Amelia’s Magazine | Slugs and Snails Tights: beautiful patterned baby and toddlerwear for little boys (and girls)

Slugs and Snails tights

My new website will feature some brilliant baby wear designers, including the fabulous Slugs and Snails range of tights for boys (and girls). I make no secret of my great love for this brand – which we could not live without on cold winter days – so I am absolutely delighted to be partnering with Slugs and Snails. Here’s my recent interview with the amazing lady behind it all, Kathleen Redmond. She kindly answered these questions shortly after her second boy was born, but I’ve waited awhile to post the interview so that I can share with you some photos of Snarfle modelling his latest selection of Slugs and Snails tights.

Slugs and Snails squirrel tights for boys

Snarfle in his new Squirrel patterned Autumn Slugs and Snails tights.

What prompted the creation of your range of patterned tights for boys?
It was our first born Noah and the total lack of anything comfy and funky for him to wear. I have a real issue with boys being forced into jeans whilst wearing nappies; it just seems so uncomfortable and cold!
 
Slugs and Snails tights boy on trike

Have you ever had any strange or bemused reactions when you tell people what you make, and if so can you share them?
Yes, in fact I had been developing the company for almost three years before I told anyone what I do, I still don’t tell people what I do for a living. Being based in rural Ireland it is hard to explain ‘boys tights‘ so I just don’t bother. When we first launched the national radio got wind and although we had more positive comments than negative the DJ took a call from a woman who claimed ‘Ireland wasn’t ready for that sort of thing!‘ I sometimes get tweets telling me boys tights are wrong but worded in a slightly more insulting fashion!
 
Slugs and Snails tights two boys

Where do you find inspiration for the patterns on your tights and what is the process of putting them into production in knit?
Again Noah is always our chief designer, although his daddy is the man who does the real designing. We sit down as a family and design our collection and draw inspiration from Noah‘s latest fads or favourite things, in fact this season he asked for the ‘rubbish trucks and dumpers‘ on the Loader design. It’s a long process though, from inception to creation takes about 9 months, and this season it took 11 months from start to finish!
 
Slugs and Snails rockets and stars tights

Snarfle and his Slugs and Snails Out of This World tights covered in rockets and stars.

Why is it important to you to use organic cottons in all your designs?
We currently have six organic designs and all of our designs are Oeko Tex 100 certified. We have a product that sits on the skin and we need it safe for new born babies and even premature babies. Organic cotton not only means there are no harmful chemicals in the tights it also means that the factory is GOTS certified and their dyes and processes are strictly monitored and therefore not being dumped into the water table.

What is your personal favourite design and why?
I love Hampton (featuring sailboats on a blue background). It’s got that vintage look which I love and looks great worn with little blue shorts or a red dress. You can’t beat a classic image for little kids and it is pretty gender neutral.
 
Slugs and Snails tights in black

I love the new lifestyle shoot – where did you do it and what was the brief for the babies and children taking part?
We have a wonderful photographer based in Texas called Ashley Jinks Larson who is a mummy herself and we simply left it with her to decide. It’s helpful sometimes to let someone else interpret their ideas about Slugs and Snails, and she came up with some really beautiful images. In fact she’s in charge of our lifestyle shoot for this season too we can’t wait to see what she comes up with this year!
 
Slugs and Snails tights for boys blue

I was lucky to discover you when I had my baby last year: how are people discovering you now, I hear you’ve had some great (and well deserved) press?
I think there are so many tights out there now that Slugs and Snails are selling themselves. We can’t afford the high prices of PR companies and national advertising so we are lucky that our product is high quality and unique because nothing sells better than a genuine recommendation. In fact because we have become so accustomed to recommendation press we have become a bit lax on promoting ourselves, via Twitter etc.
 
Slugs and Snails tights girl and boy

Last winter Snarfle was crawling and he lived in Slugs and Snails tights. This year he’s walking – how do you suggest the slightly older child styles his tights?
Personally I think Slugs and Snails are awesome if the little person is still in a nappy: worn on their own, they accentuate all the yummy chubbiness that babies and toddlers have. Once they get longer and skinnier Slugs and Snails looks so lovely with little shorts or rolled up trousers.
 
Slugs and Snails tights for boys Fun Guy toadstools

Snarfle models his Slugs and Snails Fun Guy tights.

You have (literally) just given birth again, how easy is it to run your business whilst being a mother and how do you juggle the two?
Ha-ha, well it’s not easy at all. Rohan was born on 1st November I was back in the office on the 4th with two kids in tow. It’s hard work and as I am breast feeding I have to bring Rohan with me to the office which can be difficult, it would be great to have a set of arms to hold him and a set to pack orders! I love being my own boss though and I do this for my boys – Noah loves seeing all his friends at Kindergarten in Slugs and Snails. I remember once someone said to me that when Noah grows up he will be bullied by his friends because he wears tights and his mummy and daddy make boys’ tights but what that person didn’t know was that all of Noah‘s friends both male and female wear our tights. To them it’s normal and it’s already part of their childhood, so hopefully they will then grow up and make it part of their own children’s wardrobe.
 

Categories ,Ashley Jinks Larson, ,Autumn, ,Boys, ,Fun Guy, ,Gender neutral, ,GOTS, ,Hampton, ,interview, ,ireland, ,Irish, ,Kathleen Redmond, ,Loaded, ,Loader, ,Noah, ,Oeko Tex 100 certified, ,Organic Cotton, ,Out of This World, ,Rohan, ,Slugs and Snails, ,Snarfle, ,tights

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Amelia’s Magazine | Style Passport: An interview with fashion retail website entrepreneur Sarah Walter

Sarah Walters by Gemma Cotterell
Sarah Walter by Gemma Cotterell.

