Just as I'm starting to think she's as mad as a bag of snakes felted foxes, she plucks an empty jam jar from the holdall and exclaims "Oh, I totally forgot, I brought this to give to someone, do you mind?". Seconds later she's back, still holding the clear jar, I can only see what looks like a date stone inside. A friendly chap called Ryan joins us and immediately asks what's in the jar, "Oh it's a dead hornet - for my pal who's really into insects". Ryan and I look at each other as Kaye starts twisting the lid off. We all peer in, and are simultaneously engulfed in a miasma of decay with a slight hint of porcini. - "Savoury?" I offer tentatively...instant agreement and we promptly bid our goodbyes.
In the whirl of amazing things to look at on October's Harris Tweed launch night at Che Camille, I walked straight past the new Harris Tweed bags at first. Fortunately, I quickly met Mark Hogarth, Creative Director for Harris Tweed Hebrides, who invited me over for a closer look.
By the way, the striking Harris Tweed suit Mark's wearing is by fashion designer Deryck Walker.
Harris Tweed Hebrides commissioned designer Juliana Lawson to come up with a classic unisex design. Italian leather and Harris Tweed, hand loomed on the Isle of Lewis, with the famous Harris Tweed orb label appearing on the outside of the bag.
Getting permission from the Harris Tweed Authority to allow this sort of subversiveness is nothing short of a miracle. It's a witty design element, which lifts it from being just another 'heritage' bag.
My Grandfather was a Harris Tweed weaver on the Isle of Lewis and I know exactly how he'd have vocalised his thoughts on this bag ...."First class". Although he might have added something else in Gaelic on discovering it's retailing at around £300.
The brand won Textile Brand of the Year at the Scottish Fashion Awards and are set to receive the Outstanding Contribution Award at the Scottish Style Awards this year.
Here's Holly from Britain's Next Top Model in a design by Joyce Paton using Harris Tweed. Joyce won 'Accessories Designer Of The Year' at the Scottish Fashion Awards 2009.
Below is designer Judy Clark, holding her Gaelic Frock Coat which was embroidered by Alison Macleod and has now been shown in New York and Japan.
A little later Mark sidles up conspiratorially and with a proposition, would I like to be the first to see the latest collaboration between Harris Tweed Hebrides and Kaye Springham of Hibernate Design? I'd love to.
He obligingly slips off his suit jacket and replaces it with Kaye's newly unveiled design, after furtively taking a few snaps I discover he's also a professional model and sure enough, he takes direction brilliantly, thanks Mark. Love this blouson style jacket.
And here's it's designer, Kaye from Hibernate, wearing one of her own Harris Tweed designs, she has more to show me...
A dizzying array of impressive creations materialize from a huge holdall, all sorts of felty creatures including a felt bowl which sat on a pair of felty legs. Dont know why, but it all really, really, did work, like this ingenious alternative to a real fur stole...
All at Che Camille