Category Archives: handmade

“The Leather King”

Recently I did a show in Atlanta dubbed ” The Road 2 Fashion II. There was this one particular designer that just stood out to me. He had some of the most beautiful designs and pieces which were more like Artwork. Purses and backpacks and clothing all made of leather. The pieces were created with such care, detail and quality craftsmanship. So I just had to know his story. His name was Allen Stratton and he was from Philadelphia. Interesting I said and leaned in to learn more.

Allen Stratton, “The Leather King”, epitomizes the phrase “Self Made”.
This incredible self taught craftsman got his start at the age of 9, when he decided he needed to add his own personal signature to his wardrobe. Watching his mother, a seamstress, he learned to sew, thus creating a unique style and signature look that would later become his Trademark. Taking all the lessons and skills his mother taught him, Allen birthed “Astratton”
and launched his own leather product line in 1983.

This native Philadelphian now designs custom, handmade one-of-a-kind clothing for women and men. His goal is to dress the world in affordable, quality custom clothing that is timeless and effortlessly elegant. With a solid foundation of supportive family values and strong community ties the Astratton brand has become one of Philadelphias’ premier brands.

I then proceed to ask Allen my usual list of questions.

Blue Candies : What does fashion mean to you as a developing fashion designer?
Allen: ToMe fashion is one of life’s favors… everyone’s not bless to be able to participate in it.. fashion is art and everyone is not an artist but the great thing about art is everyone gets to admire it and that is what my passion is.. I intend on painting Street internationally with the canvas of my craftsmanship, design ,and art..,

Blue Candies : What interest you about fashion?
Allen: My primary interest in fashion is women’s all around attire and accessories I love to dress women up… I Love to See a woman wearing the designs that I made.. although I do design and make Fashion wear. . available for Everyone. . women are my primary goal..

Blue Candies : What don’t you like about fashion?
Allen: I wouldn’t say that I don’t like…… but to be honest I will say there is a stigma n people in the  designer World. ..that a designer  has to do or has to deal with what ever. ..i don’t see it that way . I’m not only a designer but I’m conscious so I make my decisions and I live with them.. everything after that is useless…

Blue Candies : Being a designer in the Urban Indie Fashion Industry in Philadelphia, what is your take on how you see it? Is there room for growth?
Allen: Being a Philadelphia designer is challenging. …for the average designer …… I am not the average I am the LeatherKing. ..most designs and Philly aren’t dealing with leather… most certainly aren’t making hand me leather bags…  so far I have not had a…. challenge of keeping … up with … designers ….more so they  have The challenge of keeping up with me..”..no pon…,

Blue Candies : Where did you get your inspiration for your Brand?
Allen: As for …branding) all my life had some type of hustle meaning entrepreneurial skills that i Illustrated in many business  Ventures…So it was a no-brainer.. once I start to clinch on to my design skills…. for me to push.. this to a official level of business… thus… I started my brand

Blue Candies : How far would you like to see your Brand go?
Allen: International I can see women all over the world wearing Astratton leather bags and more

Blue Candies : What is the special thing about a design that catches your eye?
Allen: Originality and structure

Blue Candies : What advice would you give to someone looking to start their own fashion line?
Allen: Be patient and focus on having hands on everything that concerns your business while your business is in the building stage don’t leave it to anyone … solely make sure you have at least 51% of making the decisions

Blue Candies : Is there anyone you would like mention or thank in regards to you, who you are or your brand?
Allen: Yes my mother the biggest influence in the world not only to me but to many many many others everyone comes to pass my mother’s past leaves with a (valuable jewel) so I have a whole (big chest…) of her jewels which I used to pave the way that I am now Paving

I will definitely be keeping my eye on Mr. Stratton and getting me one of these bags.:)

image

Allen Stratton

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

                   

Advertisements

Crochet Is Here To Stay!

As trends come and go, and ebb and flow, we often see the resurgence of Crochet in fashion. It is often the ‘go-to’ technique when designers are inspired by such periods as the luxe Victorian Era, the hippie-chic ’60s, or their own resort getaways to the islands. Crochet’s beauty is timeless and it is always exciting to see how the fashion industry finds ways to make it new again.

Crochet’s history is both mysterious and modern, being a much newer handcraft than it’s close cousins, Lacework and Knitting. And although many different countries and cultures claim Crochet as their own, it is safe to say the influence of these various craftspeople over the past few centuries has made an indelible mark on the evolution of this intricate medium.

Research suggests that crochet probably developed most directly from Chinese needlework, a very ancient form of embroidery known in Turkey, India, Persia and North Africa, which reached Europe in the 1700s and was referred to as “tambouring,” from the French “tambour” or drum. In this technique, a background fabric is stretched taut on a frame. The working thread is held underneath the fabric. A needle with a hook is inserted downward and a loop of the working thread drawn up through the fabric. With the loop still on the hook, the hook is then inserted a little farther along and another loop of the working thread is drawn up and worked through the first loop to form a chain stitch. The tambour hooks were as thin as sewing needles, so the work must have been accomplished with very fine thread.

At the end of the 18th century, tambour evolved into what the French called “crochet in the air,” when the background fabric was discarded and the stitch worked on its own.

Crochet began turning up in Europe in the early 1800s and was given a tremendous boost by Mlle. Riego de la Branchardiere, who was best known for her ability to take old-style needle and bobbin lace designs and turn them into crochet patterns that could easily be duplicated. She published many pattern books so that millions of women could begin to copy her designs. Mlle. Riego also claimed to have invented “lace-like” crochet,” today called Irish crochet.

