Fashion Handbook April: I Was a Sari

This is a lovely idea.

Sophie Brown and Zoe Fowlston of The Hat Club at Fordham have added a new collection to their range of designer hats.

“On a visit to Paris Fashion Week last year we met Stefano Funari, a founder of I Was a Sari. We were looking for a bag range to complement our hat collection and in I Was a Sari we found an ideal match,” says Zoe.

Hairband by I Was a Sari at The Hat Club, Fordham (31490990)
Hairband by I Was a Sari at The Hat Club, Fordham (31490990)

“I Was A Sari turns pre-loved Indian saris into the soul of a unique new style, and women artisans from underprivileged backgrounds in Mumbai into the designers of their own future.

They are not only beautifully made bags with stunning individual colours and designs, but their eco-ethical approach to fashion was very appealing to us as a brand.”

The pieces are really stunning and very well priced – you can buy the clutch bag for £40, the envelope clutch bags for £35 and headbands for £20.

Baguette bags by I Was a Sari at The Hat Club, Fordham (31490988)
Baguette bags by I Was a Sari at The Hat Club, Fordham (31490988)

Make haste to The Hat Club showroom in Fordham, Ely, or take a peek on Instagram @thehatclub. See more at

The Apprentice

Maisie Sale, a goldsmith apprentice with Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery, has won the Fairtrade Jewellery category at the Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council Awards 2020, dubbed the Oscars of the jewellery trade.

Award winning brooch and pendant by Maisie Sale for Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery (31490973)
Award winning brooch and pendant by Maisie Sale for Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery (31490973)

The winning piece – a colourful and adaptable brooch and pendant –was entirely hand-crafted by Maisie from a single sheet of ethically-sourced Fairtrade 9ct yellow gold. The design is captivatingly clever and sustainability-minded, taking inspiration from the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Seventeen carefully colour-matched tapered baguette gemstones each represent one of the SDG goals to create a beautiful decorative piece. Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery’s Hertfordshire studio and workshop is open to the public who can see the team of goldsmiths at work handcrafting jewellery using traditional tools and methods.

Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery is at 6/7 Green Street, Cambridge. See

In The Bag

We love M.Hulot’s cleanly-crafted lines and sophisticated palette and are pleased as punch that the Cambridgeshire-based British-made brand has opened a store on the elegant Magdalene Street in Cambridge.

The boutique will host the entire collection ranging from perfectly-formed mint leather coin purses and lux leather belt bags to striped linen tops and classic satchels. Designer and founder Anna Kreeger has also introduced accompanying products including handmade sandals by The Shoemakery, umbrellas by Pipet, socks by Genevieve Sweeney and publications such as The Gentlewoman and Selvedge.

“The space at Magdalene Street will allow us to connect with our customers and further grow our community. I am thrilled to be opening in a world-class city,” says Anna. “M.Hulot has always had colour, materials, craftsmanship and sustainability at its heart and the shop will further explore these themes. M.Hulot is made exclusively in England and we are proud to say all the designers and brands we carry follow this path. I can’t wait to welcome you into our small and friendly space and to share the stories of our products.” We can’t wait either.

M. Hulot is at 20 Magdalene Street, Cambridge. See

Win a Fitted Sports Bra

Elouise Lingerie in Buckden has teamed up with Panache to showcase Panache Sport and promote the joy (and importance) of a well-fitting sports bra – small, medium and large just doesn’t cut it ladies. The campaign #MYSIZE reinforces the message that we are all individuals and should not settle for second best when it comes to our bras. Exercise requires feeling comfortable, supported and confident which calls for a well-fitted bra. Elouise Lingerie specialises in beautifully fitting underwear and is offering one lucky Velvet reader the chance to win a fitted sports bra. To enter, simply email your name, address and daytime number to, titling your email ‘Elouise Lingerie Panache Sport Competition’. Entries should arrive no later than Friday 24 April. The usual Ts and Cs apply; if you’re happy to be contacted by Iliffe Media and its partners, add ‘Please Contact’.

Elouise Lingerie is at 40, High Street, Buckden. See

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