Friday, 20 November 2015

If the clothes make the man, how do Gresham Blake begin?

When I heard that my friend, James Sharp, had decided to order a suit from Gresham Blake I couldn't resist asking him to write a guest blog post about his experience. Thankfully he was happy to oblige, so it's over to James... 

With a location in London as well as our very own Brighton, a team of knowledgeable, dedicated professionals and a reputation for clothing celebrities from Fatboy Slim to Davina McCall, Gresham Blake sits proudly in the North Laine with a quiet confidence many other bespoke tailors lack. Especially when these are the people that design and tailor clothing for events ranging from perfect weddings to stage show performances. It goes without saying that they know their craft and they know it well.

Photo of Gresham Blake

But enough about Gresham Blake and his team. And more about me.

There comes a time in your life when you feel that you’re stuck in a rut. That things need to change or else you’re going to be looping in the same old forever. I look in the mirror and see a thirty year old man with forty on the horizon, looming in the distance along with a mid-life crisis, aching knees and ten o'clock bedtimes. Now, since travelling back in time wasn't something they really expanded on in school, it seems my only real choice is to embrace my collision with fate head first. But there was nothing said about not being able to do it in style. Gresham Blake, enter stage right.

Photo of the Brighton shopfront taken from the Gresham Blake blog

To many new suit buyers the first time purchase can seem daunting, even intimidating, from the initial desire to the first step through the door. Let me reassure you, it’s natural. What reassures you more is the talented people that swiftly introduce themselves know it as well. They aren't here to sell you manufactured clothing off a rack. They’re here to make your dreams come true and they do it with patience, reassurance and quite a bit of style! Now that might sound a bit whimsical, even fantastical, but a clothing store that puts the person before the sale is a rare gem to be treasured. Not only that, but words cannot do justice in explaining just how well they know their trade. Even if you simply stop by for a chat or have an enquiry, the experience will speak volumes for itself. Not to mention those volumes contain such a wealth of information, you’d be hard pressed to ask anything these men and women haven’t come across in their careers. Questions are answered succinctly, curiosities are explored and doubts are evaporated, all with smiles and that quiet confidence I mentioned earlier. Gresham Blake certainly lets the clothes do the talking.

Photo of Davina Mccall in a Gresham Blake designed suit
The choice in whether or not to make an appointment was made in my mind very early on during my visit. A big part of that isn't just because their designs, styles and capabilities are high quality, but because they made me feel like one of the celebrities they so often accommodate for. That alone sets them on a level few could ever hope to reach, but one you, I and everyone can experience. It’s truly one worth having and I whole-heartedly recommend it.

Stay tuned for a future blog post that describes the next stage in my Gresham Blake journey. This includes the endless choices of fabrics, styles, fashions, measuring and onslaught of questions I shall launch forth as my curiosity gets the better of me. Until then I'm going to be staring in the mirror and contemplating whether or not the pizza winning the pizza or salad debate was worth it. I guess I'm going to the gym more often this week. Until next time!

Gresham Blake
20 Bond Street Brighton BN1 1RD
Mon - Thur : 10am - 5.30pm
Fri : 10.30am - 5.30pm
Saturday : 10am - 6pm
Sunday : 11am - 5pm
Twitter: @GreshamBlake

Friday, 13 November 2015

MADE BRIGHTON is Ten Years Old

Today we hand over to a guest blogger, Anne-Marie, who will give us an insider's look at MADE BRIGHTON, the design & craft fair.... 

The city’s annual contemporary craft and design fair is celebrating this year with another fabulous show in the beautiful Corn Exchange at The Dome. MADE BRIGHTON is a selling event. It offers the public the opportunity to buy original and exceptional pieces of craft and design direct from the best national and increasingly international makers and is firmly established as a friendly, accessible and top quality show.  Over 500 visitors attend, the majority of whom return year on year knowing that the work exhibited is always exciting, fresh and often perfect for Christmas gifts.

