A fashion label for women over 40 has been launched in Lincoln, with the ambition of combining British bespoke tailoring with the best fabrics from around the world.
Santa Maria Fashion is the creation of Santa Maria McArdle, 30, a designer and image consultant who first made her name in the fashion industry in Eastern Europe.
Santa Maria, who is married to Lincolnshire County Council CEO Tony McArdle, first broke into the fashion world in her native Latvia.
In 2007, she moved to the UK and has worked as an image consultant before launching her new label.
She decided to create the new range after realising there was a lack of elegant, handmade, clothes available for all women – particularly those over 40.
Her first range of ladies evening wear, called the Silk Road, was launched at a special VIP show in Lincoln this week. All the special occasion dresses were hand stitched locally using silk imported from India and designed by Santa Maria.
The dresses, which will be made to measure for between £600 and £900, were modelled at the launch by Susan Lowson, senior clinician and wife of The Bishop of Lincoln; Jill Grant, manager of Bling; Ishu Sen, a Lincoln physiotherapist; Rosie Barclay, retired; Gundega Gulbe, an event manager in Latvia and Sue Nix, a programme partnership manager from Cambridgeshire.
Santa Maria said: “I’m thrilled to be launching this label in my adopted home county of Lincolnshire. The people here have always been so warm, kind and supportive and there is a keen sense of entrepreneurial spirit in this county. It’s a perfect environment to showcase my designs.
“It’s also important to design clothes for real people not outlandish pieces designed for teenage models.
“All my dresses have been inspired by the comments and conversations I’ve had with people in the county about how difficult they find it to buy beautiful but practical clothes made, specifically, for them.”