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BUILDING NEW DREAMS FOR GREEK FASHION February 01 2016, 0 Comments
Zeus + Dione: fashion’s modern Greek classics
Photograph: Yiorgos Kaplanidis for the Observer
Read this inspiring story about how two women resurrected a dying fashion industry in Greece and watched it rise phoenix-like into a sought after luxury fashion house.
BYE BYE BOWIE January 19 2016, 0 Comments
The world has spent the day in a quiet and saddened way, mourning the loss of David Bowie, the man whose creative genius spanned nearly 5 decades.I have worked whilst listening to Radio 6 plotting his life against musical notes - each one more poignant than the last.
I grew up dancing and nodding to Ashes to Ashes, Low, ALadIn Sane,Fame, and Let's Dance, whilst my mother ironed and we watched, jaws-dropping at his mesmerising videos on television. Later I was lucky enough to attend the Royal Premier of the film "Labyrinth" which was created for the BFI to raise money to appoint my father to build them their wondrous Imax Cinema at the then derelict Bull Ring in London's Waterloo.I walked the red carpet as a young teen, clutching my programme, praying I'd bump into him on the way to my seat.
I later spent 8 hours queuing with friends at Wembley's gates to see him in his Glass Spider Tour and as we ran across the pitch to get the best position, we laughed and screamed at how incredible it felt to be part of his musical adventure. We returned to school hoarse and unable to take part in the daily register for 3 days.
I fell out of step with his experimentation with drum & bass and Tin Machine but never failed to enjoy his ever-changing stage personas and avant guard fashions. He was a huge part of my creative influences as a teenager, bulldozering into my life as a designer.
I had never questioned his sexuality his use of makeup and outlandish costumes - it was just that he was an artist, choosing to go his own way, on his own terms.He was unafraid of the shock or ridicule it caused and rather revelled in creating a stir. I feel now, as a designer working for myself, that it's so important to be creatively TRUE to yourself - not yield to "celebrity" and other sheep-like "trends" - if you do, you might as well be employed by a High Street retailer, feeding the masses with what's safe and sanistised- the whole point of me starting my own brand from scratch is to strike out alone and hope that others will start follow and endorse what I do. So 2016 is the year I do more and more designing for ME - I might make some strange decisions or eyebrow raising colour combinations, but it will be a truth that fits into my St Leonards soundtrack - " The challenging 5th Album " (winks) And funnily enough, as I type this up now, I'm staring at a mood board I created this Summer with black and white photos of Joan Jett, Bowie and Robert Maplethorpe - there's a slash of metallic leather, patents and a slice of neon orange too...Feels like it might be the right time to be a Rebel Rebel after all.
Bowie, you will indeed be missed and never forgotten x
CHRISTMAS DELIVERY AND ORDERING November 23 2015, 0 Comments
GIFT VOUCHERS November 16 2015, 0 Comments
This is just a short blog posting to let you know that I have created gift vouchers for those of you who'd like to give a St Leonards product without the fear of choosing the wrong thing!
Vouchers are now available in £10, £50, £100 and £150 denominations and there's even one especially designed for the 1 day Workshops too!
Search for GIFT VOUCHERS or go to the HOME & GIFT section to find out more.
UP-COMING FAIRS & SAMPLE SALES NOVEMBER & DECEMBER October 26 2015, 0 Comments
SAT NOVEMBER 7TH SAMPLE SALE at a local studio in St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex 40A Norman Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex
SAT NOVEMBER 28TH- BRIGHTON LAINES FRIENDS MEETING HOUSE CRAFT FAIR Ship Street, BN1 1AF Brighton East Sussex
SAT DECEMBER 5TH - BATTLE MEMORIAL HALL - 81 High Street, Battle TN33 0AQ , East Sussex.
SAMPLE SALE - SATURDAY 7TH NOVEMBER October 19 2015, 0 Comments
BUY BRITISH DAY - SATURDAY 3RD OCTOBER October 02 2015, 0 Comments
UPCOMING FAIRS AND SALES - November & December September 26 2015, 0 Comments
As Autumn creeps upon us St Leonards is taking part in a few fairs so it's the ideal opportunity to look and feel ST LEONARDS luxury leather products in the flesh!
I'll update this blog and facebook nearer the time but for now, put these dates in your diary:
SAT NOVEMBER 7TH SAMPLE SALE at a local studio in St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex 40A Norman Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex
SAT NOVEMBER 31ST - BRIGHTON LAINES FRIENDS MEETING HOUSE CRAFT FAIR Ship Street, BN1 1AF Brighton East Sussex
SAT DECEMBER 5TH - BATTLE MEMORIAL HALL - in Battle, 81 High Street, Battle TN33 0AQ , East Sussex.
Keep your eye out for more details over the coming month - see you there!
