Monday, 10 June 2013

English Summer Flowers and Elusive Vintage Prints

Its the second full week of June, normally the climbing rose that we have trained to flower just outside our bedroom window is in its first bloom. At this time of year we like to cut the odd rose bud and put it in the little vase that was specially blown to hold one flower head. Truly it smells of summer and the delicate petals make a pretty focal point on the kitchen table.

This year, summer has been so late that there are only closed green buds on the rose, what to do. A short walk with the dog reminded me that this late English summer has resulted in an unusual mix of flowers for the time of year. Some careful picking of a few flowers and rather more grasses seemed like the inspired thing to do. Walking back to the cottage I realised that this is a rather familiar situation at Cholesburys. You want more of a favorite English vintage print but you just cant find it, you look around you, you mix and match from the bottom of the textiles cupboard with some different recycled leathers, try a couple of different leather finishes, you select the lining to compliment the colour pallet and you have just created a sandal solution from the materials to hand. What an idea, probably rather old fashioned.. .   .

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Narrow Fitting Sandals

Getting it right can be a whole lot more work than you expect.. . .   .

Cholesburys new narrow fit ladies sandal last


a size fitting less and a narrower forefoot to get a narrow fit sandal.  It should be easy but it is still going to take two visits to the last factory (where the fitting is worked on) and 3 fitting samples and fit sessions to get it just right.

Monday, 4 March 2013

London Fashion Week is over.. . .

London Fashion Week for Autumn Winter 13 has come and gone and left food for thought; at Cholesburys Spring Summer 13 is waking up.  The natural Spring cycle is working; weather changing, days lengthening, flower bulbs pushing up toward the sun.

Over the winter outside the studio the old school gym floor board deck has mudded up. The mud and leaves stop the wood from drying out on windy days.  Years ago Will had saved the oak when he heard that a school gym was being demolished for a  new building. As can be the case he knew the value of the old narrow gauge planks (nice and thick like they used to make them) but didn't have a use for them.  Luckily an empty horse box in a local field provided a dry store until one evening in deep studio design discussion on the phone Will mentioned "what about a verandah outside, you know for drinking cups of tea on sunny days". Nearly a year after that Will was planing the planks to a near even thickness and sorting out the ones that were, shall I say slightly too aged.

When you appreciate the history of something and it comes into your care you feel responsible and can't help thinking about it. I knew I needed to give the wood a really good clean, being interested in materials I know that if the surface of oak is really clean it will just dry out, resist rot and take on a fine silver to dark colour over time, no need for paints or oils. I also knew that if the mud and leaves were left it was just a matter time before the last page in the history of my "verandah" would be that it just rotted away. So in tune with the Spring Summer 13 season I swept the leaves off, hauled out my pressure washer and set to work blasting off the mud and grime of many feet. Half way through the difference was so striking that I took a photo of the clean easy drying new look, ahh I thought the new colours for Cholesburys Spring Summer 13!

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Winter then summer

Somehow the frosty monotones of winter make you relish the spring and summer florals. Working on a pair bound for the Australian summer today.. .  . what a contrast.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Hand made is special

It's always heart warming to receive a thank you card but when its hand made...  .    .       well its special.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Making it to the final: Ethical Fashion Forum Source Awards 2012

A little bit less breathless than an athlete but just as elated to make the Ethical Fashion Forum Source Awards 2012 final.  Cholesburys has been shortlisted as  a finalist with other Ethical designers and brands in the INNOVATION category:

Recognising new talent in fashion design and textiles design, combined with innovation in sustainability terms.

You can read all about it here but the really exciting thing is to be shortlisted along with brands that I respect like Patagonia and people like Orsola de Castro, Saffia Minney (of People Tree), Vivienne Westwood, Katherine Hamnett and sustainable style icons Livia Firth, Erin O'Conner, Lily Cole and Emma Watson all of whom I admire.  So for a little company I am feeling rather good about hand making my sandals in England in the right way.

Winner to be announced on 4th December.

Friday, 16 March 2012