I wanted to wish everyone a super September.
And on a personal note, I also wanted to remind you this is the month of Second Hand September the brilliant marketing initiative created by Oxfam!.
As a leader in sustainable collections, sourcing & supply chains, second hand styling and shopping is an incredible way to get unique inspiration.
As well as Oxfam some of my other favourite second-hand shops are; Cancer Research Uk, Shelter, Royal Trinity Hospice, Wandsworth Oasis, Doctor Barnardo's, Boutique by Shelter, Chartwell Trust, Crisis Camberwell, Save the Children (Mary's Living & Giving shops).
I'm also loving these other companies with great initiatives, Make, Do & Mend, Depop and My Wardrobe HQ where you can rent or buy garments. This has to be the future, we all need to consume less and reuse more!
There are so many things I’ve found and up-cycled from second hand which I really wanted to share with you, here’s just a few…
The first is an English Eccentrics original leftover silk panel's from '91 up-cycling on a new jacket shape.
The maroon jacket is a Lacroix original sample which I brought from Brixton Village Market
And the elegant blacktop was a hidden treasure from a charity shop in Marylebone!
I know I’ve helped so many of my friends unexpectedly with a fabulous unique second-hand find that just looked like it was a great fit for them, everything from a Dior faux fur navy coat to a Cashmere wool coat for my dad.
So who's up for the challenge this month?!
To find out more about this plus shopping and tips visit my Sustainable Style ShowYoutube Channel...
Want to know how to do some cleaver hacks on a jacket?
This video is great for both individuals who want to update and re-discover one of their old un-loved jackets and businesses who would like to do a batch up-cycling for an old uniform giving it a new lease of life.
Its an inexpensive and very inspiring way to turn your (what would be) waste into your wonderful again!
I've always been about creating signature style and the passion that fulled this is about sustainable style.
I've been a sustainable style shopper for over 35 years. It began when I grew up in Somerset and discovered Charity Shops as a great way to buy and customise unique clothes and I've been doing it ever since to make my own very distinctive looks that could be timeless, gorgeous and last forever.
I'm launching sustainable style tours which is about teaching and showing people how to find the gold in Charity Shops!
It is such an exciting moment when you find something so special that you want to burst, because you’re the only one that’s got that item! Then seeing the possibilities of how to mix it in with your existing wardrobe and add a bit of sparkle back to your life.
It might replace a tired, old piece of clothing that can no longer be patched up and repaired and so it’s sadly time to let it go. But you still want originality, that something special and unique. You want to develop a signature style that separates you from the rest and that makes you feel you!
You are a special, unique and extraordinary individual and that can show in what you wear.
In my book “The Textile Touch” I say how it takes 7 seconds to make a first impression, 87% of which is non-verbal. If you understand that the power of dressing, plus your words and body language will give you confidence in whatever you do.
You will have a winning formula to wow, when and where you want to. Most importantly it will make you feel amazing, but remember we are all dressing for ourselves first and foremost. That’s the magic I want to bring to you through Charity Shop discoveries which is launching soon!
I am starting this because I've been focused on working B2B for hospitality and heritage brands but I'm now refocusing to also connect with P2P because my sustainable style work is for everyone not just businesses, which will make a difference to people, the planet and their purses.
I am going to be setting challenges to repair more, buy less, buy nothing new for a while or even forever!!
Katie dropped by to Women's Radio Station to talk all things hospitality and the exciting re-launch of English Eccentrics.
Click the link below to listen!
We are honoured to announce that Bespoke Textiles has won another prestigious award for 'Most Outstanding for Quality Hospitality Uniforms' for Katie's meticulous work on the redesign and supply of uniform projects from Bills Restaurants to Buckingham Palace Housekeepers.
I always dreamed of having a fashion house one day so I wasn’t going to miss the Phantom Thread with Daniel Day Lewis. It won best costume by Mark Bridges and was about a Brixton couture house in London and it was, allegedly, going to be Daniel Day Lewis’ final film before retirement.
I came a little late to the party and almost missed it at the cinema. After a little research I found that the Curzon Film House in Bloomsbury was the only place in London that was still showing it! It was either 8.30pm Monday night or 3.15pm Thursday. The only option was taking the afternoon off and getting a babysitter to pick up the children. I couldn’t miss it!!
It wasn’t just the style development, skill and the beauty I wanted to see but the emotion behind being a couturier designer. I know from personal experience as a bespoke high-end uniform designer that it sometimes feels like a curse not knowing how to stop dreaming about clothing design; the details, fabrics, colours - and even imagining the people who will wear them!
I thought Daniel Day Lewis’ performance was astounding; his depiction of the nineteenth century designer’s passion and drive was utterly engrossing and entirely compelling. As I was watching it suddenly struck me that Day Lewis is a method actor! He actually learnt to sew to couturier standard for the film, which as everyone knows, to be really proficient at something you need to put 10,000 hours into it for it to become natural.
It confirmed my hunch that it’s the story behind the story that’s fascinating. I love clothes, style, fit, and I’m fascinated by them all in my style development work. But the film provided a strong reminder to dream big, to create beautiful things that delight and awe through sustainable product development and quality control tempered with passion and talent. (And to remain firmly grounded in understanding the importance of a professional yet compassionate attitude, passion and talent will never compensate entirely for people skills and good management).
We are thrilled to announce that Bespoke Textiles has been shortlisted in the sustainability category for the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards 2017!
It's such an honour to have been nominated and shortlisted; sustainability and transparency is at the heart of what we stand for and what we do.
We'll update you in November...
Katie was recently asked to speak at the UKHA event about how to apply fashion to uniforms.
The final self edit of the book is so challenging. Re-reading and correcting sentence flow of over 30,000 words!
My go-to way to crunch me through this stage is a proper cup of English Breakfast and Earl Grey tea! It's has to be brewed from leaves, in a pot & in one of my Royal mugs as I simply adore drinking tea with the Queen!
It looks like the law of attraction has worked with my attendance at the Garden party at the palace last year and very recently a meeting to discuss designing uniforms for "the heart of the household" staff!
Now I just need the Royal warrant in 5 yrs time!
Watch this space..