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New styles at Thomas Lyte

6 June 2011

I’ve been an admirer of the dedication to craft at Thomas Lyte for some time. The leather and silver makers have a workshop down in south-west London that I visited over a year ago now. I liked the little details in the construction process, like turned edges wherever possible and hand-inked ones elsewhere, which demonstrated how high a priority craft was to the brand.

But frankly, some of the original designs weren’t to my taste. They were certainly quirky, and individual (the subtle curve of a Spitfire’s tail fin runs through many of the designs), but the colour palette was often too extreme – contrasting yellow and black, for instance.

Clearly some people liked it, as in the interim Thomas Lyte opened its first store, in the Burlington Arcade. A beautiful space with a bespoke lounge upstairs that oversees the shoppers below, it showcases the company’s now wider range of both silver and leather product.

Which is where the reason for this post comes in. That range now includes some more classic pieces that I would certainly recommend. Like the Albemarle business briefcase, for example, in slate grey Breuninger leather. No contrast colour here, just a subtle variation on black and those design quirks, like the curve of the leather straps across the front, the silver button fastening and the plum-coloured silk lining.

If you’re looking for something for the wife, I also recommend the Eliza Wheat Tote and the jewellery boxes. Definitely worth a visit.