In celebration of mothers of bride and groom
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February 2019
Special Occasions
In this issue:

Dear <<First Name>>, 
I have recently been walking through various towns in the UK to connect with businesses locally, meet new friends and explore the fashion worlds of each area. I have found some surprises but for the most part, the high streets are populated with the same big chain outlets which can be seen pretty much everywhere I have been.

The age of the classic independent stores isn't quite over but by golly it has diminished dramatically in the last 20 years. Where do you go to buy your special occasion clothes? Or even high quality day wear?  I could find surprisingly few places that I would consider really worthy of your attention. 

Am I missing something? I'd love to learn more about where you normally like to go shopping and what is special about the places you visit. 

In the meantime, we have lots going on. So much so that we have little time to update you as often as perhaps we should. New projects, various events and random interludes and conversations always means that there is something happening as you will see below.

With best wishes from a snowdrop filled view in Wales,


Ambers of Amersham - A Classic Destination Shopping Experience

We are thrilled to announce that Ambers of Amersham will shortly hold a collection of our pieces.

The shop is a prime example of a classic independent with its own style and a consistent approach to treating its customers with a great deal of care and respect. They stock a good range of items - from classy casual to the more formal gowns for very fancy balls and evening events. The staff are a joy to be around, welcoming, fun and exceedingly helpful. You can read more on

Join us on Saturday 2nd March
They will be holding a special event especially for women looking for special occasion or mother of bride/groom outfits. If you would like to be informed of the details and/or plan to visit, please do let me know. I will be there as well, so it would be fabulous to see you. If you plan a visit and would like to see and try any particular pieces, then please do get in touch with me and I will endeavour to bring them with me. 

Mothers of Bride and Groom

At this time of year, we begin to be besieged by desperate mothers of brides and grooms who are frantically searching for a special outfit. Their hope is to find something that does not squeeze them into a 'twin-set and pearl' persona befitting a 1950's grandmother. These days 50 is the new 30, 60 is more like 40 and women are embracing their bodaciously colourful personalities. That is regardless of whether they are the bold jewels of the jungle or the embody the subtler hues of misty rose gardens of British fair skinned beauties. 

In a wedding guide for Oxfordshire there were just three shops listed for mothers of bride - all of them supplied hats. Do they think that we should go naked or something? I mean, really? Six listings for menswear but where are the women supposed to go? Well - here of course! 

We are determined to continue offering timeless classics made for women who want something uniquely special for them. 

Any colour, any fabric, any of our designs for any style of wedding (well, almost!) Is it any wonder that people say we are different. The question is what outfits do you need to organise for your next special occasion or event? 

The pleated jacket though is without doubt one of the most iconic classic pieces that we do. It is also a garment that will venture out of the wardrobe in different styles and guises instead of being the moth magnet crushed in the darkness of 'never-to-be-worn-again purchases'. Rare and collectible it is one of those universal pieces that is often put to good use. 

An exciting new venture - digitally printed scarves and shawls.

Diving deep into the world of digital printing, we are about to launch a very new collection of limited edition scarves digitally printed in the UK on 100% pure silk (of course). This is a family affair with new collection featuring artwork from Charles, Patricia and me, Georgina.
There is a selection of classic designs featuring Patricia's textiles with a group of photographic designs created by Charles. I have created a small selection using cartoons from stained glass work that I have done a few years ago. 

Our aims are to create a collection of pieces which will ultimately become collectable with some editions being limited to just 6. 

In Liberty

Kaftans seem to be the most popular garment at the moment. Liberty have a small selection left for you to try along with a few other classic styles.

Images of what is available in Liberty can be seen on and the photograph album on Facebook.

Hazel's contact details for you in case you want her undivided attention to guide you through the collections:
Telephone: 07749 030555

Dates for your diary

2nd March 2019 - Special Occasion Wear for Mothers of Bride and Groom at Ambers in Amersham.

An all day event in the unique surroundings of The Millstream in Amersham, Buckinghamshire. An extended collection of items will be available and Georgina will be on hand with the Ambers assistants to offer help and suggestions. 

14th May 2019 - For the Joy of Colour: An illustrated talk with Charles and Patricia at The Gainsborough Spa Hotel in Bath. 

A rare opportunity to hear Charles and Patricia talk about their life and work in fashion and textile arts. Tickets and more details of this event will be available soon. 
The Workhouse Design Studios, Hatherleigh Place, Union Road, Abergavenny,

Monmouthshire NP7 7RL

01873 853559

Open 10am-4pm Monday to Friday

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Buying, trying and returns

We want all our friends and customers to be thoroughly delighted with the pieces that they have bought and know that the clothes that we have spent countless hours creating have found a loving home where they will be treasured for many years to come. However, we do realise that particularly when buying things by email or over the internet it is not always easy to gauge whether something is a perfect match or not. We have terms and guidelines - so if you want to see them before you buy something then please just let us know.

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Charles and Patricia Lester · The Workhouse Design Studios · Hatherleigh Place · Abergavenny, Monmouthshire NP7 7RL · United Kingdom