Sunday, 16 September 2012

Peacock butterfly Clara Francis at the Renegade Craft Fair today

Clara Francis has a new range of British butterflies - here's the Peackock butterfly; worn with Orla Kiely t-shirt from Uniqlo
Clara is at the Renegade Craft Fair, Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane - today (Sunday 16th Sept) 11am to 6pm.
nearest tube: Liverpool Street
There's loads of other fantastic designer-makers there - see my posts here and here - lots of great jewellery and textiles 

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Mimi's new collection Autumn Winter 2012

Purely for research purposes (um yeah) I went to take a peek at Mimi's new collection last week, and here are my favourites for AW12. In recent times Mimi's collections have become increasingly desirable, what with their pleasing shapes, top quality leathers and nice ticking linings.  So now there is not just one but many bags that you'd happily sling over your arm.

Mimi uses is very high quality leather: hard leather which softens and develops a lovely shiny patina; and a softer grainy leather which she uses in a rainbow of colours, some of which are metallic. Mimi's bags are hand made in a number of small workshops around the UK.

This Gracie purse is a classic: new for this season are metallic colours (below is plum, also available in sapphire a dark metallic blue and bronze, as well as a range of other colours). It has a brilliant design: kiss class, granny stylee, at the top. Inside enough room to stash huge numbers of credit cards / loyalty cards, mobile phone, keys. And a zipped up section along the bottom for coins.
 Another couple of Mimi classics: Eric on the left which took the handbag world by storm last season, and Peggy on the right
 Eric in pruna, a sort of squashed damson colour- this bag can fit the essentials, but not big enough for an iPad. Frank is the larger version of this bag - also made of hard leather with turnlock catch.
 New for this season is the most fantastic tote bag Gorgeous Spike in grainy aqua leather - extremely tempting: it's a good size, not too big so it can't be overloaded. Great handle / straps arrangement: over the shoulder strap and handles.
Some old favourites: Zermatt weekender
Classic Baggins in oilskin

More from Renegade Craft Fair - jewellery: Datter Industries, Clara Francis, Renee Francis and i am acrylic

The Renegade Craft Fair is at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane. It's open tomorrow, Sunday 16th September from 11am to 6pm
Don't forget to take plenty of cash with you - not everyone takes credit cards

Datter Industries - illustrator and jeweller Kaye Blegvad makes great jewellery in silver and brass, small but strong: a row of tiny skulls, or an arrow held in a little hand, an evil eye...Her pieces are available on Etsy (where I shall be heading to right now - if you find, like me that you didn't bring enough cash)

i am acrylic from London's East End - hand cut magpie collar necklace
New piece by Clara Francis - cabbage white butterflies, hummingbirds and pansies

Renee Frances - enamel jewellery from the USA

Renegade Craft Fair - textiles and prints - Caitlin Hinshelwood and Karoline Rerrie

The Renegade Craft Fair is at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane. It's open tomorrow, Sunday 16th September from 11am to 6pm
Caitlin Hinshelwood - based in London - illustrator and printed textiles: silk cushions, handkerchiefs...

Karoline Rerrie - based in Birmingham - prints inspired by European folkart

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Travel essentials: Brady satchel and Susannah Hunter purse

Now that I have come back to earth with a bump, and September is well and truly underway, I thought I'd share you with some travel essentials: Brady Maclaren satchel and Susannah Hunter daisy purse.

I first saw the Brady Maclaren satchel on ASOS when searching for a suitable satchel - I wanted to find something similar but different to the Chapman bags that I have come across.  I liked it for its simplicity and dimension: a generous sized 'handbag' for the aeroplane; a good sized bag for daily use while traveling around California. A quick search revealed this bag is sold by a number of companies that specialise in outdoor / country pursuits (huntin', shootin', fishin') - a range of prices, most lower than via the Brady website itself.

Key facts: Brady was established in 1887; they make a range of game and fishing bags, many of the styles dates to the 1930s and 40s. If you like a bag with  plenty of pockets, the Brady satchel is not for you as it does not have the pleated front pockets that many of these game / fishing bags have (so handy for gun cartridges etc) - there is just one internal zip pocket.  But this is large enough for storing all precious items that must not swill around the bottom of the bag.

The bags are handmade in Walsall out of top quality canvas, brass buckles and English bridle leather. The canvas seems to have magical properties and repels stains; the grease spot that I feared would forever be a reminder that eating eccles cakes while on the hoof is bad for the health of me and my bag, seemed to disappear. 

My other travel essential this summer was my Susannah Hunter daisy purse which I have had for ages.  Despite being quite small (a large sized postcard) it's possible to pack a lot into it - which of course I didn't hesitate to do. Make-up, hairclips, jewellery, front door key, oyster card were all stuffed in. This particular size of purse doesn't appear to be available anymore - but the zip clutch is similar.
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