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.

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