Amelia’s Magazine | Bubble London January 2014 – Kidswear and Babywear Show Report

Ruff and Huddle tie dye sweat shirt

Last weekend I decided it was high time I found out more about the world of kidswear, so I made my first trip to Bubble London, a major childrenswear fashion trade show that takes place at the Business Design Centre twice a year. There were a huge number of brands on display, so I scooted around as fast as I could, catching up with old favourites and discovering new charms aplenty. Here’s my run down of exciting kidswear, Amelia’s Magazine style. More than a few of these will be available directly from my website when we relaunch; I can’t wait.

Ruff and Huddle sweatsuit girls

Ruff & Huddle came into being just last year, and unsurprisingly they are attracting loads of attention: think cool urban kidswear, with many of the designs put together in collaboration with street artists and illustrators including Zakee Shariff. This was an impressively large new collection, encompassing coats, sweats, embroidered pieces, onesies, tees and much more. Aren’t these two girls in their topknots and matching tie- dye sweatsuits just too damn cool?

Slugs and Snails tights - penguins

It was brilliant to meet Kathleen of Slugs & Snails, the Irish boys’ tights brand that she set up to cater to her own boy’s needs. Just before Christmas she had another boy (so well behaved, he happily lay in his cot as we talked) and has somehow managed to add a number of brilliant new designs to her tights collection as well. I particularly love this penguin design, but you will also find a puzzle design, octopi, umbrellas and more. Slugs & Snails offers the perfect combination of practicality and pattern, so it’s no surprise that I dress Snarfle in their tights every day during the winter. I really can’t get enough of this brand and am very excited that they will feature on the new website’s market place: read my interview with Kathleen Redmond here.

Raspberry Plum kidswear

It was also a pleasure to meet Jenny Mortimer of Kyna Boutique – an online store which stocks some of the best organic baby wear brands around. She was at Bubble London to catch up with some of her brands and judge the Rising Star award: this went to new brand Raspberry Plum by RCA graduate Aleksandra Stasic. The label specialises in the kind of unique tailoring that would not look out of place in an adult wardrobe.

Matthew Bromley print

I must have missed the Anorak Magazine creative sessions but I fell in love with this risograph print on the wall. When I could not locate a credit several people on social media were able to inform me that it’s by Matthew Bromley. Gotta love those dinosaur vibes.

Smafolk kidswear - owl print

Smafolk kidswear print - tractors

Smafolk hanger animals

I am so upset it is not easier to buy Småfolk kidswear in the UK. Thanks to The Killing and The Bridge the Danes have inadvertently pushed a minimalist grey aesthetic on the world, but they are just as good at vivacious brights. I adore the liveliness of their all over prints; even the Småfolk animal hangers rock. Yet again I have to thank my friends on social media for recommendations to buy from these websites if you live in the UK: Juicy Tots, Bebaboo and Emilea.

Mini Melissa cat shoes

I’ve been a Melissa fan for many a year, and have now discovered there are Mini Melissa shoes for little people: with cat faces.

Wild Things dresses, placement patch -house

I want to live in this house! This placement patch print comes on the front of a yellow dress from the new print range by Wild Things dressmaker Kirsty Hartley. Despite operating entirely from a shop on Etsy this brand has deservedly been gaining lots of attention. Truly magical kidswear.

Le Bluu moon and robot print - kidswear

This robot and moon design features on a sweatshirt design from Le Bluu, a Spanish brand focused on the application of new environmentally friendly technologies in garment design. Think futuristic dye techniques, light up panels, sound responsive designs and more!

Holly and Beau colour change anoraks - kidswear

Another Bubble London discovery was the brand new launch collection from the Norwich based graduate siblings behind Holly and Beau. The rockets and spaceships on these anoraks take on colours in the rain. What an incredibly cute and practical idea.

There is now a huge variety of kidswear available on the market and whilst I think it’s madness to spend silly money on ridiculously expensive clothing for children who will quickly outgrow it (ahem, big name designer labels) I’m all for supporting the more reasonably priced independent brands. Why not buy a few key pieces from nice labels as your child grows, thereby spending on quality rather than quantity? I’d also like to recommend our very own local kidswear label, Oh Baby London, based on Brick Lane. Lovely designs, organic materials, and built to last.

