Leonard St. designer and founder Amanda McCarthy loves print, colour and beautiful fabrics. All designs and fabrics are made to endure years of love and wear. Leonard St was born in 2004 with doodles and experiments, inspired by the aesthetic of London style and named after a dynamic street in east London.
Leonard St. collections are inspired predominantly by silhouette and colour. With a background in Sculpture and Fine Art, the line of each piece is the starting point in McCarthy’s design process, followed by fabrication for form and structure and then lastly palette and print. The result is flattering garments with a feel for construction made in exquisite fabrics with unusual and strong colour palettes and bespoke prints each season. Amanda does most of the print design by hand in her coast studio. “A view of the water is a new luxury and certainly helps me to get to that creative zone.” The technique for the prints can be anything from Potato cut print (kaleidoscope SS10) to finger painting with her daughter (smudge print SS10), or pencil drawing and refining floral and insect drawing lately for AW11, lots of butterflies, moths and beetles. We have a lot of new insect in the garden and my little daughter is fascinated by them. Print design often comes from real life experience, the swallow for SSS10-11 started by trying to slow down my husband’s tattoo addiction by trying to get him to research the design more, the swallow is the traditional motif for sailor tattoos as it was the symbol of land close by, yearned for after months at sea. It is all done by hand.
McCarthy worked in retail, then buying, visual merchandising, film wardrobe departments and styling before trying her own hand at design and launching Leonard St. Her grand-father had his label in his name Laurie McCarthy, began in 1948, still in operation today, it was the family business and memories of school holidays spent in the factory have had a resounding effect.
Leonard St. offers an elegant, interesting and independent fashion option.