In early centuries, man – and it was the job of the men – created his handwork for practical purposes. Hunters and fishermen created knotted strands of woven fibers, cords or strips of cloth to trap animals and snare fish or birds. Other uses included knotted game bags, fishing nets and open- worked cooking utensils.

Handwork was expanded to include personal decoration for special occasions such as religious rites, celebrations, marriages or funerals. One might see ceremonial costumes with crochet- like ornamentation and decorative trimmings for arms, ankles and wrists.

Moving forward to Victorian times, crochet patterns became available for flowerpot holders, bird cage covers, baskets for visiting cards, lamp mats and shades, wastepaper baskets, tablecloths, antimacassars (or “antis,” covers to protect chairbacks from the hair oil worn by the men in the mid- 1800s), tobacco pouches, purses, men’s caps and waistcoats, even a rug with footwarmers to be placed under the card table for card players.

From 1900 to 1930 women were also busy crocheting afghans, slumber rugs, traveling rugs, chaise lounge rugs, sleigh rugs, car rugs, cushions, coffee- and teapot cozies and hot-water bottle covers. It was during this time that potholders made their frrst appearance and became a staple of the crocheter’s repertoire.

Now, of course, anything goes. In the 1960s and 1970s crochet took off as a freeform means of expression that can be seen today in three-dimensional sculptures, articles of clothing, or rugs and tapestries that depict abstract and realistic designs and scenes.

Do you want to learn to Crochet? Click Here!

image

Fashion Dreams!

I am in love with fashion. And I have a dream for my fashion line. I would really love to have a mobile boutique. I could style, fit, and create custom haute coture knitwear for my clients all on the go and at locations convenient for them. It would also be a useful tools when doing my shows for model transportation, dressing and prepping. Check out this example of a mobile boutique.

If you would like to help me build my dream Click on this link and check out my Gofundme profile and make a donation today. Any amount will do.

I have been working really hard traveling doing shows building my brand. Check out my online Portfolio! Let me know what you think!💅

image

Daisys Are In The Air

Spring is almost here. So that means Blue Candies Daisy Dukes are on their way with bold colors and fresh new designs. Beautifully crafted handmade designs with very subtle and intricate details. Here I am below featured in an old design. Which I must say is still quite cute. But the new designs have greatly improved upon the old designs. So stay tuned new designs coming soon.

image

Learn From The Master of Branding Himself

As the keynote speaker at the 2013 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards, Tom Ford dished out a generous serving of advice to the young designers in the crowd. Here are his top tips for building a brand with your name on it:

1. “Trust your instincts when it comes to design.”

2. “Never sell a controlling interest in your name. Ever. Ever.”

3. “Decide for you if fashion is an art or an artistic business. This will affect how you set up your company.”

4. “If your president or chief executive officer thinks they know the difference between dark burgundy and aubergine, fire them.”

5. “If you’re designing your own label, then know yourself.”

6. “We have to have genius creative thoughts precisely four times a year and on exact dates.”

7. “You have a voice that can influence contemporary culture as much or more than anything else.”

8. “Know your ideal client — the dream person you design for, your fantasy muse, so to speak.”

9. “If your brand is to have a strong identity, it must come from you and not from a committee.”

10. “Have a five-year plan, a 10-year plan, even a 20-year plan. And possibly an exit strategy.”

11. “Remember that our customers do not need our clothes.”

12. “Try to remain positive. I struggle with this one too.”

13. “Find a great business partner and don’t let them go. This is absolutely key.”

14. “Be thankful to all those who help you on the way up. You won’t get there without them. Cherish them, and don’t forget them.”

YOU SHOULD ALSO SEE:

Scott Schuman on building a personal brand

image

Time for your Own Facebook Store!

Do you have a product or fashion line you are trying to sell and don’t know where to begin? What about help with promotion or building a Website for selling that fashion line? Ever heard of Shopify? It’s fantastic! You can have your very own Facebook Store.Everything is done for you all you have to do is upload your product photos. Shopping cart included. I love my store and right now you can get your very own with a 14 day free trial just to see if you like it or not. Get Your Very Own Store Today!

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Released on: June 5 2015, 2:00pm

Press Release Author: Charlene Kimber/BlueCandies

image

Industry: Fashion

Blue Candies By Charlene Kimber creator of the Luxury Knitwear Brand Blue Candies is proud to announce the launch of Blue Candies footwear.  Bringing the luxuries of summer to life with its new “Flip Flops” product suite. The new design features knitwear and Blue Candies Signature Daisy Logo.

Charming designs make the footwear products offered by Blue Candies stand out against those of other makers. The release of the “Flip Flops” design will further enhance the fun and lovable existing collection of designer knitwear and apparel.

June 1 2015 marked the launch of “Flip Flops” by Blue Candies through its fan page, http://www.facebook.com/BabeBlueCandies. These warm weather sandals are comfortable, light and boast summertime colors that accentuate them. Offering one, lighthearted designs, and a personal touch and feel to the modern day “Flip Flop”.

Blue Candies is always grabbing the attention of consumers with its brightly colored unique and enjoyable designs. The new “Flip Flops” designs fit right into the collection and give Fashionistas a new way to dress and shop.

About Blue Candies:

Since its launch in 2011, Blue Candies has grown its assortment designs to include everyone’s taste. While offering many patterns and products to suit the interests of many personalities, Blue Candies also offers custom formats in all of its designs. Visit Blue Candies and fall in love with one of the many unique designs!