Come fly with us, let’s fly, let’s fly away…

It’s quite appropriate really; I’m writing this blog while sitting on the Eurostar on my way to Paris, one of my most favourite cities in the World.

I’m excited about this trip to Paris as it’s the second trip we are making as buyers for the studio and of course, who wouldn’t relish a buying trip to Paris?

Actually, it’s a bit like coming home for me really, I’ve always felt myself to be somewhat of a Francophile and I always without fail get butterflies in my tummy when I’m heading for France.  Paris and Nice are my two main French love affairs of the moment but the list is pretty endless.

Not so long ago my Mother and I went to Paris together with a scrummy little book under our arm entitled “Paris Made by Hand” by Pia Bijkerk we set off on a mini voyage of discovery wandering through the various arrondissements in search of beautifully crafted ‘one-offs’ that would be exciting additions to Penelope Allen Design. It was during this visit that we discovered some real gems, beautiful boutiques full of old apothecary cabinets crammed with reams of vibrant trims, tassels and vintage silks, we were in absolute heaven.

This trip is not quite so romantic as its been planned out with specific suppliers that we want to visit and our order book is the only thing that we are carrying on this occasion. Never the less it’s exciting as we know that what we chose on this trip will be sitting in our studio before Christmas which is doubly exciting as I do actually believe that Penelope Allen Design studio consists of some of the best items on the planet!!

Nostalgia plays a huge part in how we style Penelope Allen Design; for me, the feeling that is evoked when you walk in to the studio is reminiscent of some of my past travels. The jewel coloured slightly dimmed lighting makes me think of Istanbul and some of the souks that I’ve visited in places like Abu Dhabi, Dubai & Riyadh. The luxurious sheepskins always remind me of a really freezing cold trip I made to Montreal some years back where we wrapped ourselves in sheepskin capes whilst having a hot chocolate outside a cafe.

I worked in India on and off some years ago and there were a group of fabulous tailors who used to be waiting at the hotel in Mumbai for us when we arrived, they would have swatches of leather and suede in every colour that you could imagine and after a quick measure up would be back three or four days later with beautifully made coats, jackets, anything really that was on our list, our fine selection of leather goods, flasks, coolers, log baskets always remind me of the happy band of Indian Tailors.

Whilst I’m in the nostalgic mood, I should make mention of the reminiscing that I so often do when thinking about family and that warm set of arms that so defines support, love and carefreeness. I know that I’ve been lucky on this score and not everyone has been as fortunate with their family ties but what I can say is that when you enter our studio, we want you, our customers, to feel that warm set of arms around you, not in a creepy way you understand!!!, that makes you stop and feel nostalgic just for that brief moment in your day, whether its family, a certain Christmas spent in your cottage under 10 feet of snow or just listening to a blast of music in the studio that takes you back to a certain time or place.

Nostalgia, warmth, butterflies in the tummy, a sense of belonging and cultural delights , thats us in a nutshell and I think our new and totally fabulous website 100% conveys that, I am so proud of how the site looks and even though I’ve had a hand in designing it, I think it’s an amazing representation of our brand. We love it and we really hope that you enjoy the journey when you first get to see it!