Three up-and-coming brands to dig your teeth into...
If you’re lucky enough to be one of those glamorous, sassy girls who frequent the Ibiza party scene (no, me neither), chances are you will have already heard of Dancing Leopard. If you haven’t, and you’re jetting off to somewhere exotic this summer, this one is for you. Dancing Leopard’s brand philosophy is quite simple: effortless, beautiful style for effortless beauties – in their own words, they combine “traditional Indian patterns with western chic” to create clothing that is “perfect for Balearic summers and sun-dappled festivals”. Instead of offering a huge range of styles, Dancing Leopard stick to a few set lines of clothing, including their ever-popular Genie Jumpsuits, Tassle Kaftans and Ibiza Dresses, all of which are available in an array of different patterns and, yes, they are all beautiful.
STOLEN GIRLFRIENDS CLUB
Put three young, New Zealand-based designers together in a room and we get Stolen Girlfriends Club, a label which offers both women’s and men’s apparel as well as a solid collection of shoes, jewellery and eyewear. It would appear that Dan, Luke and Marc, the boys behind the brand, have tapped well into youth culture, the result of which is collections with an offbeat, grungy vibe. Normally this sort of thing isn’t too my tastes because I don’t really like the ‘edgy Tumblr kid’ aesthetic (Stolen Girlfriends Club’s gift cards have a blown-up photograph of cigarette butts on them… very reblog-worthy) but, having looked through the brand’s website extensively, I can conclude that these clothes are cool, dark, slightly androgynous and not the least bit immature.
We all think them, but it’s probably time for us to ditch our pre-conceived ideas of ‘eco friendly’ fashion. When I heard about K2TOG (‘Knit Together Design)’, a luxury knitwear label from St Martins graduate Katie Jones, which prides itself on its “waste not, want not” design ethos, I was sceptical. Reworking someone else’s unused fabric? Upcycling? For someone who generally likes clean lines and neutral colours, it sounds messy. So imagine my delight when I came across the brand’s website, which immediately sucks you in with its cornucopia of colour and creativity, and discovered some seriously beautiful knitwear. K2TOG’s capsule collection comprises 15 pieces made up of over 90% reclaimed materials. Otherwise dull Aran jumpers and black leather skirts are jazzed up with neon trims, cutesy Peter Pan collars, floral appliqué and colourful pom poms. The vibes are a bit ‘mad granny’, but this is British thriftiness at its best, and definitely worth supporting.