Style Passport is the brainchild of Sarah Walter, formally a fashion director at Marie Claire, now retail entrepreneur. Realised as a one stop shop for the ultimate holiday wardrobe, Style Passport champions many smaller designers and artisan makers. I caught up with Sarah to find out how she got into the internet business, how her previous career has impacted her work and what she recommends for the ultimate vacation look this season.

Style Passport Matthew Williamson silk print utility dress blue
Matthew Williamson silk print utility dress in blue.

Hi Sarah, I believe I did a short work experience stint in the fashion cupboard when you were still at Marie Claire… what drew you to working in magazines during the first part of your career?
Did you really? How did you find that experience? I too started in a cupboard in a fashion department at Vogue, it still seems to be the only way to break into the business. Why was I drawn to magazines? Well, when I started they were wildly creative with photo shoots taking up 20 pages and really extending the editors’ and photographers’ imagination. Coming from art college this merged my two great loves – art and style – so was the perfect career path for me.

Nicole Fahri by Chloe Douglass
Nicole Fahri Easter patchwork print shirt dress. Illustration by Chloe Douglass.

How did becoming a mother inspire your career swerve into retail?
I experimented in retail just before I had my first daughter and found the whole experience pretty interesting. Not only was I trying to create something interesting to wear but then I got to see if it was actually bought and worn by someone. My daughters became experts in spotting a dress or bag I had created and we all shared the same excitement. It’s pretty addictive actually. Oh, and the pay is generally much better.

Fiona paxton coral and wood necklace £175 style-passport
Fiona Paxton coral and wood necklace.

How has your experience of working on fashion editorials influenced the way that you approach retail?
Creating a story in a magazine has all the same elements as creating a window in a shop or a page on a web site. All need a good idea to start with, then great creative and copy that hooks you in. The fact that more and more editors have left magazines in recent years to move into e-commerce and retail just shows you how blurred these worlds are now, whereas 20 years ago there were distinct barriers. The internet and technology has changed and will continue to change everything.

Style Passport Belize Rajasthan Ombre sequin top charcoal
Cool Change Belize Rajasthan Ombre sequin top in charcoal.

What factors do you consider when looking for a new brand to stock on the website?
Well, we start by thinking ‘Where is she going and what does she need to take with her to ensure she has the easiest and most stylish trip possible?‘ We love colour (we do mostly think of holidays in colour, not black and white, don’t we?), print and items that are easy to fold up, so jersey features strongly and unstructured jackets too. Some brands particularly scream ‘holiday’ like Matthew Williamson and Antik Batik; you can literally imagine yourself on the beach when you see them. We have a broad price architecture too, it’s very much the Fashion Editors‘ choice, so we try to choose what you can get for a reasonable amount of money (Armor Lux bretons for example are perfect, you don’t need to buy a designer version).

Matthew Williamson multi coloured column digital blossom jersey dress by Shy Illustrations
Matthew Williamson multi coloured column digital blossom jersey dress. Illustration by Shy Illustrations.

What have been your most exciting discoveries when hunting down new labels? Are there any particular finds which stick in your mind?
I’m very excited about Visconti & du Reau gladiators which will be on the site in March. Sam and I saw them in Paris and literally dropped everything on the spot.

Matthew Williamson style-passport
Matthew Williamson hat, an exclusive collaboration with Style Passport.

Where do you source your artisanal goods from, and why are these products so exciting to you?
Artisanal goods to me have always been the holiday ‘finds’ which tell the stories of your adventures and create your personal style. They are personal and remind us of the best times in our lives. We find our artisanal items from our own travels and now increasingly, artisans approach us with their goods and we love to find out about them and bring their stories to our customers.

Tam Tam one piece noir swimsuit Style Passport
Tam Tam one piece noir swimsuit and Vida Vida embroidered leather clutch.

How do you balance your stock of expensive high end products with more affordable items?
It’s all determined by our approach to style. Items on the site are there because they are loved and we believe they are worth the money. Sometimes it’s a designer piece that will make all the difference and sometimes a trusted basic or artisanal find. To me, this combination is true style.

Matthew Williamson by Isher Dhiman
Matthew Williamson oversized digital blossom cutout t-shirt. Illustration by Isher Dhiman.

How do you decide which beauty brands to promote on Style Passport?
Again, we try to focus on brands we love which support our travel ethos. We have to have suncream and mosquito spray so our customers really can come to us and get their bag packed in one place.

Style Passport mood board 1
Style Passport mood board.

You’ve spoken of plans to expand the website to include menswear and kidswear – what else would you like to do with Style Passport in the future?
One step at a time! We would love to eventually have our own label associated with the best travel items, so let’s see what happens.

Style Passport mood board 1
Style Passport mood board.

What have been the best and hardest parts of going it alone with your own business?
The best is creating what you want in the way you want to and surrounding yourself with hugely passionate, talented people. The worst is raising money to drive forwards and getting the call at 1am when the alarm goes off in the warehouse.

Style Passport mood board
Putting it all together: Style Passport looks.