COASTAL CURRENTS - OPEN STUDIOS 2015 - IT'S ON NOW! September 04 2015, 0 Comments
This is a little reminder for those of you who want to feel, touch and smell the gorgeous leather used at Seaside HQ, that Open Studios starts now.
Opening it's doors on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th September - St Leonards welcomes everyone into its home studio as well as showing the exciting professional photographic work of Tim Stallion, Alma Haser, Nick Ballon and Julian Anderson and the enchanted whimsical paintings of Kev Beaney. (You can click on some of the magery to find out more about the artists)
Doors open at 11am and we are open until 6pm.
Buy a piece of contemporary art, a beautifully handcrafted handbag or even a St Leonards Colouring Book! - yes you read it right - I've created 8 pages of colouring joy showcasing the tools, emblems and foods that I love while toiling here at work.
Tim Stallion - Hastings Photographer
A BREATH OF FRESH AIR - a week away from the studio August 17 2015, 0 Comments
My very wise uncle reminded me last year that just because I was self-employed it didn't mean I didn't have to watch "the boss" - He said I needed to make sure I was a good employer to myself, and ensure that I took the same time off to rest and recuperate that any full time employee would legally be entitled to. Which in the UK means 4 week's holiday annually.Yes, 4 weeks!
For those of you running your own businesses , you'll know that it can be notoriously hard to set aside regular chunks of time off -the old mantra " if you're not working you're not earning" rings loudly in your ears and often within the creative industries, we're somehow programmed to believe that because we're doing something we love, we're practically on holiday all year round and don't need a formal holiday!
So I set my email "Out of Office" reply and planned a day out in East Sussex. We're so lucky where we live - we are sandwiched between gorgeous coastline, idyllic chocoloate box cottages with picture postcard village greens, impressive stately homes and National Trust treasures.
Here I am relaxing in the privately owned Pashley Manor Gardens which is opened to the public during the Summer months- owned by Mr and Mrs James Sellick they live all year round in their Grade I listed timber-framed house, dating from 1550 which was then later enlarged in 1720. They opened their gardens to the public in 1992, having brought them to their present splendour with the assistance of the eminent landscape architect the late Anthony du Gard Pasley and their team of gardeners.
It has a very relaxed feel and a mix of large ponds and dense woodland as well as vibrant floral borders closer to the house.It's not a very large expanse so you can easily walk it in an hour. But what was almost more alluring was their inviting open air swimming pool (no bathing allowed) and their amazing lunch menu cooked fresh every day by 3 cooks with a dessert selection to put all the National Trust cafes to shame!!!
I decided that I'd experiment and try to do some sketching and dug out my ancient watercolour set and attempted to fire up my more artistic side - it was fun! It was so wonderful to be out of the house and office - because home is work and vice versa I find my mind is alwaya whirring about things I haven't done/need to do/should be doing - but out in the fresh air with a like-minded friend, we could really forget our duties and get stuck into the beautiful landscape.
Here I am lounging amongst the flower beds
During my week off I played crazy golf with friends and dabbled in watercolour painting
Finding a shady spot to draw the large pond and weeping willows
My sketches, a bed of artichcokes, my friend Lisa enjoying Pashley's incredible lunch, the view of the pond (sketch and reality)
Taking time out to do something completely different to your normal working week needn't be a massive extravagant holiday but it really rejuvenates your soul and gives you much-needed energy to get cracking with work again.
To find out more about Pashley click HERE
SUPPORTING SOMETHING UNIQUE - share the love of a new British brand June 18 2015, 0 Comments
NEW WAVE - ELLE DECORATION COUNTRY VOL 6 May 29 2015, 0 Comments
St Leonards rode the wave of pride thanks to the wonderful Summer edition of Elle Decoration Country this week. Thanks to the writer Rachel Ward's interview, her 4-page article highlights a sea change in 4 dilapitated South Coast seaside resorts which now, thanks to a new wave of artists and designers arriving, are seeing a wonderful regeneration. Of course run-down often means deprived but cheaper living costs have always attracted creative souls and it's this amazing creativity,community and sense of something beautifully faded that lured St Leonards' founder "K" to leave London and move down here in 2007.
The article looks at Margate, Folkestone, Hastings and good old St Leonards and as you will see if you can grab a copy, there's an interview asking each designer where they recommend to shop eat and play!
SOFT VERGES - ANYA HINDMARCH's AW15 COLLECTION STOPS TRAFFIC May 05 2015, 0 Comments
Take a look at Anya Hindmarch's show for AW15 and it will be sure to add some humour and surprise to your day! It's a super storytelling show - making a fun accessory collection out of a potentially dull subject matter.
