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Customer Eye Doctor
Posted on 16th January 2017

Last week we had an urgent customer email from NYC. 

She had seen a friend wearing our Winter Twill Dress in Mauve in NYC, was flying to London that night  and wanted to wear one at a celebration in Surrey that weekend . The event was just a few days later she had left it to the last minute and so was urgently messaging us whilst at an appointment with her eye doctor. Had she emailed just a few days earlier I would probably have been able to deliver it by hand in NYC but that aside we needed to get it near to her end destination ASAP....Don’t you just love modern life!

A couple of phone calls where necessary, as we followed her busy day in Manhattan to make sure the correct size and all options were covered but within a couple of hours a Cranberry dress with a matching shirt drape jacket was packaged up ready to go and we were able to take payment and confirm the package had been sent to the friend she was staying with while she was sitting in a Manhattan taxi rushing to the airport.

It is so exciting to create beautiful things that are admired and desired far and wide. We love our Jetset followers  who have found us through admiring our clothes out there in the world and were thoroughly entertained following our new customer through her day in Manhattan.

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What is an alpaca?
Posted on 23rd April 2014

An Alpaca?  What is it exactly?

‘What is the difference between an Alpaca and a Llama?’, a classic Trivial Pursuit (Genius Edition BTW) question.  Do you know the answer? Firstly, you can start off by telling your fellow contestants that an alternative name for an Alpaca is Llama Pacos (but let’s use the Alpaca word for ease): Alpacas and Llamas belong to the Camelid family – A Llama is about twice the size of an Alpaca and was bred to be a pack animal.  Alpacas were purely bred to be domestic animals.  Although Alpacas dwarf the Llama, Alpacas produce far more fleece, or to be totally correct, FIBRE, than that of a Llama.  Alpaca fibre is lustrous and very silky in texture, it is warmer, doesn’t ‘ball’ up like wool, and, if said wool tends to make you itch, Alpaca fibre will not.

For centuries the Incas have valued Alpaca fibre as a commodity more valuable than gold or silver.   The Inca nobles demonstrated their wealth by the number of Alpaca's they owned. The trade in Alpaca fibre continued for thousands of years creating wealth and prosperity for their Inca owners, until the 17th century when the Spanish Conquistadors conquered the Inca Empire.

The Incas sought refuge from the Spanish, and took a limited number of these precious animals to into the Andes, some 14,000m above sea level.  If this had not happened, there may not be very many Alpacas left today.

The Incas still reside up in the mountains, a tribe so steeped in heritage and tradition you feel as though you have stepped back centuries in time.   From their remote communities in heaven sent landscapes yet braving the unforgiving weather, the Incas thrive on their sacred herds of Alpacas, tending to them as part of their extended family.  Even during the Winter months these incredible animals are bottle fed with hot Mate de Cocoa tea (a medicinal herbal tea – for humans - to conquer altitude sickness) and kept in cosy shelters.  And, would you believe, the herdsmen’s sheering tool is not the usual clippers, but a kitchen knife.  An eye watering sight to behold, (please do not try this with your pet sheep).

 

The Inca heritage is something that the team at CARINA HILDEBRANDT is passionate about and only buy Alpaca yarn from Peru.  Sadly other countries have tapped into the market putting the Inca economy under immense strain.  

 

In our next instalment we will be talking about how the Alpaca fibre is spun into yarn and the fascinating process of how it is then translated into our beautiful designs…..

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Ritz Magazine
Posted on 10th January 2014

We had a lovely mention on the Collections page of the Winter Edition Of The Ritz Magazine. Apart from the mis-spelling of our old Company name we were very happy to be included on a beautiful page in a beautifully edited Magazine. Luckily all searches lead to www.carinahildebrandt.com so it doesn't seem to have stopped people finding us! All their back issues can be read in the following link www.theritzclub.com/ritz-magazine

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We love Belgian Style..
Posted on 23rd December 2013

  

We’ve always had lots of customers from all over the world and my vision from the day I realized I had created something with broad appeal was for the collection to be sold around the world. Last year I started driving to Germany to do shows (more about those later…) This year I added a venue in the beautiful city of Ghent how could I resist! Belgians have impeccable taste and long before I started designing clothes my bookshelves were filled with Belgian Interiors: books on Axel Vervoordt, Wolterninck and from the publishers Betaplus.be who I discovered long before their books could be found everywhere. No doubt the aesthetic has influenced my design. A strong focus on luxury yet almost rustic textured natural materials set within stunning simple contemporary yet rich classic settings. Their shades and lighting are smoky and atmospheric.

The show did not disappoint as I had the best raw materials with which to create my stand. Normally we are given magnolia walls but here I had bleached wood panels that matched my linen curtains. Such a pleasure to set up and so after leaving London at 7am with the Discovery packed to the nines by 7pm Ghent time my stand shown above was complete!And there was so much to see including room sets such as the one above to inspire...

Check out our pinterest boards where belgian home scenes I have fallen in love with feature on my interiors board ,plus so much more...

 

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Behind the scenes..
Posted on 6th December 2013

“CATCH A GLIMPSE BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE A/W SHOOT… FULL COLLECTION IS NOW AVAILABLE…”

    

Photoshoots are exhilarating but at the same time daunting. The sheer joy and satisfaction of seeing a piece or look that you have created in your head come alive on our beautiful models and work in the way I had hoped is indescribable but 5 shoots down the road and I can tell that I will always be nervous before each one and during. Wanting perfection is so vital as a designer but torturing at the same time. Luckily Steph always looks amazing but typical of us to insist on shooting in a colour that we didn’t have in her size on the day. Its just that we knew the Gilt lining of the Indigo coat would really POP in the shoot and it did…!

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