Monday, 2 April 2012

Springtime at The Secret Arcade

We are very excited to see the first signs of warmer weather when our thoughts turn to adding a fresh look both to ourselves and family as well as to our homes. We have just spent the morning browsing our wonderful shops in The Secret Arcade to bring you a selection of our new favourites and what better to start your new Spring wardrobe than with a new pair of shoes!

Aase Hopstock designs are all beautifully made with the finest leathers offering both fantastic comfort and amazing style in one. Aase has just launched her new website which allows all you devotees easier access to purchasing her limited edition designs. Above are part of the new SS12 collection - Paris, Black. Nude suede with black metallic patent leather, named after the city of Paris, France.Heel: 9cm – 3.5″, Leather lining & sole, memory foam padded insole and crafted in Spain. To view the full range visit Aase Hopstock, Shop 1, Fashion and Accessories passage at The Secret Arcade.

Whilst you're visiting the Fashion and Accessories passage why not pop next door and pay a visit to the luxury vintage clothing range at Juno Says Hello. You will find beautiful spring dresses such as this white & blue floral print dress with matching belt, a scoop neckline with three-quarter length sleeves and a fabulous Rayon 'chiffon' layer over net petticoat Similar to UK size 12 or 14 but please check measurements:Bust 38"Waist 30"Hips - free Length 44". You will find Juno Says Hello at Shop 2 in the Fashion and Accessories Passage in The Secret Arcade.

A final skip into Lilies and Dreams (Shop 3, Fashion and Accessories passage) where you can catch their Spring Time Sale and grab yourself an amazing bargain! The striking Makki leather clutch bag above has a 70% reduction and will kick start your new spring wardrobe very nicely.

For those of you who want to find something beautiful for children a visit to the childrenswear passage at The Secret Arcade is a must. The first shop you will encounter is the fabulously traditional Woodchild who specialise in Scottish knitted children's blankets. Shown above is their 'Connor' blanket - use for those picnic days in the summer and a warm cuddle-up in the winter - a truly forever blanket. Woodchild offer a range of designs and colours. Find them in Shop 1, Childrenswear Passage at The Secret Arcade. If its a children's summer outfit you are looking for then look no further than Shop 2 and 3 where you will discover the two most quintessentially English designers - Tulip and Nettle and K for Keeps. Working with gorgeous natural fabrics both companies produce their collections in the UK.

Tulip and Nettle's signature is classic cottons with accents of ribbon and embroidery details. They also produce a small collection for adults which is even better! K for Keeps delivers exactly what their name suggests - you will want to keep the garments that you buy forever! - and even when your child outgrows the clothing you will want to immediately replace it! To view both shops visit the Children's Passage at The Secret Arcade

The Secret Arcade's jewellery quarter is certainly building a dedicated following of collectors of contemporary jewellery. Shop 1 is currently inhabited by the striking designs of Eastern Mystic which is headed by British born Sonal Talger-Bhaskaren who creates statement jewellery influenced by her Indian Heritage.

You can also visit the other great shops in the Jewellery passage where you will find the delicate bead work pieces of Clara Francis and Simonne Elizabeth and the fabulous new collection from Hayley Kruger whose striking pieces are shown below.

For your home a visit to The Secret Arcade's Home Interiors Passage and Art Passage are a must for original ideas and pieces. Here you will find fabulous wallpapers such as this great Owl design from Turner Pocock which is their newest edition to their Wild Animal range. It come in a soft blue on warm white.

Following the wild animal theme you can find these beautiful pure linen cushions from Natural History which are included in their new Napoleon range feature our trademark illustrations from encyclopediae of natural history - this time with the Napoleonic bee enclosed in an imperial wreath.

For more exciting fabrics and wallpapers based on British wildlife you wont go wrong with a visit to Lynsey Jean Henderson at Shop 3 in the Home Interiors Passage. Lynsey's signature style incorporates wonderfully drawn designs based on the flora and forna of her native Scotland.

If you want to add the ultimate statement to your home you will find three artists represented in the Secret Arcade's Art Passage. Claire Brewster's work is about retrieving the discarded, celebrating the unwanted and giving new life to the obsolete. Claire uses old and out of date maps and atlases as her fabric with which to create her intricate, delicate and detailed cut outs.

