This is a very special ‘genuine’ designer gown collection including day, evening, bridal and cruise wear. For wholesale this couture collection is not widely available because each item from the collection is hand made. Each item ordered, is specially created to your specification, from the hand painting, printing and pleating, we are therefore not tied to the usual time constraints.
The word ‘designer’ is misused these days and many brands carry that title even though the products are mass produced abroad. Our collection is made entirely in our studios in Wales, right through from the colouring, texturing and printing of the fabrics, to the hand finished garments that have earned an international reputation for the unusual quality and style. Nothing is made in volume, each piece is made as a entity in its own right and this is what makes the collection so special.
Wholesale orders can be placed at any time not just at the traditional time of Paris and London Fashion Week exhibitions. Although we no longer show at these venues we are happy to meet buyers in Wales or by special arrangement in London. We like to encourage buyers to come to the studios in Wales where they will see something of the complexity and exclusivity of the work. Because every process is undertaken ‘in house’ it means that we can custom-make the collection specially for your store. Coming to the studios you will see that many of the garments available from the collection are ‘one of a kind’, and even if a garment is repeated the variety of choice in colours, prints and sizes is vaste, making it possible to make selections with specific customers in mind.
Our evening wear collection is the most special and exclusive designer collection available in Britain. Even the daywear collection is hand painted, printed and made individually. There is no other designer collection that is so exclusive. Because our collection is so different and made in such small numbers it is not widely available even in London. At present the only location, where there is a reasonable selection, is a special plus size collection in the ‘plus department’ of Liberty in London.
If you are interested in seeing the designer collection first hand, especially for a first time buy – it is best to come to the studios in Wales. Here you will learn what the collection is all about and be able to convey, with first hand knowledge, the unique qualities of our style to both your staff and the customers. All business is done directly with ourselves – we do not have a fashion agent. There are many lovely hotels where you can stay if you want to make a few days holiday of your visit, but for those in a hurry we are within easy reach of London via the M4 motorway, or by train from London Paddington with only one change at Newport to Abergavenny.
In addition to these retail outlets you may see parts of the collection with our agents in San Francisco and Dallas, who would be pleased to see you by appointment. The largest selection from our couture collection is of course at the Retail Showroom but we are happy to meet you at our design studios in Wales. We are within easy reach of London should you wish to visit Wales to discuss your order. Please telephone for an appointment. We are about two hours from London by high speed train and less than three hours by road. We are also less than an hour from Cardiff International Airport. Bristol Airport is slightly further away but still within easy reach of Abergavenny.
Wholesale orders for our designer collection can be placed at our showroom:
Charles and Patricia Lester
The Workhouse, Union Road
Tel: 01873 853559
How to Buy
LONDON FASHION WEEK AND THE DESIGNER SHOWS
We used to show the collection in London with the London Designer Collections (LDC) and with the British Couture Collections during London Fashion Week. Now we show the collection at our own shop Abergavenny, Newport.. We are happy to meet buyers at our hotel shop by appointment. It is also possible to visit our studios in Wales. If you are in the UK and have the time to visit us in Wales, we would be delighted to show you our designer collection.
Directors: Patricia Lester M.B.E., Charles Lester.
Things to do and see in South Wales and its luxury hotels and famous restaurants.
Abergavenny is known as “The Gateway to Wales” and is at the start of the Brecon Beacons and the Brecon Beacons National Park. The M4 motorway makes all the South of England and home counties accessible to this unique bustling market town, vibrant in its diversity. Abergavenny is in South East Wales – not far from Cardiff, Bristol, Bath, Hereford, Newport and Swansea. There are very good rail and road links with the West Midlands, Birmingham, Oxford and the West Country (Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Avon and Cornwall). From London the route is easy and direct – crossing the new Severn Bridge is an experience in itself – a wonderful giant sculpture particularly spectacular agaist dark clouds or early evening or the low light of dawn.
Abergavenny is also at the hub of many famous events – the Abergavenny Food Festival now a ‘must’ on everybody’s calendar who is interested in the culture of food. With so many things to do and see, it is worth taking time to explore the area – even Harry Potter’s bus stopped at Abergavenny! It makes a great centre from which to explore the area, such as a day in Usk, famous for its wonderful floral displays throughout the town. Or perhaps a walk over the famous Blorenge Mountain – the only word that rhymes with ‘orange’! The Llanfoist Open Garden day is worth a visit – a day spent exploring the wonderful gardens of the village makes an unusual and inspiring ‘day out’.
The Brecon Jazz Festival is only twenty miles away as is the Celtic Manor Hotel in Newport which has several golf courses and was the host to the Ryder Cup in the year 2010. The internationally famous ‘Hay Literary Festival’, Hay Literary Festival held at Hay on Wye, attracts many famous visitors including Bill and Hilary Clinton, who were guests at the 2002 festival. ‘The Three Choirs Festival’ (Hereford, Gloucester and Worcester) – a celebration of choral music, is only an hour’s drive away. Abergavenny is in the heart of the county of Monmouthshire, a county that has more castles and fortified houses than any other county in Britain.
For industrial history there is the famous ‘Big Pit’ Mining Museum in Blaenavon as well as the most glorious countryside where walking, horse-riding, both lake and canal boating, fishing – country activities too numerous to remember them all.
As a contrast to the gentle countryside, Cardiff, with its Millennium Stadium and Millennium Centre provide entertainment in sport and culture in the most modern and sophisticated of surroundings in Cardiff Bay, once a busy dock area, now home to the contrasts of high profile modern living alongside the historic Norwegian Church and the new Assembly building. St Fagans Museum is a major museum of Welsh Life a worthwhile day out for those interested in social history.
There are a number of places to stay from the exotic and luxurious hotel – Llangoed Hall (the inspiration of Sir Bernard Ashley: co-founder of the Laura Ashley fashion label) – to Bear Hotel in Crickhowell (winner of the British Pub of the Year Award as well as the AA Welsh Pub of the Year). Gliffaes Country House Hotel’ is only five miles from the town and is set in over twenty acres of beautiful gardens. The hotel is on the banks of the river Usk, famous for its salmon and trout fishing. Extensive fishing rights on the river can be used by hotel guests. ‘The Angel Hotel’ has an excellent dining menu. There are many other places to stay and eat fine food. For those who want a few days of luxurious pampering there is the Celtic Manor Hotel. Here can be enjoyed the hotel’s award winning spa, gymnasium, golf, tennis and several restaurants as well as a little bit of shopping.