Local Lovin’: Sleekit

SLEEKIT

My Local Lovin’ series is a spotlight on designers / stores / creators of marvellous things (and anything else that catches my eye) – all based here in Scotland. I believe that we should be supporting amazing home-grown talent, so I decided to keep Local Lovin’ as a permanent feature. If you have an awesome project, or create something that you think I might love, please let me know! See my Contact page for details of how to get in touch.

I’m really stoked to share this home-grown, award-winning designer with you guys today! Sleekit are a Scottish print apparel brand that don’t just create beautiful textile designs (though there is PLENTY of that going on!) – they tell stories through their pieces too. From luxurious scarves to vibrant sweatshirts, each Sleekit design is hand illustrated in their studio and form part of a narrative.

SLEEKIT

When I seen that Sleekit had recently launched an awesome new collection based on one of my favourite books as a child, The Tiger Who Came to Tea, I knew that I had to give them the Local Lovin’ treatment!

I got chatting with Iain McDonald, Sleekit’s founder and creative director, about storytelling through fashion, his design background, Terry’s Chocolate Oranges and much more…

Hi Iain! I’d love to know about how you got started with Sleekit and how the brand was born?
The brand was initially born way back when I graduated from art school and after a handful of work placements while living in London. I really thought it would be more fun to design what I wanted and create the products I wanted. Originally the brand was named ‘Naromode’ but as I grew and changed so did the business and the brand. As I am from a fine art & textile design background I love-creating prints that are exciting and commercial too with my hand painted designs. I transformed the brand name to Sleekit because I love the Scottish word and the sleek connotation behind it, as well as the fact it can mean artfully flattering, sly or cunning, so many things in the world of narrative fashion, illustrative fashion. It’s just a fun word really.

SLEEKITCan you tell me a bit about what inspires your work?
The main theme for me has always been telling a tale, it started of as narrative fashion but it’s so wide. I like to tell a story, be it a jungle subject, or like our new SLEEKIT SS18 jumper/sweats it was inspired by the story The Tiger Who Came to Tea; keeping that narrative theme that I love. I am also really into the tropical jungle theme that is everywhere at the moment, it’s fun and I enjoy illustrating/hand painting my own versions of all the rainforest animals, I designed some jungle themed prints for TOPSHOP last year and I know this story/theme isn’t going away anytime soon! Sleekit Store has flamingos, frogs, tigers and tropical jungle plants.

SLEEKIT

What was the very first Sleekit piece you created and sold? Is it still available?
The first piece was a little story of a moth, bee and fly. I created a mini silk scarf collection, cut them up and they all told the story of these insects. Whenever a customer bought them they had a different piece of the story. I believe these are still kept and treasured as I still see posts shared on social media with my customers wearing them. Maybe I will re-visit these designs sometime soon and bring them back to life…

During a long day of setting the design world on fire, what’s your snack of choice?
Just now, in-between trying to be healthy and hungry, any chocolate I can get my hands on, like Terry’s Chocolate Orange and any biscuits I can find while I do my tax return!

SLEEKIT

What’s been your proudest moment so far?
My proudest moment is being selected for Fashion Foundry 2016/2017 and meeting the Global director for TOPSHOP and TOPMAN. It was a very exciting time of support, encouragement and learning more about my business and what I wanted it to look like over the next few years. The guys and gals that run Fashion Foundry are amazing! They do so much for the creative industry in Scotland. At the end of the programme the organised a photo-shoot with I’ll Be Your Mirror and that was incredible, we ended up with some cool look-book imagery. Also to add to this, I won an award with Scotland Re: Designed for my silk scarves (which I will be doing more of very soon!).

I’m all about sharing the love – tell me about a designer that you can’t get enough of right now?
I absolutely love designer Ryan Cowie, he is so talented and I just know he is going to do great things. He is based in Scotland and just has a great eye and his latest collection is amaze! As is his Instagram account (@Ryanncowie).

SLEEKIT

Finally, do you have anything exciting coming up that we should keep our eyes peeled for?
I am working on a lot of designs at the moment which means I can drop products on my website. In the coming months I am preparing to photo-shoot the latest SS18 ‘When The Tiger Came to Tea’ sweats and jumpers, and other jungle print products such as crop-tops and a range of tees, which will be really fun!! I am also working with an independent graphic designer who will be designing my first ever SLEEKIT logo. Keep an eye on our instagram account for more behind the scenes.

To keep up to date with all things Sleekit, be sure to hop over to their Instagram account (@sleekitstore) and hit that follow button!

Toot toot! And if you fancy treating yourself to something lovely from Sleekit, use the code LYNSAYLOVES20 to get 20% off of your order! 

Thank you so much to Iain for sharing his story – I can’t wait to see what what’s next for Sleekit in 2018. 

 

 

 

All images used in this post with kind permission from Iain McDonald/ Sleekit 

Bonnie Bling Monstera Necklace AND Exciting Workshop News!

Bonnie Bling Monstera Necklace

If it’s possible to fall head over heels for a piece of jewellery, then this Bonnie Bling Monstera necklace might just be ‘the one’! I’m a huge fan of statement jewellery, local designers, plants (even faux ones!) and bold colours so this bad boy really has it all.