Go to shop 2 in the Art Passage and enter the world of paper artist Helen Musselwhite. By the use of bold colour, strong graphic line and familiar images she creates highly individual and visually appealing pieces of art that make an instant impact. Her work has a distinctive hand crafted quality that pays respect to all forms of mid century design, folk and ethnic art, as well as current and future trends.

Paper has always been a primary material in the work of Justine Smith. Her current work is concerned with the concept of money and how it touches almost every aspect of our lives. She is interested in money as a conduit of power and also in the value systems with which we surround it. On a physical level a banknote is just a piece of paper, but it is what a banknote actually represents that is central to Smith’s work. Through her collages, prints and sculptures she examines our relationship with money in a political, moral and social sense, whilst also
exploiting the physical beauty of the notes.

Last but not least if you are up to creating something yourself we have two great craft stores in The Secret Arcade's Contemporary Crafts Passage. Loop Knitting is full of great ideas and a massive range of products for making all sorts of things for you and your home.

Or if you want to create you're own piece of embroidery then a visit to the exquisite Kelly Fletcher shop is essential! Check out this gorgeous cushion you can make following Kelly's clear patterns.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Get Stitching!

This is Number 6 in Kelley Fletcher's Stitch & Thimble series of her brilliant contemporary embroidery magazine. Find original patterns and ideas for great embroidery projects - just the thing for the forthcoming winter evenings!

To purchase the magazine visit Kelly's wonderful shop no. 2 in the Contemporary Crafts passage at The Secret Arcade.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

We are in a festive mood!

We are in the festive mood down at The Secret Arcade - with a feast of beautiful objects waiting to be devoured! Whether its an amazing Christmas outfit or a special gift for the significant adults and children in your life you need look no further for your Christmas shopping this year. From original art to gorgeous designer fashion to sumptuous home interiors and contemporary craft ideas the odds of finding the perfect present are extremely high! Put your feet up, pour your favourite tipple and wander through the winter wonderland at your leisure - enjoy!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

The Shopkeeper of the Week - Juno Says Hello

This week we are in conversation with Rebecca Rose the founder and owner of the amazing Juno Says Hello boutique.

Question 1. How would you describe your company?

Juno Says Hello is a London-based online boutique selling luxury vintage fashion. We select exquisite pieces that complement a contemporary wardrobe.

Question 2. Who/what are your biggest influences?

The world of cinema is a huge influence on our collections. Many of our dresses follow the classic 1950s Grace Kelly nipped-in silhouette, others are more decadent evening gowns. We recently acquired an original 1960s dress that was the same as the design worn by Julianne Moore in Tom Ford's 2009 film A Single Man. We also like to make sure that our collections follow current trends - the appearance of 1970s-inspired goddess gowns (as seen on the AW11 runway at Gucci and Marc Jacobs) meant that we sourced several original 1970s dresses that corresponded in style.

Question 3. Where is your favourite place to visit for inspiration?

Inspiration is all around - whether it's curling up in front of an Old Hollywood movie on the television, losing yourself in a Truman Capote novel or simply admiring the style of a passer-by.

Question 4: What is your favourite item from your current collection?

We love this Original 1960s handmade shift dress Pale peach lining with black lace overlay - just on trend with the likes of Kylie wearing the Dolce and Gabbana 2011 version!

Question 5. Do you have any new items/collections about to be launched?

We launch a new collection four times a year, although we can usually source specific requests within two weeks. We love these new in 1960's Mambo trousers - fabulous colour!
Question 6. What do you enjoy most about being one of the shops in The Secret Arcade?

We are thrilled to be part of The Secret Aracde as we are surrounded by like-minded businesswomen and receive great exposure through their website.

Visit Juno Says Hello in Shop No2 in the Fashion Passage

Monday, 31 October 2011

Shopkeeper of The Week - Lilies and Dreams

This week we are talking with JoJo Hernandez - the owner of the fabulous Lilies and Dreams boutique.