Chandeliers by Out of the Shadows

MADE BRIGHTON showcases jewellery, textiles, ceramics, basketry, glassware, furniture, home accessories, fashion and much more. All the work is hand crafted, unique and often quirky. This year look out for the amazing glass and steel chandeliers by Out of the Shadows. They are simply wonderful. Sue Pryke is bringing her functional ceramics along with Wild + Wood who make wooden and concrete pieces for the home. For jewellery lovers, visit Caroline Reynolds for fairy tale inspired pieces and Iris de la Torre's colourful plastic masterpieces. For men, Mark Eames creates wonderful jewellery pieces, Tibor Eperjessy is bringing his leather bags, belts and wallets and Forge Creative will provide all things wooden!

There is something available for everyone’s tastes and budgets.

Cufflinks by Mark Eames
Caroline Reynolds - Forest Brooch
Because people are thinking about Christmas gifts and because MADE BRIGHTON is celebrating 10 years, there will be a distinctively twinkly and festive feel to the show. A café provides a place for visitors to relax and take refreshment. With so much work to see, many people like to make a day of it, spending the morning viewing work, stopping for a bite to eat, then returning to continue shopping. Bliss!

MADE BRIGHTON – The Design and Craft Fair
20 – 22 November, 2015
The Dome Corn Exchange, Brighton, BN1 1UG
Open 11.00 – 17.00
£6.50 on the door, under 14s free

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Flock takes flight!

Last week we were invited along to the launch of Flock Brighton, a new vintage boutique in the North Laine.

This gorgeous little shop brings together four local labels selling a mixture of truly vintage pieces as well as vintage-inspired items including tailor-made blazers and hand-made jewellery. The labels available are Hearts & Guns; Pick Up Sticks; Palomita Jewellery and The Emperor's Old Clothes who has their studio underneath the shop so it truly is a local emporium!

Like a lot of people I am often wary when I hear the word boutique being used as some places do seem to use this as an excuse to quadruple the price tag however this is definitely not the case here. When my eye was caught by a pretty necklace I was pleased to see it was a very affordable £14, although in the end I needn't have worried as my boyfriend sweetly offered to buy it for me :)

Modelling my new necklace by Palomita Jewellery
It's not just the jewellery though as the clothes were also affordable with a range of prices to suit a variety of budgets ,which is all the more impressive given the fact that a lot of the pieces are hand-made.

As we're approaching the festive season Flock is a great place to do a spot of present shopping, although you'll probably end up buying most of the gifts for yourself - and why not, you deserve it ;)


Thursday, 5 November 2015

A Brighton Poem

One of the reasons we love working with Harrison Agency is because they like to do things a little differently & so I am not in the least bit surprised to see that when they were asked by Design Week why people should relocate to the city, they decided to respond with a poem...

The Royal Pavilion taken by Adam Bronkhorst.

You might think you’ve got Brighton sussed

A town built on weekends of lust

With hipsters and greens

Mods, rockers and queens

The odd bit of new agey crust

Yet bold ideas are key to this place:

Its royal palace once deemed a disgrace

But a prince with a vision

Ignored all derision

The result? An iconic ace

This city gets under your nails

Its freedom puts wind in your sails

Be creative, be a freak

Brighton loves what’s unique

By contrast elsewhere simply pales.’

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Brighton Fireworks

This week is Guy Fawkes Night, celebrating the failure of the plot to assassinate King James I in 1605.

There will be firework displays happening across Brighton & Hove on Thursday 5th, Friday 6th and Saturday 7th November so no matter what night you're free you'll still catch one of the amazing displays. Or you could even go to all of them!

It all starts on Thursday at the Sussex County Cricket Ground which in addition to the pyrotechnic displays will also include entertainment from X Factor finalists Rough Copy.

On Friday the action takes place at the Brighton Racecourse with the Brighton Lions Display with refreshments, a bar and free parking!

The final event will be at the Nevill Recreation Ground for their annual Family Firework Spectacular with a carefully choreographed display.