Categories ,2014, ,Aleksandra Stasic, ,Anorak Magazine, ,Babywear, ,Bebaboo, ,Brick Lane, ,Bubble London, ,Business Design Centre, ,Emilea, ,etsy, ,fashion, ,Holly and Beau, ,January, ,Jenny Mortimer, ,Juicy Tots, ,Kathleen Redmond, ,Kidswear, ,Kirsty Hartley, ,Kyna Boutique, ,Le Bluu, ,Matthew Bromley, ,Mini Melissa, ,Oh Baby London, ,Raspberry Plum, ,review, ,Rising Star, ,Ruff & Huddle, ,Slugs and Snails, ,Småfolk, ,Trade Show, ,Wild Things, ,Zakee Shariff

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Amelia’s Magazine | Designer Spotlight: Brooke Roberts- Part Two

Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa Front cover - The 99Illustration by Naif Al-Mutawa courtesy of PagetBaker Associates

What do you do when your freedom of expression has been seriously hampered? What happens when an artist has to muster all the courage and strength in the world to plough on amidst censorship, dosage opposition, cheapest intimidation and threats? The Freedom to Create Prize aims to encourage and support artists all over the world who operate in a stifling climate where they are isolated. Created as “a celebration of the courage and creativity of artists around the world who use their talent to build the foundation of open societies, this site promote social justice and inspire the human spirit”1., this prize is unique in that it celebrates the power of art to fight oppression, break down stereotypes and build trust in societies broken by conflict, violence and misunderstanding.

image009Photograph of Moshen Makhmalbaf courtesy of PagetBaker Associates

There are more than 1,000 entrants from Africa, Asia, Latin America, eastern Europe and the Middle East and Human Rights advocate Bianca Jagger presented the main prize yesterday night to Moshen Makhmalbaf, the Iranian filmmaker dedicated to the Green Movement. “People of my country (Iran) are killed, imprisoned, tortured and raped just for their votes. Every award I receive means an opportunity for me to echo their voices to the world, asking for democracy for Iran and peace for the world.” Guests from the worlds of art and the human rights attended the reception in the grand surroundings of the Victoria and Albert museum. The prize is worth $50,000, but they give half to an organization that will advance the cause their work highlights. Representatives from Burmese refugee women’s group The Kumjing Storytellers who use giant paper maché dolls to represent their stories of ethnic persecution in Burma and the plight of migrants and refugees from around the world received the second place prize winner, The director from The Zugdidi Shalva Dadiani State Drama Theatre, David Alan Harris from Poimboi Veeyah Koindu and Sheenkai Alam Stanikzai were all there along with last year’s inaugural winner, the Zimbabwean dramatist Cont Mhlanga.

image002Logo courtesy of PagetBaker Associates

Set up by Richard Chandler, a billionaire New Zealand-born philanthropist based in Singapore, the arts prize shines a light into those parts of the world where creative freedom is not a given. This year alone, we have had the Obama cartoon in The New Yorker and Osama Bin Laden as a cameo on family Guy; there are societies in greatest need but these awards is a reminder that we must always remember not to take for granted the civil liberties we enjoy in this country. In 2006, a Kuwaiti doctor, Naif Al-Mutawa, launched a comic called The 99, featuring 99 superheroes, each based on a virtue expounded in the Koran. “Some of the more conservative places in the world weren’t so happy to let The 99 in,” he says.

Graham CrouchArtist Sheenkai Alam Stanikzai. Photograph courtesy of PagetBaker Associates

Women artists are showing strong pieces this year; Third- prize winner Sheenkai Alam Stanikzai has created an installation piece about the traditional suicide method of abused Afghan women: “I recognized the similarity between these ancient events and contemporary world events, so I decided to show my feelings about what is happening: more than 40 women are dying every day.” Pakistan’s Sheema Kermani entered a series of dance and theatre pieces about the veil, polygamy, sexual abuse and honor killings: For long periods, it has been almost like a life underground,” she says.

View-of-Installation-work-bInstallation by  Sheenkai Alam Stanikzai. Photograph courtesy of PagetBaker Associates

Judges in attendance included leading international human rights lawyer and jurist on the UN’s Internal Justice Council Geoffrey Robertson QC, BBC arts correspondent Razia Iqbal, Time Out founder and chair of Human Rights Watch Tony Elliot, and award-winning Anglo-Indian artist Sacha Jafri. Nick Broomfield presented the Imprisoned Artist Prize; Geoffrey Robertson QC presented the Youth Prize. And there was an enjoyable performance by Emmanuel Jal.

It is suitably symbolic that the awards ceremony took place in the UK, home of the Magna Charta as it shows that engaged artists are not alone in this fight. Prosperous societies are founded upon creativity. Britain has a history of encouraging artistic expression and is a leader in showing other countries how to build strong foundations for economic, political and cultural development in order to lead tomorrow’s world. Political cartooning is a great British institution that prides itself in rocking the boat and rightfully getting away with it! Freedom to Create is a worthy initiative; their desire to seek to improve lives by addressing society’s ability to support and sustain creativity is to be commended. In the end, everyone was a winner!

