Amelia’s Magazine | Dot to Dot at V&A Museum of Childhood: Childrenswear Showroom Report, February 2014

Dot to Dot showroom for kids

Following my write up of the Bubble London kidswear trade show I was invited along to the inaugural Dot to Dot trade show and press day at the Museum of Childhood last weekend. I was promised some of the best independent childrenswear brands, so how could I say no? After a three hour stint at Spa London in York Hall (I’ve only got a few weeks left until my birthday and still needed to use up a much appreciated 40th birthday gift voucher from my NCT buddies) I bombed into the museum’s basement for a whirlwind tour before heading home for lunch. I hope I didn’t scare off too many brand owners with my extremely pink face and wild steam room hair.

Dot to Dot childrenswear trade show

The basement of the museum was the ideal venue for this venture, which is the brainchild of Carly Gledhill from Corby Tindersticks and Nicole Frobusch from Nixie Clothing, designed to showcase their favourite independent British children’s designers. The basement was compact yet airy and easy to negotiate and I particularly liked the small touches, such as some fabulous collaged artwork on the walls, courtesy of students from the Kids Company. There was a fantastic array of exciting independent brands on show, making my fleeting visit well worth the effort on a blustery winter’s weekend.

Corby Tindersticks cushion

I’ve written about Corby Tindersticks before, but this was a chance to become truly smitten by this burgeoning brand, which now includes square cushions (they make very cute shaped ones too) and clothing in its offering, much of which will appeal equally to adults and children. I unfortunately did not get a good photograph of their wall display, which was beautifully put together.

Badger print by Poco Nido

This super cute badger design is by Poco Nido from Sheffield, set up by footwear designer Catherine Lobley. Perhaps not unsurprisingly her speciality is very cute printed baby slippers. I also love the fact that she runs a competition to see who can make the best object out of a Poco Nido packaging tube. Yay to crafty recycling!

Indikidual clothing

Indikidual crayola print

I adore the deliciously bright colour palette from Indikidual, a brand which I have heard many good things about in recent times. The collection, designed by Syreeta Johnson, is unisex and designed to be worn in layers. I am looking forward to dressing Snarfle in some of these pieces in the years to come. Doesn’t this crayon print rock?

Aravore dress for girls

I am super impressed by the many roles of Aravore designer Yanina Aubrey, who has used a beautiful end of roll luxury womenswear fabric (above) in her pretty new collection. During London Fashion Week she will be curating the Paraguayan international showcase. Impressive stuff, I will have to try and visit.

Little_Titans_lookbook-tights for boys

Little Titans cushion

The fabulous illustrative branding for boys’ tights brand Little Titans by Carly Hardy appears on the cushion above and on all packaging, combined with some wonderful typography and photography. I adore the quirky central character, which really sums up a typical cheeky little boy. As a massive tights fan (for Snarfle, I should clarify, I’m more of a leggings woman these days) I have obviously become aware of Little Titans, which specialises in abstract designs: think bold colourings, stripes and lightening bolts. I think they are fab and am sure that Snarfle will wear these in the future, although for now he is exclusively dressed in the wonderful patterned offerings from Slugs and Snails.

Becky Baur

There were other designers that I did not get a chance to look at because I was in such a rush, but for now I’ll end with the eye-catching range by Hackney based designer Becky Baur (who I clearly missed on my earlier Top Drawer excursion). She also had the most wonderful wall display (again, didn’t manage to get a good photo, my bad). With designs that would be equally loved by kids and adults, her brand, launched in 2011, includes homeware, stationery and ceramics. Very very cool.

Many of the designers at the Dot to Dot press day have impeccable environmental credentials, using organic cotton and manufacturing or making up their products within the UK where possible. Having just learnt that organic cotton uses half the water of normal cotton and avoids all the health problems associated with pesticides (from Zandra Rhodes! in her penthouse flat! but more on that later…) I think it’s great that so many childrenswear designers are doing their best to implement ethical practices, and I am really enjoying the process of getting to know this aspect of the fashion industry, now that I’ve got a little one of my own.

Categories ,Aravore, ,Becky Baur, ,Bubble London, ,Carly Gledhill, ,Carly Hardy, ,Catherine Lobley, ,Corby Tindersticks, ,Dot to Dot, ,ethical, ,Indikidual, ,Kids Company, ,Little Titans, ,London Fashion Week, ,Museum of Childhood, ,NCT, ,Nicole Frobusch, ,Nixie Clothing, ,Organic Cotton, ,Poco Nido, ,Slugs and Snails, ,Snarfle, ,Spa London, ,Syreeta Johnson, ,Top Drawer, ,va, ,Yanina Aubrey, ,York Hall, ,Zandra Rhodes

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