona and exterior design, their typical process starts with Eoin's inspiration—based on conversations with Sara—that leads to hand renderings by Meryl, which are then scanned and digitally altered to perfection. Their co-creations have been so well-received that the matching accessories of protective covers and hanging organizers for all wheeled cases now amplify these gorgeous patterns, showcasing the beauty of SteamLine inside and out.

Art Director Eoin Dillon and Illustrator Meryl Pardoen on day safari in Alicante, Spain.

"Eoin's so much fun to work with and an awe-inspiring trove of knowledge from classic to emerging arts, a breadth of creativity that can be seen in all his work. He always perfectly balances trend with the heart of SteamLine and details from my own travels and life, resulting in prints that are rich with meaning and detail. Then Meryl brings it all to life, an artist whose craft and adventurous spirit shine through every finished product. I hope you enjoy this gallery of their extraordinary work."

SteamLine Founder, Sara Banks

SteamLine's Art Deco Roots: Structural Perfection for the Architect and Alchemist

Fittingly, Sara, Eoin, and Meryl's first collaboration, the lining of The Architect, is pure Art Deco. Available in three rich colors—burgundy, navy, and cream—the print evokes classic style moderne and was inspired by Eoin's love of New York, where he spent many years and months throughout his career. In love with Gotham architecture, particularly the Empire State and American Standard Buildings, Eoin and Sara have long connected over their retrophilia.

Returning to this theme for The Alchemist, Eoin and Meryl complemented its futuristic metallic outside with an iconic Art Deco theme in a soft palette that strikes the perfect nostalgic note.

Art Deco Inspired: Structural Perfection for the Architect and Alchemist

The Architect's Burgundy Carryon and our new Alchemist (available this November) both feature beautiful Art Deco inspired linings. 

Hand-Painted Palms: Lush Leaves for the Anthropologist and Editor Cases

To design the lining of our gorgeous Anthropologist and Editor Collections, Eoin sent photos of his very own palm plant to Meryl, who then painted the leaves by hand, as you can watch in the captivating video below. Meryl then envisioned different backgrounds for her leaves, imagining an inky night sky for the Navy and Orange Anthropologists and a crisp white background for the summery linen Editor, highlighting the lightness of the case and its sea green accents. 

For the Love of Palms: Leafy Greens for the Anthropologist and Editor Cases

The Anthropologist Collection and the Sea Green Editor Collection feature two motifs of the beautiful hand-painted palm leaves lining. 

Watch Meryl Pardoen hand-paint the leaves that line our Anthropologist and Editor collections.

"As someone who has travelled extensively around the world, I've enjoyed creating print designs for SteamLine and working with Sara and Eoin to express the personality of each collection. I especially love imagining where in the world my designs have been."

Textile Designer, Meryl Pardoen

All About Flowers: Botanical Beauty for the Botanist and Sweetheart Collections

Possibly Eoin and Meryl's pièce de resistance, the Botanist Collection features a  Meryl original inside and out. Sara and Eoin were so taken with her print of foliage with hibiscus and bird of paradise flowers that, for the very first time, they made the daring move to print it on the outside of all Botanist handhelds, adorning the Vanity, Hatbox, and Mini in a triad of colors. Then, for the interior of all wheeled Botanists, Eoin cleverly laid Meryl's print over pink and white stripes for added dimensionality. 

The Botanist Collection originated with three beautiful base colors, each accented by Meryl's Botanist print inside or out.

The Botanist isn’t the only botanical beauty in the SteamLine library. The Sweetheart, a mainstay of our brand and honeymoon bestseller, has a meaningful backstory that balances trend and brand values. In the wedding spirit, eucalyptus leaves have a purifying effect, releasing negative energies when burned. The inclusion of hummingbirds was inspired by their abundance at the Banks family house, where Sara herself was married, on the Brule River of northern Wisconsin.

SteamLine Luggage's Sweetheart Collection

A SteamLine Classic, the Sweetheart Collection opens to reveal watercolor inspired flora and fauna. Don't forget, all of our rolling cases' coordinated Ripstop Covers offer pretty protection!

Equestrian Inspired Snaffle: The Hunter Green Diplomat Makes a New Debut

For this second generation of the luxurious all-leather Hunter Green Diplomat, Eoin and Meryl experimented extensively to create an iconic print of snaffle bits that linked and repeated just right. In honor of SteamLine's love of slow travel, Eoin chose a driving bit—used for the heavier draft horses that pull slowly and steadily to perform their work. In speaking for this blog, Eoin aptly commented that time is indeed "our most luxurious asset of all."

Equestrian Inspired Snaffle: The Hunter Green Diplomat Returns to the SteamLine Collection

The Hunter Green Diplomat Collection is available in a variety of styles, each graced with this gorgeous Snaffle print.

Unabashed Character: Prints That Set Bold Moods

Our most playful lining to date, the lip-print interior of this vegan-leather Entrepreneur juxtaposes classic chic on the outside and pure charm within. For this lining, Sara pointed Meryl to Andy Warhol's famous Stamped Lips, which the artist made her own with these hand-painted kisses that find a sweet spot between fashion and modern art.

For our most dramatic lining, that of The Industrialist, Sara cued Meryl to create the "smoking jacket of luggage." Exuding opulence, it invites you to sink into its tapestry of rich purple paisley, quite like a reading chair and your favourite slippers.

Beautiful Inside and Out: The Fine Art of SteamLine Luggage's Linings

Things aren't always what they seem! The Lip Print Entrepreneur Collection (made with vegan leather) and The Industrialist Collection are deceptively simple on the outside and dramatic within.

Fit to Print: Whatever the Case May Be, Our Linings Spark Joy

Returning next month, The Pioneer is SteamLine's most luxurious all-leather collection. Originally coined for an apiarist, its honeycomb lining was inspired by Ireland's buzzing meadows of spring and the bee crisis of recent years, which moved Sara to honor the fuzzy nectar collectors' role in our circle of life. 

At the other end of the spectrum, our Starlet is unapologetically urbane. Its polka-dot lining is quintessentially Roaring Twenties, providing playful contrast to an exterior so glamorous, it's fit for a cabaret.

Beautiful Inside and Out: The Fine Art of SteamLine Luggage's Linings

The Pioneer, a classic SteamLine Case, with a gorgeously golden interior, while the Starlet, ever a favorite of our collections, offers pleasantly playful polka dots.

Gift Card As Canvas: A Priceless Work of Art

Last but not least, inspired by a stamp Sara brought home from one of her family's two unforgettable stays in Kenya, Eoin and Meryl outdid themselves with their flamingo print. Gracing the SteamLine gift card, we hope to one day see this beauty inside its perfect suitcase. We are sure that Isabella Bird, who graces one of our Annie Atkins stickers, would agree!

Our gift card is available for a beautiful physical or electronic presentation.

Further Reading

Subscribe to hear from us just one or two worthwhile times each week

You’ll receive our Inspired By interviews, travel guides, and style inspiration, as well as first looks at all new collections, back-in-stock favourites, and special events.


Cart (0)

Add a 2nd item* to get 10% off with code BUY2 or a 3rd item with code BUY3 to get 15% off *Excludes accessories
Your bag is currently empty.
Not sure where to start?