1. Press release courtesy of PagetBaker Associates
Incase you missed the first instalment (where have you been?) Amelia’s magazine caught up with London based women’s wear designer Brooke Roberts to find out about her inspired new collection.
7Sinnai dress (reversible) in exclusive silk/ glassino jacquard knit.

Can you tell our readers a little more about your SS10 collection?
Right at the beginning of the project I took a brain scan which took about 50 image slices through the brain. I then artworked the images with a CAD designer friend who helped to manipulate them into python skin effect, buy and repeat patterns that I then merged with Yoruban sculpture. To learn about this Nigerian tribe I went to the British Museum and looked at all of the sculptures and masquerade videos, site taking colour inspiration and texture ideas from their artwork. The collection is a mixture of medicine, science and Yoruban culture.

You’ve said that you take a lot of your inspiration from your work as a radiographer and with that in mind I wondered if you were interested in fashion trends and if you try to reflect current trends in your collections?
As a designer I can’t really ignore the industry behind my profession, but I try not to let outside influences take over my inspiration and vision. Trends are really important. I try not to follow them or reference them too much in my work. Trends happen to find their way into my collection one way or another, often from working with suppliers. For example my thread and fabric suppliers have their own seasonal trends, textures and colours for the season which I end up inevitably incorporating. I’ve also been known to look on WGSN from time to time.

13Exar suede washed denim jacket with ortho fringing, sinnai leggings in exclusive silk/ glassino jacquard leggings and silver and red gold skull slice earrings.

PB242088Exar suede washed denim jacket with ortho fringing (ortho fringing is made from metal plates that are used to straighten and repair bones within the body).

Do you have any design heroes?
I love Thierry Mugler. It doesn’t matter how many times I look at his work. I’ve got quite a few of his vintage pieces and I love wearing them! Rifat Ozbek is another I like and John Galliano is great too. It’s like a dream for a designer to work in a house like that (Dior) where you can create your own fabrics; it’s a beautiful fusion of craft and technology. I also love Alber Elbaz, he’s so commercially brilliant – I think most women want to wear his clothes! His designs are so romantic; I think he’s got a real sensibility with fabric and movement. I also love Gareth Pugh; he would be the young designer I like.

What are you looking forward to in the next decade seeing as 2010 is fast approaching?
I’m looking forward to just developing my label, growing it and evolving. I want to learn more, as in this kind of job you’re learning everyday and are exploring new ideas and techniques. I’m trying to work with the Australian wool industry to integrate Australian merino into my knitwear because it’s a beautiful product and I love knitwear so I’d like to explore it and at the same time if I can help out the Australian wool industry it’s a good move, especially as my family are wool growers!

19Silver and red gold spinning skull slice pendant- diamond set.

Lastly, do you have any strategic tips or advice for anyone toying with the idea of a career in fashion, with the ambition of going it alone as a designer?
You need to have a strong idea of what you want and what you want to be first. Then I’d suggest going out and finding the best experience you can so intern and put in a lot of hours. Learn, develop and once you feel ready to start a label get some good business advice and then apply for all the awards as a way of getting support. Just work really hard!
Brooke’s current collection is stocked at King and Queen of Bethnal Green.

Categories ,Alber Elbaz, ,Australian wool industry, ,British Museum, ,Brooke Roberts, ,Gareth Pugh, ,King and Queen of Bethnal Green, ,Rifat Ozbek, ,Thierry Mugler, ,WGSN, ,Yoruba

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Amelia’s Magazine | Designer Spotlight: Hermione de Paula

hdp_ss_10 045All images courtesy of Hermione de Paula, case photographed by Kristin Vicari.

Hi Hermione! Would you mind telling our dear readers where you studied? Did you always know you wanted to pursue a career within fashion?
I graduated in 2006 from Central Saint Martins where I studied fashion and print. Fashion has certainly always been an important part of my life …my Mum gave birth to me in Chanel sunglasses so…

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What have you been up to since graduating? /When did you establish your label?
There hasn’t really been a dull moment… I spent some time out in LA which was incredible. I think the lifestyle I experienced there and the people I met will always influence me and feed into my work in some respect. It was when I moved back to London that I knew it was time to really start concentrating on my own label. I worked at Spearmint Rhino (not stripping though!) Let’s say it was an ‘interesting’ way to raise the cash to start my show. But hey, treat I’m a sucker for bright lights, exhibitionism and elaborate outfits! 