Lastly, what are the three most important things to pack: for a hot destination?
1. A scarf that keeps you relaxed on the plane, is nice enough to wear out at night, can be doubled and belted to make a skirt and of course used as a beach coverup or a hair protector…… I can go on about scarves for ever.
2. Great sunglasses. Nothing makes you feel more glamorous and in the mood like these. Plus, after a long journey they cover puffy and tired eyes.
3. Your favourite dress. Dresses are the easiest way to get dressed as most decision making is removed. For me they are the most versatile of items. Very little work is required to take the same dress from a market shop (basket, flats, headscarf) to a dinner (heels, lipstick, ear rings).
Some of my key holiday looks are included in this blog. For S/S 2013 I’d go for a Matthew Williamson blue shirt waister dress, an Indonesian sarong – always a sarong, the gladiators in lizard and neon by Visconti & du Reau and a Seafolly Goddess swimsuit which just fits and improves every body that it is put on. 

And for a winter holiday this season?
A down coat. ADD and Barbour are great. Light, warm and stylish.
Lip salve – the cold really affects your lips. Carmex is the original and best in my view and the yellow pot is very friendly.
Base layers. American Vintage cotton fitted longjohns and roll necks should be the first thing you put on after your underwear.

Thanks Sarah! It’s so interesting to hear from someone who has created a successful retail experience. Do visit Style Passport to discover more great holiday ideas.

Categories ,ADD, ,American Vintage, ,Antik Batik, ,Armor Lux, ,Barbour, ,Beauty, ,Carmex, ,Chloe Douglass, ,Cool Change, ,fashion, ,Fashion Editors, ,Fiona Paxton, ,Gemma Cotterell, ,Hoilday, ,Holiday Wardrobe, ,interview, ,Isher Dhiman, ,Key holiday looks, ,Marie Claire, ,Matthew Williamson, ,Nicole Fahri, ,S/S 2013, ,Sarah Walter, ,Seafolly Goddess, ,Shy Illustrations, ,Style Passport, ,summer, ,Swimwear, ,Tam Tam, ,Vida Vida, ,Visconti & du Reau, ,vogue, ,Winter

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Amelia’s Magazine | T-post: the world’s first wearable magazine

Quidams at Latitude 2010. Illustration by Sophie Parker and Daniel Sims
After what had been a magical weekend we decided to spend our final night of Latitude simply drifting through the festival. With no agenda we found ourselves sitting atop the large books outside the Literary Stage- donuts in one hand and chocolate dip held precariously in the other. Happily munching away with Vampire Weekend echoing in the background, click it seemed a perfect end to the weekend.

With the masses up at the Obelisk Arena, order the crowds had thinned out to the point where the festival began to resemble its Mean Fiddler days. The dust from the day had finally settled and the sun was just a whisper of warmth in the evening air.

As we got up and turned to head for Cabaret Stage we caught sight of a peculiar glow of light. Bobbing and shimmying, buy it was surrounded by a small gathering of people. As the light dispersed, four towering bubble-like creatures flickered into view, their immense height and width contrasting with their feather-light appearance.

Whilst Latitude is notorious for having all kinds of ephemeral creatures wandering through the festival both day and night, there was definitely something more surreal about these serene giants. Gently they tip-toed on stilts away from the bright lights of the festival into the secret darkness of the trees and, along with a growing crowd of enchanted people of all ages, we followed them Pied Piper-like into the darkness.

Unknown to us at the time it was in fact Quidams- a French street theatre company known for, amongst other things, inflatable self illuminating costumes and characters reminiscent of Tim Burton (before Disney devoured him, obviously). At the time, however, who they were and where they had come from didn’t seem important. It was far more exciting to simply engage with the moment.

Clumsy yet graceful, with only a wordless language of slow gestures and hypnotic light we were lead to the Waterfront stage. They shuffled tentatively onto the unlit platform and there was a simultaneous jaw-dropping as the four figures proceeded to creep silently (and unaided) across the submerged catwalk giving the appearance of walking on water.

What had been a small gathering was now a swarming crowd blocking the bridge and congregating on both sides of the lake. As if out of a Studio Ghibli film, we watched as the four illuminated characters arrived on the other side of the bank and surrounded a covered luminous globe. Performing a kind of magic to the strange and dramatic music, the orb began to rhythmically float and descend, each time getting a little higher. Finally it rose high above our heads shedding it’s gossamer-thin covering and blooming into a huge and glowing full-moon.

As the four characters deflated and drifted off into the night, the moon signaled the perfect end to an unbelievable weekend.

It was definitely not the biggest act, but for the brief time it lasted, the festival site was transformed into a Moomin-esque world caught somewhere between fiction and reality. Quite simply, it was Latitude at its best.

Quidams at Latitude Festival 2010

After what had been a magical weekend we decided to spend our final night of Latitude simply drifting through the festival. With no agenda we found ourselves sitting atop the large books outside the Literary Stage- donuts in one hand and chocolate dip held precariously in the other. Happily munching away with Vampire Weekend echoing in the background, information pills it seemed a perfect end to the weekend.

Quidams at Latitude Festival 2010

With the masses up at the Obelisk Arena, malady the crowds had thinned out to the point where the festival began to resemble its Mean Fiddler days. The dust from the day had finally settled and the sun was just a whisper of warmth in the evening air.

As we got up and turned to head for Cabaret Stage we caught sight of a peculiar glow of light. Bobbing and shimmying, it was surrounded by a small gathering of people. As the light dispersed, four towering bubble-like creatures flickered into view, their immense height and width contrasting with their feather-light appearance.

Quidams at Latitude 2010. Illustration by Sophie Parker and Daniel Sims

Whilst Latitude is notorious for having all kinds of ephemeral creatures wandering through the festival both day and night, there was definitely something more surreal about these serene giants. Gently they tip-toed on stilts away from the bright lights of the festival into the secret darkness of the trees and, along with a growing crowd of enchanted people of all ages, we followed them Pied Piper-like into the darkness.

