It’s that time of year - the nights are drawing in and we are beginning to feel autumn has truly arrived. In recent months, more than one of us at Palava has been yearning for our winter wardrobes and all the fun and excitement of the colder months. The first stop must surely be Halloween!
To get into the spirit of things, we've enjoyed carving our own pumpkins this year, featuring our very own Palava animal characters! If you'd like to enter our pumpkin carving competition, we'll give you £10 to spend in our online store, plus a prize of £30 to the most creative Palava inspired pumpkin! For full details, read on!
First things first, food! We decided to make the most of our pumpkins - so as well as carving them, we conjured up some delicious pumpkin dishes. Two of our recipes come from award winning chef Yotam Ottolenghi, whose cookbook Plenty is a firm favourite with our founder and chief designer Bryony. The first recipe is for these delicious pumpkin wedges, garnished with breadcrumbs, parsley, thyme and lemon rind and served with soured cream.
These were delicious and an interesting, different way to enjoy pumpkin!
Now for the crafty part! We had lots of fun in the studio carving these Palava inspired pumpkins. Annabel chose our Reindeer - as featured on our Mabel dress, Bryony chose a woodland scene and I carved our very own Mr. Fox – star of our recent popular Mabel Fox Dress.
If you like to enter our special Pumpkin carving competition, we'd love to see your special Halloween pumpkin, inspired by Palava! This could be one of our animal characters, a scene from a storybook, a detail from one of our prints...any ideas sparked by one of your favourite Palava dresses!
If you'd like to use one of the Pumpkin designs we made here of Mr Fox or our elegant Reindeer, you can save the images from the links below:
1. Print the image, cut out the shape of the reindeer or fox and fix it with masking tape on to the front of the pumpkin.
2. Draw around the design with a pen - and get carving!
3. Bring your lantern to life with a little tea light candle!
Each entry for the Palava pumpkin competition will receive £10 to spend on our website! The grand prize for the most creative pumpkin will receive £30 to spend. Tag a photo of your Palava pumpkin on Facebook or use #palavamyway on Instagram. The deadline is Thursday 2nd November.
For our main correspondence address, please contact:
8 Selkirk House,
Were It All Began...
Once upon a time... in a small town called Yarm on Tees there was a family owned shop called Strickland and Holt. To this day it is no ordinary shop and is well worth a visit if you find yourself nearby. Passed down through the generations since 1854 this small department store has taken many forms - from a wine and spirit merchants to a chemist to the gift, toy and clothing shop it is today.
In 1974 Stephanie Holt and her husband Michael left London and returned to Yarm to to see what they might do with the family business. Strickland and Holt became the birthplace of Poppy (now called Palava). Poppy initially made children's bedding from prints designed by local artists and it wasn't long before Stephanie and Michael were selling to the prestigious department stores Harrods and John Lewis. The company branched out into clothing and continued to make collections until the year 2000.
What Happened Next?
It was not until 10 years later that the youngest of Stephanie and Michael’s four children decided to bring Poppy back to life. Bryony moved back to the family shop and set to work.
Starting with children’s designs, Bryony began to draw her own illustrated prints, taking inspiration from the storybooks she had read as a child, such as Milly Molly Mandy and the storybooks of Eve Garnett.
Soon, Bryony's friends were asking about dresses for themselves and before long, the womenswear collection took shape.
Today and going forward
'Poppy' became 'Palava' a few years ago and Bryony now heads up a little studio in London rather than Yorkshire, but apart from that, the spirit of this little family business still remains. Stephanie and Michael still help out at the Yorkshire warehouse and the beautiful prints are still what Palava is known for.
We make clothes for real women and children - who live, love and laugh. Real women with real bodies and real lives. Real women who forget their keys and who have that extra slice of cake with their tea. Real children who have muddy knees and wild imaginations. We celebrate living colourfully and creatively and we will always do our best to bring an extra bit of joy to your day through our clothing.