hdp_ss_10 089Do you have a career highlight so far?
Hearing I will be stocked exclusively with Browns Focus for my S/S10 collection has definitely been a recent highlight, along with my recent Merit Award from Vauxhall Fashion Scout – previous recipients were William Tempest and David Koma so I’m honoured to be seen in the same light as two incredible new labels. February 2010 is set to be a very exciting and manic month with the show and the launch of the SS10 collection in Browns Focus. Working with photographer Kristin Vicari is also a real honour- Kristin has just shot the new Diesel campaign ‘Be stupid’ and Christopher Kane’s last two look books so she has mentored and art directed all my press material – editorials/look books/cards etc which at this stage of my label is insane – I’m very privileged to work with her!

hdp_ss_10 078


What kind of woman do you design for?
Sexy, strong and stylish women. Women who are confident in being subtly provocative and thrive on having fun with clothing. Her motto would be- “I probably shouldn’t… but I will anyway!”

hdp_ss_10 057Would you ever consider a menswear diffusion line? Or is there any other area of design you’d like to branch into?
Possibly, I’m currently sharing a studio with two great friends of mine, who are just launching an amazing new menswear called ‘Braille’, so it would be fab to collaborate with them at some point and do some prints for them. Their garments are definitely an inspiring example of how a strong and masculine aesthetic can still be mixed with beautiful delicacy. Prints are great fun to work with, there are just endless creative possibilities…I wanted to try and print my puppy’s fur at Christmas to make him more festive but failed miserably!

hdp_ss_10 037


Can you tell our readers what your inspirations were for your SS10 collection?
My inspiration stems right back to the goddess Venus. I wanted to combine an essence of her erotic radiance and powerful beauty with a contemporary twist. ‘Las Venus’ the name of the collection comes from how I feel such a figure would be translated through tabloids in our society, a modern day branding. I wanted the collection to focus on the intriguing contradictions behind feminine magnetism, dramatic and subtle, fragile beauty with a tough core.


hdp_ss_10 028What are you looking forward to in the next decade seeing as 2010 is upon us?
I’m very optimistic about the next decade, life in the fast lane is set to get faster! With the launch of the collection in Browns Focus in London this February and the Merit Award Show I’m so excited to see where it will lead to next season and beyond!

Categories ,Braille, ,Browns Focus, ,Central Saint Martins, ,chanel, ,Christopher Kane, ,David Koma, ,Diesel campaign ‘Be stupid’, ,Hermione de Paula, ,Kristin Vicari, ,Spearmint Rhino, ,SS10, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout, ,William Tempest

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Accessory Designer Hope Von Joel from Eye of the World Designs

Eye of the World by Milly Jackson
Eye of the World S/S 2012 collection by Milly Jackson.

Hope Von Joel is a multi-talented knitwear designer, more about stylist, see fashion editor and accessories designer. But just how does she do it all? Read on to find out more about Eye of the World Designs.

Hope, you studied knitwear at Central Saint Martins and have also worked with the likes of Alexander McQueen, Gareth Pugh and Charlie le Mindu. As a stylist you’ve been a fashion editor for Super Super and now at Fiasco Magazine. What prompted the move into accessories design and was it a steep learning curve?
During my time at Central Saint Martins I worked at the houses of McQueen and Pugh on knitwear and design. These where both invaluable experiences and have definitely shaped by view of fashion to this date. It was a pleasure to see how the Design teams worked on the process behind such imaginative and wonderful collections. Styling wise yes I have previously worked with Charlie Le Mindu on his catwalk collection and Look Book; his creative flair is addictive and he is definitely a very capable and imaginative designer and business man! Styling for me is a great pleasure, I have worked on all sorts of projects from editorials for Elle Girl, Vogue, Oyster etc, to various fashion shows and big creative advertising campaigns – it’s a job with many different dimensions. I am always thrilled to work with clothing and accessories which break boundaries and challenge perceptions of the female form.  

Eye of the World Designs
Eye of the World Designs created for Brooke Roberts A/W 2012.

WIth this in mind the move over to accessories designing was quite easy. Having studied the concept of design at Central Saint Martins and seeing what is on offer from the bigger design houses I felt there was definitely a place in the market for sustainable, beautifully designed and hand finished pieces that are also made in the UK. What is nice about this sort of design is the fact that people can follow it from the design to the finished piece. Much of our raw materials are recycled or reclaimed and this gives the buyer a personal experience. I had the opportunity to work with Brooke Roberts because I was styling her collections, and it has been a great platform to launch the designs and see them worn with knitwear, which is another one of my passions.

Eye of the World Designs
Eye of the World accessories created for Brooke Roberts A/W 2012.