Unknown to us at the time it was in fact Quidams- a French street theatre company known for, amongst other things, inflatable self illuminating costumes and characters reminiscent of Tim Burton (before Disney devoured him, obviously). At the time, however, who they were and where they had come from didn’t seem important. It was far more exciting to simply engage with the moment.

Quidams at Latitude Festival 2010

Clumsy yet graceful, with only a wordless language of slow gestures and hypnotic light we were lead to the Waterfront stage. They shuffled tentatively onto the unlit platform and there was a simultaneous jaw-dropping as the four figures proceeded to creep silently (and unaided) across the submerged catwalk giving the appearance of walking on water.

What had been a small gathering was now a swarming crowd blocking the bridge and congregating on both sides of the lake. As if out of a Studio Ghibli film, we watched as the four illuminated characters arrived on the other side of the bank and surrounded a covered luminous globe. Performing a kind of magic to the strange and dramatic music, the orb began to rhythmically float and descend, each time getting a little higher. Finally it rose high above our heads shedding it’s gossamer-thin covering and blooming into a huge and glowing full-moon.

Quidams at Latitude Festival 2010

As the four characters deflated and drifted off into the night, the moon signaled the perfect end to an unbelievable weekend.

It was definitely not the biggest act, but for the brief time it lasted, the festival site was transformed into a Moomin-esque world caught somewhere between fiction and reality. Quite simply, it was Latitude at its best.
Quidams at Latitude Festival 2010

After what had been a magical weekend we decided to spend our final night of Latitude simply drifting through the festival. With no agenda we found ourselves sitting atop the large books outside the Literary Stage- donuts in one hand and chocolate dip held precariously in the other. Happily munching away with Vampire Weekend echoing in the background, visit it seemed a perfect end to the weekend.

Quidams at Latitude Festival 2010

With the masses up at the Obelisk Arena, pharmacy the crowds had thinned out to the point where the festival began to resemble its Mean Fiddler days. The dust from the day had finally settled and the sun was just a whisper of warmth in the evening air.

As we got up and turned to head for Cabaret Stage we caught sight of a peculiar glow of light. Bobbing and shimmying, it was surrounded by a small gathering of people. As the light dispersed, four towering bubble-like creatures flickered into view, their immense height and width contrasting with their feather-light appearance.

Quidams at Latitude 2010. Illustration by Sophie Parker and Daniel Sims

Quidams by Sophie Parker and Daniel Sims

Whilst Latitude is notorious for having all kinds of ephemeral creatures wandering through the festival both day and night, there was definitely something more surreal about these serene giants. Gently they tip-toed on stilts away from the bright lights of the festival into the secret darkness of the trees and, along with a growing crowd of enchanted people of all ages, we followed them Pied Piper-like into the darkness.

Unknown to us at the time it was in fact Quidams- a French street theatre company known for, amongst other things, inflatable self illuminating costumes and characters reminiscent of Tim Burton (before Disney devoured him, obviously). At the time, however, who they were and where they had come from didn’t seem important. It was far more exciting to simply engage with the moment.

Quidams at Latitude Festival 2010

Clumsy yet graceful, with only a wordless language of slow gestures and hypnotic light we were lead to the Waterfront stage. They shuffled tentatively onto the unlit platform and there was a simultaneous jaw-dropping as the four figures proceeded to creep silently (and unaided) across the submerged catwalk giving the appearance of walking on water.

What had been a small gathering was now a swarming crowd blocking the bridge and congregating on both sides of the lake. As if out of a Studio Ghibli film, we watched as the four illuminated characters arrived on the other side of the bank and surrounded a covered luminous globe. Performing a kind of magic to the strange and dramatic music, the orb began to rhythmically float and descend, each time getting a little higher. Finally it rose high above our heads shedding it’s gossamer-thin covering and blooming into a huge and glowing full-moon.

Quidams at Latitude Festival 2010

As the four characters deflated and drifted off into the night, the moon signaled the perfect end to an unbelievable weekend.

It was definitely not the biggest act, but for the brief time it lasted, the festival site was transformed into a Moomin-esque world caught somewhere between fiction and reality. Quite simply, it was Latitude at its best.

T-post is the world’s first wearable magazine. Nope, it isn’t a Vogue-September-Issue-style glossy mag that has been fashioned into a Stephen-Jones-style millinery creation, story but a t-shirt that poses as a magazine. It’s the brainchild of Sweden-based Peter Lundgren, pilule and produced using an army of writers and illustrators. The concept is pretty simple – a current or topical news story is printed on the inside, and an artist or illustrator interprets the story on the outside. Previous topics have included immigration, the Nobel prize and Mickey Mouse, amongst many other things, and artists contribute from all over the world. Subscribers receive a new t-shirt every five weeks, with T-post producing its 57th issue very soon!

I had a chat with founder and editor-in-chief Peter Lundgren to find out more about T-post…

What’s the thinking behind T-post?
It all started with the idea of trying to re-wire the structures of news communication. We started concepting ways to engage people in important topics, and our favourite garment, the T-shirt, seemed like an ideal media for doing so. T-shirts inspire conversation, and when you add a story behind them, you get people thinking. By combining a news magazine subscription with a T-shirt we’re able to utilise the attention and commitment accustom to the ‘fashion world’ while communicating interesting news topics. And by putting the written story on the inside of the Tee just for the subscriber to read, the subscriber is really the one communicating the story and getting it to spread outside the T-post circle.

Since the article is not usually available while wearing the T-shirt, it really becomes their personal interpretation of the story, which is even more interesting to hear about, I think!