Bonnie Bling Monstera Necklace

Bonnie Bling Monstera Necklace

The fabulous Bonnie Bling are well-known for creating cheeky, Scottish-inspired accessories (I’ve been rocking my Blether and Peely Wally necklaces for goodness knows how long now…) but if you explore their shop you’ll find that their range of acrylic pieces are rad in EVERY language!

I just loved wearing this necklace with a subtle (ha!) gold velvet jumpsuit I picked up in the ASOS sale (the result of shopping while watching a Marc Bolan documentary, my friends!) . That decadent colour! Those Dynasty shoulderpads! How could a girl possibly resist? If you ask me, when my necklace met this jumpsuit, it was a match made in heaven…

Bonnie Bling Monstera Necklace

And while we’re on the topic of me gushing about Bonnie Bling, here’s some exciting news that I think you guys will love: this Sunday, Bonnie Bling will be running the first of their brand new jewellery-making workshops! At the event, designer and Bonnie Bling ladyboss Mhairi will talk the group through making their very own charm necklaces, while tasty treats from The Hidden Lane Tearoom are served.

Despite only being announced this month, this first workshop has totally sold out – but, don’t worry if you haven’t snapped up a ticket, a little bird has told me that there are plans for more very soon!

Bonnie Bling Monstera Necklace

I’m really excited to be going along to Sunday’s workshop and getting stuck in – if you’re coming too be sure to say hello!

In the meantime, I’ll be slinking around my flat in my jumpsuit and Bonnie Bling Monstera Necklace, throwing as many 70s rock star poses as I can think of…

My Name Is Prince Exhibition at The O2, London

My Name Is Prince Exhibition

AKA: the one in which I nerd out about Prince, and tell you all about an exhibition that I have very little photos from…

When Prince passed away in April 2016, it shook me to my core. Losing my hero during one of (let’s face it) the toughest years we’ve had in a long time was unexpected and I felt physically winded for months afterwards. One of the most difficult parts, I think, was knowing that I wouldn’t see him play live again – there was always the next album or concept to look forward to, which of course meant another tour to get excited about!

Even though that won’t happen now, there are still new ways to maintain that electric feeling of passion and giddiness over Prince’s work that I first felt at eleven years old. This is due to many other die-hard fans around the world and a huge presence within the music community who strive to keep his memory alive.

When I first heard about the My Name Is Prince exhibition at the O2 in London, I was in. ALL IN (*picture me pushing a mountain of poker chips into the middle of a fancy table as I say this. Purple chips of course*). I read that this special event was a celebration of every era of Prince’s music, film and other creative projects and, not only that, it would be comprised of his iconic instruments, clothes, accessories and other personal artefacts from Paisley Park.

My Name Is Prince Exhibition

I also discovered that the exhibition was being curated by the same people that put together the Elvis Graceland one that Gary and I visited a few years back, so I knew it wouldn’t be a cheap cash-in.

We booked our tickets and, on the first Saturday in December, we headed to London!

It felt strange being back at the O2, having seen Prince play the venue 3 times in the past but I had a really strong feeling that visiting the My Name is Prince exhibition was an opportunity to celebrate, not to mourn – and I was SO EXCITED to get inside and see it all.

So here’s the thing – photography was not permitted inside the exhibition and security was extremely tight (we had to give up our phones and cameras upon entry). If you know a little bit about Prince, this probably doesn’t come as much of a shock to you! But it actually made for even more fun as I hadn’t seen any spoilers online (how often can you say that?) and could have my own experience at my own pace.

My Name Is Prince Exhibition

The first part of our visit was a VIP tour of three extra rooms that were off-limits to the rest of the attendees. This was extremely memorable and gave us the chance to see some really special belongings and equipment up-close. We even got to hold one of Prince’s guitars, which was still as he left it – traces of sweat, dents from his rings and all! Ahhh! I was walking on air after that…

I loved going through the rest of the instalments afterwards, and instantly recognised outfits from my favourite music videos, as well as poring over hand-written ideas, scripts and other rare pieces. The chronological layout meant that you could follow his career from the start and see how he evolved over the decades.

I don’t want to over-share the actual content, purely because I know there are plans for this exhibition to tour (it finished up in London yesterday!) – but what I CAN promise is that there is plenty to see, and it is a must-do for any Prince fan, if you get the chance.

For our visit, I wanted to dress in theme (natch!) and our lovely friends at Truffle Shuffle came to the rescue with these awesome matching Take Me With U tees. Twinning is winning, right?! My gal Lia at Swoon Nails also hooked me up with a gorgeous purple sequinned manicure for the occasion.

My Name Is Prince Exhibition

Seeing so many legendary parts of Prince’s life and career in the one place was magical and a really amazing way to remember his talent, influence and sheer Royal Badness! It was a true celebration and I walked out of the O2 that day with new, happy memories to look back on.

Did you visit the My Name Is Prince exhibition when it was in London? Also, let me know who your rock n’ roll heroes are!