1. How would you describe your company?

Lilies & Dreams is an Individual and Unique Boutique offering Handbags, Luggage & Accessories.

2. What are your biggest influences?

Well made pieces, carefully designed and crafted, not readily found on the high street.

3. Where is your favourite place to visit for inspiration?

I love Markets, Craft Fairs, and even Trade Shows for inspiration as to what people are buying and where influences lie.

For design and creative inspiration, there’s nothing better than being by the sea.

4. What is your favourite item from your current collection?

From the stock we have now? I have lots of favourites, generally one from each designer.. However if I had to pick an overall, I would say our Vintage Reworked Jewellery Range from Eclectic Shock. Louise is great to work with and creates amazing one off designs.

5. Do you have any new items/collections about to be launched?

We have just received the first parcels for our autumn line from many suppliers, so yes. Very exciting are the new Bags from Makki in sumptuous Eel Skin, as well as the Winter Hide collection from Owen Barry.

............ and of course, our Swarovski Crystal Jewellery range always causes a stir!

6. What do you enjoy most about being one of the shops in The Secret Arcade?

The diversity of us all - It’s a fantastic way to combine aspects together, without having to trawl for hours (and through various cities) to find Designers and Boutiques with that little some extraordinary.

To view the full collection visit Lilies and Dreams at Shop 3 in the Fashion and Accessories passage at The Secret Arcade.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

The Secret Arcade in The V & A magazine!

We are delighted to see The Secret Arcade advertised in The V&A Museum Autumn Winter 2011 magazine. Holding a prominent position nestled opposite the 'Exhibitions' page we are certain to catch the attention of its 30,000 + design savvy readers! Each of our wonderful designer shops are individually named to give equal exposure and will surely attract attention throughout the shelf life of the magazine which covers the run up to Christmas and into Spring 2012.

We are particularly pleased to be on the same page as The V&A's brilliant 'Power of Making' exhibition listing which is also been screened on BBC 4 as part of The Handmade in Britain series - very apt for us! If you are interested in contemporary art or craft then a visit to The Secret Arcade is an must.

Visit all of the designers at The Secret Arcade here

Monday, 10 October 2011

Shopkeeper of the Week, Natural History.

This week we are in conversation with Sarah Lidwell -Durnin, the founder/owner of the unique Natural History Ltd, a company which takes the art of homemaking to a new level.

(A tile from Natural History's 'Gertrude Jekyll' design range )

Question 1. How would you describe your company or work?

Natural History is a young but multi-faceted business, with both retail and design activities going on all the time, which makes it very exciting to run! My work can encompass design, buying, sending out orders and working with outside designers on collaborations all in one morning and I absolutely love it.

Question 2. Who/what are your biggest influences?

My biggest influence is the Museum of Natural History in Merrion Square in Dublin. Every day after school I was brought to Merrion Square itself or to the museum, depending on the weather, and Dublin being quite rainy, I spent a lot of time in the museum! I grew up loving the worn and faded taxidermy, reading the tiny inscriptions from the the donors, some dating back to the early 1800's. The mysterious things in jars, the Victorian display cases, the unique musty smell - all filled the voices of all the other children who were brought there every day too - these are all very strong memories and have been a fantastic influence in my work.

Question 3. Where is your favourite place to visit for inspiration?

I live in Oxford now, so the Natural History Museum and the Pitt Rivers Collection are great places to visit - not specifically for inspiration so much as to recharge my aesthetic instincts.

(Natural History's 'Beetle Tea Towel')

Question 4. What is your favourite item from your current collection?

I love the set of tiles that we are about to launch featuring our bestselling blue hummingbird and cage.
Question 5. Do you have any new items/collections about to be launched?

Yes! Our gorgeous new Bees, Butterflies and Botanicals range is being launched in September.

Question 6. What do you enjoy most about being one of the shops in The Secret Arcade?

Long before I joined the Arcade I was a huge fan of the carefully curated feel of the site. I also love the arcades themselves of the 2nd Arrondissement in Paris, so to be a part of such an elegant collection of boutiques is quite a privilege! To view all of Natural History's stunning objects visit Shop No. 2 in the Home Interiors Passage at The Secret Arcade.