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! http://www.thesecretarcade.com/

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.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Names to watch!

We are so excited to welcome three new artists to The Secret Arcade - Claire Brewster, Helen Musselwhite and Justine Smith. All three create brilliant pieces primarily using paper as their chosen medium - from discarded maps, richly coloured papers and discontinued bank notes. If you are interested in collecting contemporary art then we urge you to consider any of these incredibly talented artists who are gaining a substantial and international following.

Claire Brewster

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. The image above shows 'Demanding East' 2010 - a cut page from London street atlas, pins, foam board, box frame 44 x 34 cm. To view or purchase the work visit Claire Brewster at Shop No. 1 in the Art passage at The Secret Arcade.

Helen Musselwhite

By the use of bold colour, strong graphic line and familiar images Helen 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. Each piece combines the hand cutting, folding and scoring of a wide range of papers and card that are further worked on to create patterned and textured surfaces. They are then used to build scenes in box frames which are often complex and consist of many layers. To view or purchase the work visit Helen Musselwhite at Shop No. 2 at The Secret Arcade.

Justine Smith

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. To view the work visit Justine Smith at Shop No. 3 at The Secret Arcade.

Friday, 2 September 2011

New Home and Interiors shops at The Secret Arcade

There are three great new homewares shops to browse at The Secret Arcade. Whether you are searching for unusual wallpaper, stylish cushions or bespoke textiles you will find something to tempt you!

Turner Pocock Cazalet
Turner Pocock Cazalet create incredible wallpapers that use a wide range of motifs from jumping zebras to vintage cricket bats and tennis rackets. What all of their designs have in common is a great stylishness that works incredibly well in both contemporary and traditional contexts.

Lynsey Jean Henderson

Lynsey Jean Henderson is inspired by the flora and fauna of the Scottish highlands and lowlands creating her uniquely quirky designs that she transforms into fantastic wallpapers and textiles - her shop is a must for all lovers of unusual interiors.

Natural History: Origin Of Style
Sarah Lidwell-Durnin is the power house behind this fabulous store. Influenced by her childhood visits to the Natural History Museum in Dublin, Sarah has curated an amazing collection of decadent homewares and uniquely quirky accessories.

To view all of the shops visit the Home and Interiors Passage at The Secret Arcade.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Great New Jewellery Shops At The Secret Arcade!

Continuing with our introductions to the new shops at The Secret Arcade we are delighted to announce the fantastic designers that occupy the new Jewellery passage.

Eastern Mystic

Beginning with Eastern Mystic - the brainchild of British born Sonal Talgeri - Bhaskaran who creates contemporary statement pieces that are strongly influenced by her Indian heritage.Sonal combines 24 carat gold vermeil, gunmetal plated brass, fine sterling silver chains with a myriad of gemstones and crystals to create opulent statement pieces. Each piece is handcrafted by Sonal in London and made in limited editions. You can view the full collection at Eastern Mystic, Shop 1, The Jewellery Passage, The Secret Arcade.

Simonne Elizabeth Designs

Sumptuous handmade glass beads are used by Simonne to create her wonderful jewellery that is inspired by the British seasons resulting in a palette of pinks, vivid greens and warm orange tones. To view the full collection visit Simonne Elizabeth Designs at Shop 2 , The Jewellery passage, The Secret Arcade.

Hayley Kruger

Hayley Kruger is influenced by the construction of botanical elements in nature combined with diverse iconography from female figures from history and popular culture such as Barbarella and Joan of Arc! Hayley achieves this through the use of contrasting soft and hard materials from silk cord, leather and components from costume jewellery to semi-precious gems and silver and gold. To view the full collection visit Hayley Kruger, Shop 3, The Jewellery Passage at The Secret Arcade.

Clara Francis

Clara Francis creates stunning pieces of jewellery using minuscule Japanese glass beads which produce colours and tones of great subtlety. Her motifs are inspired by the British flora and fauna including butterflies, birds and flowers. To view the full collection visit Clara Francis, Shop 4, The Jewellery Passage, The Secret Arcade.

We will be introducing the other new shops over the next few weeks and will also be publishing the ever popular 'Shopkeeper of the Week' which gives an in-depth insight into the work of the great companies that make up The Secret Arcade.

Friday, 12 August 2011

The New Fashion & Accessories Passageway

Continuing our announcements of the new designers and companies showcased in this year's Arcade, we bring you the new Fashion & Accessories Passage.

With exclusive, sumptuous designs and meticulous craftsmanship, Norwegian born designer Aase Hopstock graduated from the renowned Cordwainers College in 2008 with 1st Class Honours. Her designs combine a 1940's aesthetic with glamourous detailing and an unusual mix of materials and colours.

Each shoe is carefully crafted at a small family-run, artisan factory in Elda, Spain and bears a stamp indicating each pair's exclusivity in the form of a serial number on the sole - we want each design!

If you like vintage style, get ready to immerse yourself into an addictive, ever changing collection of authentic vintage clothes.

Transporting the visitor back to an age of glamour, femininity and exquisite detailing, each item in Juno Says Hello's inventory has been sourced from around the world, selected for quality and originality.

The online boutique is a joy to browse with categories such as Mad Men Inspires, Red Carpet, Pool-side and Little Black Dress. They also offer a dress hire service for those special events, a party or a wedding perhaps?

What do you need to go with your Aase Hopstock shoes and a Vintage dress from Juno Says Hello? A bag from, Edinburgh-based company, Lilies and Dreams of course!

With an extensive range of eco-products, locally crafted designs and custom creations, each piece is carefully selected for those requiring a more distinctive addition to their wardrobe. Our favourite is the Steamline luggage, in particular the Aviator Stowaway in mustard.

In true, old-school style many of the items in the collection can be customised for a bespoke finish.

To view all these shops and their windows please click here to visit the Fashion & Accessories Passage.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Fabulous New Shops @ The Secret Arcade!

Every August we select great new companies to take part in The Secret Arcade. We are delighted to launch a brand new collection of twenty fantastic shops. We have six glorious passageways including Fashion & Accessories, a new Art passage, Jewellery, Home and Interiors, Children's and a new Refreshments passage offering the most exciting range of teas to reward you after all that shopping! We will be continuing with the ever popular 'Shopkeeper of the Week' feature which will give an in depth and behind the scenes insight into each of the great companies that make up The Secret Arcade. So keep an eye out for these which will start next week.

The emphasis for our selection of shops as always is for UK based companies that specialise in UK made and designed products. The quality is exceptionally high and we are very proud to be working with every one of them! Each day over the next couple of weeks we will publish details of each passageway, starting today with a tantalising insight into our three new children's wear shops.

The Children's Passage

Woodchild is a Brighton based company that design the most beautiful children's woollen blankets that are knitted in Scotland - true heirloom pieces - great for a new born gift. Prices start from £55.

Shop No2: Tulip And Nettle

Tulip & Nettle continue to offer their quintessentially English collections of soft cottons and countryside inspired designs from pretty dresses to stunningly simple traditional shirts for both boys and grown -ups.

Shop No3: K for Keeps

K for Keeps is a new company that has produced a truly unique collection of children's wear which is manfactured by a small family run company in the north of England. Wonderful woollen coats with hints of historical coach capes and pinstriped wide legged trousers that look really funky! At great prices from £40 you can't afford not to have these!

To view the full range of children's wear products visit the shops in The Children's passage at The Secret Arcade and don't forget to check out all the other new shops over the next few days!