Themed around the British highways and motorways - all the fun of your theory test including appliqued totes and sticker embossed bags are shown off against witty silk jumpsuits motifed with weather report iconography and road sign messages. Click HERE to see the whole show under the heading DIVERSION.
Road blocking show stopper in my book.
All photographs taken from the Anya Hindmarch website.
SAMPLE SALE - FRIDAY 1ST MAY 2015 April 08 2015, 0 Comments
INDULGE WITHOUT THE GUILT THIS EASTER April 08 2015, 0 Comments
EASTER COMPETITION! March 26 2015, 0 Comments
Why worry about the guilt-laden calories of the Easter weekend, when you can concentrate your mind on which St Leonards product to choose when you enter our competition???
Simply go to the Facebook Page and share the page 5 times. Then comment on which prize you'd like -A,B or C - That's it! The winner will be chosen at random after the Bank Holiday Monday 6th April.
The prizes are:
A- Enjoy learning a new skill and come make a Little Alfred mini pouch in the 1 day workshop.
B- The stylish understated Nautilus handbag - the perfect daily bag
C- The Eversfield iPad/iPad Mini folio with and matching Cardholder
Make sure you spread the word and join in the fun.
MAKE A WALLET & CARDHOLDER March 22 2015, 0 Comments
Come and spend a day at Seaside HQ and learn how to make a leather wallet and cardholder. With an intimate group of 4 you'll get the foundation knowledge on how to prepare and cut saddlery leather, use an assortment of tools and tame the Adler industrial sewing machine to stitch and sew your pieces into a set of gentlemen's small leather goods.
Classes are available on every Saturday in May. To book a place which is limited to 4 per day, go to: BOOK A WORKSHOP
VALENTINE & BIRTHDAY SALE February 14 2015, 0 Comments
To celebrate Love and Birthdays at Seaside HQ, St Leonards has handsomely reduced many items until the end of February. Take a mooch around the website to find out which bag you'll succumb to.
FUNNY VALENTINE February 09 2015, 0 Comments
St Leonards has a warm fuzzy feeling in its' tummy.The heraldic emblems have a fresh new face in the form of laser cut acrylic.Playing with the motifs like The elegant Lobster and the Anchor, St Leonards has created a key fob that mixes practicality with fashionable fun. Click HERE to find out more and buy.
1 DAY LEATHER HANDICRAFT WORKSHOPS - Book now with St Leonards and get 10% OFF January 20 2015, 0 Comments
JADED WITH JANUARY? - COME AND MAKE SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL IN LEATHER
After all the giddy hustle and bustle of Christmas the next few months can seem a bit lack-lustre and dreary.Why not take the time to learn a new skill? Take some time out to be creative in an exciting way - to learn how to hone and cut leather, stitch glue and sew it into a beautiful object you can treasure for years to come.
Choose from 3 different 1-Day workshops - each held at the home studio fondly known as Seaside HQ - come and learn how to make the pared down Little Alfred mini purse bag, or how about a canvas and leather strapped Rucksack, or what about impressing your beau with a hand made wallet and cardholder?
Using the link below - see which course suits you best. If you don't see a date you'd like - just make contact - alternatives can be arranged. To make it even easier, here's a nifty 10% OFF voucher code : HANDY
Click HERE for link to workshops
NEW PROJECT - MARGARET HOWELL - HANDCRAFTED BAGS December 16 2014, 0 Comments
St Leonards is immensely proud to be manufacturing a new handcrafted canvas and leather bag for renowned British clothing label Margaret Howell.
Margaret's pared down utilitarian style has given men and women decades of classic androgynous style that I've admired since I was a teenager - so it was a huge thrill to be invited to collaborate on a style with them to launch in Spring 15.
I showed them a series of Totely canvas products that I designed at our first meeting in July 2014 and from there the MH Team suggested slight changes that they'd like to make the product unique to them. We manipulated the size, changed the seam construction and added some extra rivet details.. An internal pocket was added too - it's unique to Margaret Howell London and should go on sale at the end of January at their stores.
CHRISTMAS SALE AT SEASIDE HQ - ST LEONARDS SAT DECEMBER 6TH November 21 2014, 0 Comments
Come along and get some beautiful leather gifts and accessories in time for Christmas - the pop up shop will be at Seaside HQ - home studio of founder K - Come along and enjoy some mulled wine and minced pies - get festive and bring CASH!
Prices from £5 to £300. CASH ONLY - or PayPal email login if you know your password
OPENING TIMES: 12 NOON UNTIL 6:30 PM
VENUE: 20 EAST ASCENT - ST LEONARDS ON SEA - EAST SUSSEX - TN38 0DS
Please tell your friends and family! - to find out more go to: FACEBOOK EVENT
Free parking for 2 hours in the street or there's a Pay and Display car park on the seafront 3 mins away.