How did it all begin?
The idea was born back in 2004 in an advertising agency I co-owned at the time. During that year it was just a fun project that we did in between other clients. I always saw great potential in the project, but realised that I needed to focus on it 100% to get it to take off. In the beginning of 2006 I handed over the agency to my partner, so I was able to give T-post the chance it deserved. My goal was to not take on any investors along the way, even though I had lots of offers, which left me with six months to get the number of subscribers from 300 to a 1000 to still have a job.

After about two months we got a centrefold article in one of the biggest news papers in The Netherlands. After that T-post got its own life in newspapers and on the internet.

Describe T-post in 3 words.
I can do it in two: “Conversation piece”.

Where do the ideas for each ‘issue’ come from?
It can be a reflection on several news stories which have a connection or just a single interesting story that we’ve picked up in a newspaper.

How do you source and network with illustrators and contributors?
We’ve been very lucky. We always have a lot of illustrators contacting us wanting to interpret one of our stories, so we keep a constantly growing library of who we think have the most unique and interesting look.

And when it’s time to match a story with an illustrator we chose the one who we think have the most suitable look for our written story.

Can anybody contribute?
Absolutely. Just send us some examples of what you’ve done in the past and we’ll consider you for a upcoming issue.

Is it difficult running a business and maintaining creativity?
This is what I’ve always loved to do so I automatically pick up stuff which I think is interesting and could make a good issue. You have to surround yourself with talented people who can bring the best out of you and the brand. I always bring a bunch of ideas to the table some of them are good but most of them are really shitty. So it’s important to have people around you which you can try your ideas on.

How are the t-shirts produced? Are the actual t-shirts ethical?
We use American Apparel T-shirts so we’re really comfortable with them being produced ethically.

What are your thoughts on advertising?
Nobody likes advertising, yet everyone pays for it in the purchase-price of a product. Not with T-post. T-post began as an underground phenomenon amongst friends and we have grown honestly and organically. We’d like to keep it that way. 

We don’t create advertising. We create dialog. We listen. We don’t believe in corporations telling people what to believe. Instead, we only believe in our family of subscribers. Our fans do the only kind of advertising we like: word-of-mouth.

Your ethos is that T-post only produces the amount of t-shirts necessary to correspond with subscriber figures, to avoid any waste. Are environmental issues important to you, and your magazine?
We just try to do what we can with the recourses we have. Which all companies should. It’s important not to use more than what is absolutely necessary for your business to work.

The first issue of T-post had a run of 5 copies – how many subscribers do you have now? Do subscriber numbers multiply on a monthly basis?
Today we have about 2,500 subscribers in over 50 countries. And it’s about 150 new subscribers signing on each month.

How will T-post develop? What does the future hold?
Right now our only goal is to make as interesting issues as we can. We’re trying to expand what we can deliver in each issue to make our message as clear as possible. One example is our Augmented Reality Issue:

Who would you like to seeing wearing an issue of T-post?
I would love to see Andy Warhol wear one, but since that’s not so likely the next best thing would be to see Jon Stewart wear one on the Daily Show!

To subscribe, visit the T-post website!
To contact Peter and the team about contributing, see the contacts page.

Categories ,American Apparel, ,Andy Warhol, ,illustration, ,interview, ,Jon Stewart, ,magazine, ,Netherlands, ,News, ,Peter Lundgren, ,T-post, ,T-shirts, ,The Daily Show

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Amelia’s Magazine | The Many Sides: An interview with founder Rita Sheth

The Many Sides Fashion Illustration By Toni Morris
The Many Sides Fashion Illustration By Toni Morris.

You come from a corporate background – why did you decide to branch out and set up The Many Sides and what were you able to bring to the process from your former career?
I set up the business because I found I was no longer excited by what was on offer on the high street – I wanted to bring more unique, well made clothes to people that were also frustrated by the high street as well as the ‘slap on a monogram’ ethos which we see from established labels. As such it was kind of a labour of love! Basically I wanted to connect creative designers with women who wanted to express themselves through creative fashion!
I think from my former career I am able to bring a level of professionalism and attention to detail which is important. It also helps to be able to structure a deal which is important when thinking about different ways you can do business.

The Many Sides Swim
I like the thinking behind your name, can you explain a bit more about what The Many Sides means to you?
The Many Sides references the many sides of a woman. I found as a corporate professional I would have a persona at work and then lots of different other sides for all the other roles I play and the many interests I have. I wanted to develop a brand that resonated with a similar kind of woman. A woman that has many sides and many interests – one of which desires creative self expression and uses fashion as a vehicle to do that.

The Many Sides floral lookbook
Where are your designers from and how do you discover them and bring them on board?
My designers come from a variety of countries from South Korea, Denmark, Greece and the UK among others. I discover them through various means, trade shows, desk based research, instagram…. and now designers get in touch with me too as they like what I am doing and want to be featured on a platform that is selective and well curated. I won’t sell anything I don’t like or where the quality is sub par. I always look for a story behind the designers inspiration that cohesively carries through to their aesthetic. Though each collection may vary, there needs to be something distinctive and ‘signature’ about the designers concept.

The Many Sides Spring Sterling Silver Neckpiece
The Many Sides sterling silver lookbook
Please could you introduce us to a few of your designers…. and let us know a bit about why you have chosen them.
The designers are an eclectic bunch – each with their own distinctive style. A few of the designers we stock are:

The Many Sides Chichia Jumpsuit
The Many Sides ChichiaJacketandTrousers copy
Chichia – Her designs are influenced by African print and in particular she uses the local Khanga fabric to make the clothes. She makes the clothes using local labour in Tanzania to give back to her homeland. I really like the colour and the unique use of cut outs as well as the representation of the culture via the fabrics used.

