September 2009 – Lots of New Websites

Charles & Patricia Lester Luxury Fashion & Textiles
In this issue …
New Online shop – pre-launch sneak preview
Textie Sale Update
A word or two from Patricia – “The Old Order is Changing”
Designer Collection Website – for ideas and inspiration
Luxury Home – Website of Charles and Patricia’s home
‘Morris: A Life with Bells On’ Update

This has been a long time coming and it has been a marathon of a job to build this shop but we are very pleased that this new facility is very nearly fully functioning. Some stock has been uploaded, much of the software is working and the payment module is working and all is very secure.

Feel free to log in – create an account and browse through the stocks that are on there now. We will be putting new autumn/winter collections on over the next week, some more velvets and beautiful new designs.

Bespoke options are always available. Order items in your size, your colour, your favourite prints. Add item to your wish list – send us a note and we can help you to place an order for exactly what you want.

Charles & Patricia Lester Luxury Fashion & Textiles

New Designer Collection Website

Luxury Home website

In the Press

Monet inspired bridge built by Charles Lester

Large pond with Kingfisher perch

Textiles Sale Update

Our special “Flotsam and Jetsam” textile sale is still happening and active in our Basement gallery. We have been busy with doing the other websites but we are aiming to get these things online at some point soon. It seems that it is not just the local sewing group is interested in what we have on offer. I will let you know as soon as we have sorted something out but if you still need fabric for patchwork or are interested in remnants for your textile projects please let me know.

Dear all,

I know that it has been a couple of months since we sent out our last proper newsletter but we have been busy. Very, very busy. A couple of us have been burning the midnight oil on rather more occasions than perhaps we should admit to as being healthy – but we are determined to finish what we have set out to achieve.

We have created a couple of new websites that I think are rather exciting. There are plenty of blank spaces, images with no labels, and some of the nifty website features have not been installed – yet. However, there is still lots to look at and we are thrilled with the way that they are coming together. So provided you do not mind bearing with us for a while then you are more than welcome to have a look.

Just in case you are not aware, we have built these websites ourselves. I have done the design and installed the software (with special help from a dedicated programmer for the online shop) and Patricia has learned how to upload her own content and add images on the other sites. We have had to down tools for everything else to get these done. Both of us have spent innumerable hours collating everything.

Any questions – you  know where to find us. You can either reply to this email or use one of the contact forms on the websites.

Wishing you all the best and I look forward to hearing your comments.


The Old Order is changing.

Patrica Lester

In these exciting times every individual has a voice.  As a tiny company (there are only 10 of us) we can be seen by the entire world.  Gone are the days when we had to show our collection in London, Paris, Milan or New York – and then rely on the few buyers that we met to order something.  That would be all we would get for a six month period.  It was always a very nerve racking time, we had to survive strikes in Paris, luggage lost on the way to New York etc.  A terrifying few days sitting around in hotels hoping that enough people would turn up and place an order.

For business we had to rely on the whims of the shops. For publicity – we had to rely on the journalists and magazine editors being able to fit our style in with their story.

The new order means that through the internet we can talk directly to the customers about their needs and those customers in turn can publish their views about what we do.  The power of individual people rather than the power of the exotic and controlling influential members of the press and the buyers.

We would like you, in turn, to tell us what you think (as long as it is kind!) and how the clothes make you, as a person, feel when wearing them.  Yes I have always appreciated kind comments made by people in the press, but the most moving is when an ordinary person (who is not necessarily a size 10) suddenly feels feminine and gorgeous and expresses that pleasure directly to us.

It has been very difficult for us, as designers of a rather unique range of clothes, to be accepted as exhibitors at major exhibitions.  A couple of years ago, because business was dwindling so dramatically after 9/11, we thought we should exhibit again in Paris to re-generate interest in what we did.  We were turned down and told that we were not a designer collection.  This threw me completely, but several months later after licking my wounds and feeling affronted, I convinced myself that indeed in modern terms we were not ‘a designer collection’.  That term has been high jacked by the big conglomerates that get a name – brand it – get the products made in the Far East for pennies and also have massive sums to support their PR campaigns.  They pay ‘stars’ to wear their clothes at red carpet events, can buy huge amounts of advertising space and thus control the entire industry.  When ‘stars’ have worn our clothes to events like the Oscars – they have bought them from us at a retail price.

So we are here now – at the point where we can show you as an individual what we can make for you.  The online shop will give you many ideas of the variety of things available.  Another website that we have created will show many more styles and suggestions as well as showing what is available from our new agent in New York and what is available in the ‘Plus Department’ of Harrods in London.

Gradually we will include pieces that are totally unique (we have, for instance, a small collection of fabrics that are no longer made – we bought these many years ago from a company in France that has gone out of business) – these pieces will just appear on the site as and when they are made.  There will be a section that will feature pieces that we want to discount, or experimental things that are what we call ‘apprentice pieces’.  We are hoping to make it a changing feast so that you can look every few days and find something new and interesting.

The computations of how we can work are huge.  If you have a gown that you love and would love an identical replacement – you will be able to send us a photograph and we can go from there.  So even if the outfit you want is not actually on the shop list – you can add it to your ‘wish list’ – send us an e-mail about your ideas and we can talk it through.

Charles & Patricia Lester Luxury Fashion & Textiles Designer Collection – a new project to enable us to put together images for inspiration and ideas.  Some of the outfits are on the online shop or will be soon. Some are unrepeatable pieces that are there for inspiration for those special one-off bespoke pieces.

The site is very much work in progress as we have lots more to put on there so there are still a few empty sections but there is enough on there for you to get the general idea. Be warned not all the photographs have titles or identifying labels but these will be put on over the next week or two.

Follow the links on the left and you will see what is on offer in each of the departments
and the variety of articles available.

I am most excited about the Press Archives Charles & Patricia Lester Luxury Fashion & Textiles– we have had hundreds of articles, reviews, images and credits in a vast number of publications over the years. With the development of technology we can now begin to show everyone what is filed away in our archives.

We hope that the site is going to prove very useful to people who want to see what is available in the stores nearest to them as well as be kept up to date with the latest designs and inspirations.

Italian Vogue 1986

Charles and Patricia’s Home now has its own website

Home of Charles & Patricia Lester Luxury Fashion & Textiles ArtistsAfter 38 years Charles and Patricia have decided that it is now time to move house. As you know they have been building their dream home by the seaside in West Wales. The house is full of history and its own story of how it has evolved over the years. Estate agents’ brochures never give the full story so we decided that we should set up a website which illustrates the more interesting corners of this wonderful home.

The story of this house is intrinsically entwined with the history of the business. Many of the rooms were used as workrooms and studios in the early days before the Workhouse premises were bought and of course many features were created as a backdrop for the numerous photo shoots for fashion albums and magazine articles.

If you want to be kept up to date and be informed when new content has been added to the site (lots more yet to come) – register on the site itself and you will be added to a special mailing list.

Visit the website now –

Great News about Morris: A Life with Bells On

Morris: A Life with Bells On - New CDWe are thrilled that ‘Morris: A Life with Bells On’ is being shown in lots of cinemas around the country from the 27th September. If you love British comedy then please don’t miss this wonderful film. Book your tickets now – I have heard that many of the cinemas sold out ages ago. Don’t forget to look out for Magenta (played by Hilary Wood) wearing our outfits – she is the eccentric pub landlady!

Pre-order the ‘Morris: A Life with Bells On’ CD from Dreamboat Records before 19th September to enter the draw to win a couple of tickets to the Premiere being held at Leicester Square on the 24th September.

Visit the Morris: A Life with Bells On website for more information including how to find out where you can enjoy the film

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