Our Hand-painted Leather Bags
After the success of our personalisation event we decided to scale up! Three of the leather bags popular in our Marylebone High Street store were identified to be customised, to create 3 one off show-stopping pieces to star in our window and to be won in an exclusive competition.
We interviewed Trinity, our lovely in-house designer, about the process of creating these one-off handbags.
Tell us about your experience of hand-painting?
I have a background in hand-painting for fashion and events, so was extremely pleased to be asked to create a range of unique, hand-painted bags for the CG Marylebone store.
What inspired the three designs?
The starting point was of course, the Caroline Gardner aesthetic. We looked through the archive of designs and pulled out some we thought could translate onto our bags at a larger scale.
We also looked to past in-store events, such as the collaboration with London Fashion Week graduates, as well as other hand-painted designer collections including Burberry and Miu Miu.
We chose 3 very CG prints and 3 completely different bags; our classic hearts, a floral and our rainbow. Applied on different bag shapes, colours and scales, we were able to create three very different unique pieces.
How did you approach the painting itself?
Hand painting leather can be difficult, as there is little margin for error, but it is a very rewarding process. Firstly, I planned the design, mocking up the scale, colour and placement of each print on its respective bag. I then transferred this to the actual bag, hand drawing the design with a special pencil. This gave me a guide to paint to and allowed a little space for errors before the permanent paint was applied! The bags were painted live in-store, allowing customers a chance to ask questions, and understand the process and hard work that goes into each unique design.
How did you create the store window as a whole?
Firstly I had to make a plan for the design, mocking up a window display digitally, to understand the proportions and scale of the shop window. I took a pre-existing CG design, which I reworked, taking apart individual flower and leaf motifs, and creating a new circular design, a wreath like circle of florals.
Once the design was decided, I printed it onto sheets of paper, laboriously fitting them back together like a giant puzzle, that I could use as a guide, by sticking this to the outside of the window at the shop. It worked perfectly and I was able to trace the design straight onto the glass on the inside, using my paint. It was a very satisfying experience following the lines, like a giant game of paint by numbers!
The final design frames the window, drawing attention to the statement bags on display, and reinforcing the hand painted theme of the unique bags.