How do you juggle your different jobs? 
It’s about time management and everything has its place. The way I work is very creative but things overlap and that’s the joy of London and the creative scene. I am with an agent in London for my styling: Clicks and Contacts. They are a great creative push in that area and the rest I am learning along the way. 

Eye of the World Designs
Eye of the World accessories created for Brooke Roberts A/W 2012.

What’s in a name? How did you come up with Eye of the World designs?
Eye of the World Designs was thought up by my business partner Liam Motyer when we where travelling in South America. It became one of our favourite sayings and can apply to anything and everything. Our love of the organic form of wood seemed to offer a great view point on the world. I like the way it influences everything, very much like fashion; and so our use of wood has stuck.

Eye of the World S/S 2012 belts by Estelle Morris
Eye of the World S/S 2012 belts by Estelle Morris.

What inspires you when you start creating a collection and how do you ensure your ideas are translated into successful accessories. What parameters do you need to consider?
Colour colour colour colour… and wood. We take influences from anything and everything, from organic forms to marbles and glass… really anything that touches us. The colours of wood play a great influence, so if something doesn’t go with wood it’s not for us! This season we have been loving Orchids, Marbles and Wood. We always consider the season, who our customer is and what she is going to wear our accessories for. It’s like playing dress up with your favourite doll, creating a scene, place and style for each particular season.

Eye of the World Designs
Eye of the World accessories created for Brooke Roberts A/W 2012.

Most of your designs use wood – why is this and where do you source your wood from?
All our wood is sustainable, reclaimed or recycled and sourced locally to SE London. The reason we love wood is because Liam is a master craftsmen and his creativity and flair is in his manipulation of wood. We design and hand make every piece together in Peckham, with much love.

Eye of the World Designs S/S 2012
Eye of the World Designs S/S 2012.

Your pieces are notable for being extremely bold. How do you think they are best worn?
With a smile and a confidence that belongs to the wearer. I think that you should wear your clothes and accessories instead of letting them wear you.

Eye of the World Designs
Eye of the World accessories created for Brooke Roberts A/W 2012.

Your collection is styled with knitwear by Brooke Roberts – how does this collaboration work, and does it make you miss the world of knitwear? Any chance of a return?  
We worked with Brooke Roberts on two collaborations this season and last season. Last season I also styled her collections as I have done for some time. Her knitwear is luxurious and beautifully finished and her organic forms lend themselves to wooden accessories beautifully. I would love to return to knitwear and sometime soon I know I will! It’s a love and once you have the bug and the creative knowledge it’s like riding a bike.

Eye of the World Designs Converse
You recently created a special piece for the Converse Bag range. Can you tell me a little bit more about this project and what inspired your design?
Working with Converse was ace, we where asked to design a bag that reflected our love for Back to School. For us school was about movies, skating and moving forwards with speed. So we referenced the movie Back to the Future and created a real treat – a wooden and red flocked bag that combines music and design. Our signature is wood and so it seemed a perfect combination. The wood was all reclaimed and matched the original bags colour and the flocking is a technique that we are perfecting at the moment. We are also flocking wooden hats for editorials, so watch this space. We had a ball making the Converse bag and look forward to more projects in the future.

Eye of the World Designs Converse bag
What’s next for Eye of the World?
Well the world is our oyster. We hope to make more bespoke accessories because we love making extravagant pieces, which we have done for a few mega editorials that will be out in some big publications shortly. We are also now working on an A/W 2012 collection that will sparkle you all away. Eye of the World Designs continues to collaborate with all sorts of people. Our master craftsman Liam is creating some pieces with furniture makers Hendzel and Hunt for Designersblock and also for Selfridges. Lastly but most excitingly Eye of the World Designs for Brooke Roberts are now available to buy at Browns Focus and bespoke pieces are available directly from us.

You can follow Hope Von Joel‘s exploits on her blog, and don’t forget to take a peek at the Eye Of The World website too.

Categories ,accessories, ,Alexander Mc Queen, ,Back to School, ,Brooke Roberts, ,Browns Focus, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Charlie le Mindu, ,Clicks and Contacts, ,Converse Bag, ,Designersblock, ,Elle Girl, ,Estelle Morris, ,Eye of the World, ,Fashion Editor, ,Fiasco Magazine, ,Gareth Pugh, ,interview, ,knitwear, ,Liam Motyer, ,Marbles, ,Milly Jackson, ,Orchids, ,Oyster, ,Peckham, ,Reclaimed, ,recycled, ,S/S 2012, ,Selfridges, ,stylist, ,Super Super, ,sustainable, ,vogue, ,wood, ,Woodcraft

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