The Many Sides leather skirt yohan kim
Yohan Kim – Our South Korean designer. He has a rock and roll, gothic style. He uses a lot of leather, studs and heavy detailing, embellishment and embroidery. I really love the intricacy of the pieces. The pictures online don’t do the items enough justice! The pieces are very handcrafted and deeply worked – for example one of the leather skirts is texturised on one side and has studs on the other side. No regular leather skirt!

Tuxedo Jacket
Alice’s Pig – Our London based designer who is influenced by Alice in Wonderland and girly vintage tea party looks. Lots of 50′s style dresses and feminine cuts. I love this designer as the pieces are very wearable but have a subtle twist that still makes the items unique. The kimono trousers and tuxedo jacket are a case in point – they are both staple pieces but not boring and each have a little something extra to make them memorable.

The Many Sides kimono lookbook
What have been the biggest difficulties and triumphs in setting up your own business?
The biggest difficulty is in bridging the gap between online and offline. I am currently looking at ways to make the clothes more accessible offline as its still important to some customers be able to touch and feel the clothes. The main thing I am proud of has been in getting so much positive feedback from customers, bloggers and designers. People in the industry as well as the customer seem to really like the clothes and more importantly are willing to spend their hard earned money buying them – its so rewarding when someone genuinely loves a purchase.

The Many Sides - Spring Edit Bag2
Can you tell us more about your spring edit selection and what informed your choices?
It is a mixture of clothes good for the current weather – florals and light weight fabrics. However as the weather in England is so changeable there are also some jackets on there too. Having said that all of the clothes can be worn any time of year – I don’t approve of the fast fashion movement and want to slow things down by always having clothing on there for all occasions and all weather.

The Many Sides Spring Edit Ceramin Necklace
I also included some colourful accessories including some contemporary jewellery pieces that would go well with day time spring/summer looks to reflect the new season and hopefully the beginning of sunshine! Looking ahead we also have a great new swimwear designer that does very unique designs to flatter every shape which also comes in made to measure sizes.

The Many Sides slate_crag_ring_on_hand
The Many Sides Spring Ceramic_Ring
What next for the Many Sides?
As I mentioned I want to explore different ways to bring the clothes to customers in a more direct way. This is something I am looking at right now. I also want to carry on delighting customers with the unique product offering which I intend to keep growing with time. Essentially, I hope to grow the business through word of mouth – that’s the dream!

Check out Rita Sheth‘s unique selection of clothing and accessories for yourself on The Many Sides. Rita Sheth was a contributor to my 10th anniversary book That Which We Do Not Understand.

Categories ,#TWWDNU, ,Alice’s Pig, ,Chichia, ,fashion, ,Global Fashion, ,Indie Fashion, ,interview, ,Rita Sheth, ,That Which We Do Not Understand, ,The Many Sides, ,Toni Morris, ,Yohan Kim

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Amelia’s Magazine | Zeynep Tosun: London Fashion Week S/S 2014 Preview Interview

Zeynep Tosun S/S 2014 preview by Laura Hickman
Zeynep Tosun S/S 2014 preview by Laura Hickman.

Last season I was blown away by the discovery of Zeynep Tosun, an ambitious Turkish designer with a penchant for beautiful embellishment. This season Zeynep Tosun takes inspiration from the androgyny and sexual freedom of the 1920s for her Hidden collection. Yesterday I caught up with her in the studio to get a sneak peak of what to expect – beautifully illustrated by Laura Hickman.

Zeynep Tosun S/S 2014 preview by Laura Hickman
Zeynep Tosun S/S 2014 preview by Laura Hickman.

I loved your show last season, how did you construct such elaborate pieces, and who does all the handiwork such as embroidery for you?
I have my own atelier in Istanbul which allows me to experiment with intricate and innovative haute couture techniques. All my embroidery is done in-house.

You have had your own brand since 2008, what has been the journey so far?
It’s been a rollercoaster ride…

What did you learn working with the likes of Alberta Ferretti and Dice Kayak?
Working at Ferretti was my first experience after graduating from Istituto di Maragoni in Milan, so it shaped my character and allowed me to hone my skills to haute couture.

This season you’ve been inspired by the 1920s – how have you translated this time period into a modern collection?
The collection denotes concealed sexuality and merges androgynous shapes with allusive femininity.

What kind of materials have you worked with for the new collection?
Luxe stone-washed silk and silk chiffon, S/S 2014 plays on transparency in a muted palette of white, smoke, navy and candy pink.

How easy was it to set up a flagship store in Istanbul and who are your customers?
My success in Istanbul led to the opening of my flagship store in Akmerkez, and the demand from my private clients mean it has grown every season. My next goal is to open stores in London and New York.

What is it like to work in Turkey in the fashion industry: what are the perks and the challenges?
I am well established as a designer in Turkey so I have much support. London is the platform to build the label internationally.

Zeynep Tosun shows on the catwalk at Freemasons’ Hall with Fashion Scout on Saturday 14th September.

Categories ,Akmerkez, ,Alberta Ferretti, ,Dice Kayak, ,Fashion Scout, ,Ferretti, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Hidden, ,interview, ,Istanbul, ,Istituto di Maragoni, ,Laura Hickman, ,preview, ,S/S 2014, ,Zeynep Tosun

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Amelia’s Magazine | Pre-London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Interview: Ada Zanditon and ADZ


ADZ, pilule information pills illustrated by Jess Stokes

Whilst eco-couture has always been ahead of the times in terms of sustainability, it’s often been left behind in the style stakes, unable to compete with mainstream, high fashion. Gradually though, a new breed of designer has emerged who is equally concerned with creating a cutting edge aesthetic as they are utilising sustainable and organic materials.

