To quote one local designer "it is important to know where you came from in order to know where you are going" -- thought-provoking words to live by and the inspiration behind luxury handbag brand, Barbara & Cecile.
"I have always been a creative person and from a young age used fashion as a form of artistic expression. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in jazz performance on saxophone I longed for another creative outlet that was more visual and hands on. I started making myself and my friends purses and slowly over time that evolved into my business, Barbara & Cecile handbags," says designer Monica Jones, adding that it was her grandmother who first taught her to sew.
Barbara & Cecile handbags are expertly handcrafted structured leather totes that are best described as classic and contemporary -- the perfect purse for the sophisticated woman who has an eye for high-quality goods and loves to support the local fashion scene.
In addition, each purse is extremely well made and would easily rival any well-known luxury brand.
Designed and sewn in her Winnipeg studio, Jones makes sure every little detail that goes into each leather tote is not overlooked -- from the high-quality hardware used, to the gorgeous watercolour print lining designed by Jones and inspired by nature.
"I get a lot of inspiration from the complexity of nature in terms of interesting colour combinations, shapes and movements," says Jones. "I think the lining makes the bags even more special by adding a pop of colour or a bit of whimsical charm when you open them."
Another fabulous style element of a Barbara & Cecile handbag is the various leather textures and colours used in their construction such as embossed alligator and sparkling metallics. Jones also creates style elements using leather patchwork and colour blocking in her designs.
For more information on Barbara & Cecile handbags visit barbaraandcecile.com or you can check out the collection for a limited time at the Exchange Uporium located at 264 McDermot Ave.
Got a suggestion for a future column or a fashion trend worth following? Email Connie Tamoto at email@example.com.