Cashpoint machines are located close by on the corner of Norman and London Road, St Leonards on Sea.
ONE DAY WORKSHOP October 07 2014, 0 Comments
St Leonards hosted its 2nd one day workshop where 3 lovely folk came to learn how to make a Little Alfred mini bag.
Charlotte, Tim and Gabby learnt how to trace a pattern onto their leather, prep and punch out the right holes and embark on the Adler Odyssy -using the German built walking foot machine.
The class is perfectly paced to allow time for experimentation and test runs before committing to the "real thing"
POP-UP DEPARTMENT STORE - BEST OF BRITANNIA September 26 2014, 0 Comments
Best of Britannia show is here again. From the 2nd - 4th October the world's only Pop-Up department store sets out its wares at the Farmiloe Building, in Shoreditch, London.
Come and visit on Saturday and Sunday when it's open to the public.
If you're a buyer/retailer, please come and visit on the trade day which is Thursday 2nd October - St Leonards will have an edited selection of products on show thanks to its brand ambassador Wigington Bros purveyors of fine neckties and mens accessories.
The stand is 6A on the 2nd floor of the Modern Building.
To find out more about the show and who's exhibiting please go to: www.bestofbritannia.com
We look forward to seeing you there!
Photo by Graham Witby Boot Taken from WWD magazine
NEW PRODUCT FOR AUTUMN September 11 2014, 0 Comments
St Leonards has just started to wear a cardi in the evenings - so it could be Autumn. And that means new products online.
Take a look at the beautiful timeless Shire Bucket Tote bag in Chestnut full grain saddlery leather.Available with or without the horsebrass emblems.
SAMPLE SALE & OPEN STUDIO - SEPT 6TH/7TH & 13TH/14TH August 21 2014, 0 Comments
It's that time again and St Leonards is taking part in the annual Coastal Currents arts festival.A month of art music film and events as well as Open Studios to celebrate the amazing creative hub in St Leonards, Hastings and the surrounding areas.
Seaside HQ opens up its doors for 4 great events:
ST LEONARDS SAMPLE SALE - slight seconds and samples as well as a preview of some designs too. Cash only sale and products cost from £5 - £350
MACMILLAN COFFEE MORNING - Saturday 6th Sept - for the 3rd year running St Leonards hosts a cake sale to raise funds as part of the Macmillan World's Biggest Coffee Morning. Come and buy tea and cake and do good.
BRUCE WILLIAMS - The bold and thickly expressive figurative oil paintings of Bruce Williams will be on show in the hall and living room of Seaside HQ.
TIM STALLION - Photographer Tim is showing a beautifully edited series of work entitles SIGNS OF LIFE. On show in the hall at Seaside HQ
Sat 6th* Sun 7th September 11-6pm * Macmillan cake sale only on this day
Sat 13th Sun 14th september 11-6pm
20 East Ascent
St Leonards on Sea
We look forward to seeing you!
ST LEONARDS INTRODUCES - 1 DAY WORKSHOPS August 07 2014, 0 CommentsCome & Make at Seaside HQ.St Leonards has release a set of dates from August to September for a wonderful bag making experience.To find out more go to the website and clik on the menu heading COURSES...
COASTAL CURRENTS ART SHOW 2014 August 07 2014, 0 Comments
St Leonards Accessories is proud to be taking part in this year's Coastal Currents Arts Festival -throwing open its home studio doors for Open Studios and selling samples and new designs. To find out what's happening across Hastings & St Leonards from dance and theatre to studios and crafts and art shows - there's a bold mix of free and paid for art events...Click on the link to find out more:
ST LEONARDS GOES ON SALE! July 08 2014, 0 CommentsEnjoy some of the stylish core products of the St Leonards brand at wonderful prices. Grab yourself a half price beauty now.
VERY UPMARKET POP UP STORE: 28TH-30TH MARCH March 22 2014, 0 Comments
St Leonards pitches up at the inaugural Very Upmarket Designer fair next week. Hosted by the Baker Mamonova Russian Art Gallery on Norman Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, it's your chance to meet the Founder "K" and see the products in the flesh.St Leonards' leather and canvas products will be rubbing shoulders with bespoke leather upholsterers Bombarock, refined haberdashers Merchant & Mills, wood lighting guru LogJam and many more stylish local designers.
Click on the image below to find out more about the event and what's happening in satellite venues around St Leonards.
MUSHI MUSHI May 02 2013, 0 Comments
St Leonards now supplies the Japanese market with products from St Leonards on Sea.I'm hugely proud to be selling to Watanabe & Co Japan. You can find some products in Tokyo and Osaka.
NEW START April 29 2013, 0 Comments
St Leonards is now trialling a new web hosting site called Shopify. This blog marks the start of the next stage for the business.
Bright ideas and new ways of working.
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