At the forefront of this movement is Ada Zanditon, whose designs experiment with shape and texture in a way that is unsurprising once you learn that she originally interned with Alexander McQueen and Gareth Pugh. After establishing her own eco-luxury womenswear line in March 2008, Ada has gone on to raise awareness of everything from eco fashion to politics through the likes of the Think Act Vote campaign. Ada took the time to answer a few questions for us about the inspiration behind her new range ADZ, and the future of eco fashion. ? 


ADZ S/S 2011

You’ve really established yourself as a pioneer of eco-fashion, giving the movement a younger, sexier image than it had in the past. How did you go about this?  
I think that I had two very strong passions that I was determined to make work together – fashion and sustainability. I enjoy the innovative aspect that comes into every part of the process, my main how-to part of it I think comes from a basic viewpoint that anything is possible. It’s equally possible to make a beautiful fashionable dress from an ecological material as it is from one that is not. It’s equally possible to create fashion that considers its full life span and even decay as it is to create something that does not. It’s a question of awareness, choice and aesthetics. 

Tell us about your new collection, ADZ?  
ADZ by Ada Zanditon is the bridging line to my main collection, it’s contemporary, resort urban wear that combines strikingly unique prints with casual yet sophisticated pieces that are focussed around bold geometric detailing in fluid soft fabrics such as tencel, silk jersey and chiffon. The SS 2011 debut collection of ADZ is titled Nebulayan. My inspiration came from creating illustrations of satellite images of the Himalayas mountain range which I then layered with Hubble telescope imagery of deep space nebulae. We now have achieved the technology to see the Earth from space and also to see deep into outer space. I like the idea of contrasting these perspectives with each other. 


ADZ, illustrated by Aniela Murphy

How do you cope with the volume of work and your nerves in the build up to London Fashion Week? Any trade secrets?
I am always aware that I am so fortunate to be in the position to be running my own label, I don’t really want to complain. Everyday always has its challenges, but I try to see that as opportunity. I think gratitude is vastly underrated these days…. don’t you? 

Absolutely! Amelia’s magazine have always been a big fan of your illustrations, any plans to design your own prints based on your work?
Actually, all my prints are based on my illustration work and photography and as well as that I use watercolour then layer all these elements together. ? 


ADZ, illustrated by Natsuki Otani

Musician Viktoria Modesta is your muse; how did you end up working together? You’ll be contributing to her showcase next month; what will that involve?
Soon after we first met we found we had a good creative rapport. I think Viktoria has incredible elegance and style with a real sense of grace. As for the showcase – I don’t want to give to much away but it will be a great evening. 

How do you think the public can be convinced of the importance of sustainability? Do you think there is more designers, magazine editors and celebrities could be doing to highlight its significance?
I only think the planet can truly convince people of the importance of sustainability. I’m sure most people living on the coast of Bangladesh are highly convinced that we need to live in a more sustainable way as they are effected daily by climate change. However, I think that people can encourage and inspire, and have a really good try at convincing. What worries me, though, is that catastrophic events only really shake people into action. I think everyone in every walk of life can do more, no matter what you do.

To see the entire ADZ S/S 2011 collection, visit Ada’s website.
To read more about Think Act Vote, see our interview with Amisha Ghadiali here.

Categories ,Ada Zanditon, ,ADZ, ,Alexander McQueen, ,Aniela Murphy, ,Bangladesh, ,estethica, ,ethical, ,fashion, ,Gareth Pugh, ,Himalayas, ,interview, ,Jess Stokes, ,London Fashion Week, ,Natsuki Otani, ,Nebulayan, ,S/S 2011, ,sustainability, ,Think Act Vote, ,Viktoria Modesta

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Amelia’s Magazine | Pre-London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Interview: Charlie le Mindu


Charlie le Mindu A/W 2010, purchase illustrated by Naomi Law

Cheeky Charlie le Mindu already had quite the reputation when he burst onto the scene in dramatic fashion a couple of years ago. As celebrity hairdresser to the stars, he’d already produced a client list that included the likes of Florence Welsh, Uffie, Lady Gaga and Peaches. His first collection showed the makings of a designer with impact, with dramatic silhouettes, contrasting materials and eery influences. But it was his star performance in the Blow Presents… show for S/S 2009 that really grabbed the media’s attention. His collection, made from human hair and luxe materials, caused a stir in that way that radical fashion does and rendering row after row of fashionista breathless.


Charlie le Mindu, S/S 2010

But what would he do next? Surely you can’t keep on making bonkers frocks from hair, can you? Well, it turns out you can, and last season Charlie had us bouncing up and down with glee with his sexed-up religion-inspired collection – a more refined and sophisticated one that still managed to convey Charlie’s unique vision.

Church bells chimed and haunting cackles played, while androgynous models appeared one after the other sporting racy all-in-one lace numbers and crucifixes atop their heads or cocoon-like headpieces (see the video here).

I managed to catch up with Charlie for a (brief) chat to delve a bit more into the psyche of this weird and wonderful designer. I have to warn you, though – he doesn’t give much away. But in three days it’s time for collection number four – one fashion week’s attendees wait for with immense anticipation.


Charlie le Mindu S/S 2010, illustrated by Steph Parr

Hi Charlie! You’re quickly rising up the fashion ranks, what’s been the highlight of your journey so far?
I think the highlight for the moment is to have met new friends like Anna Trevelayn, who is totally on the same wavelength as me in terms of ideas.

