Friday, 8 October 2010

Villa Carlotta, Lake Como

Once again we were in Italy in August. This time finds us at Lake Como for a family wedding. Amazing, there aren't enough superlatives for this place where the boot of Italy pushes into the Alps and the aristocrats of previous centuries built their holiday homes. It's all still there, still beautiful. The images here are from the ornate interior of Villa Carlotta where the ceremony took place on the terrace. The gardens are famous too. I will post some links for those who are interested in an Italian wedding. Wonderful food, wonderful scenery, what more could you want.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Jason Charles Jewellers

I attended the Ascot Royal Berkshire Hotel wedding evening on July 15th and had the pleasure of exhibiting across from bespoke jeweller, Jason Charles. 20 years in the business they are well versed in the wedding show scene, attending about 20 a year. There were other jewellers at this event but the Jason Charles collection stood out as a unique, modern and sculptural collection, with a sense of humour as well. Some of the designs include rings that look like they are real working manacles, tyre tread rings, torpedoes with diamonds on them. There is a story behind these I am sure!

Sunday, 13 June 2010


A few years ago I spent part of a summer in the south of France and happened upon a beautiful town called Tarascon. Named for a mythical beast called the Tarasque, it is one of those lovely places you find in the French countryside, off the beaten track but worth the stopover. The most delightful ‘find’ in Tarascon was the Souleiado Museum. Souleiado is the home of the famous Provencal printed fabrics that are pervasive in the south of France. Like them or loath them, a trip to the Museum will give you an appreciation for the traditional wood block printing techniques that they used to make these fabrics in the 19th century. The Museum has preserved the original workshops and printing blocks. The day I visited long banners of fabrics were hanging in the courtyard as if drying from a fresh print run. Wonderful.
If you are interested in visiting Tarascon and want a base to explore this region, I can recommend a local town house available through Alana Pryce. She and her husband have restored one of the old stone houses inside the town walls and rent out for holiday stays.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

We spent August traveling by car through France, the Alps and through to Italy and Tuscany.  Retail design in Italy still retains a strong connection to it's regional, decorative traditions.  Take a look at these delight shop fronts we found in Florence, Lucca and Siena.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

A Taster

For those of you who have requested a preview I am posting a few images to give a feel of the Belle Lettres style. I have a long standing in interest in historical styles. As a child I was obsessed by period fashion -- not just vintage but everything from greco-roman drapery and jewelery to renaissance tapestry and neck ruffs through to Victorian paisley shawls and broderie petticoats. Many years later I find that these latent interests have been rekindled and found in expression here at Belle Lettres. Close at hand is the V&A museum which is a constant source of inspiration. For those of you with similar interests I suggest you try a new website that is launching called Creative Spaces - I was researching French 19th century ballet costumes the other day. Marvelous!

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Green Shoots

The plan was to go live with our lovely e-commerce site this spring but illness, continued development on the website and life in general has slowed progress.  We are seeing the light at the end of the development tunnel.  We now have 10 approved design suites for letterpressed and embossed foil wedding designs ready to go to press.  Designers Joanna Truite Dalton and Janet Brennan have joined our roster; Jo with her intricate floral bower design and Janet with a flamenco folk inspired piece.  More on both these designers later.