Leonora was invited to take part in an exhibition of contemporary Northern Irish craft in Cookstown's Burnavon Theatre. It was an honour to have work shown alongside Andrea Hayes, Jacki Sleator, Lynda B, Diane McCormick and Jill Graham. The exhibition runs from 4th-29th August 2014.
Leonora returned to the Grand Ballroom of Derry's Hastings Everglades Hotel for Hatwalk, a millinery catwalk show in support of Brain Tumour Research as part of Wear a Hat Day. The event was organised by Derry's own Jean Paul Couture and featured a number of talented local milliners.
Leonora was very surprised and excited to hear that she has been nominated for IN! Magazine's Breakthrough Designer of the Year Award. She is up against some stiff competition, including the accessories designer Rachel McKnight. The prestigious Glamour Awards take place on the 22nd March and the winners are chosen by the public, who can now vote here on the IN! Magazine website.
A big thank you to everyone who has voted for Leonora so far
Leonora Bridal is now stocked in new Belfast bridal boutique, Archive 12
Here's one of their beautiful photographs featuring my Rose and Chain headpiece. This dress is one of many gorgeous and carefully selected vintage styles.
They have landed! Above are a few of my new card designs (there are 9 in total) that will be available in my new online shop! They tie in with my textile print designs, with lots of colour and are blank inside for your own message.
I've had a bit of a product photographing frenzy and am trying to get my online shop looking dapper. All going well, it'll be open for business next week with a selection of silk scarves and cards!
This morning we delivered a selection of digitally printed silk scarves to our brand new Dublin stockist, The Design House! Situated on Dawson Street, near Grafton Street, Trinity College and St Stephen's Green, this new designer fashion, art and bridal shop is beautifully presented with some very special and exciting local labels. Looking forward to the opening this evening!
Well it was one of my busiest summers to date, but what better way to top it off than to take part in Craft House at Hartley Hall, off the Shore Road, Greenisland. The talented stylist Maureen Collins of Jacob Street designed the interiors using local artists and designers' work. Here are some pics of my digitally printed cotton velvet cushions, silk chiffon digital prints and framed silk prints in the study area of the house. The opening was catered by Sawers of Belfast, and I'll definitely be paying their store a visit after sampling their delicious cheeses and treats (stuffed chillis, YUM).
The Craft House is open on Sundays from 2-4pm and Thursdays 6-8pm.
Following on from the excitement of last week's Animal Ball for Elephant Family I have had an overwhelming amount of press for the lizard piece I made that was worn by Cara Delevingne (did I mention that...!) and the flamingo masks for Ruth and Mary Powys. But Cara wore another piece later in the evening, an amazing black leather mask that was created by designer Jacqueline Wharam of TBL Design and in some places I've been credited for making it - not that I wouldn't be absolutely delighted to put my name to it but I must put the record straight!! I've made sure to be really clear in any tweets or comments or interviews that my piece was the little green lizard but these things happen and I'd hate to take any credit for another person's hard work!!!
I'm glad to have found out who was the maker of the other mask, and really enjoyed checking out Ms. Wharam's website. It's well worth a look and you can pick up a sexy handmade necklace for between £30 and £120! I particularly love her Oriental Metal and Fringe Necklace in a lovely jade green.
P.S. HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to the Elephant Family charity who have raised over £800,000 from the Animal Ball and auction!!
For more information, check out http://www.tbl.me.uk
What a month! Have been crazy busy preparing for the Belfast Fashion Week and Hatwalk Derry/Londonderry shows introducing 12 brand new co-ordinating hat and silk scarf looks.
On the hat front, there are a few new shapes to be seen. I think my fav has to be the asymmetric style that I've shown here in both vibrant pink and jade green straw. It's a tricky style to make but definitely worth the effort! I was also showing off one of my new extra wide brim hats in a gorgeous red straw for summer. I combined the wide brim with a small close-fitting crown for a sleek, modern look.
Another style I was debuting here was the hairband hat, not quite a hat, but a lot more than just a hairband. The pink feather style sits comfortably just on the forehead to the side, while the iridescent turquoise peacock version perches on the top of the head. They are both accented by a sweep of ostrich arrow feathers for a sense of movement. Another version is covered with printed silk with big printed chiffon flowers to the side for a softer, feminine look. These are great if you're not used to wearing a hat, they're easy to put on and lightweight, and are quite understated if you're feeling a bit self-conscious about donning a hat.
One of the most popular styles was the little "kiss curl" shaped black satin hat with an oversized red pompom feather flower. I loved creating this shape, the inspiration was from a 1920s hat with one little curl shape at the side based on the popular hairstyle, which I've adapted into a more elaborate outline. It's trimmed with hundreds of tiny Swarovski crystals to highlight the shape.
I was SO EXCITED about showing my new digital print silk scarves!! Although it's always nerve-wracking showing off a new product range, thankfully I got some great feedback. Each design was lovingly (if painstakingly) created using my photographs and a little illustration work, before being digitally printed onto silk and the edges hand rolled and stitched. Now I know why an Hermes scarf costs what it does, the finishing alone is an artform!
I named the collection "Luna", for a number of reasons; some of the images I used as a starting point were of Luna Park, the old funfair in Melbourne's Saint Kilda. I went there on a hot dark evening, and was really inspired by the atmosphere of the place, the dazzling multi-coloured lights and the slightly dazed feeling of walking around it, past warped mirrors and spooky decorations. I combined this imagery with moths and butterflies I had photographed among lots of other sources for you to unravel.
I wanted to create a versatile collection with glowing colours that could co-ordinate with the new season's brights and also be worn with neutrals as a vibrant highlight. The gorgeous silk is luxurious and glam with occasion and work wear, and these are also a great way to accessorize your casual clothing. I'll keep you updated on where to buy and will have some styles available to purchase online very soon!
Thanks to all involved in Belfast Fashion Week and Hatwalk, I was so delighted to show my collection at these fabulous events! And thanks to Norm Keilty for my video above, the photographers who've taken some amazing shots of my work, and the publications and blogs who have given me some great coverage over the past few weeks.