What was the inspiration behind your eery A/W 2010 collection?
It was based on religion and I wanted to show that all religion could be very sexy and dirty at the same time.

What is it about hair that fascinates you so much?
I can do anything I want to do with it. It’s a perfect match of fabrics for me, and it’s the texture I’ve worked with since I was 13!

Of all your celebrity hair clients, who have been the best (or worst) to work with?!
The best one was Carolina Bambina from Kap Bambino and Peaches, because they are my best mates.


Charlie le Mindu, A/W 2010

A number of stylish celebrities have been seen wearing your work, from Gaga to Drew Barrymore. Who else would you like to dress?
I’d love to dress Cher, so much. She is the queen of plastic surgery! She is never gonna die, so I could work with her forever!

How are you preparing for this coming fashion week? Are you excited? Nervous?
I’m very excited – I think it’s going to be my dirtiest show so far!!!

You’re part of the latest breed of London fashion designers who push the boundaries in that unique, raw way. How do you think London fashion compares to the other bigger cities?
I don’t think I push the boundaries, because if I did push it, people wouldn’t come to see my show! I just try to make things fun. And sexy. London fashion is fun, but it’s going to be more fun again in a few years time I think.

Do you find juggling haute coiffure and haute couture a challenge? Which do you prefer?
It’s the same for me, they work together.

What’s next for Charlie Le Mindu?
Maybe opening a shop…!

Categories ,A/W 2010, ,A/W 2011, ,Anna Trevelayn, ,Blow PR, ,Carolina Bambina, ,Charlie le Mindu, ,Cher, ,Crucifix, ,Drew Barrymore, ,Florence Welsh, ,Hair, ,interview, ,Kap Bambino, ,Lady Gaga, ,London Fashion Week, ,Naomi Law, ,Peaches, ,Plastic Surgery, ,preview, ,religion, ,S/S 2009, ,SEX, ,Steph Parr, ,Uffie

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Amelia’s Magazine | Pre-London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Interview: Charlie le Mindu


Charlie le Mindu A/W 2010, purchase illustrated by Naomi Law

Cheeky Charlie le Mindu already had quite the reputation when he burst onto the scene in dramatic fashion a couple of years ago. As celebrity hairdresser to the stars, he’d already produced a client list that included the likes of Florence Welsh, Uffie, Lady Gaga and Peaches. His first collection showed the makings of a designer with impact, with dramatic silhouettes, contrasting materials and eery influences. But it was his star performance in the Blow Presents… show for S/S 2009 that really grabbed the media’s attention. His collection, made from human hair and luxe materials, caused a stir in that way that radical fashion does and rendering row after row of fashionista breathless.


Charlie le Mindu, S/S 2010

But what would he do next? Surely you can’t keep on making bonkers frocks from hair, can you? Well, it turns out you can, and last season Charlie had us bouncing up and down with glee with his sexed-up religion-inspired collection – a more refined and sophisticated one that still managed to convey Charlie’s unique vision.

Church bells chimed and haunting cackles played, while androgynous models appeared one after the other sporting racy all-in-one lace numbers and crucifixes atop their heads or cocoon-like headpieces (see the video here).

I managed to catch up with Charlie for a (brief) chat to delve a bit more into the psyche of this weird and wonderful designer. I have to warn you, though – he doesn’t give much away. But in three days it’s time for collection number four – one fashion week’s attendees wait for with immense anticipation.


Charlie le Mindu S/S 2010, illustrated by Steph Parr

Hi Charlie! You’re quickly rising up the fashion ranks, what’s been the highlight of your journey so far?
I think the highlight for the moment is to have met new friends like Anna Trevelayn, who is totally on the same wavelength as me in terms of ideas.

What was the inspiration behind your eery A/W 2010 collection?
It was based on religion and I wanted to show that all religion could be very sexy and dirty at the same time.

What is it about hair that fascinates you so much?
I can do anything I want to do with it. It’s a perfect match of fabrics for me, and it’s the texture I’ve worked with since I was 13!

Of all your celebrity hair clients, who have been the best (or worst) to work with?!
The best one was Carolina Bambina from Kap Bambino and Peaches, because they are my best mates.


Charlie le Mindu, A/W 2010

A number of stylish celebrities have been seen wearing your work, from Gaga to Drew Barrymore. Who else would you like to dress?
I’d love to dress Cher, so much. She is the queen of plastic surgery! She is never gonna die, so I could work with her forever!

How are you preparing for this coming fashion week? Are you excited? Nervous?
I’m very excited – I think it’s going to be my dirtiest show so far!!!

You’re part of the latest breed of London fashion designers who push the boundaries in that unique, raw way. How do you think London fashion compares to the other bigger cities?
I don’t think I push the boundaries, because if I did push it, people wouldn’t come to see my show! I just try to make things fun. And sexy. London fashion is fun, but it’s going to be more fun again in a few years time I think.

Do you find juggling haute coiffure and haute couture a challenge? Which do you prefer?
It’s the same for me, they work together.

What’s next for Charlie Le Mindu?
Maybe opening a shop…!

Categories ,A/W 2010, ,A/W 2011, ,Anna Trevelayn, ,Blow PR, ,Carolina Bambina, ,Charlie le Mindu, ,Cher, ,Crucifix, ,Drew Barrymore, ,Florence Welsh, ,Hair, ,interview, ,Kap Bambino, ,Lady Gaga, ,London Fashion Week, ,Naomi Law, ,Peaches, ,Plastic Surgery, ,preview, ,religion, ,S/S 2009, ,SEX, ,Steph Parr, ,Uffie

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