The Eclectic Presents….

  Eclectic: “the combining of elements from a variety of sources”

Such a definition could not be more appropriate. Friday 9th September marked the first of a very exciting new shopping experience in Nottingham: ‘the eclectic presents…” Hosting hand-crafted wares from specially selected designers and creators, this fantastic collective includes bearers of jewellery, clothes, beauty products, candles, bags, headwear, bunnies (of the material kind)….. the list continues!

Here at Access Accessories, we strive to bring to the table the best in small, independent sellers, as well as those already well established in the ever-constant fashion industry. The event was born out of two ladies’ passion for handicraft – jewellery designers Victoria H Matthews and Alys Power, whose treasures are featured below – and raised £300 for Breakthrough Breast Cancer charity from a fabulous raffle with prizes donated by all the sellers. There were so many talented entrepreneurs at work, and below are my top picks!


The first of my favourites is this great floral broach by Pussybow Design (1). Natalie Waters graduated with a degree in Textile Design and specialises in small accessories and bags. I fell in love with her playful use of colour and texture to highlight the design, and the cute embellishments give the broach it’s rather more structured quality. I purchased mine specifically for my brand new leather jacket, and anticipate on expanding my crazy/pretty garden.

2. (Paul Dale photography )

Next on my hit list is ‘Lost & Found’ by Paula Drakeford (2). I spotted Paula from a mile off, by her gorgeous, theatrical Camden Market jacket, and knew that this lass’s style would be right up my street. Specialising in corsages, neck ‘bibs’, fascinators and hats Paula works with quality reclaimed materials from tweeds, wools, cashmeres and cottons, focusing on deep colour or interesting patterns. The beautiful styles on display rather reminded me of my glamourous grandmother’s attire; a lady never without her Chanel No.5 and hand mirror. Exquisite and feminine in shape, they lend themselves to the modern vintage revival flawlessly. With prices ranging from £2 for designed buttons, to £45 for quirky, cool hats, the collection is affordable and ever-growing. I purchased this flamboyant fascinator reminiscent of ’20s flapper chic (3). Why do I love ‘Lost & Found’? You could be wearing a black bin-bag – stick on one of these and you’ll look a million dollars. Contact Lost & Found through


‘love u more’ is a sea of sparkling buttons and soft textures. (4.) Upon closer inspection, Victoria H Matthews, designer maker, also favours darlings from another era. Muted tones and pom poms galore, she also takes a fresh stance by upcycling lonely, vintage buttons into adorable rings, broaches and earrings (5.) I love how no two items are the same, and Victoria manages to capture individual personalities in each. Speaking to her at an evening shopping extravaganza, I explain that I inherited a sweet pink beaded bracelet, however the string has rotted, and I rarely wear it as it’s rather too ‘classic’ for my liking. No fear, love u more is here! Victoria promised to create a brand spanking new design out of the beads which, individually, are delightful. I am excited to see what she has in mind. (love u more – Studio Boutique, 1st floor Hopkinson Studios, 21 Station Road, Nottingham;; find ‘love u more’ on Facebook; follow @love_umore on twitter)

4. (Paul Dale photography)


5. (Paul Dale Photography)

Being a Social Networking Geek, show me a bird and I will give you Twitter; naturally I fell in love with these little bird broaches! (6.)  Rachel Ainley Textile Artist breathes life into textiles, drawing her inspiration from nature and cleverly muddling contrasting, often clashing, appliqués to form perfectly fitting retro handicrafts. Check out

6. (Paul Dale photography)

One of my aims this year was to learn to knit and, after enduring a painfully patient tutorial, I have a new-found admiration of stitchers everywhere. The stitcher in this case was the wonderful crochet designer, April Marie Textiles, whose cosy scarves and hats are to die for (7). With the darker evenings drawing in, what better accessory to snuggle in than one made with so much love, care and attention? April Marie was taught expertly by her grandmother, and clearly considers greatly the importance of keeping tradition alive- she runs 1-2-1 and group workshop to spread the word!


Last, but by no means least, is the great Alys Power. A steadfast legend in the world of jewellery design, Alys graduated with a degree in Sustainable Design and Practice, and has since stormed the scene with her humourous, offbeat creations.  Her quirky use of well-loved, time-tested phrases are stamped and hammered into sterling silver, and accented with vintage and recycled shapes and textures. (8.) My highlight is her ‘Entomology’ collection. (9.) Naturally, I purchased the ladybird design, and have already had a thousand compliments. For intelligent, show-stopping adornments, do check out

8. 'Every road has two directions'9. (Paul Dale photography)

What an amazing evening! I left suitably skint, yet in an array of grandeur, and cannot wait for the next episode! The eclectic presents… a Christmas shopping extravaganza! Friday 18th November 7-10pm at Poppy & Pint, Lady Bay, Nottingham.

Special thanks to my favourite photographer, Paul Dale, who has captured the event beautifully! ; Facebook page: Paul Dale photographer.

Electric Ladybird

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1 Comment

  1. Jenny says
    13 September 11 at 6:20pm

    Wow! What an amazing piece. I am thinking I may have to make a special trip to Nottingham for the next one. All the designers have such a creative flair and the designs are so different!
    Thank you, Electric Ladbybird, for bringing this to my attention!


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